Firstly, a story behind this post. I had been using Feisty and Fc6 for a long time now. Combined, they occupied 4 primary partitions including a common swap, 1 root (/) partition each and a home (/home) for fc6 so that I can play with things like restricting user quotas and all.
I still had 16 GB free unallocated space which I had kept, if I ever had the need to install another OS (eg. XP).
One of my module requirements in my university requires me to use the Keil ARM Evaluation software to practice embedded systems coding, and unfortunately it runs only on windows. In order to pass this module and hand in my assignments on time, I had to get XP running.
This is when I realised the mistake I had committed, the last time when I had partitioned my disk. You see, you can have only 4 primary partitions. More secondary partitions can be added to the the 4th primary called the extended partition. I already had 4 primary partitions, and I had no way to use this unallocated 16 GB without creating a new primary partition as it wasn't adjacent to the extended partition space.
The only option in this case would be to delete a primary partition adjacent to the extended, add it to the extended partition and then reformat the unallocated space and make it a primary partition.
If all this sounds too confusing, fret not as how many of you would actually have 3 OSes and 6 partitions running on the same hdd ;)
Anyways, the lesson learnt from this mistake is that be careful and plan ahead when you create your primary partitions.
Now what is the solution?
I can't delete a primary partition lest I am ready to fore go and lose my precious data. Rmbr if you delete your "/", you'll have to reinstall your linux OS again. So, the only logical thing to do now was to extend/resize the partition that preceded this unallocated space to use up this 16 GB (ubuntu "/" in my case), use some Virtualization software and run XP on it.
I hadnt had much experience before doing this but I had to try it some day. So here I tried vmware and the results were *Amazing *.
(Read : How to install VMWare on Feisty)