If I had windows on my root partition and it was active how many other partitions would I have to create and how many would have to be active and what would they be in terms of mount point and how would I get past the Linux Mandrake 6.5.
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Good question but if you're asking this I'd suggest running Corel it's easier since you only need to make 1GB un partitioned free space with Partition Magic 4.0 in windows, pop in the cd and Corel does the rest.

I'm not sure about Mandrake but in general linux requires two partitions: Ext2 Native which should be ~800MB at least, fully within the first 8GB of your hard drive for linux to boot. The second needs to be linux swap partition, anywhere on disk, about the size of your RAM. You set the partition active that you want to boot from, usually the linux partition, unless your dual boot manager is on your windows partition, then you'd set that one. Mount point is simply / for the native partition and swap for the swap partition.

-- Apparatus
You can only have 1 active partition per disk as far as I know.  You just need to leave the rest of the drive as free space.  Run the setup for linux (i.e. boot to it from cd or diskette).  Then, use the native partition tool (depends on distribution) and create at least 2 partitions.  One needs to be the Linux native partition mounted at / and the other needs to be a Linux Swap partition of about 128MB.
what they suggest is the way, like apparatus say , is a save way partitioning using partition magic.
but one thing that i want u to know that instaling full of linux needed about 1.2gb or more. so u can create 2gb for native and for the swap file is(1/2 from the memory that exist in your hardware/more is better.
by the way if u always use appl in linux. it is suggest to make more size on partition.(in linux need 2 partition(one for native(for the file) one for swap).

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