*** Although this may seem obvious, do please backup your important data files to another media before attempting a dual boot install. Many backup solutions exist for Windows users, but the easiest one may be to just plug in a USB flash drive or other external storage with enough space on it, or create as many CDs or DVDs with copies of your data as required. (Maybe you can borrow a USB hard drive from a friend if you don’t have one.) ***
Assuming that you are interested in setting up a dual boot environment for your Windows Laptop, Netbook, or desktop. It doesn’t need to be complicated, or frustrating. First things first, there are two very easy ways to do this…
- We can install the Ubuntu OS “inside” of the Windows OS – wubi
- We can create a true dual boot configuration, with separate partitions for the different OS’s. – Ubuntu Install Disk
1. With installing Ubuntu “inside” of Windows, what we need is a program called Wubi, the two ways that you can get this software is by downloading it from their website, http://wubi-installer.org or if you have a copy of Ubuntu 9.10 ( you can get this from Ubuntu, a good computer technician, local LUG, or it may be possible one of your friends may have it). The wubi installer is actually already on the disk, just put the Ubuntu disk into the drive while in Windows, and the software is already there.
One thing that I like about the program is that if you are not familiar with, or are curious as to what the Ubuntu OS is about; and are affraid that something may go horribly wrong with the install, it just turns out to be as simple as installing software the way you would with any Windows software.
You keep Windows as it is, Wubi only adds an extra option to boot into Ubuntu. Wubi does not require you to modify the partitions of your PC, or to use a different bootloader, and does not install special drivers. It works just like any other application. Wubi is free of spyware and malware, and being open source, anyone can verify that.
Wubi keeps most of the files in one folder, and if you do not like it, you can simply uninstall it as any other application.
Beginning Ubuntu Installation
- Backup any valuable documents/photos etc. onto removable media such as CD-R/DVD-R. Boot into Windows or using an Ubuntu Live CD or unetbootin.
- Run the Windows defragmentation tool on C: (My Computer, Right click on drive, Properties, Tools, Defragment Now) * Very Important to do this step * This also must be done if one was to do an install of Windows on a Mac with Bootcamp ( but that is another tutorial in itself)
- Download and burn, order a CD, or Use Netbootin.
- Once you have the CD, insert it into your CD-ROM drive and reboot your PC.
- If the computer does not boot from the CD (eg. Windows starts again instead), check your BIOS settings and fix as appropriate.
- If successfully booted from CD, the Ubuntu logo will be displayed on the screen. Press Enter to continue.
- Follow the prompts until you are asked this question: “How do you want to partition the disk ?”.
Resizing Partitions Using the Ubuntu Installer
- Choose the First Option (It should be something like: “Resize IDE1 master, partition #1 (hda1) and use freed space”).
- Specify the size of the new partition as a percentage of your entire hard disk.
- Click on “Forward”.
- continue to Finishing Ubuntu Installation
- Choose “Manually edit partition table”
- Listed will be your current partitions
- Select the partition you want to resize and press Enter.
- Select “Size:”, press Enter.
- Select Yes, press Enter.
- Type in a new size in Gigabytes for your partition, it’s recommended you free up AT LEAST 10 GB of free space for your Ubuntu install. Press Enter when happy with your changes. It may take some time to apply the changes.
- Create a swap partition of at least your amount of RAM (if you don’t know, 2000 MB is a good value).
- Create a partition for your Ubuntu installation, at least 10 GB.
- Select “Finish partitioning and write changes to disk”.
Finishing Ubuntu Installation
- Finish installing your Ubuntu system.
*Note* One thing that I really like here is, that if you have any documents, photo’s, music, or anything else that is in you Documents folder, is that Ubuntu will ask you if you would like to transfer those to your Ubuntu Home folder. So then you don’t have to copy them over with a flash drive, CD/DVD, or whatever you had them saved onto.
- On reboot, remove your Ubuntu cdrom from the cdrom drive, you should be presented with a list of operating systems to boot. Ubuntu should have automatically detected your Windows installation and added an option to boot it on this screen.