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Dual boot Answered

I am looking towards creating a dual boot scenario on my computer (XP, and Ubuntu) and I am in need of a bit of assistance.

Some background and foundation:

Present OS = XP SP2

The main partition is NTFS, however the "backup" partition is FAT(16 or 32, I am not sure)

Now, to my main question:

I realize I can partition this further so I can have a dual boot situation, but I am worried about losses that may occur. I haven't had much time lately to read up on the process, but I have seen warnings about loss of data files, etc. and my being cautious to a fault, I haven't proceeded any further in my quest.

So, what precautions should I take, and what is going to be the process I need to follow to get to where I want to be?


If you're at all worried I find the best option is to install another hard drive. Pick up a cheap 20GB if you can find one (although they're rare nowerdays) or ask your local computer guru for a spare. That way you don't really touch your 'main' hard disk. Getting a dual boot is a little tricky (it does involve altering a rather critical portion of your HD - the master boot record, MBR) but that can quite easily be reset with your XP disk. Good luck with it!

I have a spare 20 gb HD, but I would have to check for compatibility first.

but that can quite easily be reset with your XP disk.

Yeah, I would have to make one of those if possible....I don't have that particular disk (I don't believe).

It's the same disk you used to install the OS (or that came with the system if it came pre-installed) but you'd only need it if you brick the system. On another note, have you considered Virtualisation? I guess it depends on what you want Ubuntu for (messing around or running a particular piece of software, or as a server). That way you can play in Ubuntu consequence free and if it gets messed up you can just to an earlier time point. Damn, so many instructables to write, so little time!

The only disk that came with the system (XP was pre-installed) was a DLL recovery disk (so I was told), is this what you mean ? Yes I have considered creating a VM machine, but again, lack of knowledge and the lack of time to research has brought me to a standstill. I actually think I have downloaded but not installed a VM program setup from somewhere (I would have to look for it :-) . I also have the Ubuntu disk that is bootable, and so I have been told, I have to use the "install" option to get to the "run from disk" option since it is not on the main menu. *shrug*. It took me 2 months to get up the courage to try my first boot from that disk, and I backed out rather quickly when I saw no obvious "run from disk" option. :-)

So have you tried using it yet from the disk?

Haven't had a spare moment yet.....to try again, but I will try soon.

BTW: I worry about almost everything LOL

That picture you included is the "Instructables Robot" hahaha!

You *should* be safe... I've done it 10's of times and never had an issue -- I'm pretty sure the only way it could blow up in your face is if there's a power outage during formatting.
I know 10's of times isn't amazing, but its still experience :P

As for resizing, you can choose to automagically resize it on step 4 or something of the installation process.

I get nervous when I hear the word "formatting"....this doesn't reformat the drive in the normal sense of the word then ?

That was my feeling too, but you also used the term in your first post.....which sent the red flags waving in my head LOL