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Distribution: Arch Linux 2007.05 "Duke" (Kernel 2.6.21)
If you want to use the partition again - just format the partition with some partitioning software (Parted, cfdisk, fdisk, gparted, PartitonMagic etc.) and install Ubuntu on the newly formatted partition. Make sure that you back up first though.
I would just tell the installer to install Ubuntu over the same partitions of Mandriva and format them before the installation. However not many Linux newbies known where their Linux are or wish to find out.
Those options you were given seem strangely limited. Try booting in to XP and deleting the partitions that Mandriva is on. I think you can do this from the Computer Management window, then go to Disk Management option. See this pic for an idea of the bit of XP i mean... http://www.microsoft.com/library/med...management.gif
Then delete the partitions that Mandriva is on. There will be at least two - one will be the main Mandriva partition and one will be the Linux Swap partition. XP will proabably refer to them as unknown partitions, and they will probabaly show up to the right of the C: drive from that pic above.
Once deleted you will have empty space. Run the live cd again, and hopefull you will now have an option for installing on to the unused space you have just created.
The entries in the bootloader are not partitions, for example Mandriva and failsafe would boot from the same partiton, but failsafe would boot differently, but I'm not sure how. To see a list of partitions use
This will give info about the partitions on your hard drive(s)
Well, I think I managed to install the OS ok, but I didn't choose to reformat the /home partition (hda7).
After I switch on and boot, I put in the username and password and get this warning message:
User's $HOME/.dmrc file is being ignored. This prevents default language and session information being saved. File should be owned by user and have permissions. $HOME directory should be owned be user and not writable by other users
After I click OK, there's a pause, and an error message that says something like:
Your session lasted less than 10 seconds. There is probably an error.
home/mei/.gnome2/ could not be created
I poked around using the command line, and the home directory contained the old users from the Mandriva installation. I removed them and created a new /mei directory, but still the same.
Should I reinstall and reformat the partition? Or can I fix this manually?