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It would be better to first defrag the Vista partition and use Vista to resize the drive before installing Linux.
If you want you can follow the instructions for using the NTldr to boot linux. Vista doesn't have a BOOT.INI file but if you create
one, it will be used. This will allow you to install linux without touching the MBR of the main drive.
Something I became recently fond of while introducing a friend to Linux is Wubi.
Technically not dual-booting, but it's better than a Live CD and it's extremely easy...almost easier than the Live CD!
I'm not sure what your level of experience is, how much you want to learn, or what you plan on doing, but if:
A) You have a low level of experience (not to be confused with low-level experience)
B) You don't want or need to learn much about Ubuntu or Linux
C) You just want to try Ubuntu OR
D) You just want to use Ubuntu for business/office reasons (word processing, e-mail, IM, etc)
I would suggest Wubi if you meet three of the above.
when I installed Linux on my new laptop, Vista was very greedy on how much space it would spare. I think my mistake was in not defragging the drive first. Vista will relocate files to the beginning and middle of the drive. The reason to defrag the drive is to relocate files near the end of the drive rather than to reduce fragmenting. I forgot to defrag the drive (my Vista laptop wasn't used that much either) and when Vista didn't reduce the size of the partition enough, I used gparted. I ended up having to repair the filesystems in both Vista and Linux.
I don't remember the exact locate of the program. It is a plugin loaded from the system administration window. In XP, you could create partitions on a new drive. In Vista, you can adjust a partitions size.