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Old 11-15-2005, 03:59 PM   #1
ajd
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Registered: Oct 2005
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Installing Ubuntu WITHOUT formatting Windows


I know it's a simple question but I must be searching for the wrong things becuase I can't find anything about it.

Basically, all I want to do is install Ubuntu on a partition on my hard-drive with Windows XP. I already have things on the HDD and I need to keep them when I install Linux (keeping Windows as the main OS) so I was wondering how to do... all of it really :P without having to reformat Windows or lose any of my info.

Thanks
 
Old 11-15-2005, 04:03 PM   #2
Emmanuel_uk
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You need to resize the XP partition, taht can be risky
Google for dual boot or multiboot on LQ
Do some seriousreading before going ahead

If you have critical data in XP, maybe simpler to just add another HD
 
Old 11-16-2005, 05:31 AM   #3
bigjohn
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You don't need to format windows or anything.

If you have a partition that you want to install the Ubuntu to, i.e. one thats not got any of the stuff you want to keep, then you should be able to install it direct to that partition only that partition gets formatted - the windows is left alone, unless you specifically tell the installer to "bin" it.

Obviously, when it comes to the bootloader part of the install you will need to put it on the first part of the hard drive so that it overwrites the windows bootloader (normal procedure), so that it can see all installed OS's. Yes you'd then have to change the config file so that windows is the default OS - thats quite a minor change.

Now if your hdd doesn't have any unallocated space/partitions you'd need to make some space. I understand that some distros can resize windows partitions (mandriva comes too mind), I've never had to do that as I used to use partition magic when I had windows installed - though I also have heard that PM has been known to cause a few problems when making linux partitions.

I understand that ranish partition manager will do the trick (yes it's available too download as well).

The whole issue of partitions is quite thorny. Because different distros like to recommend slightly differing methods/versions/schemes as do more experienced users (my suggestions are always basic, because thats the level of my linux knowledge).

The suggestions vary from having seperate partitions for everything (that would be something like having /boot, /, /swap, /home, /var, /opt, /usr, /bin, /sbin, /tmp, /........... etc etc etc) In other words, vvv complicated with many decisions to be made for each one, right down to basically a single partition (actually thats 2, because just about all distros like at least a small amount of /swap space).

Lots of pros and cons of both. When I started with SuSE and Mandrake (now called Mandriva) both installed to a single partition with a bit of /swap - which worked fine until I got pissed off with loosing all my customisations, personal data, address books, etc etc when I wanted to try a new distro/version. I quickly learned that it's good wisdom to have a seperate /home partition. Everything you do is done from your home account, but if you want to install a different distro you just put it into the / partition (/ = root). Then as long as you install the same packages/software, things in the /home work fine (this technique should prevent one from making regular backups of course).

Since I arrived at Gentoo as my distro of choice, I use their default suggested partitioning scheme (/, /swap and /boot) with the addition of a /home. It works great and I haven't lost anything at all, despite having to learn how to mend a few minor disasters recently.

Emmanuel_uk's suggestion is also good (ha! mine is cheaper - no extra hardware to buy ). Lots use that idea. Personally, although I've toyed with the idea of the extra hardware (I should re-install windows for my partner, but I'm holding off the nagging with security concerns and "spoof" excuses), but have never found the need - and I can assure you that I'm no expert (I'm a professional trucker - not much use for PC's and networks etc on the road with 28 tonnes of whatever in the trailer ).

I'm guessing, but I'd think that Ubuntu would install to a basic partition scheme, so if you make some space and then boot the disc - you should be able to get it installed without any problems.

regards

John

p.s. One further consideration, is that because of read/write issues from linux to windows and vice versa, lots of people also make an extra FAT32 partition, so that any data that you want to swap between OS's is accessible from both, and you can read/write too/from both.

Last edited by bigjohn; 11-16-2005 at 05:33 AM.
 
Old 11-16-2005, 07:23 AM   #4
Emmanuel_uk
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bigjohn is very right, and always very good long answers.
Plus he is modest. 2000+ "I am no expert"... to be seen

I've got a cheaper option for you Just use the live CD distribution

Joking. It is great you want to install.

Search LQ for resize ntfs partition
Also be sure you know / read about fdisk /mbr in case you go wrong

Whatever you do, do a backup of your XP files

tux magazine issue 7 or 8 has a tutorial about dual boot.
I told them to do it w/w an extra HD
They went chicken and did the tutorial only for the case newbie
have a spare HD.

All in all it is unfair PC comes with M$ pre-installed so people
find when they come about linux that they have to learn about dual booting, partition, and formating HD. Standard computer things, nearly

That should not stop you. If you do the reading first, and some printouts,
it is very doable, and you will learn a lot. It is actually quite easy after some
homework. If you cannot google the right things let us know and we will give you
some more pointers
 
Old 11-16-2005, 07:56 PM   #5
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally posted by Emmanuel_uk
Plus he is modest. 2000+ "I am no expert"... to be seen
No definitely not any kind of expert - Just a "user" who has social/moral/ethical problems with the Microsoft business model (shoddy, underhanded, yadda yadda yadda - I'm sure you'll have already read most of those..... ) and has also spent nearly three and a half years asking what most would describe as "idiot questions".

I value this "community lark" very highly. Hence I do try to answer/assist as clearly as possible - Yeah OK I ramble like some sort of gibbering idiot! But I don't care if it helps someone.

I'll get me coat!

regards

John
 
Old 11-17-2005, 01:49 AM   #6
Emmanuel_uk
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BigJohn, same ethical concerns here , maybe you are not "an expert",
but I would say you are good at helping newbie, and that make you
an expert somehow, at least in this domain.

Anyhow, that was my way to say thanks, and also I decided to
be part of the mutual appreciation yesterday (just for 1 day

You know there is no idiot question (provided one does some homework).
Hum, do not mean to start the debate on idiot question...
 
Old 11-17-2005, 07:53 AM   #7
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally posted by Emmanuel_uk
BigJohn, same ethical concerns here , maybe you are not "an expert",
but I would say you are good at helping newbie, and that make you
an expert somehow, at least in this domain.

Anyhow, that was my way to say thanks, and also I decided to
be part of the mutual appreciation yesterday (just for 1 day

You know there is no idiot question (provided one does some homework).
Hum, do not mean to start the debate on idiot question...
I suspect that we have a very differing "sense of humour". Mine tends to be satirical/dark/sarcastic (the german word "schadenfreude" just about sums it up).

In truth - when I have snags with something - I wrack my brains, dig around, don't find the answer, ask the question (here or wherever), read the reply and usually end up telling myself "why didn't you think of that you bloody idiot" - thats why I refer to my own questions as "idiot" ones (it's self criticism).

As for trying to be helpful, well I suppose thats my parents fault. My mother and her bloody social conscience - if I was more "mercenary" in my approach to life then you never know, I might have been a millionaire (fat chance)!


@adj - have you managed to get this sorted (while we indulge in a little side chat) ?????

regards

John
 
Old 11-21-2005, 03:52 PM   #8
Emmanuel_uk
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This was a nice chat indeed. We will have to continue this at some point
I have dark humour sometimes, but I suppose not with all the nuances that
can come with your culture. That self-criticism, introspection-like I suppose this
a bit unusual somehow, but not that foreign. But it does sound like "Woody Alen".
I mean it is a different humour.

Here in the UK another form of humour which sometimes does not work with my
native one. I have learned to appreciate both

Quote:
As for trying to be helpful, well I suppose thats my parents fault
lol
It is funny, actually more than funny. It is clever.
It makes me think of Lola run Lola, a German movie, that I found at the time
very very clever

Waiting for XP to shrink @adj
Maybe he does not know which option to choose... another HD? Shrinkage?
 
Old 01-16-2006, 01:52 AM   #9
ajd
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Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 8

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Sorry, haven't been able to get online for a while.

Thanks very much for all the replies, my new laptop had some handy unallocated space so I created a new partition and did it on that :P

Thanks again
 
  


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