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Want advice - installing Ubuntu for dual boot with XP - t61p

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:56 pm
by cside
I'd like advice on installing Ubuntu on my college son's t61p (C2D, 3G). He currently has XP Pro SP3 and wants an alternate operating system. He's tried several live cds and Ubuntu 9.04 works. I installed Ubuntu 8.04 last summer on another kid's Acer laptop, for a dual boot with Vista. For that install, I used a good internet tutorial that incorporated the Vista partitioning system. I understand that XP can be a bigger pain for the partition work, so I figured some of you might be able to help.

My issues involve partitioning. He's got a logical disk drive C for his UNC Preload. In his drive D, he's got 133 G available, which seems the best place to put Ubuntu. I don't want to screw up his preload, which seems to function the way home partitions are described, because we could see it on every distro he tried. I haven't found anything on the internet to help me know how to absolutely avoid the preload, although I've seen lots of info on how hard it is to partition in XP. I'm hoping some of you might have some experience, because I know it can't be impossible, too many people multi-boot using XP. I'd also like to know how much space to allocate to a home partition, as I read it's a good way to set up a system.

As a secondary issue, I think he'd be better off when he goes back to school to get IT to reinstall Vista, so he can upgrade to Windows 7 if he wants. However, what will that do to his summer install of Ubuntu? Everything I read says Windows installs need to precede any Linux installs. He'll need an MS OS for certain things at school, but he'd like to use Linux for the majority of his computing experience. If 7 goes over better than Vista, it seems logical that MS will cut XP off a lot faster than it has been able to now.

Thanks for the help.

Re: Want advice - installing Ubuntu for dual boot with XP - t61p

Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:37 pm
by tom lightbody
> hard...to partition in XP

why do you need to partition? "D:" usually is the
second primary partition, which you can choose during
the install, deleting everything on it if necessary.
But otherwise, I suggest the free "gparted" from
GNU: a bootable .iso is available for burning onto a
CD. This is a PartitionMagic clone, very visual, very
easy to use.

> home partition

the stock ubuntu 9.04 install puts everything into one
big partition, with another for swap. If you want
another partition for "home," you need to manipulate
the partition table manually from within the
installer--or forget ubuntu and use debian straight:
you get "/" "usr" "tmp" "var" and "home" all
appropriately sized, plus swap.

Re: Want advice - installing Ubuntu for dual boot with XP - t61p

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:20 am
by cside
Thanks, Tom. I'll download gparted. I was planning to leave some room, in the event he wants a triple boot - he likes Sabayon + Linux Mint, too. But just using all of what's currently in the D drive would be easier.

Now he's gotta figure out how much room he'll need for Morrowind, so I can allow for it.

Off to look at Debian.