Monday, November 26, 2007

How to dual boot Windows Vista and Ubuntu 7.10?

This is guide how to install Ubuntu along with already installed Windows Vista.

So to begin you need to have Vista installed on your PC and at least (reccomended) 10Gigs disk space that you can spare for the Ubuntu installation, on any partition of the hard disk. Keep in mind that some free space must remain for Vista. For example, you have two partitions: local disk C, and local disk D. Local disk C is the OS drive, so we will install Ubuntu on Local Disk D which has 40 Gigs of available dik space.

Step 1: Shrinking Local Disk D to make room for Ubuntu. Start Vista, right click on Computer, than choose from the menu Manage. The Disk Menagament Console will open. Click twice on Disk Storage and a graphic view of your current hard disk will appear.

Right Click on Local Disk D,(or in this case it's the OS Drive C:, but I recommend that you do this on another partition) and choose from the menu Shrink. A new window will open which where you will set how many MB you want to free up.

If you have more than 20Gigs available I suggest to shoose half the space (so if you have 40 write down 20000MB, if you have 25 GB available, write down 12500MB etc.).

Than click Shrink Volume. After a while (depends, 10 to 20 min) a new graphic will be presented, with the shrinked size of Disk D, and some disk space which will be marked as "free" or "unallocated", it's fine either way.

Important Note: It's highly recomandable to back up data on the partition you are shrinking, although the rule is all data remains intact, but you never know (my experience was OK, all data remained on the disk after the shrinking). Also you should defragment the volume (disk, partition) because if there are any files at the end of the disk, Vista will only allow you to free up space to the last available point from the end.

If you have only one partition (the system one, with Vista on it), than aply the same procedure. I am pretty sure that while shrinking Vista won't allow to erase or damage it self, but regardless any personal files might be erased or damaged so back them up (the "username" folder)

Step 2: Insert the Ubuntu 7.10 CD and restart the PC, (make sure that you have set your PC to boot from CD/DVD Rom First, this is default, but there is a chance that it's set to boot from the hard drive first).

This time you will start in Ubuntu. (The good thing about Ubuntu is that you can try it out without installing it. So I suggest that you play around with Ubuntu for at least a week without installing it. You will be able to write down or change files on Vista's partitions). But lets countinue with the installation. So you've started in Ubuntu and on the desktop there's an Icon that says "Install", double click it and you'll start the installation wizard. First you need to answer two or three questions like time zone and language preferences, and than the partition menager will start. It offers three or four options (depending on your hard disk settings), you will choose "Guided-the largest countinous free space".

Click Forward and in about 30 to 40 minutes you will be asked to restart the PC. (Remove the disk, this time, so you won't start up from the Live CD again.)

Step 3: Go to System, Administration and choose the Update Menager (if you have an internet connection), so that you would update your Ubuntu.

It's simple is that. There are other ways of installing Ubuntu, but this one is the easiest for a dual boot, on the same hard disk.

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