How-to Dual Boot Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron and Windows (NT/XP/Vista)

Step one:

Say you have a 40GB hard drive. Install Windows choosing 20GB (or greater, but keep at least 10 GB for ubuntu). I am not giving screen-shots for the Windows installation, because i guess that everyone knows about that. The setup procedures are well explained there anyway, but if you have any problems, post a comment, I shall edit this article.

Step 2:

Windows is installed. Now boot on your Ubuntu 8.04 CD in Live CD mode and launch the install icon that is displayed on the desktop.

dual boot Ubuntu and windows


Enter your Time Zone settings:

dual boot Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 and windows XP

Then, your Keyboard Layout settings:

dual boot Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 and windows XP

Step 4:

This is the most important part. I will discuss the manual partitioning to avoid dramatic, irreversible cases where you lose everything in your other partitions. So, choose manual partition in the list:

(Note: The rest of the tutorial refers to Manual partitioning.)

dual boot Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 and windows XP

Step 5:

Create three partitions out of the<i>free space</i> you can see.

Dual Booting Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon and Windows (NT/XP/Vista)

One will be swap (set it to 512mb-this is more than enough)

The other one is a small ext3 partition (put it 50Megs) and mount it to /boot (Very important to do that!!)

Then the rest will be all the free space available; use ext3 as file-system and mount it to ‘/’

Step 6:

Proceed with the installation as you would normally. The most difficult part has been done. On reboot, you will notice a nice and beautiful Boot list.

Post comments if that helped you. This article will keep updating.

TJ- Helping the Free community yet again – Use Fedora..


Added a screenshot of the manual partition window.

Article now focusses on dual booting Ubuntu Hardu Heron

Shailen is a Technical Consulting Engineer at Intel Corporation. He has a Master degree in Computational Science and Engineering from the Technical University of Munich and a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Jacobs Univerity Bremen. Shailen has conducted research in power modelling for HPC applications and has high interests in the mobile sector. At Intel, Shailen is responsible for the Intel Integrated Native Developer Experience (INDE) suite of software for mobile developers. Shailen comes from the beautiful island of Mauritius. He has a LinkedIn and a Xing profile. Lastly, his name is unique in the world and he admires Bill Gates.

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Posted in Linux, Ubuntu, Windows
77 comments on “How-to Dual Boot Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron and Windows (NT/XP/Vista)
  1. 2Perfect says:

    Hey, i’m kinda confused. Where does Windows XP go? Where does Ubuntu go? (does it just automatically place itself in the free space or would I have to give it a partition to go to).

    The other one is a small ext3 partition (put it 50Megs) and mount it to /boot (Very important to do that!!)
    And what’s this small 50MB partition for?

    finally, what’s the swap for? I noticed it said on the install setup that the swap is required but I was wondering what it’s for.


  2. @2Perfect:
    Well, since you are asking where WinXP goes, I assume that you are starting with a fresh hardrive, with nothing on it. If that is the case, then okay, what I shall tell you will be useful. In any case, if you have other partitions as well, the same basic principles apply..

    Okay, Where does XP go?
    Initially, you dont have anything on your harddrive. So Windows XP goes first. You plug your CD, and start installation, as you would normally do. However, during your installation, you don’t let windows take all the space available. What you have to do it partition (this is available in the blue window screen setup- I shall comment more if you are still confused how to do it, but I’ll assume you know. )

    Say you have a 40 gig blank drive initially, you may wish to give 30gig (or 25, thus 15 left for Ubuntu) to windows and the rest 10 gig will be for Ubuntu. – Up to now, I am pretty convinced you are okay, right?

    Format the 30 gig in NTFS and install windows. After one hour, when everything is okay and running fine for windows, Boot in Ubuntu live CD mode and click the install icon that appears on your desktop.

    Now, here is the most important part I was referring : Choose Manual partitioning!

    In the partition list, you will notice your windows partition (that you will distinguish by size – that is 30 gig if you chose that during windows installation.) Are you still with me?

    So, leave your windows partition alone. You should notice “free space” labelled by Ubuntu for the unused space. That’s where Ubuntu will go.

    However, for Dual Booting, you need to have a something that will tell your computer what to load first, Windows or Ubuntu. Ubuntu comes with a Boot Manager (called Grub). It provides a screen when you start up your pc such that you can see the different operating systems available..Get me here?

    Now that you have understood the reason why we need a Boot Manager, it is important to set it up. And how to set it up? You don’t have to bother about it because Ubuntu will do it all. However, you have to specify where Ubuntu will install the Boot Manager Software (called Grub). And where to set it up?

    In another small partition that you will create and its mountpoint wil be “/boot” .

    Now, honestly, are you still with me?


    Let proceed. The size of the “/boot” partition should be a 50Mb ext3 one. (That’s the size I believe is best).

    Remember we said we have to create three partitions in all? We have already created one. The two others are swap and the main one where the Ubuntu OS will go.

    The swap is just a space that you allocate so that the OS can use whenever you don’t have much RAM (physical memory) available. Some people call it paging in Windows. Swap is important, but it should not be considered as a replacement for Physical RAM because it’s access time is much much slower that real RAM (because swap is located on your hard drive.) – set it to 512MB and you should be okay, but engineers say that swap should be twice the amount of RAM, not exceeding 2GB.

    I guess that I have answered all your questions. Of course, simply don’t hesitate what you haven’t understood.


    Shailen Sobhee


  3. 2Perfect says:

    ok thanks. I now understand what the boot and swap partitions are for.

    However, I’m not starting with an empty hard drive. I already have Windows XP installed, with about 90GB in NTFS for winXP, and a 7GB FAT32 recovery partition (made by HP).

    I want to dual-boot Ubuntu and was thinking of the following partitions:
    Windows XP: 70GB (NTFS)
    Recovery: 7GB (FAT32)
    Ubuntu: ~19.5GB (ext3?)
    Swap: 512MB (ext3?)
    Boot: 50MB (ext3?)

    Would I still go to manual? Would I click “new partition table” and create each partition?

    For some reason when I go to manual, I can’t resize the NTFS partition (after clicking edit) or create an NTFS partition (in new partition table). I can resize the FAT32 (after clicking edit) and create other kinds of partitions (in new partition table).

    And also for some reason I don’t get the same choices as you. I only have “manual” and “guided – use entire disk” (see:

    I already have files in the windows xp partition and I don’t want any of those files getting lost after partitioning. I’m going to defragment many times and backup the most important files before I partition but I’d still rather do it right the first time.

    How would I go about partitioning to make sure the files stay within the 70GB of the windows XP partition? (I have about 50GB in files)

    Thanks for all the help!


  4. Okay,

    Don’t worry, you shall do it right the first time πŸ™‚
    Essentially, you will have to resize your Windows Partition from 90Gb to 70 GB, and to do that, you will need a third party software that will do that in Windows itself. The safest way is use Paragon’s Partition Manager 8.5 (support me by downloading it as a Free user).

    The software is quite very easy to use, so I guess you won’t have much problems resizing.

    After you’ve done that, go back to your Ubuntu installation, and again, choose Manual. The “guided tour” isnt’ well guided anyway, and you will get lost. lol

    You will now see you 20 GB free partition. It should be labelled as Free space. If it isnt, one thing, you are sure that there is nothing in this 20GB space, so format it and create the three partitions the tutorial is all about.

    All together, you will have:
    Windows XP: 70GB (NTFS) – /media/xxx (don’t bother about its mount point)
    Recovery: 7GB (FAT32) – /media/xxx (don’t bother with this one as well)
    Ubuntu: ~19.5GB (ext3) – /
    Swap: 512MB (swap) – /swap
    Boot: 50MB (ext3) – /boot

    By the way, just as a small info, /swap doesn’t have a filesystem type. (In fact its FS is called swap itself) and your ‘/’ (called, root mountpoint) can be ext2 or ext3 but I will recommend ext3 if you have a powerful computer and a SATA harddrive; it is the biggest and remaining space left after creating the above two partitions. ext3 is known to be slower than ext2 but however safer in terms of data corruption and loss. It is advised to use ext2 on old Pcs (as a time mark, pentium 3 pcs and before..)

    Did that help?


  5. 2Perfect says:

    Yes thanks a lot that helped πŸ™‚ Going to run defrag and chkdisk now then get the partitioner program and I should be set to get started with Linux πŸ˜€

    One final thing. I haven’t tried in hours so I don’t remember for sure, but doesn’t it also ask for primary or extended? or something like that? (Or maybe it doesn’t ask for that and I just read about it somewhere πŸ˜› )

    Which ones should be primary, which ones should be extended? Or does it not ask for that?

    Thanks for all the help!


  6. Andrew says:

    Hello, I am new to Ubuntu obviously, and I have followed your wonderful directions to the letter and everything was going fine until I got to the part where you’re supposed to make the 3 partitions ( one swap, one /boot, one “/”).
    See, my problem is that once I make the swap partition of 512mb(for some reason I type in the 512mb when specifying the size but it goes down to 509 after the partition is made). Then I continue onto the /boot partition. After the /boot partition is completed, i still have the 29.5gb of “free space” on the HD but under the Ubuntu install app it shows up as unusable.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    I am currently running a HP m7490n Desktop with WinXPMCE. My first hard drive is a WD 250gb and i have a second one of the same type.

    Thanks again if you can help me sort this out.


  7. @2Perfect:
    All partitions should be “primary”. Did you manage to get your Dual Booting working?


    Well, don’t worry much about the few megabytes that your Pc might have eaten in swap. (Some space is used for tables. You see, data is organised in a hierarchy on your hard disk, and your pc locates the files by referring to the table first. This is why there is the study of algorithms. Some are more efficient than others in searching trees (hierarchies) mentioned. Anyway, though the subject is equally interesting, I have t digress, because it is not the right topic and time to talk about right now..So, lets proceed..

    After the “/boot” is done, you have 29.5 GB of free space. This is where the “/” partiton goes. The “/” (a.ka root mount-point) will contain the whole Operating System. “/boot” is only a small partition (50 Mb) that contains information about the Boot Manager (called Grub).

    You may wish to disconnect the hard disk that does not contain windows, nor wil in contain the Ubuntu OS..( I guess it should be a Backup hard drive in your case.)

    Here as well, I have two hard drives; one IDE and one Sata. The sata one contains both my Windows and my Ubuntu. The IDE is a relatively small (80GB) that stores some films I have downloaded and some software while I can give more space to my Operating Systems on the Sata (320 Gb)..

    Did that help you?


  8. Vladeschav says:

    Hello, I am having trouble understanding some things here.

    After I go ahead with the manual partitioning option I arrive at the “Prepare Partitions” screen. Here I am greeted by two partitions – /dev/sda1 fat32 (6440 MB) and /dev/sda2 ntfs (193605 MB). I am assuming that the ntfs is windows and I believe it to be incorporating the free space ( I have a 200 GB hard drive). I have the option of editing the size (only 67000 MB is used), but when I try to do this, I am informed that before I can select a new partition size, any previous changes have to be written to disk. I am also informed that this operation cannot be undone. Needless to say I am somewhat concerned as I do not want to lose Windows or cause any problems with the running of Windows. Would it be ok for me to proceed and resize it to say 80GB?

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


  9. @ Vladeschav

    I would advise, like I told 2 Perfect, to resize your Windows partition to 80Gb using a Windows application such as Paragon Partition Manager. The software is easy to use with nice graphical tools to let you manage your partitions. Use it to first resize your partition, and then delete all small partitions that you are sure you don’t use ( I notice the small FAT32 that would probably be useless.)

    Maybe you had FAT32 before as a means to transfer files from Linux to Windows, but don’t worry, Gutsy Gibbon now supports NTFS fully.

    Of course, I understand the panic that Ubuntu’s ” changes will be written to disk.” I would have get scared too, lol. This is why I prefer the safe and sure way to use a Windows application to resize the partition in Windows itself. After that, I will proceed to install Ubuntu. Besides, I have heard that Ubuntu’s partitioner is a good tool, but I would prefer to trust the commercial application I stated above. (Note: the software you can download via the link is Free, guess you know how it was done πŸ™‚ )

    So, a short answer to your question: NO, i don’t recommend you to resize from Ubuntu!

    I hope this small talk helped you, and of course don’t hesitate to post your comments and suggestions how I could improve this article as well as other articles.

    Notice that I’m still a student, and still learning..

    Right now, I am using the latest stable version of Fedora which is neat, and highly powerful…

    A few weeks ago, I managed to install Microsoft Office on Fedora 7, and I’m still playing around to know more..




  10. Vladeschav says:

    Thanks, I’ll give Paragon Partition Manager a try – hopefully all will go well and I’ll be able to dual boot thanks to this most excellent tutorial of yours (although I noticed that there was no “step:5”, (could just be me though)).


  11. @ Vladeschav

    Lol, you are right..I’ve just corrected the mistake. By the way, just a small note why I recommend Paragon Partition Manager here (I wish they could pay me for the ad) is that a Windows software manages more efficiently Windows resources. (In my humble opinion, though I may be wrong.)

    Linux has only quite recently (relatively) started to support Linux NTFS read, and thanks to the NTFS-3g technology, that integrates seamlessly the latest Linux Kernel, you can now write to NTFS partitions. Before that, you had some Linux drivers that could mount NTFS but sometimes leading to errors while reading or writing files. Very often, the whole NTFS got corrupted (from an article I read on some random google source).

    And now, how can you expect that the Linux partitioner would efficiently resize an NTFS partition without any data corruption or loss?

    Again, I haven’t tried it out,but it seems logical to think about it. Wouldn’t you think the same?

    –>Your comments..(Anyone)


  12. 2Perfect says:

    Yeah, I got it to work! None of the Linux partitioners would work so I eventually looked for Partition Magic. I was kinda worried… wondering why none of the Linux partitioners wanted to touch the drive because they found bad sectors in it, and Paragon just did it without hesitation :S but it worked so meh.

    I had to make an extended partition for Linux because it wouldn’t let me make them all primary partitions (4 max?). So my primary are Windows XP, Recovery, Extended (with /, /home, and swap inside), and Boot: 50MB (ext3) – /boot

    But i have more questions! lol πŸ˜› Sorry for bugging you so much. If I mounted my WinXP partition onto /home, would all my documents and settings be automatically saved to C? So I can access them in windows? (Otherwise, how do I access my Linux files in Windows?) Because I can see the Windows partition in Linux but not the Linux partition in Windows.

    Also, did Ubuntu stall GRUB automatically when I added a /boot partition? Would I have to change the boot order to make /boot load first?

    Right now I don’t believe it loads GRUB. It loads an MS-DOS like screen (it started doing this after partitioning with Paragon, before installing Ubuntu) with my options as “Windows XP” and “Windows 2003” (which I’ve never had on this PC :S). No option for Ubuntu, and how do I get rid of the Windows 2003 thing? I’m guessing that’s just what Paragon named the partition :S

    Thanks A LOT for all the help!


  13. Morrissey says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial !

    I’ve installed Ubuntu successfully πŸ˜€

    Anyhow..the partitioner(in Ubuntu) refused to make a third partition
    (dont know why).

    It demanded only the “/” root and the swap partition which I’ve made.
    After creating two partition from the free space it says it unusable.

    The installer makes the boot section on itself…

    But anyhow, Ubuntu 7.10 is running and im pretty happy with it
    aside Vista and XP Pro running on the same machine too.

    I’ve had Ubuntu along time ago,version 7.5 , Open Source rules πŸ˜€
    Thanks again !


  14. Vladeschav Kvassinoff says:

    I seem to have an encountered somewhat of a minor problem.

    After I make two of the three required new partitions (the swap and ext3 (mounted on /boot)) The remainder of the free memory becomes “unusable”.

    I would be in great debt to anyone who offers me help or suggestions.


  15. Vladeschav says:

    Alright, I did it – Ubuntu 7.10 has been successfully installed.

    I would like to thank you for this marvel of a tutorial as well as your technical advice.

    My previous experiences with linux have been with Baltix (the old stand-by) and a brief stint with Knoppix – this is my first time with Ubuntu.

    Again, thanks for your help – I really appreciate it.


  16. 2Perfect says:

    @Morrissey: It demanded only the β€œ/” root and the swap partition which I’ve made.
    After creating two partition from the free space it says it unusable.

    It means you already have 4 primary partitions. You need to make an extended with logicals inside I think…


  17. Greetings everyone.
    @2Perfect..Great job already..Thanks for your brilliant suggestions. Of course, you are right. You cannot have more than 4 primary partitions. (Notice that previously, I said all partitions should be primary? Well, I assumed that you had a maximum of 4 partitions).
    This is done to provide wider support for legacy (old) hardware architectures. It is quite strange that my Ubuntu didn’t ask me for primary/logical when I created my “/” (root mount point) partition. It did however for “/boot” and I chose primary. You shouldn’t have any problems now that you have the three important partitions:

    swap : no filesystem type
    /boot : ext3 | primary
    / : ext3 | primary (if asked)

    Any further linux partitions (example: ext3) you create from now (example for backup, music, software etc) should be logical.In my humble opinion, you shouldn’t have any problems with this. (If it doesn’t ask you for primary/logical, don’t worry; you are probably using a SATA hard drive).

    I managed to get a screenshot of my partition setup and I have labelled important parts in red. I however never encountered the “unusable” partition. In any case, I came accross “unknown”, but that was quite obvious because Ubuntu didnt know how much space of the partition was initially used because I created them from the free space available. Did everyone get me up to now?

    Also, I would recommend everyone to delete all the partitions that you plan to modify, to create the free space in question. Beware, don’t delete your ntfs partitions!! You may recognise them by their size (I hope you should be aware how big your NTFS partitions are:)), or, you can see “ntfs” under “type”. From here, start creating you 3 important partitions(/boot and / primary), and another logical partitions you may want.

    The above is recommended for a clean and ordered setup. I would also recommend you to unplug unused drives (backup hard drives that do not contain any Operating System- in my case I have sda (See picture under step 5) as backup hard drive. When I first installed Dual Boot Ubuntu, I have unplugged it, and the whole procedure worked.

    Also, I stress on the fact that you should not resize NTFS partitions from Linux. I recall the expression “Blood for blood”. The same applies here, let a windows application resize a windows(ntfs) partition. (I stated Paragon Partition Manager to do the job earlier).

    And manual partitioning is the safe and sure way to get the dual booting up and running..

    Thank you everybody for your participation..Did I answer everybody’s question?
    (I believe I have..)



  18. Karl says:


    I’m sorry for another request, but it all seems confusing to me, have read your other replys to other people and are still stuck.

    I am too scared to try to install ubuntu by myself in the possibility of screwing it up & loseing all my data off windows.

    I ony have on Harddrive & don’t plan on getting a new on just for Ubuntu.

    I have windows XP Professional (5.1, build 2600)
    80GB Harddrive (29.1GB of which XP takes up)
    AMD Athlon XP 2000+, MMX, 3D Now, ~1.7GHz processor
    512Mb RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 with 128Mb RAM Video card.
    And the Ubuntu 7.10 disk (Like stated in the tutorial)

    The part that is hard for me is tha Partitioning. I would like to keep all my XP files on there (Takes up 29.1GB). So how would I go about spliting my Harddrive into half, giving XP 40GB to play with & Ubuntu 40Gb to play with?

    Sorry if this is getting a bit repettitive.


  19. Hello,

    There are no worries here my friend. I know long long literature isn’t fun reading and it is tiring too at times. This is why I have broken my tutorial in steps. However, your part of the question hasn’t been discussed in the main tutorial but rather in the follow-up discussions.
    Anyway, a short note for you:
    You will need to resize (in your case, increase the size) of your windows partition. To do this, I would strongly discourage you to use the Ubuntu partitioner to resize the NTFS (windows) partition. It is just not practical. I would therefore advise you to download and install a windows partitioning program such as Paragon Partition Manager to do this. Consider reading my comment just before yours, there is a small talk why I recommend using a 3rd party software. And don’t worry the link I have posted for the software is free.

    After you are sure that your windows partition is effectively 40Gb, you may wish to clear the remaining free space (by deleting any redundant [unused] partition space.) You got me here? Notice that, Paragon will not destroy your windows files. Is is the safest and surest way to do the resizing, so don’t be scared about losing your files. It’s gonna be okay. Trust me ( I trust you will do the way I’m teaching you. :))

    Now the same procedures explained in my tutorial follows. You may wish to print in on paper and follow then step by step. Other users have posted their problems (like seeing their partition “unusable” etc..), but in any case, everything has been tackled and solved. I thank them for their collaboration in the discussion.

    So, did that solve your question?


  20. chris wirawan says:

    hi Shailen,

    I’m new to ubuntu and other linux stuffs but I’m interested and willing to know more about them.
    I have been using the ubuntu 7.10 liveCD for 1 week and I become more interested to fully installed ubuntu on my laptop, BUT I would like to boot it from external HD.

    I have a 250GB external HD and I made 3 partition, about 80GB each and all the contents are all documents, musics and video files. Do I need to re-partition the 80GB partition, for example 20GB for ubuntu.

    I’m sorry for being such newbie




  21. Hi Chris,

    I guess your external hard drive is connected to your pc via USB, right? Does Ubuntu detect the hard drive? If yes, then no problem. Well to answer your main question, I’ll return it to you. How big you want your Ubuntu partition to be?

    In my huble opinion, since you are a new to Ubuntu, I would recommend a 15Gb-20Gb so that you can play around. You would simply be wasting space since you won;t have much linux applications to use being new, agree with me? So, you said you had three partitions, what filesystems are they ?( example: ntfs, ext3, etc..). If they are all ntfs, you will have to resize the 80Gb ntfs partition (use a Windows 3rd party tool such as Paragon Partition Manager for that.).

    After using the software, you will have two 80 Gb partitions, one 60Gb partition and 20Gb of free space. From here, proceed with “step1” in the tutorial. Did that help?

    Don’t hesitate to come back for help or ask for something you didn’t understand.

    -Remember, No question is stupid.



  22. chris wirawan says:

    hi Shailen,

    thank you for the quick reply. I had made the partition. I have 15GB for ubuntu. Now I have a problem in making 3 partition for swap, boot and the rest.

    Using Paragon, I made the 15GB partition but after that I don’t know how to make 3 partition out of it, I tried with paragon and partition editor in ubuntu but don’t work.

    Did I miss somehting here?




  23. Hi Chris,

    Paragon Partition Manager only helped you resize one of the 80Gbs to 65Gb, leaving 15 Gb of blank space for Ubuntu. Up to now, are you with me.

    Now, go back to Ubuntu Installation. You should be able to spot your 15Gb partition. (Check the size under the size column to be sure we are talking about the correct partition).

    It may happen that you see it is mounted under something like /media/sda3 etc. Don’t worry about that. Now check its filesystem type. What is it? (ntfs,ext3 etc?) .

    Ok, whatever it is, delete this partition so that you see it is labelled ‘free space’ (or something alike.) You will create your three important partitions within this free space you created initially. Are you still me me?

    The crucial point for you here is spot the 15Gb partition you created successfully with Paragon.

    Don’t forget, the only sure and safe way is the manual setup you chose in step 4.
    Proceed as explained in the tutorial. You shouldn’t have any problems.

    Let me know your progress.


  24. chris wirawan says:

    hi Shailen,

    I am following you, I already deleted the partition and I can get the ‘free space’. But when I’m creating the 1st partition, swap (512MB), the other become labeled ‘unusable’ (+ – 15000MB) and from then on the ‘unusable’ are useless (I cannot do anything with it).

    Is this because my HD will have more than 4 partition? (80GB, 80GB, 65GB, 15GB, 512MB)




  25. Ron says:

    Worked here! Thanks alot!



  26. Warren Olsen says:

    Hello Shailen Sobhee,
    I have read your helpful instructions on Ubutu 7.10 dual boot methods but I am still confused.
    I had several computers running XP Pro & am installing Ubuntu as well on all of them but so far:
    Lost ALL XP from one computer but have Ubuntu installed-my fault entirely as I wiped XP from the drive before installing Ubuntu.
    Got both Ubuntu & XP working on another but lost all my programs-I just let Ubuntu do the install.
    Now I have that Paragon Partition Manager but cannot figure out how to use it as most of my computers are already partitioned and MOST HAVE TWO HARD DRIVES which is adding to my confusion.
    I’m not a computer geek so I wonder if you can please explain further in “simple speak” how to use the partition manage in my circumstances?
    Any other help will also be greatly appreciated. Thank you


  27. Oli Watts says:


    After a day of mucking about on the forums trying to get XP to boot after my Ubuntu install (Hal.dll missing error) I for one want to thank you for your time and efforts on this!

    Now all i have to do is learn to use Linux for the first time! Errrr. =p


  28. @Ron, Oli Watts,
    I’m Glad it worked for you..Now, have a great fun with Ubuntu. I am currently working with a great Linux software called Crossover, that can literally emulate Windows for most popular Windows software (Office ,Photoshop, Quickbooks etc..). Crossover has a Wine core, but is more stable and more supported. I’ll post an article about this very soon.

    @Warren Olsen
    Well, I spot where your confusion starts. However, take it easy because we learn from our mistakes, even the worst blunders like losing all your data. I hope you had backups for them. Anyway, since you are new to computers, I would suggest that you take one PC, and ‘hose’ it. (hose,here is a geek word which means, test and manipulate software extensively on it). I humbly suggest that you take one of such computers with the two hard drives, with XP, and have fun with Paragon Partition Manager (I stated this software because it is practically and effectively the most easy-to-use partitioning tool on the market. There are other tools like Partition Magic but they are quite bulky and complex.) Paragon Partition Manager (PPM)has a graphical tool that lets you resize your partitions (visually).

    First thing you will have to do is: Spot the Windows partition you want to resize. You may see several partitions because you have two drives. You must know what the partitions contain; in which one there is Windows, and which partition is on which hardrive. I assume you will be able to spot this by comparing the partition sizes in PPM and the drive-sizes in ‘My Computer’.

    Now that you know on which drive the Windows Partition is located, I would recommend to create space for the ‘/boot’ linux partition (50-100mb) on that drive. ‘/boot’ contains data that tells your what to loads when it boots (quite deductible i guess.).Does that make sense to you? When you create the linux ‘/boot’, you tell ur computer to load the linux Boot Manager (called grub) before that of Windows (because windows does not recognise linux,while Grub can manage the two).
    Are you with me here? Just use PPM to allocate some 100mb space on that drive. You will spot this in the partition list in the Ubuntu setup, and then configure it to contain ‘/boo’ data. Still with me?(Read it twice if you haven’t assimilated the idea behind.)

    And the rest of the partitions (‘/’ and swap ) can be anywhere else within the two harddrives. (use PPM to create one big empty space,say 20gb. You will create swap from that empty space and the rest will be ‘/’ ).However, do leave the two harddrives plugged all the time, because if you remove them, your computer may not know which OS to boot into. I have two drives as well, as you can see in the picture in Step 5. But the arrangement may be different. Don’t follow strictly the image; it is just and example. Notice my /boot is on the same drive that contains my Windows partition.

    Well, I sincerely hope I have answered your question, but don’t hesitate to come back for more information/questions.


  29. jumanjisama says:

    hi there,

    thanks for the great tutorial – i have followed all the instruction given, but somehow, grub is not booting – the grub partition is already primary, just as windows and ubuntu partition – do i need to make the grub partition as active in order for grub to work? thanks


  30. @ jumanjisama,


    It is really strange that Grub doesn’t work. Are you sure you have properly set the /boot partition? How many hard drives do you have? (distinguishable physical drives) I recommend that you create the ‘/boot’ partition on the drive containing the windows OS. You may wish to resize the windows partition using a windows software such as Paragon Partition Manager and get around 100megabytes which is more than sufficient to create the ‘/boot’ partition.

    ‘/boot’ always loads first. And during the Ubuntu setup, Windows will be detected and its parameters will be stored in the ‘/boot’ files.

    If you fail to properly setup the ‘/boot’ partition, you won’t be able to load the Grub Boot manager at startup. You mentioned setting the grub partition as active. Well, to be honest, I have never come across a setting within Ubuntu Install, asking me set active or not. However, I saw primary and logical. Of course, ‘/boot’ should be primary.

    Hope this helps, let me know..

    By the way, which windows do you have installed on the other partition?


  31. jumanjisama says:

    thanks for the super fast reply =) i have 2 hard drives and according to partitionmagic, my windows is installed in the second hard drive, together with the boot,swap and ubuntu partition – i left about 50mb for the boot partition and i already mount it as /boot, after the installation, i checked, there is a grub folder and few other stuff in the partition – another thing, i am not sure if this have any effect, but the swap partition is placed together with other logical partition in one extended partition and the boot partition is placed immediately after the windows partition, followed by the ubuntu partition and extended partition. hope you could find some solution to my problem,i need ubuntu for my course =) thanks in advance


  32. jumanjisama says:

    oh, i forgot to answer the last question, i am using windows xp =)


  33. Chrysal says:

    Gentleman, I just dropped in to say Thank You!
    Your how-to has helped me a lot. It has given me great insights of OS and partitions.
    I’m from India, a state called Kerala. I am a Naval Architecture student.
    In Kerala Linux is not used much. In fact till date I’ve seen only 2 computers running Linux – one [Redhat] in my university and the other one my pc.
    Had I not come across this article I would never have installed Gutsy in my pc.
    Keep up the good work.

    P.S. I’ve bookmarked this blog.


  34. rob enderle says:

    I IRCed my local LUG to get help and the guys there recommended I drop Ubuntu for PCLinuxOS and have to say that the PCLinuxOS dual boot is MUCH simpler than Ubuntu’s for a newbie.
    Not even close actually.
    And the nice blue menu is much more pleasant than the ugly grub one Ubuntu offers and much more complete.

    Give power users all the options and hands on they want but make the Ubuntu process also as painless as the PCLinuxOS way.


  35. kent says:

    Good evening Sir. I am having problems in installing Ubuntu 7.10
    I have 3 partition as of now, The C:\ , D:\ and E:\. My C drive has Windows XP Media Center installed on it. While D and E are for my movies, musics, etc.

    My HD is just only 80 GB. My C drive is 35GB, D is 40 GB, and E is 5 GB. I want to install ubuntu 7.10 on my E partition. Is 5 GB enough for ubuntu? I have tried to install ubuntu using live CD. My problem is when i reach the step 4 of the installation i think, the one that you have to select where to install ubuntu, entire partition, or manual. Ofcourse i don’t want to lose all my data’s in C and D. So i choose manual. Then after i have chosen it, the next windows appear consisting this info. “dev/hda/”… I have seen a lot of tutorial on how to install it, and mostly i saw that windows partition and other partition is available, but on my computer, choosing manual doesn’t display any partition in my HD.

    I hope you can help me on this.

    I more thing, this bothers my mind often. WILL I LOSE MY DATA IN MY DRIVE C AND E? coz, i don’t want to lose it, they are very important to me.

    Wish you could me.


  36. kent says:

    Did you receive my comment Sir Sobhee?


  37. ubuntu gutsy says:

    Please help. having problem installing ubuntu gutsy on my PC. The installer fails to read partition. It only displays /dev/hda/ . nothing more, nothing less.


  38. @kent:

    Indeed, if your data is important to you, never ever, in the slightest and remotest brink of thought, choose the automatic installation. The way to go is manual. Now, you don’t see any partitions. That is really weird. If I could have a screenshot, it would be great. In my humble opinion, I think that you have hidden partitions (Some partition software can cause that.) Or maybe, your partitions are encrypted by some software and so, Ubuntu won’t detect them.

    Have you tried to format the 5GB partition from Windows? If no, then try using a href=’’>Paragon’s Partition Manager 8.5 to do the job. Let paragon format your 5GB partition in EXT3 Filesystem format.

    Then,repeat the whole procedure. I bet it should work now.

    If in some unexpected case it does not work, I will ask you to describe me the colour codes that Paragon uses to outline your partitions. (Maybe a screenshot would be better; a picture speaks a thousand words.) It happens that some partitions are embedded into a larger partition (I will reference them by child-parent partitions.) If the parent partition is hidden, all the other partitions, in your case, the three partitions won’t appear in your Ubuntu setup menu.

    I hope that helps,

    Shailen Sobhee.

    @ubuntu gutsy:
    I guess that you are having the same problem as kent. I hope my comment will help you too.


  39. kent says:

    Thank you for the fast response,
    Yes sir, i think my whole partition is hidden..Ahmm. i have already download paragon partition manager, but i think it doesn’t display the exact size of the partition, coz when i run it, i saw that my 5GB became 41GB. i don’t know why. That’s why i didn’t trust paragon. if you could teach me step by step on how to do it i’ll be very glad…

    ahmm, i have tried the manual process, then i create new partition, and i have created swap, boot, and / partitions. But i am afraid to proceed to the installations of ubuntu because my C and D partition doesn’t appear, so i am so worry about my files in C and D that they might be lost.

    Regarding my 5GB partition, yes i have partitioned it in windows, i right clicked it and chose format.

    I think my whole partition is hidden, but i have surfed the internet for some articles about it, i tried fdisk -l. then i saw my partition, but on the installation process, during the partition manager, it’s just only /dev/hda/

    I think it is better if we can chat. so that you could help me well.
    I’ll be waiting for your response, thank you very much

    GOD bless you


  40. Evan says:

    Fantastic explanation. Although, I am a Computer Network grad. Still, having experience with dual-booting Windows XP, Server 2003, and Red Hat or Fedora Core, this was EXTREMELY helpful! Thank you for your time and patience with all of us. I am now a fully converted Linux user and am attempting to help convert even the most inexperienced users who have had nothing but problems with Windows. As you probably understand, having a college degree, everyone comes to me for help. And now, they all have Ubuntu for their everyday web-surfing needs! One person at a time, more and more, they are beginning to believe and stop doubting. πŸ™‚


  41. Sherwin says:

    Hi, Shailen! Your article is very informative & helpful indeed! It was a good thing I stumbled upon it. Read it while at work and when I got home, I got Ubuntu installed to dual boot w/ my current Win XP. Skipped the part of resizing my Win partition though, as I’ve previously alloted a partition for Ubuntu already. You’re right, the three partitions for Ubuntu to work IS essential. Now I’m off to the world of Linux! Thanks very much! By the way, is the installation process (including the 3 important partitions) essentially the same as with all Linux-based OSes?


  42. @Sherwin:

    Essentially yes. I am definitely sure that Fedora and RedHat can be broken. Extrapolating, I believe other RPM based linuxes would work perfectly well when broken like this. I would avoid using this brilliant technique with light distros like puppy linux or damn small linux, because they usually deply their whole bunch of files to one directory without many options to configure the partitions (that’s why they are damn small in size).

    So , assuming you are working with a whole linux package (as an example, I would tag the ubuntu cd you get from canonical , the huge fedora iso and any other 700MB+ iso, as whole. )

    I hope everyone sees the benefit of breaking the partitions to /boot , /home and /. In the event of a computer crash, you can easily format your /, and preserve your /home, and all your documents, not to say, ur actual desktop (and the positions of all the files on the desktop).

    In my free time, I have managed to share a /home between Ubuntu and Fedora. It took me several days to properly configure all the settings, tweak file permissions and policies, but in the end, I got a beautiful outcome where I had exactly the same desktop whether I am on Ubuntu or Fedora. The icons were at the same positions, and my taskbar was identical. Besides, I had also the opprtunity to change desktop backgrounds without affecting the desktop background on the other OS.

    To picture big the situation, it was having the same interior design on your car in two different machines with two different engines. I could use debian linux as well as RPM linux while having the same saved documents, same desktop, same settings..Whooooa!

    It was hardwork, but fruitful. The work doesn’t stop whichever linux you are using; all your files are here. I also installed my postgresql database on the /home folder so that I could have my database ready and loaded on whatever linux I was using. There was no lost of data,because I was using inherently the same database πŸ™‚

    I will definitely write an article on that soon.


  43. Arthur says:

    Dear Shailen. I have downloaded Paragon’s Partition Manager 8.5 but find the file has an .rar suffix. Please explain how to proceed from here so that I can use the program. Thanks, Arthur


  44. @Arthur:
    Oh,that was the remotest question I could expect here. Nevermind. I heard friends who were geeks on linux purport they are newbies on windows. It happens, dont worry.

    To open a .rar file, you need winrar. Download and install this small utility fro ( ->download section -> choose your language, etc -that’s pretty straighforward. If you get stuck on the site, let me know, ill mail Alexander Roshal to tell him that his site ain’t user friendly.)

    After you install Winrar, the next steps are pretty easy. The .rar file will have more meaning; if you right click on it, you will have an option to extract. Choose that option to get the .exe file that will install Paragon.

    Good luck my friend.


  45. […] searched the web for any help on how to do it, and so far the tutorial by Shailen Sobhee offered the greatest help, especially with the ability to choose at which operating you want to […]


  46. deuts says:

    I got it running, thanks! I just wished though that you have included the process for Paragon Partition Manager in the body of your post itself, not just in the comments. I could have avoided ruining my original windows installation. Anyway, many thanks!


  47. deuts says:

    I wonder if this process will do good in Ubuntu Hardy Heron. Tnx.


  48. Manoj says:

    Wonderful tutorial. Thanks a ton , mate!


  49. mishari says:

    Dear Shaileen, what a pleasure to find such a helpful and clearly written blog. I wonder if perehaps you can answer a question for me. I’m totally new to Linux, but I downloaded Hardy Heron last week, burned it as an .iso and ran it as a live-CD. I liked it and decided to install it on my HD. My HD is 80 GB and already had XP Pro on it. Installing was no problem, but during the installation process, I selected the ‘automatic’ partitioning option, which I now realize was silly, but I hadn’t had the benefit of your excellent blog.

    So it was only after installation was complete and dual-booting was running perfectly that I noticed that Hardy had taken all of the free space! XP had been left with 28 GB and HH had taken the rest! Is there anyway I can resize either of these partitions? All your highly informative answers above seem to be directed at people who are in the process of installing HH to dual-boot. Whereas, I’ve already done that, and really would just like to re-distribute the space on my HD more equally. I thank you in advance for any advice

    Best Wishes, Mishari


  50. mishari says:

    PS- I’m bookmarking your blog and will recommend it to others. Keep up the good work…


  51. mishari says:

    Oh, and another quick question. I hate the selection of fonts in HH. How do I add new fonts? Does HH recognize the same font formats as Windows? Or do I have to find Linux speciific fonts and install them in a fonts folder somewhere?

    Thanks again…


  52. Robert says:

    HI. Thanks for the great guide. I can follow the steps easy but im still having trouble with one thing. I noticed other people have had the same problem but you didn’t clearly explain how to fix it. After creating the /swap and the /boot the rest of the free space is unusable. how can i fix this?


  53. Real king says:

    Thanks very much. It is very easy and straight forward. Just put Ubuntu CD and start installation. After creating those 3 partition, click on 2 (ext3) partitions and Edit them and select the sign for root / and at the other one select /boot. That’s it, otherwise you will get error “No root file system is defined” and you can’t proceed further until you edit them.


  54. I’m gonna try this for later, but just wondering, is 7 gb not enough to install Hardy Heron? I suppose I could add some space by resizing my partition, but kinda troublesome do that at the moment :3


  55. George says:

    First, i want to ask something..
    The Tutorial u made, the dual boot.. It’s using GRUB or windows boot manager?
    I’m using hardy heron, i can dual boot, but i’m using GRUB..
    Can u tell me how to use windows boot manager?
    i’m using XP Profesional SP3.. Big Thanx for u.. Great job for the tutor..


  56. @mishari:
    Hello! Everyone, or rather, almost everyone, you meet around, either programmers or powerusers, will say Linux is great or Linux is the best operating system. However, there is one thing that lacks in its filesystem. Whereas ext3 is stable and more secure than NTFS, it is highly unmalleable. Throughout my experience, I have not found a good, sure, reliable and faultless means to properly resize an ext3 partition. Albeit, NTFS has a zillion of tools, some being free, floating around on the www, waiting to be downloaded. The latter tools can be safely used for NTFS, and work just flawlessly.

    Linux users are not that lucky as their windows counterparts. Trying to resize an ext3 using any partition/ resize tools available for linux is detrimental. Some tools I know convert an ext3 to ext2, then ‘tries’ to perform a resize, and eventually converts back to ext3. This is dirty work and I really don’t recommend this to anyone.

    I would suggest, even if this would make your life a little bitter, that you start over again, and use a Windows partition manager to pre-allocate your GBs! I know I know! Life is hard. But well, lets be sanguine; When life sends you lemons, make lemonade!

    As for the fonts, there are a bunch of Windows fonts of Linux around. Just google them. I use to fancy Windows fonts initially, but I got used to Fedora’s and I didn’t care much about fishing those Windows fonts. I decreased the Arial fonts in Fedora settings however, because they were intially too big.

    PS: Thanks for the Bookmark!!


  57. @ Robert: The rest of space is root, that is ‘/’ .
    You have in all three partitions: / , /boot, and swap. If you want to be clean and tidy, and structured, you have wish to have a fourth partition called /home.

    /home is like My documents in Windows. You may format your root (/) anytime in the future, and preserve all your documents which is in /home. Get my point here? My little description is borne out in Real King’s comment, just after yours.

    @George: The dual process uses GRUB, the linux boot loader (and more powerful and versatile than the other linux boot loader called LILO). Anyway, to answer your question, it is better to use GRUB as your Boot Loader (or boot manager as you would prefer calling it. ) Windows boot manager uses a file called boot.ini. It is possible to use that as your Boot manager, but for simplicity, it is preferable to use GRUB, which you can configure in many ways. You can add colours, add a background picture, and a few more interesting tweaks. But, let me ask you first, what are your primary motives to use a Windows boot manager (boot.ini) rather than GRUB ?


  58. mishari says:

    Thanks for your answer, shailen. I had a feeling that would be the case, so I’m resigned to doing a clean install of XP and HH. No big problem.

    I have another question that I suspect you’ll be able to help me with. I want install wifiway, (formerly wifislax), to my hard drive. I’ve been running it as a live-cd, which is a bit of a pain, having to go into the boot menu, re-set the boot sequence, insert the cd, etc,etc. However, although one is supposed to be able to install it on your HD, there is apparently a problem in the installaion script.

    According to wifiway’s website, one has to add or change some lines in the installation script, but one isn’t told how to do it. I guess they assume that one is conversant with linux protocols.

    Now, am I right in thinking that this can only be done from inside wifiway, (ie, when I’m actually running the live-cd) or can I insert the cd without booting it up, open the relevant file and do it that way. What am I looking for? What is the installation file called? How do I edit and save it? What app should I use?

    Here is what the wifiway guys wrote, (they’re Spaniards and their English is a little unclear, although they’re clearly very talented programmers. Wifiway works like a charm!

    Wifiway 0.8 Install


    this may ask you some questions, and the last one is:

    Please insert the MBR in grub type:

    example: hd0,0 hd1,1 hd0,2

    This can be confused ,it want to ask the partition where wifiway had been installed, to add the lines on the menu.lst, but in grub type.

    Example: If we has been installed Wifiway on hdb1, the grub type should be: hd0,0

    View the menu.lst with mousepad.

    grub-install –root-directory=/mnt/xy/ /dev/x

    Example: xy=hda1 x=hda

    grub-install –root-directory=/mnt/hda1/ /dev/hda

    this command is necesary because there is a bug in

    Line = grub-install –root-directory=/mnt/$ComboBox1 /dev/$ComboBox1

    The correct way is:

    grub-install –root-directory=/mnt/hda1/ /dev/hda

    Can you edit the and added in the begin:

    echo “Indicate device where install MBR (Grub) ex: hda, hdb, hdc”
    read ComboBox2

    and modify the line:

    grub-install –root-directory=/mnt/$ComboBox1 /dev/$ComboBox1


    grub-install –root-directory=/mnt/$ComboBox1 /dev/$ComboBox2

    Now, I sort of understand what they’re saying, that I need to change the specified lines in menu.lst, but how do I do that? Do I need to be working in HH to open the menu.lst file with mousepad?

    Also, should I create 3 partitions; one for XP, one for HH and one for wifiway? Given what the wifiway guys wrote, what should I call the wifiway partion?

    Sorry to ask what must be very basic questions for you, but I’m totally new to linux and am just finding my way around.

    Thanks again for your help. All the best, Mishari


  59. George says:

    Sometimes, i just prefer to do that way..
    I’ve tried some way, but it just won’t work..
    So i’ve gave up and try to use GRUB..
    I Don’t really quite understand GRUB though..


  60. mishari says:

    Ok, Shailen, I think I’m getting the hang of it. To modify the, I have to modify the .lst file. So, in wifiway, I open up a terminal, and type in:

    sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst

    Then I modify the .lst file as indicated, save it and exit. Then it should install correctly, when I want it to. Is that right or am I missing something.

    I’m thinking, I’ll do a clean install of XP, then of Hardy, then of wifiway.
    After installing XP, I’ll partion the drive into 3, 40GB for XP, 30GB for Hardy and 10 GB for wifiway, (I have an 80 GB HDD). What should I call these partitions? Is my thinking flawed?


  61. RobJN says:

    I tried this and found that 50mb is way too small for /boot as update manager/synaptic kept giving errors due to the lack of drive space.

    Spent hours trying to solve the problem in ubuntu forums. Would it be possible to update the article to reflect this as it appears this has caused problems for a lot of people.



  62. hanaa says:

    Hey there..
    I seem to have this doubt. I know not much about partitions. But from what i read, i gathered there can only be three primary partitions and one extended partition( or four primary partitions). If windows and ubuntu are to be set up on the same hard disk, windows would use one primary partitions and lets say, extended parititions too. Then, is it possible that Ubuntu can still be given three primary partitions.. (for / , /home, and swap) ? then, we’d have four primary partitions and one extended partition, which doesnt seem possible from what i understand about partitions.

    Thank you,


  63. Judy says:

    Please help: I have 2 SATA HD.
    With only one HD connected I installed winXP PRO shown here as sdb1
    With only the 2nd HD connected I installed vista enterprises shown here as sda1
    Then I connected both and tried installing ubuntu 8.04
    I did a manual install choosing sda8 for ext3 journaling file system and marked format
    Choose / as mount
    Choose sda6 as swap
    Then I apparently made a mistake letting the default choose of hd0 for GRUB
    I was told ubuntu would setup a boot menu for all 3 system automatically
    Now I want to reinstall ubuntu but after I choose ext3, mount and swap it complained no root file system is defined.
    Please tell me what to do now.
    Mount size used
    /dev/sda1 NTFS 41947MB 14200MB
    /dev/sda5 NTFS 41932MB 7300MB
    /dev/sda6 swap 10487MB 0MB
    /dev/sda7 31461MB unknown
    /dev/sda8 ext3 / 34208MB 2700MB
    /dev/sdb1 NTFS 41940MB 13700MB
    /dev/sdb5 NTFS 41940MB 40800MB
    /dev/sdb6 FAT32 10487MB 33MB
    /dev/sbd7 NTFS 31453MB 8100MB
    /dev/sdb8 34208MB unknown
    Freespace 8MB



  64. Vera says:

    I already have ubuntu on my system but i want to install windows XP because i
    need to use visual basic.

    what do i do because i dont want to loose my documents and i want both operating systems to exist together.


  65. Paul T says:

    I know that Windows benefits from the O/S being on a different drive to the pagefile but also the O/S and the pagefile respond more quickly if they’re located towards the outer edge do you have any thoughts on the physical position of the Ubuntu partitions as regarding the access speed?
    Also, I seemed to recall that maybe an earlier version of Ubuntu used to safely repartition your drive for you (if you’d got an existing Windows install taking 100% of the drive) – is my memory playing tricks on me or has this been dropped in Heron?


  66. harry_g says:

    I want something clear:on a Intel Quad 2 PC,with Vista 32 bits preinstalled, make a partition with Paragon (which format? NTFS or ext3?), then install on it Ubuntu or Kubuntu so that at start up I get the choice of booting either Vista or (K)ubuntu. And no interference of the two.
    What I tried gave me all, except that Kubuntu doesn’t boot.
    Can anybody expose a solution?


  67. Harry,

    Are you following the setup order? Basically, you should install Windows Vista first, then install Kubuntu. If you are starting the whole setup again, begin a fresh install. Partition your harddrive using vista’s partition manager. Say you have a 100GB hardrive,
    58: Vista
    10: Kubuntu
    30: /home
    1: /boot

    The above sizes should give you a general idea how you should partition your harddrive. Of course, if you have lots of linux programs, then you can borrow a few GBs from the Vista partition.

    During the Vista setup, create all your paritions. You have 5 in all. You don’t need to format them all. Just create them. From now on, concentrate on your Vista partition and format it NTFS, and get windows running. Note that you could just partition your drive in two (60,40), and then use Paragon to make the other partitions, but since you are already in the Vista setup, make the partitions there itself.

    After Vista has been installed, proceed with the Kubuntu setup. The rest of my tutorial describes almost everything you should do, but I would be most happy to explain anything you didn’t catch.

    Let me know how the setup proceeds.



  68. harry_g says:

    Thank you!
    Vista is preinstalled.
    I installed OSL2000.
    I made a NTFS partition for Kubuntu, using Paragon Partition Magic.
    I installed Kubuntu from the .iso file.
    I restarted the computer.
    I have the choice to boot in Vista or in Kubuntu.
    OK for Vista, nothing for Kubuntu.
    Uninstall OSL2000 doesn’t change the choices.


  69. Install Linux on ext3 only. If vista is pre-installed, I surmise there was no space left to install Kubuntu, casting doubts on whether the installation completed successfully.

    I would not recommend that you use OSL2000, unless you are comfortable with it. Kubuntu comes with GRUB, a very powerful and fully functional and customizable boot manager.

    Linux requires the SWAP space. Are you sure you made an ext3 partition for SWAP? You said you are installing from the ISO file – you mean, you burnt the image to CD and installed? If you are planning to install from the ISO located on another partition, the process will be slightly complicated, and you need to hack/modify boot settings in the ISO package.

    Now, I heard that Ubuntu released an ISO package dubbed ‘alternate’ which enables one to install directly from an ISO file located on another partition. But when I first figured out how to do this, I had to hack it myself. I can assure you, the process is a byzantine and tedious.

    I would recommend that you keep things simple.

    Restart your setup with an ext3 partition for Kubuntu, and ensure you created the paramount ext3 partition of type SWAP.

    Did that help?


  70. harry_g says:

    I’ll try all this tomorrow.
    Certainly,an error was not to try to create an ext3, which I did because I feared what could happen if I lost control through vista.
    But after creating the ext3 partition with Paragon, Kubuntu’s installer didn’t “see” it: it simply offered me choices between sta and stb, not mentioning the possibility to choose the ext3 partition.
    Need I an ext3 for Ubuntu and another one for swap? Kind of “/swap”? Has it to be a partition inside the first ext3 partition?
    As for the .iso: I had burnt it on a virtual CDdrive (made with Nero) before using it.
    Thank you and we’ll keep in touch


  71. Shift says:

    Hey man, I just wanted to say thanks for the help. It’s really nice to see someone willing to help out other people in such an uninterested way. Kudos to you!


  72. Bob says:

    Shailen, Hi. I have WinXPPro and installed Hardy from a CD within that. However i want Ubuntu to load as the default but cannot seem to get that to happen. I’ve read yours and countless other web links but to no avail. I I am not a Linux nurd so please make it simple. Thanks Bob


  73. […] found this tutorial explaining how to dual boot linux and XP when XP is already installed. Reading through the various […]


  74. Thriell says:


    Early on in your comments, you recommended “Paragon Partition Manager” to “2Perfect”

    You should include a warning that this program might randomly destroy data!
    (details at
    I used it to move/resize 5 partitions to make room for ubuntu. It resized and moved three of them, left the fourth *BLANK*, and corrupted the MFT on the fifth.

    Thanks SO much for recommending this program! I was hoping for the chance to lose 26 gigabytes of stuff! Maybe next time you can suggest a program that will accidentally make my computer explode. That’d be great fun!


  75. Thriell says:

    Okay, so I cleaned up the mess created by Paragon Partition Manager and went on to finish the install as you describe.

    Ubuntu won’t boot.

    It sits there with that orange bar going back and forth and back and forth ad nausaeum, but there is *NO* hard disk activity past the first 10 seconds.

    Windows XP still boots, however.

    If I can’t get this working and eventually want to throw up my hands in defeat, how would I go about removing GRUB from the bootup process?


  76. […] I have tried to install Ubuntu Linux as part of a dual-boot on my desktop computer no less than SEVEN times. Here is the tutorial I am using as a guide. […]


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