Re: Partition without losing recovery?
A major concern I have with anyone switching over a netbook is that there is often no optical drive usability for recovery. All the repair/recovery CDs in the world don't help if you have no way to use them.
One problem you might be facing is that the drive could already be partitioned into four primary partitions -- the maximum number allowed. If your netbook is running Win7, open the Win7 Disk Management tool and look at the list of partitions. If you already have four, you are faced with a lot of work to install Ubuntu.
Regarding the recovery partition, it nearly always contains a big image file (among others) and that can't be split into smaller files to be written to DVD. So, if you want to save that, you will have to get a large enough USB stick.
Also, before you do anything to the netbook, you really need to back off your current install -- and once again, you'll need a USB stick for that. Don't know where you live, but around here, 8GB USB sticks cost $10 USD.
Also, you can read up on unetbootin -- you will need to use that to create a bootable USB stick containing the Ubuntu image you want to install.
Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.