With the help of this forum I successfully loaded Ubuntu onto my Dell desktop and then onto another. I am now loading Ubuntu 11.10 onto my notebook laptop. I have it working ok, but I messed up on the optimization where it concerns partitioning, because I really only know enough to be dangerous.
The notebook has no CD-ROM drive, so I created a bootable USB. Works fine. My WinXP notebook was originally configured thus:
C: 39.0 GB total; 23.1 GB Free
D: 106 GB Total; 105 GB Free
991.8 MB RAM
I believe that it must be one physical disk drive with two logical drives (C: & D: ). So I figured I would allocate 90 GB on D: to Ubuntu, leaving the remaining 15 GB to WinXP.
During my first install pass, when it came to the easy slider where you could slide the middle bar left or right to give Ubuntu more or less disk/partition space, I (sorrowfully, now) thought I would be better off making sure I used only the D: disk for the 90 GB that I wanted for Ubuntu, so I took a different route whereby I believe I got specific in designating EXT4 for the 90 GB for Ubuntu onto the D: drive (EXT4 sounded familiar from my previous computer installs).
Then there was the install, which all went just fine. Ubuntu works. WinXP still works. However Ubuntu only had (first install) about 22 GB allocated to it. There was indeed an EXT4 partition with 90 GB, which I can see, but I cannot access.
I did two more passes at delete and re-install Ubuntu from the USB drive, thinking I might get another crack at that slider choice where you get to slide the bar back and forth to allocate partition size to Ubuntu. No such luck, of course. It was a one-time opportunity. However, with each additional re-install, a new "swap area" partition gets created which leaves the partition available to Ubuntu smaller by the amount of each new swap area partition (about 1 GB).
I created a spreadsheet (pasted below) to show the choices that are available to me when I try yet another re-install and opt for the bottom "Something else" choice to re-size partitions yourself. Hopefully it's readable and you already know what it should say.
I'm also attaching two PDF's: One of the Ubuntu disk status spreadsheet and the Second of the WinXP disk staus screenshot.
I realize that this should be simple enough and that I should already have RTFM, but I would nonetheless appreciate at least being pointed in the right direction to recover all this seemingly lost disk/partition space for Ubuntu.
I also realize I could forego all this trouble and just make the entire notebook Ubuntu, but first I want to just get this fixed.
Device Type Mount Point Format? Size Used (Top Bar)
/dev/sda1 FAT32 4194 MB 2922 MB Green 4.2 GB
/dev/sda2 NTFS 41948 MB 17071 MB Orange 41.9 GB
/dev/sda3 EXT4 90000 MB 1605 MB Blue 90.0 GB
/dev/sda7 EXT4 20712 MB 3522 MB Green 20.7 GB
/dev/sda8 swap 1060 MB 0 MB Orange 1.1 GB (linux-swap)
/dev/sda6 swap 1058 MB 0 MB Blue 1.1 GB (linux-swap)
/dev/sda5 swap 1060 MB 0 MB Green 1.1 GB (linux-swap)
Device for boot loader installation:
/dev/sda ATA WDC WD1600BEVT-7 (160.0 GB)
Edit a Partition:
Use as: EXT4 Journaling File System
EXT3 Journaling File System
EXT2 File System
ReiserFS Journaling File System
btrfs Journaling File System
JFS Journaling File System
XFS Journaling File System
FAT16 File System
FAT32 File System
do not use this partition