Greetings from a chronic newbie.
I've been using Ubuntu on and off since 2003, but it's been a long time since I had to install it myself, because my last two computers came with it already installed. The more recent of these (Zareason Terra HD) is in the shop with a fan issue, so I bought a refurbished Thinkpad T61 (2.0 GHz, 2GB RAM, 80GB HDD) so I could keep working in the meantime. It has Vista Business installed--sigh. I've been doing my best to work with it for a few days, but I think this will make a better long-term backup computer if I get Ubuntu working on it now.
Unfortunately I sometimes need to use Windows for work. On the Zareason I run XP in Virtualbox. On this T61, I figured it would be better to just leave Vista alone and dual-boot Oneiric. I just don't want to wipe out the ThinkVantage capabilities, even though I hope I'll never need them.
I've been ferreting around the internet for awhile trying to figure out the best way to install Oneiric as a dual-boot. I just want to make sure I have the steps right before I do anything irreversible.
So, below, I made a list of the steps I think I should take. Please correct me at any step...
1. I've already burned recovery discs of Vista using Thinkvantage Rescue and Recovery, just in case.
2. In Windows, use the Disc Management tool to defrag, then shrink the main partition, thus creating free space for Ubuntu. Reboot in Windows a couple times.
3. Boot from Oneiric live USB.
4. At the “Installation Type” screen, select the “Something Else” option.
5. Select “free space” and click “add.” I think Windows is already using two or three partitions, so I'll have to make a logical partition for all the Ubuntu partitions.
6. I want to make four Ubuntu partitions, for /boot, swap, / and /home. Given that I've got about 40 GB free, I'll allocate 258 MB to /boot, 2 GB to swap, 15 GB for / , and the rest for /home.
7. Install the boot loader in the /boot partition.
8. Finish installation and reboot in Vista.
9. Install EasyBCD and add GRUB2 to Windows' boot menu. Change boot default to Ubuntu.
10. Boot Ubuntu and enjoy, using Vista only when I really have to...
I would greatly appreciate it if someone who knows more than I do (and that would be most people on the forums) would look at what I plan to do and tell me what I've got wrong. I'm really hoping to get this installed without a hitch so I can get back to work! Thanks for taking the time to look at this.
P.S. I know I could also do a clean install of Ubuntu and run Vista in Virtualbox using the recovery CDs. If anyone thinks that would be a significantly simpler/safer solution, please say so.