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Thread: Preinstalled Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

  1. #1
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    Preinstalled Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

    I am thinking about getting a Dell Vostro 470 with a 3rd generation Intel processor. This is shipped with Windows 7 (64-bit) pre-installed and I believe there is a recovery CD too.

    What are the implications of Windows being pre-installed for dual booting with Ubuntu?

    - can gparted on the Ubuntu Live CD be used for shrinking the Windows partition(s) to make room on disk for Ubuntu? Or would I have to use some partition editor that comes with Windows?

    - I hardly ever use Windows but still want to keep it and give it a very small portion (10GB say) of the disk and let Ubuntu 12.04 have the rest. Is that possible?

    - I assume the install image/recovery disk is bound to the hardware and would not work on another PC or same PC if the hardware is changed. Is that so?

    - Anything else that is frustrating, irritating or awkward with having a pre-installed Windows?

    - Can I request a normal install CD when buying a Dell?

    Ken

  2. #2
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    Re: Preinstalled Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

    All will depend on the how Dell partition their Windows 7 installation. Some OEMs seem to insist on using all of the 4 partitions that are available if the system has the now old style BIOS, with an msdos partition table. If so you will probably have to decide which partition to remove/delete before you can add any more for the ubuntu installation.

    You can easily see what Dell have done before you buy; you will need to ask the salesman to tell you, or ask him to start the disk management utility in Win 7 and see how many partitions there are already.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 12.04-64bit --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo

  3. #3
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    Re: Preinstalled Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

    would I have to use some partition editor that comes with Windows?
    yes, use the windows partition editor to shrink the partition, leave the space as unallocated, no need to format. then restart to make sure there are no errors. proceed with gparted for linux-y things.

    I hardly ever use Windows but still want to keep it and give it a very small portion (10GB say) of the disk and let Ubuntu 12.04 have the rest. Is that possible?
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...m-requirements so maybe 35 to be safe? depends on if you will have games/media on there.
    Last edited by black veils; September 21st, 2012 at 09:42 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Preinstalled Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

    If it is real new, it might be UEFI. Then you do not have 4 partition limit, but have to use 64 bit version of Ubuntu and from install disk boot into UEFI mode. If it is UEFI come back and ask for more details. Even with UEFI it may still have Windows in BIOS mode.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  5. #5
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    Re: Preinstalled Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

    Quote Originally Posted by resander View Post
    - I hardly ever use Windows but still want to keep it and give it a very small portion (10GB say) of the disk and let Ubuntu 12.04 have the rest. Is that possible?
    When you use the Win7 Disk Management tool to shrink the Windows partition, it will decide how far you can reduce it. The NTFS file system that Microsoft uses is built around what they call the Master File Table and for some reason this seems to be placed about the middle of the partition and cannot be moved, so you won't be able to reduce Windows as much as you want. On my recent dual-boot installation with an HP machine, I could only get a bit less than half of the 500 GB disk freed up for installing Linux. Fortunately that was plenty for my needs and I still have well over 100 GB free in Linux, but it sorta burns me that I have more than 200 GB "wasted" on a Win7 installation that I may never use at all...
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    Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
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    Howto mark thread: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPo.../SolvedThreads

  6. #6
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    Re: Preinstalled Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

    i'm also trying to dual boot Win7 and Ubuntu. I used the Windows disk management utility to shrink the Windows partition and I left the space as unallocated but when i try to install Ubuntu it says the space is unusable.


    my hard drive had Win7 preinstalled and is using 4 primary partitions, i've attached a screen shot of gparted (running off the ubuntu 12.04 live CD on the laptop i'm trying to dual boot).


    so do i need to delete one of the 4 existing primary partitions and if so which one should i delete?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    Re: Preinstalled Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

    Read this before going any farther: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UEFI

    It's essential that you know which of the two types of bootloaders your Win 7 installation is using, since the Ubuntu installation must use the same type and at the moment, the installer doesn't always make the right decision. The four-partition limit applies only to one of them, not both. Therefore you may not need to make any more change to the partitioning, but rather may need to change the bootloader type. The link above tells you how to tell which is in use, and how to force the proper setup.
    --
    Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
    Linux Counter #259718
    Howto mark thread: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPo.../SolvedThreads

  8. #8
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    Re: Preinstalled Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

    Quote Originally Posted by over_my_head View Post
    so do i need to delete one of the 4 existing primary partitions and if so which one should i delete?
    yes, and people with hp computers, with the same issue, say its ok to remove hp-tools.

    i dont know about the rules for shifting your partitions around though, in terms of moving the large unallocated space to the end, or if it even matters. i have never needed to know that stuff.
    Last edited by black veils; September 22nd, 2012 at 04:39 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Preinstalled Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

    If you have Windows and the first partition is efi formated FAT32, and drive is partitioned gpt not MBR then you have UEFI.
    If first partition is just the 100MB boot partition (hidden in Windows and NTFS) and partitioned with MBR then you have the four partition limit. If Vendor recovery is first partition then the 100MB may be second partition. HP usually puts recovery & tools last.

    Good advice on how to handle all four primary partitions used. - srs5694
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1686440
    Be sure to create recovery DVD(s) first. And a Windows repair CD.
    HP tools partition discussion - similar for other vendor partitions:
    http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Noteboo...on/td-p/228360
    For a complete blow-by-blow on dealing with HP's four partitions, see Full Circle Magazine, issue 41, page 36.
    http://fullcirclemagazine.org/
    Shrinking a Windows 7 partition is best done in Windows. But do not create new partitions with Windows.
    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windo...windows-vista/
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  10. #10
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    Re: Preinstalled Windows and Ubuntu dual boot

    thanks for the information!

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