My daughter has a newer PC which came with Windows 8. I installed Ubuntu 12.10, so her 1TB HD now has its limit of 4 partitions: 2 for Windows and 2 for Ubuntu. Windows recently stopped allowing her to install anything - even Windows updates from Microsoft, so after numerous virus scans and other tweaks, we gave up and reinstalled Windows from the copy on the second partition. This is going to happen again, probably more than once, so I would like to eliminate the need to back up and restore all her music, pictures, movies and documents by creating a partition exclusively for them. But that would be 5 partitions, and I'm limited to 4.
So I'm wondering about eliminating the linux-swap partition and replacing it with a swap file in the Ubuntu partition, freeing up the linux-swap partition so I can create an NTFS partition to share between the two operating systems. The https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq document explains how to create and format a swap file and add it to the running system. Presumably, this will switch it from using the linux-swap partition to the newly created swap file so the swap partition can be removed. So, my questions are:
1. Is this even a reasonable solution? It's a desktop gaming rig with decent performance and 8GB of memory so I'm thinking that any performance hit won't be all that noticeable. Are there other possible issues I should consider before doing this? Could it affect stability?
2. The https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq doesn't have directions specifically for switching from a swap partition to a swap file. Is this even possible and if so, should I create a swap file and switch to it according to the directions first and then remove the linux-swap partition using Gparted?
3. When I installed Ubuntu 12.10, I stupidly used a 32-bit live USB that I had created for an old IBM laptop - I guess I was so worried about even being able to install it at all on a machine with "secure boot" that I didn't pay attention to what I was actually installing. I really need to do a reinstall using my 64-bit live USB. Will the installer let me choose between a swap file and swap partition? If it's possible to do this way, I would prefer it since it would solve both issues at once and we already have all her user files backed up.
Sorry to be so verbose and thank you for any help and advice you can give me.