I just installed Ubuntu 12.4 LTS onto my Gateway NV53 laptop with a 500 GB hard drive as a dual-boot with Windows 7 64-bit.
The first thing I did, since Windows was having some stability issues anyway (and to reduce the space it took up on the drive), was a system restore (factory settings) using the manufacturer's utility that uses the Acer PQSERVICE partition, after backing all my data to my 500 GB Lacie external hard drive (which I has originally formatted with FAT32, since I had anticipated eventually wanting to do a dual-boot at some point, and understood--at that time anyway--that Linux has or had issues with the NTFS system. Since I will be using use the Lacie as data repository for both systems, I won't need a partition for that on the internal drive.
After the system restore, and after installing a zillion or so updates in multiple sessions with Windows Update, and then re-installing all of my software, I found I was using less than 10% of the Windows patition (C: ). I had intended to allocate half of this partition's space for Windows and half for Ubuntu, but when I used Shrink Disk in Windows Disk Management, it would only allow me to peel off 13.1 GB. I had read somewhere that Windows installs some immovble files near the end of the partition, which, I suppose, accounts for that. I tried the Ubuntu installer as an alternative , but it would not allow me to resize it at all, and could not see how much unused space there was in the Windows partition--because of the issues with reading NTFS maybe? So I did the shrink with Windows after running Defrag.
I decided to delete the PQSERVICE partion and reassgn it as Swap space for Ubuntu--11.72 GB is more than I need, if I understand correctly that it only needs to be the size of my RAM (4 GB), but at least it would not be eating up any of my root partition that way. I used the Gateway/Acer Recovery utility to transfer it to two DVDs first though. Then I assigned the remainging 13.1 GB block of free space as root and installed (failing to notice that I had left boot assigned to the Lacie, but that has not been a problem).
Both Windows and Ubuntu are bootable now and run well, but I am still irked about the disparity between them in their assigned space on my internal HD. I originally did this to install FontForge (the Windows binary was too unstable to use), but I expect I will use it more and more as I discover and learn more open-source replacements for my Windows programs. And, besides, it just seems obscene in principle. So, my question is: is there any way I can wipe my internal HD altogether and reinstall everything all over again from the Gateway/Acer Recovery DVDs and the Ubuntu CD with more balanced partitioning, either by one of those or with some other partitioning program? Or should I just suck it up and live with it?
My partions presently, in order, are: 11.72 GB Ubuntu Swap (formerly PQSERVICE); 100 MB Windows SYTEM RESERVED, NTFS (Ubuntu says it's 104 MB); 440.84 GB Windows C: NTFS partition (includes boot and crash dump); and 13.1 GB ext4 Ubuntu root partition (it seemed to be the default filesystem).