OK, sorry for the long delay. I'm closing in on finals at school and haven't had much time to tinker.
I ended up trying wubi. It actually asks how much space to use, rather than defaulting to 3 or 4 GB. The wubi install went great (I have a GUI... yay!). No problems, everything I've tried to do so far in Hardy is working fine.
Two follow on questions that I'm not 100% sure belong in this thread, so please let me know if I should post them somewhere else:
1. I get two weird quirks while booting:
a. My monitor displays "input not supported" for 10-15 seconds after the splash screen and before the scrolling list of boot actions (not sure what you'd call that). In any case, I don't really need to change this, but I'm sort of curious what I'm missing.
b. During that list of actions, it sits for 2-3 minutes on "swapfile swap" (I'll have to reboot and double check the exact message, but that's the gist of it). It hasn't hung yet and as far as I can tell there's no problem, but it is sort of obnoxious. It would be great if I could reduce this delay.
2. My boot sequence currently consists of: selecting my XP install in the GRUB menu Gutsy set up, then selecting Ubuntu from the bootloader that wubi/hardy set up (not sure which bootloader it is).
Since I'm definitely not going to use Gutsy (and never really could), I'd like to reclaim that hard drive space. I've looked around, and I think I know how to go about this, but wanted to double check. My thinking is to first remove GRUB by running
from my XP command prompt, then resizing my windows partition (to the full size of the drive) with gparted. Can anyone verify that restoring the windows bootloader won't screw up the wubi bootloader?
Thanks for the help