Quote Originally Posted by Kevbert View Post
Largest contiguous space means that the installer will look at partitions that have data on them and will try to shrink the used partition, create a new one and install Ubuntu on that. Often the install can fail (especially in the case on WinXP) as a paging (ie swap) file is put towards the end of the partition.
More often than not its better to install Ubuntu (and its derivatives) with manual partitioning rather than guided. The system files should be given at least 10Gb, formatted as ext3 and mount point as / The swap partition has no formatting and should be a minimum of two times the ram memory in the PC.
Hope this is of use.
Thanks Kevbert that clears it up. I had suspected that it was something like that but wasn't sure.

This also explains what went wrong for rpaskudniak (although not how to fix it). Whereas he wanted to install into an empty partition he ended up installing into his XP partition with the resulting problems.

Using a manual install he should be able to install into the empty partition and at least get one working copy of UBUNTU (assuming that grub writes OK).