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I do see a part of my question being discussed already. The specific answer I'm looking for is, will LONG-TERM use of Ubuntu via Wubi harm my PC (i.e cause irrevocable h/w failure or damage my windows 7 installation)...? My daily use is a few hrs (say 4-8 hrs/day) on Wubi-Ubuntu. I certainly don't want to shorten my PC's expected life-span by using Wubi. I am so far glad with wubi's performance on my thinkpad T510, so no major complaints on that end. Also re-partitioning my HD is not an option for me since I'm not an "adept" in computers and won't wanna affect existing win 7 installation or the manufacturer's recovery partition. Thanks in advance for suggestions!

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Just out of curiosity, why do you think it might? –  Oli Feb 24 '12 at 14:38
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Since I've heard people say that wubi makes ext file system on top of ntfs, which makes things less stable...and some one said I run the risk of corrupting windows partitions as well. As I've mentioned, I'm not a comp-adept. So I had my apprehensions of diminishing my machine's lifespan! –  Linux-Fan Feb 25 '12 at 12:29

3 Answers 3

No, using Wubi or extended periods of time will not shorten the life span of your computer at all.

However, there are many advantages to dual booting as opposed to using Wubi. For example:

  • Wubi is slower then a dual booted Ubuntu install, and Wubi installs cannot Hibernate (it can Suspend).
  • Wubi installs are also much more likely to break through an update.
  • Dual booting the computer does not endanger Windows 7 at all, and the Ubuntu installer makes dual booting very easy.

I would highly recommend dual booting if you intend on using Ubuntu for long periods of time.

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"Wubi installs are also much more likely to break through an update." ... huh? why? –  fossfreedom Feb 24 '12 at 14:45
    
@fossfreedom : I have had Wubi installs on computers that when I update through update manager it breaks the Wubi install and I have to reinstall Wubi. I speak from experience. –  William Feb 24 '12 at 14:46
    
... that certainly should not happen - please add a launchpad bug report to your answer. –  fossfreedom Feb 24 '12 at 14:47
    
    
Thanks @William and others for the useful discussion, so far. I do see direct-install is the best. Just looking for risk-free ways (for beginners) to install ubuntu as dual boot without breaking existing win 7 and recovery partitions. –  Linux-Fan Feb 24 '12 at 15:35

If you currently do not have problems with your Wubi installation I do not see how it could harm your PC.

There are a few things to consider though (in theory):

  • If you have heating problems under Ubuntu, that can shorten the lifetime of your hardware components.
  • By using NTFS partitions to exchange data between Ubuntu and Windows there is a slight chance to somehow break the integrity of the Windows filesystem. Or if it is your Windows system partition, you could modify it so that it will not boot.

It is always a good idea to have a separate Ubuntu installation, because if the other OS might fail, you can access your data from the working one.

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Thanks @lgarzo. Useful points. Indeed, I have greater heating on my thinkpad with ubuntu and I am scared about its impact on my computer's lifespan. Using "Jupiter" to turn down CPU clock and ASPM initiation via grub.cfg in my wubi install. Still temp at least 8-10 deg C above windows average. Will direct install help bring down termaratures? Will also appreciate suggestions on a ubuntu heat-compatible laptop that you may know, I can consider purchasing (!!). –  Linux-Fan Feb 24 '12 at 15:40
    
I'd say that 8-10 degrees are not that much to worry about. If it was really overheating that could cause trouble. I am not an expert on this but I think direct install would not bring you lower temperatures (since it is basically the same kernel/driver environment). Also I have some good experiences with older Thinkpads, but I can not recommend you any newer models. It might be a good new question, though. –  lgarzo Feb 24 '12 at 15:56
    
Thanks @lgarzo. Thanks for the info that 8-10 deg is not a big worry. So I can use Ubuntu a bit more :-) –  Linux-Fan Feb 24 '12 at 19:12

From my experience, I can say that Installing Ubuntu with Wubi should be avoided, for sure. Also, Canonical should neither recommend nor support Wubi installations, as it will mar Ubuntu's image in the market. I had installed Ubuntu on my Acer system under Wubi. Whenever I was using Ubuntu, my system used to touch 90 degrees. However, on Win7, its temperature used to stay at around 60 degrees. During the overheats, the system used to promptly shut off. Now this problem has become permanent in my system, and even leads to shutdowns in Windows. This could've been a problem specific to my Acer. But soon, I did the same thing on a one day old Lenovo IdeaPad, and what would you know? It started feeling like a frying pan the moment I installed Ubuntu on Wubi. If you really want to use ubuntu, do so on a separate partition, natively. Avoid Wubi.

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"From my experience, I can say that Installing Ubuntu with Wubi should be avoided, for sure" - And as such is not a fact, it's only your experience which I should say, can be different from others. "Also, Canonical should neither recommend nor support Wubi installations, as it will mar Ubuntu's image in the market" - Why not?, Wubi is not meant to be used as a full-on Ubuntu install, Wubi is meant for the user to try Ubuntu if he/she likes it then he/she Installs the system. –  Uri Herrera Jan 10 '13 at 4:54
    
No problem at all, then. By all means, go ahead and run it on Wubi. I'm just telling from my experience on 2 systems. One old another new. –  Fart Singh Jan 10 '13 at 18:44

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