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My netbook Acer AOD255 has three primary partitions in it by default - PQSERVICE/recovery (NTFS), Android x86 1.6 (FAT32), and the main WinXP Home SP3 (pre-installed, dual-booted with Android from inside WinXP). I was able to resize all three partitions to give 9GB of unallocated space for a future Ubuntu installation, which can already be booted from a pendrive. Here's my problems:
1.) I don't know how to install Ubuntu on that 9GB space (even if I create an unformatted partition for it)
2.) I currently have no means of reinstalling my XP, or backing-up any data (so I don't want to accidentally wipe out my whole HDD at all)
3.) I want XP and Ubuntu to be dual-booted thru a boot manager like GRUB or something more practical (but google searches confuse me)
4.) When I boot to try Ubuntu, GParted displays my whole drive as unallocated space. It also says "can't have overlapping partitions" or something.

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My advice to your case is for you to install Ubuntu with the Windows installer. You can see your disk partitions and tell the installer how much should he steal from the windows partition to create the Ubuntu partition.

Download the Windows installer for Ubuntu Desktop.

By the print-screen bellow, you can see that you can tell at the installer in which installation drive will the Ubuntu be installed, and how much space should be available for the new Ubuntu partition:

enter image description here

Please see the official step by step guide for detailed instructions.

To answer your question related to the bootloader, after the installation is concluded, you will have a boot manager that allows you to select the OS to boot in:

enter image description here

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don't make unallocated space, change it back as it was, just run Ubuntu installation CD and you will be prompted how much disk space you want to use for Ubuntu, and it will be automatically made for you

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I currently am at XP. Will edit this answer on a trial Ubuntu from my USB to show my complications in the installation process – Ycart I May 12 '12 at 7:32

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