I have a Windows 7 right now on my Inspiron Dell Duo. I have done this before; I changed it to Ubuntu when I first got it. I changed it back to a Windows 7 because I didn't adore it as much but I used my bro's laptop for a week which has Ubuntu and I realized I absolutely LOVE it! Now that I've had my laptop for around 8 months, I have tons of things on it (obviously) and I want to change it to Ubuntu. If I change it, will the stuff on my computer right now still be there if I change it from Windows 7 to Ubuntu?? I hope that makes sense.. Thank you!! xx
If I understand correctly, you want to install Ubuntu to your laptop and keep everything from windows?
The easiest way is to multi-boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu. Just install Ubuntu to a flash drive (or Live CD) and boot up from it. You can install it to your hard drive from there, and it gives you an option to install it next to Windows.
Optionally, you can instead use the Ubuntu Window's installer (also called 'Wubi') from the Ubuntu website. That way you can install (or uninstall) Ubuntu like you would a regular Windows program. (One limitation of the Wubi installer is that you can only give Ubuntu a max of about 30GB of space to work with. That may or may not be a problem.)
Either way, you'll end up with a laptop with both Ubuntu and Windows. Each time you boot up your computer, the first thing it will do is ask which OS you want.
If you get stuck with any of the steps, the internet has plenty of resources to guide you through the installation.
Hope this helps!
You could install Ubuntu and keep windows. This will keep your Windows and all your things in tact. Look at the below address for help.
If you install Ubuntu without keeping Windows then you would have to make a copy of everything you want to keep. An "external hard drive" is really good for this.
You can install Ubuntu inside Windows (It affects the disk performance though) or you can dual boot Ubuntu and Windows on the same machine (Neither way, you won't be having any data loss)
Neat step by step documentation: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WindowsDualBoot