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I bought a $600 laptop about a year ago with Windows 7 installed. I had Ubuntu on a previous computer, but I accidentally deleted Windows in the process on my old computer. I like Ubuntu but I still need Windows on this computer, and I'm afraid of messing up again, whether it be with partitions or with Grub.

I really don't have any way of backing up my files at the moment other than a 4GB flash drive, and I need to know if it's safe to try and install Ubuntu alongside this Windows 7 without screwing over my computer. I had a problem with my last computer with partitions; it seems that if you mess up with your partitions, it's irreversible.

Any tips on getting this to work out? The last thing I want is a repeat of what happened my last computer.

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If your computer has a DVD drive, I would suggest your backup your system with one of the many different programs available. I used the one delivered with my laptop.

If you don't want to touch partitions, then you're left with using a Wubi installation.

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Thanks for the answer, but does grub/alternating between OS's come automatically when I install Ubuntu? Last time I installed ubuntu, my laptop had a broken screen so I had to use an external monitor display. Turns out this external display doesn't work at all during boot up, until the very end. Because of this, I was unable to access the Grub menu and unable to use my windows partition. If I install Ubuntu now on a fully functional laptop, will it automatically be able to switch between OS's on startup or do I have to configure that myself? – user91560 Sep 19 '12 at 22:39
Wubi installs Ubuntu within Windows and doesn't use Grub. I never installed Wubi myself so I don't have first hand experience. – To Do Sep 19 '12 at 22:50

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