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My work computer has a trojan horse that I'm tired of trying to get rid of, so I've decided just to wipe my hard drive and install ubuntu.
First question, I am under the understanding that simply installing ubuntu will wipe my computer. True? Second, I downloaded ubuntu onto a dvd (it wouldnt fit on a cd) from my mac and popped it in my pc (windows xp). When booting, it opened windows automatically. So I tried restarted and hitting f12 to force it to start from the disc drive. It still wouldn't go. Nothing even opened. It just said it wouldn't work. Is this a problem with what I'm doing or my pc?

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Well if you choose the option Erase disk and install Ubuntu yes it will wipe the entire disk and install Ubuntu. Simply by downloading Ubuntu into a DVD wont help you..You will have to burn the ISO into the DVD.This link will help you in burning the ISO – Mukund Jan 7 '13 at 18:51

For 1:

It can wipe your disk, but you can select other settings too. The installer has partition software installed, with which you can change anything to your likings.

For 2:

Did you extract the iso before burning? Because that isn't what you are supposed to do.
You have to burn the iso onto the disc, otherwise it is unbootable.

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yes is wipe your disk but you can select side-by-side installation option to.

Some time it might be DVD drive problem you can try installation using bootable USB drive or mac

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You can't just copy the iso to the DVD, you have to burn the iso (disk image) to the DVD. In Windows if you double click on the ISO file it will normally open Nero or whatever burning software you have and prompt you to insert a DVD ready for burning. Change the burn parameters to the slowest possible speed for the best chance of making a reliable boot disk.

More information in the documentation here. Note the section on checking the md5sum of the iso before burning. This can save you a lot of time and frustration if you got a corrupted download the first time.

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