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I need to install Ubuntu 12.04 as dual boot from a LiveCD, on a PC with Windows XP SP3 32 bit already installed.

I understand that during the install, I'll be asked to choose from:

1) Install Ubuntu alongside XP...


3) Something Else..

Not being very technical, I'd prefer to choose the easy, option 1.

But several web articles I read, suggest NOT doing that, (they don't give any reasons.), and instead choosing option 3, which seems to involve a lot of delicate, manual repartitioning.

This last manual Option seems to be WAAAY above my tech knowledge and confidence. I'd rather do option 1.

My Question:

Are there any risks or caveats that something might go wrong if I choose Option 1, Install Ubuntu alongside XP?

I'm not very technical, so simple English is appreciated... :-)

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Take a look at Windows Dual Boot – Mitch Mar 24 '13 at 20:25

Install alongside XP for dual boot, Ubuntu will set up parameters needed with the hardware, that will work fine however, if you decide you like Ubuntu better, the original install might not give you enough space to grow (media wise that is).

"Something different" choice allows you to manually configure the hard drive partitions but you might want a second PC to view tutorials on how to do that in the process.

Not being tech savvy, go with choice 1. Afterwards you can always resize the partitions with Puppy Linux, Parted Magic or Gparted live disks. If Win XP NTFS partition already occupies the entire drive, you'll need a Gparted live disk to resize it anyway before installing Ubuntu alongside. I recommend once you resize it, to reboot in Windows BEFORE installing Ubuntu to make sure everything boots, if it doesn't there are ways to fix the MBR without losing your XP operating system.

I have an old Dell Dimension 2400 set up that way with XP Home SP3 and Ubuntu 11.04. I can't run higher versions of Ubuntu on that 32bit machine, its a single CPU (multi-thread), just doesn't have the hardware to run later versions (already tried it with 11.10 and it couldn't handle it so went back to dual boot Unbuntu 11.04. For a little while I also had Linux Mint 10.0 so when Grub loaded (that'll be your new boot menu after installing Ubuntu) it had Ubunut, LM10 and Windows XP Home (SP3), all 32 bit OS's. I've since removed LM10 as have LM13 running on a newer pc.

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Thank you BillV!. Yes, my XP partition "spans" the entire HD, (only 30% occupied by files). Will make the C: XP Partition smaller and then create a 2nd ("unallocated") Partition, to the right of it. I imagine that the UBUNTU install Option 1 "Alongside XP...", will then detect this new, 2nd ("unallocated") Partition I just created and will install U 12.04 in it. Right? btw: I have a Bootable CD with this (apparently excellent) Partitioning software: "MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition", in preparation for the U 12.04 install "alongside XP.." . I think I can use it to re-Partition my HD. – user39150 Mar 25 '13 at 17:00

Being not a very technical :) ; it is always safe to install alongside windows using WUBI installer as it will not require any partitioning or a dedicated drive ( just free space).

The only downside is a little effect on performance but it could be negligible.

Check steps in this link

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P.S. if for any reason you want to remove/reinstall, you may simply do that from within Windows inside Add/Remove programs listed as Ubuntu – Ahmadgeo Mar 24 '13 at 20:31
Another useful guide – Ahmadgeo Mar 24 '13 at 20:34
Thanks, Ahmadgeo and Mitch, for your answers. But the question still remains: is it OK to choose the option 1 "install alongside XP...". Or are there any penalties later on for using this option 1, instead of Option 3 "Other..." ? Thks! – user39150 Mar 24 '13 at 20:34
Just as I said :)The only downside is a little effect on performance but it could be negligible (this is for Option #1) – Ahmadgeo Mar 24 '13 at 20:39
For more technical answer, you may check……… – Ahmadgeo Mar 24 '13 at 20:43

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