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I'm running Windows 7 (I'm not sure what service pack), and I want to do a dual boot with Ubuntu. I've done some research and homework, but I don't know how to allocate the space on the hard drive when I shrink the volume of the hard drive. I've defragged the hard drive, but now what? Do I manually shrink the volume, and if so how much? Or does the install disk I've created do it for me?

I have a 750GB hard drive. The volume of C: is 685GB, used space is 414GB, free space is 271GB. Drive D: (Recovery) total is 12.8 with 11.2 used and 1.57 free space. I don't want to touch the recovery drive, because I use that when I reset my machine to factory install. I don't know what other information to give out, but how much space in KB should I give to Windows 7 for the swap file?

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I assume you are using Windows 7 at the moment. You need to shrink volume manually. (Right-click on your computer (My Computer) icon and choose Manage. Then you need to find storage and finally disk management. Get in there and see what you have. You should have at leas one basic drive. Right click on this hard drive and choose Shrink.) I have used Ubuntu on least 32GB and it worked absolutely fine, and was really usable -I mean: no problems with additional software installation and so on. If you plan to use Ubuntu constantly, 100GB would be for sure enough.

IMPORTANT: After you have shriked your volume and got space for Ubuntu, do not touch anything connected with Windows 7.

After you run Ubuntu installation simply choose install ubuntu alongside Windows, it should automatically choose the free partition.

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Not to sound completely like an idiot but what is 32GB in KB? I don't know how the math on that works? –  AFrields May 22 '13 at 15:40
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If you want to use all of the common softwares than I think 30GB is enough for Ubuntu installation. As Mesery says shrink the volume from windows in that way. I suggest to use 'something more' option during Ubuntu installation. Here you can see your 32GB free space partition(Probably in megabytes means 32000). Select it and click change/edit option down below and then select 'ext4' as partition type and '\' for mount point. Then select that partition and next...next... complete your installation.

BTW 1000KB = 1MB and 1000MB = 1GB

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