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The question is in the title, I did check the manual, google, help. But either I am missing something or just oversee. I have researched this for 2 days- I am very sorry to ask a question you have answered a million times.

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Those little 701s have, what, a 4GB SSD, right? I don't remember how much RAM, perhaps half-a-Gig, maybe 1GB. A standard Ubuntu installation will probably be pretty darned slow. I have a 901 with a 16GB SSD and 1GB RAM, and Ubuntu is pretty much unusable. Consider Lubuntu; it places fewer demands on limited older systems. (I have mine running Lubuntu and a couple of 2TB USB drives acting as a file server.) – Marc Oct 7 '13 at 2:21

The DVD will need to be formatted (to make it bootable and write the Live system) but the hard drive you want to install Ubuntu on will not be formatted until you ask it to. You wont need to format the whole drive, anything more you want to know?

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Not sure if this will be helpful, but, I burned an ISO copy from download but didn't use it for about a week. I was worried it may reformat drive but I've installed Ubuntu 12.04 on a VISTA laptop and a XP desktop as dual boot without losing any information on Windows installs.
You must have an OS installed at present? set up for dual boot. One thing though, on laptop, I have to select Ubuntu. On desktop I have to select XP if I want it even though it was originally set as master boot? No idea why but I kinda like it

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If you install Ubuntu via the DVD, it will automatically detect if you already have an operating system.

(Here I assume that you already have Windows; however, you may have any or all of Windows, Mac or Linux, or none of them. Where I say "Windows" below, replace that with whatever you already have.)

If you already have Windows, the installation will give you the choice to use the whole hard drive or to dual boot.

  • If you choose to use the whole drive, the installation will format your entire drive and you will lose everything that was already there — Windows, data, whatever. Everything.
  • However, if you choose to keep Windows ("dual boot"), the installation will keep your Windows and your data intact. It will reserve and format roughly half of your hard drive for Ubuntu, and install Ubuntu there. Thereafter, each time you boot, you will be asked which system you want to boot (Windows or Ubuntu) — they don't boot at the same time.

    (Windows and Ubuntu can be made to boot at the same time, using either Virtual Box or Xen, or their equivalents, but that is another, complicated, story.)

    Also note that Ubuntu can access and modify your Windows data, but not vice-versa.

    One more thing. Most modern Windows systems come with two drives: C: and D:. In fact, these are usually two partitions sharing a single drive. If your D: drive is unused and completely empty, you can delete that partition (i.e. the D: drive) before installing Ubuntu; the installation will use that freed space. You can do this from Computer Management in Windows, but please take care to delete the correct partition (otherwise you will lose data and possibly Windows).
  • You have a third choice, where you can manually allocate parts of the drive. As you are new to Ubuntu and installation, I suggest that you avoid use this option, unless you clearly understand drives, partitions, and how Windows (mis)names them.

Be aware that an installation of any operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux) carries a small risk of data loss. Therefore, please back up all your data before you install Ubuntu.

Finally, the installation of Ubuntu can be undone, although you will need to ask specifically how.

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