I have Windows XP pro+Service Pack 3 (32 bit).I want to install ubuntu on my desktop along with windows XP . Can any one tell me whether I have to partition my hard disk manually before the installation process or is it done automatically by ubuntu during installation.I am new to this platform so a step by step explanation would be appreciated .Please help. Its urgent........Thank you.
Also refer this for dualbooting windows and ubuntu.
You will need to resize your WinXP partition and create unallocated space on your drive where then the Linux (ext) partition will be created.
There are 2 [simple] ways to do it:
1) Resize the Win partition with a Win tool such as this one: http://www.partition-tool.com. Then, when you install Ubuntu from a DVD/USB, it will automatically detect this unallocated space and use it for the ext partition when you choose the "install alongside" option.
2) Start Ubuntu installation from a DVD/USB, choose "something else". You will be redirected into the gnome GUI partitioning tool (gparted) which you can then use to resize the Win partition / create ext partition.
I personally prefer to use Win tools on Win partitions, but that's not necessary.
Be sure to allocate enough space to Ubuntu. You can resize the ext partition later but that may give you an extra headache of repairing a broken boot.