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I've recently aqcuired a new laptop, a HP EliteBook 8570w. It has Windows 7 Home Premium x64 installed on it. I want to dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu.

I had an old 10.04 installation CD from a friend, but that installer couldn't find my current OS, which I thought weird. I googled this and found many with similar problems, but no answer which seemed to work for me. Thinking it just might be out dated I downloaded 12.04 and 13.10, and now both installers gave back an entirely different message.

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It now tells me I have multiple OS installed. Seems like a step forward, but it still doesn't give me the option to just install as dual-boot. So I selected 'Something else', and I got this window:

enter image description here

As you can see, /dev/sda2 has an 'unknown' amount of data used, and if you look in the dropdown box option, you'll notice it says '/dev/sda3 Windows Vista (loader)'.

I have however never installed Windows Vista on this machine, and if it is installed it's hidden quite well as I can't find it.

Would it be safe to install over the Vista loader partition? If not, what are my options to get this dual-boot up and running?

I'm not (yet) very used to Linux, nor am I world's most tech savvy guy, so please keep any explanation and ideas slightly in laymans terms. Thank you!

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Resize your Windows partition from Windows. If Ubuntu says it can't tell how much space is used then that's a pretty big red flag to me to not mess with it, from Ubuntu at least. If it can't see what's inside the partition then it won't be able to move it or resize it likely.

You should be able to make a logical partition in the empty space you create that can hold a partition for Ubuntu and Linux swap. If you need help with that, I can add to this answer when you get there.

I'm afraid I can't walk you through editing partitions from Windows, since I have no experience doing it.

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One of the NTFS partitions could be a boot partition, the second is likely where all your apps and data are, and the third could be a rescue or recovery partition. I suggest you look in each of those partitions and see what those files are, before making any changes.

Not necessarily being Windows wizards, we can't be guaranteed to know what's in there... but the Superuser site is a good place for help with that

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