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Although, I don't like Windows 7 Starter, I have to keep it for some programs that won't run on Linux.

So, I was wondering if I could dual boot and install Ubuntu 11.04 as my main OS and, if I do so, I will still be able to go back to Windows with the recovery CDs included with the laptop.

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I have installed Ubuntu many times alongside Windows.
During install you will be asked:

How to partition your disk?

  • Use whole HDD (this would delete Windows)

  • Side by side - You can choose with a simple handler as to how much space you would like to assign for windows and how much for ubuntu

  • Manual Partitioning - Not for an beginner.

Use option 2 (Side-by-side) and after the install it'll reboot and the GRUB will give the choice between Ubuntu (default) and Windows.

The option to install Ubuntu via Wubi installer (it installs ubuntu like a windows program inside windows)

  • Cons: It is inferior to a side by side install as features like sleep don't work in Wubi. Also it is said Ubuntu is a little bit slower when installed as Wubi.
  • Pros: The advantage of a Wubi install is you can delete Ubuntu just like any other windows program without messing up the MBR(Master Boot Record). If you install Ubuntu side by side and then decide to delete Ubuntu, it is much more complicated to recover the windows MBR.
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One other minor difference. By default a side by side install will boot unattended into Ubuntu, where as a Wubi install will boot unattended into Windows. The way I treat any given piece of hardware where I need to keep windows is, if the primary OS will be Ubuntu then go side by side, if the primary purpose is Windows then Wubi. I can't tell from the question but if you haven't already done so you may want to boot from a persistent USB for a few days to get the feel for Ubuntu on that particular box. – Dennis Jun 9 '11 at 20:34
nitstorm thank you you edited my answer nicely. You structured it very well. – dago Jun 9 '11 at 20:56
no problems mate :) – Nitin Venkatesh Jun 10 '11 at 13:04

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