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I have Ubuntu 10.04 on my computer, with Windows 7 next to it. Instead of upgrading to 10.10, I feel like doing a clean install. However, I don't want to erase my Windows, even though I barely ever use it. My question is: how would I remove Ubuntu 10.04 from my drive and install Ubuntu 10.10 in place, without losing any space or anything, or losing Windows 7?

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Hey, have to resolved your problem yet? – Chris Wilson Oct 12 '10 at 18:01
Yes, I have. I used a combination of all methods, and it's perfect. Thanks everyone! – Lyrositor Oct 17 '10 at 1:30
up vote 7 down vote accepted

First, make a back up of Windows to an external device such as a DVD or USB hard drive, if you have not already done so. You'll be installing an operating system, which has inherent risks, and I'd hate for you to lose important data.

Start up the Ubuntu 10.10 desktop CD installer, and click through all of the steps until you get to partitioning. Select advanced partitioning and continue to the next page.

Now, select the partition that was created for Ubuntu 10.04. It will be an ext4 filesystem, and, if you don't have a recovery partition for Windows, it is likely to be /dev/sda2. Hit edit, then select / for the mountpoint and make sure the format button is not checked. Dismiss the dialog and press next.

You should see a warning that continuing will remove the contents of system directories, but will preserve the contents of /home. Press continue and complete the rest of the installation.

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This option actually exists in the installer. When it comes to the partitioning section of the installation, there is an option to overwrite an existing Linux distro and replace it with the new one. Just select that and you're on your way.

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Thanks, I'll do that. But where in the installer is that option? – Lyrositor Oct 10 '10 at 15:42
During the partitioning stage just choose 'manual'/'advanced' partitioning, select your partition for installation and do not tick 'format'. It will erase all of /bin, /usr, /var and so on, but not /home. – popey Oct 10 '10 at 15:44
I want to get rid of my /home. I want to start all over again. If I tick "format" will it do that? Also, I saw from the new 10.10 installer that when you have the "easy" partitioning tool, you can select the option "Use Entire Partition". If I select my old Ubuntu and then click that, will it effectively erase 10.10 and replace it with 10.10? Sounds a lot easier that way. – Lyrositor Oct 10 '10 at 15:48
@Lyrositor: Yes, checking "format" would completely remove the old installation (including /home, assuming you didn't create separate /home partition) and reinstall Ubuntu. (I'm not sure about "Use Entire Partition" (it probably does just that), but note that there is absolutely nothing hard in using the "advanced" tool for this either.) – Jonik Oct 10 '10 at 16:08

But if you wanted to know the manual way of doing it, you would just reformat your linux partition, and then install to it. That's why it is recommended to keep personal data (e.g. home directory) on separate partition.

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