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Heard about this, and immediately decided to get Ubuntu. I'm not interested in running Ubuntu alongside Windows, 'cause yeah. I just had one doubt, I'm currently downloading Ubuntu 11.10 32 bit. I've seen around the internet, that there's an option to dual boot. I've never done any of this in my life, and obviously, first time chills. So when I download Ubuntu, I understand I'm supposed to put it on a CD or a USB? Then try out this CD, etc etc etc. The question is, in all of this process, will I ever have the option of allowing dual boot? Or do I have to go around downloading what I see is called "Wubi" too? Deeply appreciated.

One more minor thing, after installing Ubuntu and living happily ever after, will everything I have currently in my laptop get deleted? Pictures, data, games, everything? Or transformed to be supported on Ubuntu? Thanks, if answered.

Happy new year!

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When you install Ubuntu via CD or USB, it will ask you whether you want to install alongside Windows. All files and apps on your Windows partition will still be there. You'll just be asked whether to use Ubuntu or Windows at boot time. As for the question, it seems to be a duplicate of this one. No detailed answers to that question, unfortunately... – Jjed Jan 1 '12 at 19:04
Also. If you're looking for "zero commitment" installation of Ubuntu (ie it can be uninstalled easily from Windows), you should definitely use the windows installer (nicknamed "Wubi". – Jjed Jan 1 '12 at 19:06
I'm confused with your question. You said you don't want to run Ubuntu alongside Windows, then you ask if you will have the option to dual boot? Well the answer is yes, you will have this option if you install Ubuntu alongside Windows, even if you don't want to do that... – desgua Jan 1 '12 at 19:37
desgua is right. I was just typing an answer, when I encountered the same problem. – Exeleration-G Jan 1 '12 at 20:04

Yes, the graphical installer will present you with an option to keep Windows. What will happen is that you're asked how much space of the harddisk Windows should have access to, and how much Ubuntu should use. That's just a slider and you can choose 50%, for instance. You should be aware that while Windows is not capable of reading Ubuntus data, Ubuntu is capable of reading and writing to Windows' file system.

The difference between Wubi and a normal install in that regard, is that Wubi installs do not resize the Windows file system, but creates a folder in it where Ubuntu can be "installed". If you've heard of ISO images that's used instead of CD-ROM discs, that is the same type. Instead of simulating a CD-ROM in a file, wubi simulates a harddisk for Ubuntu to use. But this also means Wubi installs usually are less efficient and might also be less stable. A normal install is preferred, and is very easy to do. Just follow the onscreen instructions and you shouldn't have any difficulties.

But please do pay attention. For instance, if you choose not to keep windows, it cannot be undone afterwards. So make sure before you click. :)

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Your personal files will only be kept and not be deleted if you chose an "Intallation alongside Windows". – Takkat Jan 1 '12 at 20:11
You could back up your files. – Rens Jan 1 '12 at 21:13

Installing from a CD or USB stick will still allow you to install side-by-side with Windows if you want. There are instructions here:

If you click "Show me how" under Step 4 ("Install it!") you will see that one of the questions asked during install is whether or not to erase the entire disk or install alongside an existing operating system.

Some settings can be imported from a Windows partition if you perform a side-by-side install with Windows, but your documents and files will not be copied or moved automatically. You should back up your important files and copy them to your new Ubuntu installation once it is completed.

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