I do see a part of my question being discussed already. The specific answer I'm looking for is, will LONG-TERM use of Ubuntu via Wubi harm my PC (i.e cause irrevocable h/w failure or damage my windows 7 installation)...? My daily use is a few hrs (say 4-8 hrs/day) on Wubi-Ubuntu. I certainly don't want to shorten my PC's expected life-span by using Wubi. I am so far glad with wubi's performance on my thinkpad T510, so no major complaints on that end. Also re-partitioning my HD is not an option for me since I'm not an "adept" in computers and won't wanna affect existing win 7 installation or the manufacturer's recovery partition. Thanks in advance for suggestions!
No, using Wubi or extended periods of time will not shorten the life span of your computer at all.
However, there are many advantages to dual booting as opposed to using Wubi. For example:
- Wubi is slower then a dual booted Ubuntu install, and Wubi installs cannot Hibernate (it can Suspend).
- Wubi installs are also much more likely to break through an update.
- Dual booting the computer does not endanger Windows 7 at all, and the Ubuntu installer makes dual booting very easy.
I would highly recommend dual booting if you intend on using Ubuntu for long periods of time.
If you currently do not have problems with your Wubi installation I do not see how it could harm your PC.
There are a few things to consider though (in theory):
- If you have heating problems under Ubuntu, that can shorten the lifetime of your hardware components.
- By using NTFS partitions to exchange data between Ubuntu and Windows there is a slight chance to somehow break the integrity of the Windows filesystem. Or if it is your Windows system partition, you could modify it so that it will not boot.
It is always a good idea to have a separate Ubuntu installation, because if the other OS might fail, you can access your data from the working one.
From my experience, I can say that Installing Ubuntu with Wubi should be avoided, for sure. Also, Canonical should neither recommend nor support Wubi installations, as it will mar Ubuntu's image in the market. I had installed Ubuntu on my Acer system under Wubi. Whenever I was using Ubuntu, my system used to touch 90 degrees. However, on Win7, its temperature used to stay at around 60 degrees. During the overheats, the system used to promptly shut off. Now this problem has become permanent in my system, and even leads to shutdowns in Windows. This could've been a problem specific to my Acer. But soon, I did the same thing on a one day old Lenovo IdeaPad, and what would you know? It started feeling like a frying pan the moment I installed Ubuntu on Wubi. If you really want to use ubuntu, do so on a separate partition, natively. Avoid Wubi.