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EOL Win7 out, Ubuntu in.

Sorry, although it has been explained many times, I haven't seen this exact question answered.

I need to be certain that my existing Windows drive D: does NOT get erased. It is large (enough); I don't want to back it up.

Install-
select "Something else"
my file structure:
. sda1 ntfs 104MB Windows 7
. sda2 ntfs 96299MB
. sda3 ntfs 403700MB

Is this correct?-
. Erase sda1 and sda2, create new sda1 as ext4 primary with mountpoint at /
. sda3 is kept original with ntfs

Do I rename sda3 to sda2 or does Ubuntu also create a loader partition sda2?
I think that I have enough ram so I thought that I would forgo the swap partition.
Should I someday change my "D: drive" to something besides ntfs? I don't want any data deleted.

Thank you

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    "I need to be certain [...] drive D: does NOT get erased." and "I don't want to back it up. " These requirements contradict each other. – pasbi Feb 29 at 11:23
  • Don't do operating system changes potentially wiping the drive, on a drive you have data you don't want wiped. Is getting a spare USB drive really out of the question? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 29 at 11:59
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    Your reasoning is backwards. If you have plenty of valuable data you should absolutely make backups. Disks do fail and you may not get a warning beforehand. Even if you do, the drive may fail before you're done copying data. – gronostaj Feb 29 at 14:08
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    OP. Thx guys. I did do a backup and re-install to ext4 partition yesterday. It just took me hours. When I have enough data on my "D: drive" sorted, I move it to M-disc. I just wasn't ready to do that yet but was forced to make a change to Linux because of Windows 7 EOL. – Squeeto Na Feb 29 at 16:43
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. Erase sda1 and sda2, create new sda1 as ext4 primary with mountpoint at /
. sda3 is kept as originally partitioned and formatted with ntfs

This is correct if you will stay with MBR partitioning. Nothing wrong with that in most cases. UEFI installations require an additional, small, EFI partition made as FAT32, and those default to the newer GPT partitioning method, but you do not need to do that.

GPT can be useful in some cases, since MBR limits you to a maximum of four Primary or Extended partitions; to exceed four, you have to add Logical partitions underneath an Extended partition. GPT does not have such a limit; everything's Primary, no Extended, no Logical.

Do I rename sda3 to sda2 or does Ubuntu also create a loader partition sda2?

Don't worry about the numbering of the partitions, it is all handled automagically.

I think that I have enough ram so I thought that I would forgo the swap partition.

Installation of modern versions of Linux (since Fall of 2017) automagically create a swap file instead of a swap partition. You can manage a swap file far easier than a swap partition, even on the fly without a reboot, and adjust the swappiness to reduce how often swap get touched.

Let the installer make the swap file for you and don't try to run without, as a system crash could ensue if you overrun RAM without a swap file. Swap death is no fun.

Should I someday change my "D: drive" to something besides ntfs?

Eventually, copy the contents of the NTFS partition to a native Linux partition (default is ext4 but there are others), erase, and reuse the space of the NTFS partition, as Linux does not have the best set of tools to deal with NTFS filesystem problems.

However, you left out the most important step: Backup.

Make a backup of your data, then verify the backup copy matches the original (checksums are great for this). Then, make another backup to a different physical device (or into the cloud) and verify that.

Why? Changing drive partitions, deleting, creating, and formatting, is the easiest way to lose gigabytes of data with one mistake, brownout, blackout, or power spike.

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    +1 for importance of backup. Backing up is highly recommended always, but especially when messing with disk partitioning. – To Do Feb 28 at 21:22
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    Okay, thanks. I have a 2T external harddrive that I can use as a backup but I was hoping not to :) – Squeeto Na Feb 28 at 21:23
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    The install went fine. I am now Window-less! One piece of info I should pass on, if you do keep a logical partition, I read that it is usually mounted at /Home. I chose to mount at /mnt/shared to keep it apart from Home files. To give you file privileges to /mnt/shared- sudo chown yourComputerName:yourComputerName /mnt/shared – Squeeto Na Feb 29 at 3:50
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    Linux never creates swap files on its own. It might be done by some system utility, but not by the kernel. – Ruslan Feb 29 at 8:35
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    The need for EFI partition is independent from partitioning scheme on Linux. If you're booting with UEFI, you need it. – gronostaj Feb 29 at 14:11

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