I need my pre-installed version of Windows 7 (or any other version of Windows), how could I install Ubuntu without erasing it?


9 Answers 9


The instructions below are for Ubuntu 11.10. Other versions will be similar but might have a slightly different appearance or order. You must make sure that Windows is correctly shutdown (no Hibernation, no Suspend, no Fast Boot) and your NTFS drive is healthy.

  1. Boot from your Ubuntu CD or USB stick. When prompted, choose "Install Ubuntu".

    Try or Install Ubuntu

  2. Ensure that you meet all the installation prerequisites. Ideally, connect to the internet at this time as well.

    Preparing to install Ubuntu

  3. If you have wireless network hardware and there is an available network, you can (optionally) connect to it at this time.

    Connect to wireless network

  4. Be certain to choose "Install Ubuntu alongside Windows" (or "other operating systems" or other similar wording, depending on your system configuration). This is the important step that will ensure that Ubuntu and windows are both available after the installation.

    Install alongside Windows

  5. Choose how much space to give to Ubuntu and Windows. How much you give each one is up to you.

    Choose drive space

  6. Complete the rest of the installation by setting your timezone and entering information about your computer and yourself.

    Time zone
    Information about yourself

  7. Enjoy the informative slide show while the system installs.

    Slide show

  8. Restart and enjoy Ubuntu!


  • 6
    Can you remove the link to windows installer? It confuses users. Or at least mention that its a different method from the one described in the images above. Commented Sep 8, 2012 at 11:50

You can do it either with Wubi or you can install it in a separate partition.

These links may be useful:

  • 5
    On the other hand, Wubi is not a long-term solution. In the long run, you should use a separate partion. KeyboardMonkey is right, though: Resizing partitions, like undergoing surgery, always carries a certain risk. Unlike with surgery, you can always make a backup, though.
    – loevborg
    Commented Aug 6, 2010 at 11:43
  • Why is Wubi not good for long term when you need to have Windows at times? Commented May 15, 2011 at 20:25
  • 2
    @GeorgeBailey Because if something happens to Windows, it could adversely affect the Ubuntu install, which is installed inside Windows if you use Wubi. If you keep Ubuntu on a separate partition, then your Windows install could get completely messed up and your Ubuntu install will remain totally unaffected. Also, if you decide later you only want Ubuntu, having it on a separate partition could make that process more convenient. Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 4:06
  • Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – Jjed
    Commented Jan 7, 2012 at 22:48
  • 1
    Wubi is likely to cause trouble later on.
    – RobinJ
    Commented Jan 7, 2012 at 22:56

Resize your Windows 7 partition by going to Start > My Computer > Right Click and select Manage > Disk Management > Right click your Windows Partition and Select Shrink Volume. Just shrink to whatever Windows suggests and leave it Unallocated.

On the Ubuntu install you select your Unallocated partition and click "New" and select the file system as a "EXT3" and select the mount point as "/" and click Okay (If you dont want swap)

If you do want swap type in the amount you want (in MB) select the file system as a "Swap Partition" and there is no mount point. Click Okay then you do the step in the paragraph above

After Install, Windows will now be in your GRUB menu with Ubuntu as default but that can be fixed by editing your /boot/menu.lst


Did you consider virtualization ?

If you just need an execution environment for command line unix tools (programming), virtualization is great !

The other advantage is that you have no more risk to wreck your Windows install.

You can use Virtualbox which is free, or vmware server, which is also free.

As for myself, I'm doing web development with ubuntu 10.4 LTS virtualized with vmware/Win7


One way would be to do a Wubi install. That way you would basically install Ubuntu as an application that you run from within Windows. More information on that can be found here and here, as well as here.

The other way would be to resize your Windows partition to allow room for Ubuntu. There's a comphrehensive guide on that here.


1) You download the ISO of the desired Linux distro

2) Use the free UNetbootin to write the ISO to a USB key

3) boot from the USB key

4) double click on install

5) follow the straight-forward install instructions


Install Ubuntu in an ext4 partition you created, and GRUB will do the rest for you.


I went to ubuntu.com and downloaded the desired OS I wanted.More than likely if your computer is new then it has a 64bit system but check and make sure. Windows 7 allowed me to put the OS onto a flash drive just as you would burn it to a cd. I restarted the computer and the loader started and gave me a choice of installing along side of windows. Choose that and you are good to go. I did it on the day I bought my Acer laptop and both run smoothly. It is easier than it sounds, just follow the prompts and you will not have any problems. Good Luck


Late by more than 8 years but I'll post my answer anyway, it may be helpful, tested it on Winsows 10 (I don't know if it's working on 7 and 8.1)

You can partition you Hard drive without removing Windows, by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X and select Disk Management.
  2. In the Disk Management window, right-click your C: partition and select Shrink Volume.
  3. Enter the amount of desired space you want to shrink the partition in MB.

Now You'll have free disk space where you can install Linux normally.

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