So here are my two questions:

  1. Boot Order

Hi, as per the guides given in the ubuntu.com help wiki, I'm supposed to ensure that my boot order is set to give highest priority to the CD drive first and then the hard drive before trying to install ubuntu. So I went to my BIOS set up, and under boot options, the boot order was set to:

  • Sata PM: TSSTCorp CDD VDW SH 2 (1st priority)

  • SATA SM: WDC WD5000AAKX003CA (2nd priority)

Those are also the only two options available for the boot order. Can anyone help me understand what these boot order options represent? Are things already the way they're supposed to be, prior to my Ubuntu installation attempt?

  1. Advice Regarding the 'Allocate Drive Space' dialog box of the Installer- which option to select?

Hi, I'm running a Windows 7 system at the moment with one physical hard drive, partitioned into 3 during the Windows installation: C (97 GB, this is where Windows is installed), D (255 GB, I'd like to keep this as a shared partition between Windows and Ubuntu where I keep my media) and E (107 GB, this is where I would like to install Ubuntu). Considering this will be my first time trying to install an OS, so I have zero experience, which option from the Allocate Drive Space screen of the Ubuntu installer should I use: . Install Ubuntu 12.04 LTS alongside (other operating systems); or, . Something else (advanced)

The first option sounds the most automated (so I have a smaller chance of accidentally changing something I shouldn't), while the second option is clearly labelled advanced.

My question is: will the first option allow me to properly select the E drive for installing Ubuntu, or will it try to automatically install it in C?

Another concern: as per this webpage (http://news.softpedia.com/news/Installing-Ubuntu-12-04-LTS-266201.shtml), choosing option 1 will result in "Remember that, after the installation, the Windows boot loader will be overwritten by the Ubuntu boot loader!"

This sounds rather ominous- is it liable to cause problems for running Windows?

Basically, which option would be best suited for my target installation situation?

Thank you.

  • Re #2: Note that if you remove the E drive/partition using Windows tools prior to booting from Ubuntu CD, you'll have an option to install Ubuntu into the free space. Otherwise the "install alongside" option will attempt to shrink the E drive, so you'll end up with C, D and smaller E drives in Windows plus a couple of partitions for Ubuntu. You can also remove the partition using the "something else" option of the installer, but you say you'd like to avoid partitioning manually. – Sergey Sep 5 '12 at 4:40

The boot options in your BIOS specifies the order in which your computer checks for the first program to be run (be it a bootloader, operating system, or installer). The way your BIOS is set up looks fine already. Typically, you start your computer up with nothing in the CD drive. In that case, your BIOS will find nothing in the CDROM and then proceed to check the hard drive, where it finds windows 7 and boots.

As for the partitioning options, the option to install alongside other OSes looks the least-likely to do harm. However, I do not think the installer will be intelligent enough to use the "E" partition automatically.

It should be fine to go to the advanced options and manually specify to install on the E partition. I would recommend reading a tutorial or guide on how the advanced section in the installer here works though. What you DON'T want to do is format your Windows or Media partitions.

Also, having the Grub bootloader (which is what the Ubuntu installer will install) will typically not mess up booting into your Windows 7 partition. It's pretty good about these things, and will automatically detect that partition and allow you to select it when you turn on the computer. Still, if anything does happen where you cannot boot into Windows 7, you can boot from the Windows 7 DVD installer and click "repair my computer" which will reinstall the Windows 7 bootloader (at which point you'd have to use something like EasyBCD to tell the Windows 7 bootloader about your Ubuntu install, as it's not as intelligent).

  • Thanks, hnasarat and Sergey! The good thing is, this is a completely new system, so I don't have any media yet in my D drive, so deleting that partition won't give me too much grief anyway. From what I gather, then, I should read up and use the advanced option. Thanks for clearing this up! – Abhishek Chakrabarti Sep 5 '12 at 7:03
  • Sorry for coming back here, but just wanted to get this clarified, @hnasarat - if I go to advanced options, select the E partition and click on Install Now, Ubuntu will automatically take care of creating the boot, swap partitions, etc, right? – Abhishek Chakrabarti Sep 5 '12 at 7:24
  • I'm pretty sure you have to specify which partition will be boot, swap, home, etc. I believe it is the "change" button that allows you to do this. Once you're satisfied with what the window says about the mount point and size of all the partitions, THEN you click Install Now. i.imgur.com/ZW0r2.png – hnasarat Sep 5 '12 at 22:04

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