I would like to ask for help on dual booting because it's my first time to try dual booting and a novice on Ubuntu or any Linux distribution.

I have 2 partitions on my hard disk:

Windows 7
C:\ Windows 7 (pre-existing installation)
D:\ Files (Already exists and has files already)

Please help me on the partitioning part.

Can I shrink any of the 2 partitions I have?

I know that there should only be 4 primary partitions on 1 hard disk.

Then how would i be setting the root,swap,and /home. Would that mean I will end up with 5 partitions when only 4 partitions are allowed.

I'm really confused. Please bear with me.

  • is it advisable to have a partition that ubuntu and windows share wouldnt' the windows get affected by any viruses when you're using ubuntu. if ever i create a extended partition (would swap, root, and home should all be logical partitions?) i'm thinking this setup please correct me if i'm doing it wrong first - create the swap (question start or end? logical partition?) second - create a root w/ mount of / (start or end? logical?) third - create a home partion w/ mount of /home (start or end? logical?) – chanHXC Dec 23 '12 at 11:20
  • sorry for replying with my own comment another one that i'm afraid to deal with is the MBR thing. i know the MBR (Master boot record) - a sector in the HDD(if i'm not mistaken) which your bios first look at to load whatever os you have. my question is with dual booting since i have to install windows 7 and ubuntu 12.04 both in my pc . how do i configure the MBR without having NO conflicts. – chanHXC Dec 23 '12 at 11:20

It's been a long time since I've done it on my own system, so bear with me. Back up your system first! Also, I'm not super tech-savvy, so if anyone else has suggestions for improvements, go ahead and jump in. I know that I didn't do it in the most optimal way when I partitioned everything...

First, read this: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DiskSpace

The way that I set up my drive, I wanted a shared partition between Windows and Ubuntu for storing all of my files so that I can access them from either partition.

If you want to set it up with the shared partition, I would suggest moving all your files into external storage for now, so that you can shrink down your Windows partition. (I didn't do this and now my Windows partition is much too large-- I'm going to have to do some juggling to reallocate space...).

I used the Wubi ISO burned to a disc to run the installation. You'll need to change the boot options so that your computer boots from the disc, since you'll use the gParted tool to do the re-partitioning.

In order to have more than 4 primary partitions, you'll need an extended partition. Figure out how much space you want to give to Windows-- if I'd been smart and moved all my files, I would've given it about 75Gb. But that's entirely up to you. I've heard people give it as little as 30Gb, but I don't know how well the system runs with a partition that small... The recovery partition is 4Gb. Everything else will be allocated to Ubuntu.

**Note: I have a 300Gb hard drive on a Windows 7 64-bit system.

/dev/sda1 is the Windows partition. /dev/sda2 is the recovery partition. Shrink down sda1 to the size that you want.

Create an extended partition, /dev/sda3. The first partition within the extended partition will be your swap partition-- I gave it about 10Gb. Next is root, which is ext4 format; I gave it 15Gb. I put the shared partition (ntfs format) next; the path for this one was /mnt/Shared (the size of this one will depend on how much space you allocate to everything else). The last partition is the Ubuntu partition, /home-- I think I gave this one too much space as well (50Gb?)

This article has great information, and I wish I'd read it before I did my own system. I suggest you read it as well: http://lifehacker.com/5403100/dual+boot-windows-7-and-ubuntu-in-perfect-harmony

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OK, first of all, get rid of the idea of C:\ and D:\ partitions. Ubuntu doesn't think that way. Ubuntu thinks in terms of sda1, sda2, etc.

You can use a program like Gparted to make extra partitions and modify your existing ones.

Also, it would be helpful to see how gparted analyzes your system.

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The easyest way to do it, just shrink a partition that you would like, i use "Easus Partition Manager", leave the space that you would like to install Ubuntu on as unalocated space. Then go install ubuntu as you would normaly do, when it prompts you how to install it just chose "Alongside Windows" and Ubuntu will know to use that unalocated space automaticaly for it, and it will make his partitions the way it needs it, so you don't have to worry about that.

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  • Boot ubuntu live cd or gparted live cd.(I reffering the partitions by D and E according to yours.Ubuntu doesn't recognize the partitions like this.So please note the size of partitions through which you can easily find which one is E or D partitions)

  • Open gparted then right-click on the D partition and click on Resize/Move option to shrink the size of D by how much space did you want to allocate for Ubuntu partitions(/root,/home) aswell as swap partition.

  • After shrinking,an unallocated space was created just below to the D partition.

  • Create an Extended partition from that unallocated space.Now you can create any number of partitions(/root,/home,/boot,swap) inside extended partition.And install Ubuntu on it.

  • Ubuntu can be installed on primary as well as logical partition.

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[Sorry I cannot use formatting; I am on mobile site now.]

Answers to your comments: If you make an extended partition, and / /home etc. partition will be logical, but it wont matter to ubuntu. And yes there will be total of more than 4 partitions. In fact that is why concept of extended partition came up - as a workaround to hsve more than 4 partitions.

You don't need to mess with MBR thing.

In addition to the above answer, you can also use use windows built-in disk management feature to shrink the drives.

Go to control panel and search computer management, then you'll find something like disk management. Click that (I guess it will require administrative permissions).

Yes, you can shrink both the drives with all of your data remain as it is, but it is always advised to make a backup of important data before doing anything like this.

In that, choose the partition (from which you want to extract free space as a separate partition). Right click it and choose 'shrink drive'. You'll get another dialogue box that will show you much space you can use in the new partion.

After that, you can leave the new partition as unallocated or can format it, but please note that windows will format it in ntfs (or FAT) whereas (what I have observed yet - though I may be wrong here) Ubuntu will require ext3 or ext4 file system.

Now, to install Ubuntu, you will require at least two partitions, one for swap-memory and the other where you will install ubuntu. And it is advised to keep the size of swap 1.5 to 2 times your RAM, I suggest you to make another partition of appropriate size with windows only.

In short you will require two partitions - 1. Swap - about 1.5 - 2 times you RAM and 2. Partition to install Ubuntu.

Please note that GParted is an excellent partitioning tool but I am telling you so, just to let you know that there is something you may feel yourself comfortable with, in windows itself.

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