I am wanting to set up a split PC, half Windows XP, half Ubuntu 13.04.

I want to use Linux for internet surfing, YouTube, crackle, and viewing hulu videos. My PC is an older Dell C521, 1.87GHz, 1.5 GB ram, 32-bit, 80GB HD.

Will this be better than present slow slow slow Windows XP? I need it for internet mostly. I would consider dumping Windows XP later on if I get the hang of the Linux distro.

  • This is a very good tutorial showing the install for W7/Ubuntu 9.10. The steps needed for your versions are essentially the same. If you'd like to get an understanding of how to do this (warmly recommended once you enter Linux world), maybe check this out: you'll learn more than you need, but that can't hurt. Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 20:54
  • Also, if I understand what you want correctly, your title doesn't reflect this which might prevent people from reading your question and helping: my understanding is that you would like to 'dual boot Windows xp and Ubuntu 13.04'. Your title sounds like wanting to try out Ubuntu using a so-called live CD. If that's correct, might want to re-word your title a little to make sure you get the help you'd really like. Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 20:56

3 Answers 3


This is an old question, but it is relevant also for the current versions of Ubuntu and Windows.

General instructions

There are general instructions at the following link and links from it,

USB alternatives

There is more information, also descriptions of persistent live and installed systems in USB drives, at the following link and links from it,

Dual Boot

  • A 'split PC, half Windows XP, half Ubuntu 13.04' makes think of what is often called a dual boot system, that you can boot into either Ubuntu or Windows from the grub boot menu.

    There are alternatives for this in the Ubuntu installer, but the first step should be to shrink the Windows partition from within Windows. Leave the released drive space as 'unallocated'. Do not create partitions in Windows. Then you boot from the Ubuntu USB drive (or DVD disk) and continue the installation.


  • Another alternative, that works if the computer is powerful enough, is to install a tool for a virtualization and install 'the other' operating system in a virtual machine with a virtual disk. Virtualbox is a tool, that is easy to use for this purpose. This method (as well as alternatives) is discussed at this link.

You can use a live DVD. Installation DVDs for many major distributions load the whole system before installing it. So you can take a gook look before you actually install it. You can use this DVD image in a USB (pen)drive also.


Using any OS without Internet surfing may be impossible. I removed Windows XP forever after using to Ubuntu. I suggest you use Virtual Machine and install Ubuntu on it temporary. Then you can save some files and transfer it to another OS also copy from one and past to other OS. In long run you can install Ubuntu and format all disk and install Win XP by VM on Ubuntu.

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