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I am new to the Ubuntu Community and I apologize if this has been covered - I found some similar questions, but none quite like mine.

My goal is to have a dual boot Win7 or Ubuntu 13.0. Here is where I am stuck: I have an SSD currently that I need to reformat and then partition but am not sure what tool I can use to do that. I have been looking for something similar to FDISK but I'm not sure that I'm even looking for the right thing. I think I should be booting from one of my optical drives to do this, is that right? I think I should then proceed with data-wiping, partition setup, Win7/Ubuntu installations in that order.

Here are some details on my system and what I figured out so far:

  • I have the Ubuntu 13.10 Desktop installation disk and a number of Win/Linux utilities however I seem to be missing a program that I can boot from one of my optical drives with.
  • My system drive is a 480gb Corsair SSD on and Asus P8Z77.
  • Not sure this matters but just in case it is helpful in some way: The SSD drive currently has Windows 7SP1 but it was damaged after an IE10 update that I've rolled back but continue to suffer issues which point to a damaged Win7 installation.
  • So.. you're looking for a Ubuntu tool to use for managing disks and partitions? (Formatting, partitioning, etc)? – Seth Mar 26 '14 at 18:41
  • Whether the tool is an Ununtu tool or not is where my question becomes less clear (although GParted does look to be the tool I may wish to start off with & it is an Ubuntu tool). I have had very little time to actually spend tinkering with any of the suggestions having been out-of-town & off line since early April. After further reviewing – Jon220 May 12 '14 at 14:27
  • the first comment was sent prematurely then "stuck" when I exceeded 5 minutes for editing - here's the rest of the comment: After further reviewing my needs a triple boot system of OS-X 10.9, Ubuntu 13.10, and Win7 installed in 3 partitions (or 4 if Ubuntu needs 1 part for swap) on the same 490GB SSD is what I'm after. Gparted still appears to be a good choice for initial disk prep and another tool rEFInd a binary that will run under OS-X and Linux (I'll assume Ubuntu once in the cmd or terminal mode) will install a boot mngr to handle all three OS's. I'll report results when done. – Jon220 May 12 '14 at 15:18
  • Thanks to Beth Whitezel and @CentaurusA for their advice, comments, and suggestions as I travel down this road. – Jon220 May 12 '14 at 15:24
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Disclaimer: I am not a Ubuntu expert!

However, it looks like GParted might be what you are looking for according to this set-up guide:

We're going to use GParted, the Linux-based uber-tool for all things hard drive. You could grab the Live CD if you felt like it, but since you've already downloaded an Ubuntu installer, you can simply boot a "live," no-risk session of Ubuntu from your CD or USB stick and run GParted from there. Once you're inside Ubuntu, head to the System menu in the upper left when you get to a desktop, then choose the Administration menu and GParted under it.

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Since you want a dual-boot system and your current Windows 7 installation is broken, I would suggest that you first do a clean installation of Windows 7 (see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/installing-reinstalling-windows#1TC=windows-7).

Make sure that you back up any data files before you do a clean install since they will disappear as part of the process!

Next, install Ubuntu using the "side-by-side" option (this should say something like "Install them side by side, choosing between them each startup".)

This will effectively partition your hard disk automatically, leaving Windows 7 in one partition and installing Ubuntu in a second partition, and so avoids you having to deal with Gparted. "Choosing between them" is done through a GRUB boot menu that is also created automatically.

However, I would recommend that you find out about Gparted. It is a really useful tool for resizing disk partitions and creating new ones in the free space that is developed. For example, you could create a data partition in NTFS format that could be used for all your data files (e.g. Word processing, digital images) by both Windows and Ubuntu.

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