I've installed dual-boot setups of Ubuntu before and have never run into any major problems (with the installation) until now.
It started when I tried to run the "Install Ubuntu" option from the Live USB I created. It didn't recognize the Win 7 OS already installed (I just did a clean install yesterday) so it didn't give me the option to "Install Alongside". I did some searching on this site and the Ubuntu Forums and just Google in general, but most of it applied to UEFI systems (which I do not have).
The best option seems to be to shrink the main C: drive (/dev/sda5 in the screenshot below), then install Ubuntu on the newly freed up space. My question, though, is can I get rid of the Recovery (sda1), System Reserved (sda2) and Hibernation (sda6) partitions as well? This is a desktop so I don't need hibernation and I have recovery disks that work fine. But will the deletion of these prevent me from using my Win 7 partition?
Screenshot: GParted Screenshot
Screenshot: fdisk Output
Other questions related to mine: is it necessary to delete the recovery partition? (Really? I can't delete it? Other answers seem to disagree) Deleting recovery partition on dual boot machine and resizing window 7 partition (I only have OEM supplied recovery disks, without the extra options that the Microsoft-supplied ones have)
What is the best way to set all this up? If I shrink then install will GRUB be able to find my Win 7 installation?