I am just wondering can wubi 11.04 make windows unbootable in anyway and what harm can it do to my PC. Also, if I force shut down in wubi ubuntu can it damage windows?


WUBI is pretty safe: it creates one file on the Windows disk, and new boot menu entries, but doesn't change partitions. You should always be able to boot back to Windows, and an abrupt shut down might corrupt the Linux filesystem but nothing outside of that.

Nothing in life is entirely without risk. You should, as always, have backups.

The main kind of risk that Wubi mitigates is needing to repartition, or reinstall, or to install a new boot sector. Those aren't very risky, but they can be hard to undo if you instruct the installer to do the wrong thing (eg to delete Windows) or if you change your mind.

  • But you can have the windows partitions mounted, couldn't you? – user unknown Sep 15 '11 at 3:45
  • I think you can mount them, but that's not especially dangerous. – poolie Sep 15 '11 at 3:58
  • @poolie except that with root access you can modify them as you see fit. However, this isn't anything you wouldn't be able to do with a live-cd or a dual boot partition so it isn't less "safe" than those solutions. Importantly, Wubi is not in a sandbox, so it depends on what op considers safe. – crasic Sep 15 '11 at 4:24
  • Well, you can also break Windows from inside Windows. I'm trying to focus on the ways in which it could be considered more or less risky than a regular install. Perhaps he can clarify. – poolie Sep 15 '11 at 4:36

Wubi can harm your PC as every program can and can not.

The most serious damage for a common desktop PC is a harddisk-failure, which can occur independent from your OS. So you need a backup.

And if you have backups, nothing can really harm you.

  • This is a bit too pedantic. Restoring from backup is a hassle that people could reasonably want to avoid. It's reasonable to ask whether there's a high risk it will be necessary. – poolie Sep 15 '11 at 0:20
  • @poolie that is why I asked this question because I don't want to reinstall windows because linux screwed it up. – andr3w Sep 15 '11 at 22:46
  • @andr3w: You can harm your windows in a similar way from Linux than from Windows, except that it will be hard to get a virus in the wild for linux, and if you don't mount the Windows-partition(s), you will not need to repair it after accidental power off. A normal usage of Linux will not touch your windows system at all. – user unknown Sep 15 '11 at 23:54

Wubi is the safest way to have a second OS without having to make irreversable modifications. I have yet to see a noticable difference between a Wubi install and a native partition. The downside is that it requires Windows for Ubuntu to operate. A native partition is the better option, because if Windows crashes, you can boot-up to a working operating system.



Ubuntu is very powerful and it makes it easier to take control. You can just as easily be productive as destructive. Windows (or a Mac) are designed with many more precautions that make it harder to accomplish basic tasks, but harder to hang yourself. With Ubuntu, you kind of have to know what you're doing to a much greater degree than if you're using a commercial OS.

I probably did damage to the file system of my "safe" computer, the one I use for backups because it has a RAID 1 disk configuration. I didn't know that RAID is not supported by Ubuntu. Maybe I missed it somewhere, but I tried reading about the install for hours before I actually did it, and I didn't find out about this unsupported configuration until after I had done the damage and was searching through the help.

This OS definitely gives you a lot of power, but it could also give you just enough rope to hang yourself!

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