Dual-boot Linux Install

Posts: 120
Joined: 2006-05-25

If you are thinking about installing Linux on your hard drive, I highly recommend making a dual-boot system where you have both Linux and Windows on the hard drive and can choose between them when you boot the computer.

Making a dual-boot system involves these steps:

  1. BACKUP EVERYTHING — Make sure that you back up all of your data before you attempt to install a dual-boot system.
  2. Windows must be installed first. If you already have Windows installed, then skip to the next step.
  3. Defragment the hard drive — Degfragmenting the hard drive makes sure that there are no files from Windows on the empty part of the hard drive.
  4. Turn off the computer and put the Ubuntu CD in your CD drive.
  5. Boot the computer from the CD drive. Many computers will automatically boot from the CD if one is inserted. On other computers you will have to go into the BIOS and change the boot order of your devices (hard drive, CD, etc.). There are different ways to get into the BIOS, depending on your model of computer. Often it is the F2 or F12 key. Check your computer's manual, or search Google on how to change the boot order through the BIOS. (Or post your question here in the forums.) You need for the computer to boot from the CD drive first, before it boots to the hard drive.
  6. Click on the "install" icon on the Ubuntu desktop (as of Ubuntu version 6.06). Follow the instructions carefully, resizing the existing Windows (NTFS) partition and installing Ubuntu on the new space that is created. I would use at least 20 GB for Ubuntu, but you can allocate as little as 5 GB of your hard drive.

Remember to backup your data before trying any of these steps, and perform this installation at your own risk. (I have done it many times myself, with great results.)

If you have any questions, post them here.