Sunday, May 9, 2010

Installing Ubuntu parallel to your existing Windows

With the introduction of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
I'm sure all of you are eager to install Ubuntu.

Its true, many of us have problems in doing this!
During this process we loose our data and sometimes our windows itself.
In certain cases this happen when we are updating Ubuntu :(

Because of this, Ubuntu installation has always been a scary thing!!

He is some simple steps how to solve this problem.

DISCLAIMER: Please use the information at your own risk. I do not take responsibility of whatever damages you do to your Ubuntu installation, data or anything else by using the information in this tutorial.

Step 1;
Back up your data(for safety)

Step 2;
Creating a separate partition for Ubuntu.

Windows comes with two built in features, shrink and extend.
  1. Click on "Start" button
  2. Go to "Control Panel"
  3. Select "System and Security"

  4. Select "Administrative Tools"

  5. Click on "Computer Management"

  6. Select the "Disk Management" option which is in "Storage".

  7. Now right click on the partition you want to Stink,
    by this you can reduce the size of that partition and allocate some space to create new partition.

    To do this Right click on the partition you want to Shrink,
    You will get a drop down,
    click "Shrink Volume"

    it will take some time

            This will ensure that no data is lost and when striking the Partition size.         Now you will get a pop-up stating the the allowable Disk space.

  8. Enter the amount of disk space you prefer for that partition
    (15 GB or more is recommended ) and click "Shrink"
  9. now you will be able to find a new field appearing
    by right clicking this Unallocated space you can now create a partition. (this is not a must you can leave it as Unallocated for this purpose). This is the new space where we are going to install Ubuntu!!
  Step 3; Installing Ubuntu
  1. Now you insert the Ubuntu CD
  2. Restart the computer
  3. Set the boot-up setting to boot from the "Optical Drive"

    Then the Ubuntu CD will get booted

  4. Click "Install Ubuntu"

    You will be asked for conformation

    Click "Forward"

  5. Select your language

    Click "Forward"

  6. Select your time zone

  7. Now most importantly Select "Specify partition manually" radio box.

    Now you will get the partition table
    (the entries in the table will look different according to your computer)

    you will had unallocated space you will get a "free space" field.

  8. You can click on the free space field and add new partitions. If you dont have any free spcace select the partition you created to install Ubuntu  (You will be able fo find that out by it's size) and then by clicking the "Change..." button you can go to "Edit partition".

    Now you can make new portions within this selected partition.
    This can be done by entering the "New portion size" value in the "Edit partition" dialogue box. You will be also able to further divide the free space created by this into small partitions.

    create 3 partitions 

    1. create a "swap" partition
      this should be twice the size  of the RAM memory in your computer.
      for this select "use as" as "swap"
      check the check box "format partition"
    2. Create a "root" partition:
      it should be greater than 4GB (recommended) (4GB to 8GB)
      for this select "use as" as "Ext4 journalling file system"
      check the check box "format partition"
      set mount point as "/"
    3. Create a "home" partition: (optional)
      it could be the rest of the space left.
      for this select "use as" as "Ext4 journalling file system"
      check the check box "format partition"
      set mount point as "/home"
    4. Change the mount point of the windows partition
      Edit the windows partition
      for this select "use as" as the one you had e.g. "ntfs"
      and only change the mount point as "/windows"
      Note : Do not check the "formate" check box

  9. Now click "forward" button

  10. Enter name, password, etc. and click "forward".

    It will ask to import data form your existing windows operating system.
    Check on the ones you wonted to import. If you don't wont to import any files you just leave it as it is.

    Then click "Froward"

  11. you will get the info of what you going to do.

    Click on "Advanced" button

    Now you will get a dialogue box to install boot loader

  12. Select  /dev/sda.  This will install the Ubuntu boot loader.

    In any case if you are installing this in your external hard drive please select the appropriate dev for that.

  13. Now click install.

    The Ubuntu will get installed...!

  14. Finally you have to restart the system.
    And thats it, all done!
  15. Now you can login to both windows and Ubuntu.

Configuring GRUB Sources:

    This is not needed but if you didn't get your windows back or if you want to change the login order you can use this.
If you want to modify how GRUB handles the new dualbooting environment, you need to edit the boot menu. Boot into Ubuntu and open up a Terminal window (Applications, Accessories, Terminal), and type in:

sudo cp /boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.lst_bak

and enter your root password when asked - this makes a backup of the GRUB menu file just in case things go wrong.

Next, type in:
sudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

Dualboot - Configure Boot Menu 

Dualboot - Configure Boot Menu

This opens up the boot menu as a text file in gedit.

Dualboot - Boot Options 

Dualboot - Boot Options
There are loads of options you can change, but only a couple that you’re likely to be interested in.

The default boot entry is defined by the “default” value. The default value is 0, which means that the first entry in the list (which is Ubuntu) always gets loaded.
If you want to make it so that Windows Vista loads by default, change the value to 4, as Vista is the fifth item in the list (the numbering system starts at 0 and "Other operating systems" counts as a line).

The other way to load Windows Vista by default is to change the value for “default” from a numerical value to “saved”. Then, GRUB will load whichever boot entry has been marked with “savedefault”.
If you scroll down the list and have a look at the entries, you’ll notice that both the main Ubuntu entry and Windows Vista have been marked with “savedefault”. Remove the value for Ubuntu and Windows Vista will launch by default. 
It's also worthwhile changing the description of the Vista entry from "Windows Vista/Longhorn (loader" to just "Windows Vista". 

You can also increase the boot menu timeout – just change the value for “timeout”. You can also hide the GRUB boot menu by removing the hash in front of “hiddenmenu”. Save and exit gedit to keep any changes.

If instead of GRUB you want Vista's bootloader to be in charge, load up the Vista installation and install EasyBCD.
Go to “Manage Bootloader”, then “Reinstall the Vista Bootloader”, an GRUB is overwritten. You can then configure the Vista bootloader to add Linux to the boot menu.  



  1. its better to install using WUBI

  2. Don't be put off - all the cautions are very correct but don't despair
    search for a local Linux user group- they will often show you how to do this and back-up all your windows files first(usually the first time this has ever been done)
    I and many other people will do this for free and you will then have an operating system that you can uprade/replace yourself free
    XP or vista will still be there and you can then choose for yourself what you want to use

  3. Here is a method to recover the grub after installing windows

  4. I use Wubi.That's Okey,my friend.To use parallel Ubuntu and windows,that's very useful.I think.Other Ubuntu applications are revealed in
    Thanks for your post