Dual Boot – Partitioning for Installing Ubuntu with Windows

multi-bootubuntu-10.04windows 7

Following is the layout of the current partitions of my single hard drive viewed from Windows 7:

  • C: has Windows 7 system files and my
    personal data;
  • Q: for Lenovo recovery;
  • SYSTEM_DRV: for Windows boot files;

My goals are:

  • to create another partition D: for my
    personal data, and dedicate C: for
    Windows system files and applications only.
  • to install Ubuntu alongside Windows. D: will be shared between the two OSes.

My questions are:

  1. Is it correct that the free space
    generated from shrinking C: will
    only be able to create an extended
    partition, since there are already 3
    primary partitions? So must D: be
    one logical partition on the
    extended partition, just as the
    partitions for Ubuntu will be? Will this be bad sometime? If yes,
    other better solutions?
  2. What are the good utilities to
    accomplish the partition tasks? Can
    Ubuntu installer solely handle them?
    Or better to have some of the jobs
    done in Windows with some
    recommended softwares?

Thanks and regards!

Best Answer

Most here recommend Gparted to manipulate partitions before installing Linux, what I would do is make a full disk image of that hard drive in its present state, all partitions and the MBR, verify the image is good, then delete the Lenovo recovery partition, as it won't be any good after you change the partition structure and install Ubuntu. After the recovery partition is gone you will have more space and can make 2 more primary partitions. If you ever wish to go back to the original partition configuration, just restore the image to the hard drive.

The limit is 4 primary partitions by the way.

Lenovo, HP, Dell and others use custom Master Boot Records, and these will get broken when you modify partitions and install another OS, which means you cannot load the recovery partition using the bios.


I like Acronis for full disk images, not free though.

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