Hello, I what to load up ubuntu and heard that i should partition my hard drive. The hard drive is 465 gigs. I just built my first computer last May and installed windows 7. Can i damage my system by partitioning my drive or do more harm then good by partitioning it? Is there any risks by partitioning my drive? Should i use windows ubuntu installer or the Ubuntu CD?
Are you going to run both Windows and Ubuntu? If you are then to partition the hard drive so you give Windows "x" amount of space and "x" amount for Ubuntu. If you are going to just run Ubuntu then I would just use the full drive for the file system.
You can not damage any thing by partitioning a hard drive (If you have data on the drive and delete the partition and repartition you will loose the data unless you shrink the volume using Windows or a program like partition magic,
If you are partitioning a drive and installing Windows on one partition and linux on the other, Just make sure you install it on the correct partition. I have seen people install a OS on the wrong partition and loose the data.
When you installed Windows 7, your HDD was partitioned with a hidden 100 MB partition for Windows use, Bitlocker, etc., and one latge partition for tie OS and data, taking up the rest of the unallocated space. Check that out in Disk Management and it will show you the partitions on the HDD in the lower section.
If you partition your present HDD, you will lose all information in the OS system partition.
You might be able to shrink your present partition and in the unallocated space, then create a partition to install Ubuntu.
Here is a good article on installing Windows 7 and Ubunu. Read it over and see if is something you would feel comfortable doing.
should i consider getting a second hard drive and partition the 2nd hard drive then install ubuntu. If i do that if something does get damaged will it affect win7?
The best way and the safest way for you to install ubuntu as a second OS is to purchase a second HDD, and set it up appropriately. You can purchase a WD Cariar Black 1 TB high performance HDD for about $79, others even less expensively.
Then partition this new drive into a couple partitions, say 100-150 GB for ubuntu, 250Gb for data, 500 GB for image backups, etc, and leave some unallocated space at the end of the drive for partition sizing or later use. Easy to do.
When you do that, your 1st HDD , the one with Win-7 has a Master Boot Record 1 sector long, that keeps track of your partitions and which one is active. As you boot up, there will be a boot menu, permitting you to choose which OS you want to use, or the active one if you let it choose the default active paratition.
Then if ubuntu crashes, or you data store becomes corrupt, Win-7 won't know it or be affected. It can be finicky getting the boot menu set up correctly, but going thru the Win-7 Ubuntu tutorial as mentioned earlier should help a lot.
Dual booting can be tricky and is not for everyone.
thank you sir. Would it be a good idea to back the drive with win7 on it before installing ubuntu on the secondary drive?
It's always important to back up your critical OS drive to another hard disk, either internal connected to your MB, or external by a USB connector, Firewire, or eSATA. I image my own primary drive once a week to a second HDD, using Acronis True Image & the Task Scheduler. I have not had any personal experience with Win-7 built in imaging applet in the Win-7 Professional or Ultimate, but that may be an painless way to back your primary drive on a regular basis.
Possibly another one of the folks on the forum may comment on their Win-7 imaging or backup experiences.
So, yes, that's a great idea to routinely backup or image your primary drive. Sooner or later, it will become very valuable.
You could partitioin a new HDD into several partitions. Make the first partition for ubuntu, the next partition between 5-10 times the size of your present OS drive usage for imaging, or to just back up your valuable data, music, or photos, and leave space at the end of the drive unallocated. That can be used to expand or shrink another partition on the drive, or for another partition for data or photos, for later. Always gives you an option.