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Hi,

I would like to install Ubuntu on my Laptop which has Windows 7 installed on C drive.The remaIning drives E and D have got some data on them.
If i install Ubuntu on D drive will it wipe out the data present on D DRIVE or will it just install the Linux on some folder inside D drive along with remaining data which was present on the D drive earlier. ??

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Last Post by rubberman
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hello and welcome to daniweb ,the answer is no, it will wipe what ever drive you choose and if your not carefull it could wipe the whole computer if a wrong selection was made ,
most people who just want to try/play around with linux use a virtual drive software ,the software runs with in win7 and you can use bot linux and win7 at the same time ,i have used Oracle virtualbox software ,not using any at thing this time ,you install oracal vb then download a .iso file of the linux of choice ,run VMbox and direct it to the downloaded linux .iso file location and go from there ,good luck
Orcale vM

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This all depends on how you want to install it.

One option is to use a virtual machine, like VirtualBox. This will create one big file (that you place wherever you like) that is a kind of disk image. Basically, with this option, you can install Ubuntu (or any other OS) within the virtual machine and run it like a windows program. This is not ideal from a "native" experience point of view, and won't be as fast, but it is a good option to try at first and doesn't require committing a partition and setting up a dual-boot system.

The other main option is to install Ubuntu on a separate partition and setup a dual-boot system. In this case, it's a bit more tricky and you have to be a bit more careful. The partition on which you choose the install Ubuntu will be reformatted (all data erased). Usually, you can create a new partition instead of wiping out an existing one. Under Windows' partition manager, you can shrink and move your current partitions (which will not erase the data) to create some free space (I would say 20Gb minimum, around 100Gb is plenty enough). When you boot from the LiveCD/LiveUSB to do the installation of Ubuntu, you will have to select that free space as the place to install it to, and it will automatically create the required partitions and format them. Of course, before you fiddle around with the partitions (especially if you have to move a partition), be sure to backup anything that you would really miss, because there is always a small chance that some or all data from that partition will be lost. If you can get away with only shrinking one partition to make room for the Linux partition, then do so, because simply shrinking a partition has virtually no risk of losing any data. Before you can shrink a partition, you may have to run a defragmentation tool on it which consolidates the existing data.

For setting up the dual-boot system, be sure to carefully read tutorials and explanations to make sure you understand what you are doing. It's not very hard to do, and it doesn't take too much time, but you just have to be careful. Personally, and especially for Windows 7, I think it is preferrable to set up the dual-boot by installing Grub on the partition where Linux is installed (as opposed to the hard drive's MBR (Master Boot Record)), because you don't want to overwrite the Windows bootloader (on the MBR), and instead use EasyBCD to chain-load the system (i.e., computer starts with Windows bootloader: if you choose windows, it boots as usual; if you choose Linux, it loads the Grub bootloader, which then boots Linux (or other options, like recovery modes and stuff like that)).

Here is a pretty good tutorial on setting up a dual-boot with Windows 7 / Ubuntu; the only issue with that tutorial is that they do the shrinking of the Windows partition in Ubuntu's installation process (uses GParted), this is only necessary if you have one partition only (the C: drive), otherwise, I recommend doing that work using the Windows partition manager (or "disk management tool" or whatever it's called). Here is also a nice overview of things (but a bit outdated).

Edited by mike_2000_17: caveat

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Good answer, covered most of the topics he needs
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One final option, is that Ubuntu has a Windows installer, and will install it as a dual-boot system, but the Ubuntu/Linux partition is a virtual disc that resides in the Windows file system. IE, it won't require any physical partitions, but it WILL alter the boot sector of the drive to use the grub2 boot code, and will provide a boot menu that will let you chose from Windows or Ubuntu at startup. You just need enough disc space on your windows file system for the Ubuntu virtual disc.

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