Linux, new PC and dual boot

Posted by March 4, 2011 technick No Comments

Idea of this post came after I successfully installed linux (Ubuntu 10.10) on a new laptop (HP G62, i5core, Windows 7) which I purchased a few days back and since there were no posts that easily gave this “HOW TO” information about successfully installing linux, this post makes some sense.

The laptops, pre-installed with windows these days come up with 4 primary partitions (which is a limitation any ways) viz.

  • The system partition
  • The C drive
  • The recovery partition
  • The tools (in my case, HP tools)

In this case, as soon as you create a new partition by shrinking one of the volumes, you end up converting your disk to a Dynamic disc and linux at this moment does not support dynamic discs; at least not that I know. If you want to give installation a try at this moment, boot with linux cd and at the time of selecting the partitions, you will the “unallocated space” marked as “unusable” by the linux installer.

The solution to this situation is there on many forums which say:

  • Install linux (ubuntu) as WUBI
    • This has a limitation of allocating only 30 GB to linux
  • Convert your disc to basic disc and then go ahead with installation
    • This has a risk of loosing data and time when you go ahead deleting partitions, re-formatting your drive blah blah blah

For windows haters, the easiest way is to erase the disk and use it entirely for windows, I would have done the same thing, but kept a dual boot system for various reasons.

The solution for a dual boot system is:

  1. Create recovery disc for your system (optional though)
  2. Delete the recovery partition (you might want to use the in-built recovery manager wizard to do so rather than just using the disk management)
  3. Now shrink the volume to the amount of space you want to put in linux
  4. Boot with linux cd
  5. Now, you will see the “free space” available
  6. Create swap partition
  7. Create root fs (i used ext4 partition)
  8. And you are done!

You might want to google about: Dynamic disc, Basic disc, why linux does not support dynamic discs etc…