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I'd like to reinstall ubuntu on my laptop using a usb stick. I'd like to keep my windows and recovery partitions intact.

I'm already booting from the usb stick; but very nervous when it comes to using the partition manager

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So do you want reassurance? Gparted works, and if you are using lucid (10.04) it works even more easily. I've never seen it fail. –  msw Jun 4 '10 at 23:38

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I'm not sure why installing from a usb stick is better. I think the safest way to install Ubuntu is with wubi. You don't have to mess around with the partition manager and it does not repartition your hard drive. It creates a "fake partition" which basically consists of a couple of files that reside in the ubuntu folder in windows. Its pretty amazing.

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You should be fine. If you are re-installing over an old ubuntu system then you should be able to just select the same partitions and ubuntu will install right over the old one (no partitioning needed).

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