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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!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

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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Thanks! Just to make sure, are these what you were trying to say: (1) if I dual install Ubuntu, the recovery partition will be of no use any more? (2) if I restore from the recovery disks created from the recovery partition, all the modification to the partitions and all the contents added to them after the recovery partition was created at factory will be gone? – Tim Feb 4 '11 at 14:33
1. Yes, 2, Yes, If you use Acronis you can make another disk image of the dual boot. Just be sure to make full disk images, this will get all partitions and the MBR. Acronis has a media builder which makes a boot CD, you can boot from this CD and image the drive from there, save the image to a usb drive, just be sure to use the verify feature after the images are done, be sure it is a good image. – Moab Feb 4 '11 at 15:35
Thanks! I am curious after changing the partitions and installation of the second OS Ubuntu, if I "ever wish to go back to the original partition configuration", can I use the recovery disks created from the recovery partition instead of using the image of the whole disk? – Tim Feb 6 '11 at 23:07
@ Tim. yes, the HP recovery discs can wipe the drive and restore it as shipped condition. – Moab Feb 7 '11 at 21:10

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