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I only have 1 GB of RAM and the processor clocks at ~1.6 GHz. I can't afford to upgrade anything right now; I received this HP free because it was my birthday and my friend was getting a new laptop, so it's honestly better than nothing.

I was considering dual-booting 7 and Ubuntu but from reading, I don't have enough space for that, and I want the compatibility that Windows has. I know this thing won't run 7 very well and that I need more space. This will hopefully be temporary until I can afford to replace its parts.

Thanks for any help.

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5 Answers 5

This depends on how much applications and data are you gonna use/generate on windows/linux.

Windows itself is a space hog after all the updates. So, I would recommend giving at least 50GB to windows. But again that depends on what application are you going to use on windows.

As for the data, I recommends storing it on windows drive so that it accessible from both windows and linux.(Windows cant read from linux partition.)

Ergo, keep windows partition bigger. Around 60-80 GB.

Like previously suggested, why don't you use Ubuntu in Live mode?

PS: At your configuration, customize windows - Remove all the stuff that you don't need from "Add of Remove Windows components" and disable all the eye candy.

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Personally, I wouldn't bother repartitioning it quite yet--I'd just leave Windows 7 on the whole drive, and boot Ubuntu from a live CD a few times to see if it's something you could see yourself using on a more regular basis.

As others have pointed out, Windows 7 is happy with 20 GB or less, but it won't take long for Windows Updates, data, and any additional programs you install to start gobbling up more space. At this point, your RAM is probably the most limiting factor, followed by CPU and graphics card.

You'll want to use a low-resource-optimized variant of Ubuntu. At a glance, Lubuntu (as suggested by BJ292) looks promising. Once you start using Ubuntu more or if you want to install any additional software, then you can install Ubuntu on the hard drive. At that point, you can shrink your Windows partition with Windows' Disk Mangement utility--or, if I recall correctly, Ubuntu's installer also gives you the option to resize your partitions.

If Windows will remain your primary OS, you probably don't have to reserve more than 10-20 GB for Ubuntu. If you need to, you can mount the Windows partition in Ubuntu and save files there.

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Have you considered using Ubuntu in live CD mode so each time you boot from the Ubuntu install CD and do not save the installation to your hard drive?

Benefit is saving loads of hard drive space and not having to worry about partitioning and boot loaders.

Disadvantage is any optimisation of your Ubuntu setup and any changes made will not persist after reboots.

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20GB (or even less, my installation eats 8,2GB now but remember to leave at least 4GB free) should be enough for Windows 7. It depends what you need and how much you are willing to tweak it.

Then add another partition for data and programs, you can link program files and users to another partition or at least install all software and save docs to another partition. This way you can reinstall/remove windows and replace it with some other OS without losing important data. For example you can install Linux to 20GB partition and take more space for anything you decide from other partition if needed so. Linux does very well with loopback filesystems (filesystem withinin regular file) too.

There is always possibility to edit your partition layout later while retaining data (backups! if something goes wrong you dont need to waste time with recovering data).

Kobaltz answer also has some great information about some easy ways to shrink down your installation.

See this also http://windows.microsoft.com/systemrequirements

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You can do a 60GB/60GB split. You will just want to make sure you disable a lot of things that would eat up hard drive space. You probably cannot avoid the swap, but disable hibernation, system restore, reserved trashcan space, and clean up your temp files. All in all this should free up quite a bit of space that would otherwise take up a good percentage of your hard drive. On a fresh Windows 7 install, with my programs and drivers and with some space conservation measures, I'm around 20GB installed with 100GB free. (Using 120GB SSD)

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If you go this route you could put Lubuntu (lubuntu.net) on one partition. I have it on a laptop with a similar CPU and 1.5Gb RAM and it works pretty well. –  BJ292 May 13 '12 at 21:29

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