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I'm totally new to dual booting but I need it so please help me partitioning my hdd.

I just got my new laptop with Windows 7 installed and I want Ubuntu with that.

I have one 750 GB hdd with 2 partitions: OS(C:\) and DATA(D:\)

I think its easiest to have just one partition for both Linux and Windows data, such as music right?? And further, how much space do my Ubuntu and Windows partitions need?

I believe I also need a swap partition with the same size as my RAM?

If you have other tips or suggestions, please tell me. I really dont know much about these sorts of things.

Edit

I just noticed I have 4 partitions:

  • 1 OS
  • 1 100% free data
  • 1 100% free recovery partition
  • 1 100% free that says boot, swap, crashdump, primary partitiom. (i believe because its translated)

What to do with this?

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3 Answers

This is actually easier to do than you think.

You dont need much space for the windows and ubuntu OSs. The ubuntu livecd has a wizard that can walk you through resizing your windows partition as needed. It will also automatically create the linux swap partition.

I suggest you boot off the livecd and walk through the wizard, it will prompt you before it commits any changes.

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Not exactly an answer to your question, but I'd recommend virtualization over dual-boot.

Install one OS on the physical hardware, install a Hypervisor (e.g. VirtualBox) and install the other OS in a virtual machine.

I'd use a single volume for the host OS. Others prefer separate volumes for OS and data, but with Windows I found the attempt to separate OS and data rather futile and with Linux you have a clear folder structure anyway.

Store your data with the host OS and share the folder(s) with the guest OS. In a dual-boot scenario where you share a data partition between operating systems, you'd have to either access a Linux filesystem from Windows (e.g. Ext3), or a Windows filesystem from Linux (usually NTFS; FAT32 is not really an option due to its limitations). Although the ntfs-3g driver has become quite good, I still tend to avoid having to use it on a regular basis.

Linux should have a swap partition, but that partition doesn't necessarily have to be the same size as your RAM. I'm using a 1 GB swap partition on a system with 4 GB RAM. Windows should have a page file on the boot volume, but it also doesn't have to be the size of the RAM. 1-2 GB will normally suffice. Be sure to give the pagefile a fixed size to avoid pagefile fragmentation.

With a 750 GB harddisk you have by far enough space for both operating systems. Windows 7 requires about 10-15 GB, and I'd say Ubuntu needs roughly the same amount.

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Boot from CD and when the installer reaches the partitioning step, choose to install Ubutu next to your existing Windows installation. It will then give you a slider with which you can control how much space is reserved for Windows, and how much for Ubuntu.

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