Guide – How To Set Up a Windows 7 and Ubuntu Dual-Boot System

This guide will show you how to set up your system with a Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux dual-boot configuration. Ideal for laptops with small hard drives.

This is not the only way of setting this up, nor is it the necessarily the best way – but it does work for me!

Pros: allows you try out 2 recent systems side-by-way. Very good for web development – you can set up a LAMP development area, with safe virus-free internet browsing. Photoshop work can be done in your Windows 7 area then shared with Ubuntu (no need to resort to Wine or VMware).

Step 1 – back up all your data to an external source (this method formats your hard drive – wiping everything for clean installs).

Step 2 – insert your Windows 7 installation/boot disk and restart (should detect automatically and prompt you boot from CD).

Step 3 – follow onscreen prompts to delete/format partitions and install Windows 7 in the unallocated space.

Step 4 – once Windows 7 is loaded, launch Disk Management partition application from start menu. Right-click C: drive and choose shrink (shrink by the maximum value it will allow).

Step 5 – right-click unallocated space – then format NTFS & name it storage/data or something (untick quick method is best). This will be for saving your files; these will be shared by both operating systems.

Step 6 – change default shave location (so that it saves by default to the data/storage drive you just created). To do this first copy your Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos etcetera folders over to the new drive. Then click the libraries (i.e Documents folders) in the left-hand navigation bar one-by-one. As you click each one it will display “Includes: 2 locations” near the top of the screen – click on this link and remove the two current locations and add the new location (on the new drive). Repeat this for each folder on the C: drive where your documents get saved.

Step 7 – insert Ubuntu live CD and run it.

Step 8 – click desktop option to install Ubuntu

Step 9 – choose option to install side-by-side with Windows 7 (this installs it on the same partition).

Step 10 – now when you Boot your laptop up – you will have options to load Ubuntu or Windows 7!

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