ubuntu-us-nj Request for advice

David Sugar david.sugar at canonical.com
Sat May 2 23:52:01 BST 2009

First, let me say this.  While there are many valid reasons to simply
get rid of Microsoft Windows entirely, it is also extremely easy and
safe to resize a NTFS partition directly from a live cd  to create a
dual boot configuration these days.  You will want to error check and
defrag your xp partition first.

Of course, prior to repartitioning, you can also use your live ubuntu cd
to format and use an external usb drive to create a complete image
backup of your original xp partition.  There is a special tool,
ntfsclone, which can create such a backup without having to backup
"unused" or empty space.  The reason for formatting the external usb
drive is because these usually are formatted for fat32, and in fat32 no
single file can be larger than 4gigs.  A backup image, such as a
ntfsclone created one, would certainly create a file larger than that.

I think, at least in theory, you could install and boot ubuntu entirely
off an (external) usb drive, if your bios supports selecting an external
usb drive as a boot device.  I think you would want to use the
"advanced" options in the last screen of the install, as this gives you
the option to change where the boot loader is instaled.  You should be
able to tell it to install the boot loader to the usb device, or to your
ubuntu partition.  I have never tried installing and using an external
hd for ubuntu this way, however.  This is also not the same as
installing the option to create a live image to usb "flash", which
basically creates a flash boot copy of your current live cd image with
extra space for persistent user settings, and not an installed system.

I am sure other people on this list would be happy to clarify these or
offer other suggestions on how to do any of this safely and efficiently.

dtgusa at gmail.com wrote:
> Greetings and good day to you all:
> I’m seriously considering switching from XP SP3 to Ubuntu 9.04; dual
> boot option initially.  I have a single 82 gig hard drive using NTFS. 
> If I go with an external USB hard drive instead of adding an internal
> hard drive will it work to install Ubuntu on to?   Scared to repartition
> the existing hard drive due to a bad experience years ago and use of
> NTFS verses FAT 32.
> Thank you in advance for any assistance,
> *
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