Installing Ubuntu on a laptop that has Windows 7 and Linux Mint

Pongo A. Pan pongo_pan at
Fri Mar 2 21:43:19 UTC 2012

On Fri, 2012-03-02 at 13:08 -0800, taodoe9.amabel at wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 9:55 AM, Pongo  wrote:
> >> 3. What's the proper way to make room for Ubuntu? What must I click on
> >> the screen?
> >>
> >> Also, I'd like the 2 distros to share the same "home" folder. By this,
> >> I mean that I want both of them to point to the same place for where I
> >> save my stuff (same Downloads folder, same Photos folder, same
> >> "Recent" stuff, etc)
> > This can be very problematic.  If you do this you will have competing
> > and conflicting configuration files (often in the form of hidden
> > directories in your home).  A better (but somewhat more complicated) way
> > to do this is to have a small separate home for each distro and a
> > common /data partition with things like Documents and Pictures linked
> > with simlinks.  You need to learn more about the basics of partitioning
> > before you try any of this.  Please visit the PartedMagic forums as
> > indicated above.
> >
> > In the first instance I'd shrink the Win7 sda2 down to 50 GB or so and
> > expand the extended partition to take up the new space.  Then I'd make
> > two 20 GB or so partitions for the linux systems and use the rest for
> > the two homes.  The swap partition seems about right and can be shared.
> > Then install the distros.  Win7 may have to be booted in recovery mode
> > the first time after you shrink it.  GRUB will handle the booting.
> Thanks again. Ok. I won't bother with having the 2 linux distros
> sharing the same home folder. I'll go with your suggestion of having a
> common "/data" partition/folder
> I'm trying to implement your advice to shrink Win7 sda2 down to 50 GB.
> I'm trying to do the shrinking within Win7, using Win7's own Disk
> Management. Please see
> Which is sda2 in this pic?
Well, to start with Win7 apparently thinks you have 5 primary partitions.
This is impossible with Microsoft's very lame partitioning scheme, so
the first one on this display must be hidden.  It is almost certainly
the recovery partition.  The one Windows calls C is sda2.  That's the
one you want to shrink.  The one to the right of this is your Mint 11
install with home and system in the same partition (not usually
recommended). The one to the right of that is linux-swap and the last
one looks like workspace for the Windows re-installer or utilities for
Windows recovery.  The restore image is most certainly the left-most
(and presumably hidden) partition (which linux utilities will call

I really think you'd be better off to download Parted Magic, burn a CD
and not try to do this from Windows.  Parted Magic can shrink Windows
better than Windows can and even if it all goes bad you can restore to
factory with the restore partition (and your backed-up data, and the
instructions which came with the laptop).  Then, nuke the present linux
primary partitions (sda5 and sda6), make an extended partition and
create virtual partitions for your linux installs there.  This is easier
to see with the full-fledged version of Gnome gparted that you get with
Parted Magic (or SystemRescueCD or several others) than it is from the
very lame partitioner in Windows or the cut down versions in installers,
if only because you can full-screen it.
> >> 1. Why is Windows 7 split into sda1 and sda2?
> > Sda1 is most likely the recovery image for Win7.
> Is there a difference between "recovery image" (what you say sda1 is)
> and "Windows Recovery Environment" (sda3's label)?
Explained (well, guessed at) above.

Please use a real tool to do this: not Windows, not the cut-down
versions of gparted in the installers. And only after you've educated
yourself on this topic, backed up everything three times and thought
about it carefully.  

pongo pan
Fri, 02 Mar 2012 13:42:30 -0800
Epicurus up 1:37, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.04, 0.05
Linux 3.0.0-12-generic
Linux Mint 12 Lisa, gnome-session 3.2.1, Cinnamon 1.3.1

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