Installing Ubuntu 10.04 with Windows XP

This is a ThinkPad T60 with Windows XP in the default configuration, 150GB WinXP partition and 5GB recovery partition.
Initially using GParted failed to shrink the Windows partition. I ran the disk check and defragment from the C: > Properties > Tools tab. After this GParted was able to shrink the Windows partition. There was 40GB in use. I shrank it to 50 and created an ext3 partition for Linux of 50 GB.
For the installation, some care must be exercised to prevent disabling the ThinkVantage button. This means not installing GRUB on the MBR, but the new / partition instead. Use the manual partitioning option and don’t forget to add a swap partition twice the size of your RAM.

Note: In the steps below, /dev/sda1 is Windows and /dev/sda3 is Ubuntu root.

  • Boot with Ubuntu install disk
  • Select Rescue a Broken System
  • Select new Ubuntu installation / as root and chose “execute a shell” on that file system.

The following is adapted from Matthew J. Miller’s HOWTOs: Dual Booting Ubuntu Linux and Windows XP

  • cd /mnt
  • mkdir windows
  • mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/windows
  • dd if=/dev/sda3 of=/mnt/windows/ubuntu.bin bs=512 count=1
  • Reboot into windows: “exit”, then choose Reboot
  • Edit the Windows bootloader to point to GRUB by adding C:\ubuntu.bin="Ubuntu Linux" at the end of the file.

You’ll now reboot into the Windows boot loader with an option to load either Windows or Linux.