How To Dual Boot Windows XP and Ubuntu

If you want to have access to both a Windows and Linux environment on your computer, this guide will show you an easy way to have that using Windows XP and Ubuntu. It is assumed that you already have Windows XP installed on your computer and that you have Ubuntu Desktop Edition downloaded and burned onto a CD already for use.

Step 01
Insert the Ubuntu Installation CD into your CD-ROM Drive.

Step 02
Restart your computer.

Step 03
Press your BIOS/Setup key (Usually: F1, F2, ESC, or DEL key) while computer starts up to get into the BIOS.

Step 04
Go to the screen where you can adjust the boot priority of your devices and move the "CD-ROM Drive" up the priority list, by pressing the “+” key, so that is comes before the "Hard Drive"

Step 05
Save & Exit out of BIOS with the “F10” key, your computer will restart.

Step 06
On the Ubuntu Setup screen, hit enter to "Start or install Ubuntu".

Step 07
Double-click "Install" on the Desktop.

Step 08
Go through the installation wizard (if using Ubuntu 8.04 until you reach step 4). Ubuntu 8.10 installs a dual-boot by default installation.

Step 09
If using Ubuntu 8.04, then at step 4, select the first option, "Guided - resize" and you can specify how much disk space you want the new partition that Ubuntu will use as shown below.

Step 10
Continue through the rest of the steps and click Install on step 7.

Step 11
Done!! Every time you start up your computer now you will be prompted to select what operating system you want to start up through the GRUB Bootloader screen as seen below.


  • If you don’t have Ubuntu already, you can download Ubuntu Desktop Edition from their site at this link: and burn the ISO image to a CD.
  • You can find out what key it is to enter into your BIOS by looking quickly at the bottom of the first screen that is shown when you start up your computer. If you have the manual that came with your computer it should say in there what key it is as well.
  • You will notice Ubuntu has three different choices. The top one is the normal Ubuntu mode, which you should use to get into Ubuntu. The second is Ubuntu (recovery mode) which is used if you have to repair the operating system. The third option is used for checking your memory of system. The last option is your Windows XP installation.

  • Before doing this defragmenting your hard drive is a good idea.

  • Windows XP already installed.
  • Ubuntu CD burned and ready for use.



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