SaltyCrane Blog — Notes on JavaScript and web development

Installing Ubuntu with Vista on Dell 1405

I just installed Ubuntu linux on my Dell E1405 personal laptop. A friend had talked about setting up an Ubuntu machine so I thought it would be good for talking tech and also good experience. The setup so far has been relatively easy. The most difficulty has been that I had to delete two of Dell's partitions on the hard disk before I could install Ubuntu. I am dual booting Windows Vista, which was already installed, and Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn. I know Gutsy Gibson is only a few days away but I couldn't wait.

My Dell laptop came with 4 primary partitions already loaded:
  1. the Dell Utility FAT16 partition: 47 MB
  2. the Dell Recovery partition: 10 GB
  3. the main Windows Vista NTFS partition: 62.48 GB
  4. the MediaDirect FAT32 partion: 2 GB
This is the reason I only had about 25 GB free on my 80 GB SCSI hard disk. So it seems that the hard disk is only allowed to have 4 primary partitions. I deleted the Recovery partition. That was an easy decision because I didn't want it in the first place. Then I had to decide between the Utility or the MediaDirect partition. MediaDirect allows you to bypass Windows and directly view multimedia files such as pictures, music or DVDs. The Utility partion is used for diagnosing your computer in case something goes wrong. It appears to run a bunch of hardware tests. Both seemed nice to have but I decided to be practical and save the Utility partition. It will be nice to have something to test my hardware if things go wrong in the future. The rest of the installation was easy. I used the guide from APC. It was the top of my Google search for "dual boot ubuntu vista" and it worked fine. The next step is getting my EVDO broadband card working so I can access the internet.