How to Format Win XP SP2 and install Ubuntu?

By OpticalOrange99 ยท 7 replies
Jan 26, 2008
  1. Hmmm there's a sticky at the top of this sub-forum but it is sort of phrased in a question and answer form and most of what's said in it is either above my head or inapplicable.

    So I've downloaded the Linux Ubuntu distribution and put it on a disc. I've got my old HP Pavilion with Windows XP OEM SP2 ready and set up. So what do I do now? It says I have to "format" the HP before I install Linux off the CD. But the problem is all the guides keep mentioning inserting a "Windows XP disc".

    But mine just has a recovery partition because it's an OEM version. How do I reformat the PC so I can install Ubuntu. Please help!
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    The problem with this, is that you do not have a disc to repair boot loaders in case of any issues down the track.

    Also it is possible to destroy partitions (including the recovery partition) by installing new Operating Systems on your hard drive.

    So no one wants to advise you !

    If it were mine, I'd create a backup image on the present active Windows drive - but I use Symantec Ghost which is licensed software

    Also I'd probably order the CD for my Windows from the manufacturer (and have it ready !

    Also I'd fully backup first all my user data.

    These requirements to do - before installing Ubuntu) will take you some time
    In the mean time - you can run Ubuntu live CD (ie no install, just boot CD)
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,739   +417

    Do you want a dual boot? Or do you just want ubuntu on it? If you just want ubuntu surely there is a simple way during the ubuntu installation to delete everything and have all the ubuntu partitons set up for you.
  4. OpticalOrange99

    OpticalOrange99 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    Yeah maybe there's a simple way during the installation. I was going to throw this pc out so I don't care if the recovery partition or whatever is ruined. I just want Ubuntu on it. I just thought you needed to do it before you ran the cd, reformating the harddisk that is.
  5. hynesy

    hynesy TS Maniac Posts: 389

    If you jsut want Ubuntu on this computer simply insert the Ubuntu CD/DVD and reboot your computer and boot from the CD/DVD. The CD/DVD's are LIVE CD's which means when you pop it in you can play around for a bit before installing it. I cannot remember if Ubuntu can partition, format etc. I haven't used it in quite a while, but if it doesn't you can download Gparted LIVE CD which is about 50 mb and burn that to disc, boot from it and set your partitions up accordingly, don't forget to mark your Ubuntu partitions as active.
  6. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Yes once you chose to install Ubuntu on the system (as opposed to running it straight from the CD), it can partition existing partitions, delete them, format them & create new ones for its installation.
  7. OpticalOrange99

    OpticalOrange99 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 77

    Oh ok. Is it F2 to open up the boot menu in XP. I have Vista on all my other PCs now so I've forgotten. F2 didn't work with the XP HP.
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Call HP Parts ( lists the number) and order the Windows XP install set which includes a recovery CD for Windows which wall also format and partition. The cost is reasonable... usually around $30 with FedEx shipping.
    But as time goes on and HP runs out, they do not replace them in inventory, so if your HP is old, the discs are no longer available.
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