I was reading through the Ubuntu wiki in order to be fully prepared to install a dual-boot system, when I read the following:
Most systems which are delivered with Windows already installed also come with some sort of recovery or re-installation disk. There is a recent tendency for companies to try to save money and not ship such a disk. Instead, they provide you a hidden partition on which there is a recovery tool and an image of the pre-installed system.
So I enquired with my mother whether she had such a CD, and she pointed me at a box containing everything related to her computer. And shockingly, indeed there was no CD anywhere to be found! I can’t actually believe HP did not provide her with this CD – after all, she paid for Windows when she bought the computer, and therefore is fully entitled to the installation/recovery CD.
However, looking for the CD, I did find something else: a 160 GB external hard drive!
That really is good news, as it will make the installation of Ubuntu a lot easier. Instead of having to free a partition on her current hard drive (which I was already defragmenting) I can now just completely wipe the external one.
The only thing I might experience troubles with is the Master Boot Record – my mother does not have a floppy drive and I’m not exactly sure what consequence it might have to wipe Windows’ MBR.
I’ve planned tomorrow to be the big day – the day on which I’ll do the actual installation. Stay tuned!