Anyway, since I'm torn between my love of Linux and my workplace's Windows mandate, I decided to make the machine mirror my split. I need a dual-boot Windows/Ubuntu machine. Since this is the first time I've done so, I'm really glad it was on a clean machine... it was not as smooth as vanilla Ubuntu.
Here's what I did. You should skip step 2.
- Found good documentation on the Ubuntu wiki
- Let standard Ubuntu installer attempt to shrink the main Windows (NTFS) partition, to give me room for Linux partitions. I ended up with partitons of type "unknown". Oops!
- Re-installed Windows from its CD, this time setting its NTFS partition up with about 1/3 the total disk space and leaving the rest uncommitted.
- Followed the instructions from the "Issues with Windows XP and NTFS" section of WindowsDualBoot: created a System Rescue CD, booted from it, and used run_qtparted to redo the partitioning.
- Created a single physical partition - the last one of the four I'm allowed.
- Within the final physical partition, created a linux-swap partition (4 GB for my 2 GB of memory). Divided the rest of the disk between an ext3 partition for Linux root and a FAT32 partition for data that Windows and Linux will be able to share.
- Started the Ubuntu installer again; chose "manually edit the partition table", and assigned the swap and ext3 partitions to Ubuntu.
Success! One dual boot laptop, hooray! (Yes, I know, if I'd been really bold, I would have used Xen to run both OS's virtually. Maybe next time.)