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Technical guide for HP laptops

Modifying any technical settings puts your data at risk, so we strongly recommend you contact an HP service centre for guidance (call +91 9696 153 153 or email upic_hpsupport@hp.com). If you must make changes yourself, please read this guide carefully beforehand. It answers the following common questions:

Note: Canonical is not responsible for any loss of data.

How do I create a bootable device?

To make any changes to disk partitions, you need to boot the system from a device such as the Bootable Ubuntu USB Stick, which contains the GParted disk partitioning utility. You can create one in either Windows or Ubuntu, using any USB device with at least 2GB of storage. Follow the link below, and be sure to choose Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS.

  • For Windows users: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-USB-stick-on-windows
  • For Ubuntu users: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-USB-stick-on-ubuntu

How do I free up more disk space for Ubuntu?

To decrease the size of the Windows partition and free up more space for Ubuntu, first prepare a bootable Ubuntu USB Stick (see instructions above).

  1. Make sure USB Booting is enabled in the BIOS, then boot the laptop from the Ubuntu USB Stick. Choose “Try Ubuntu Without Installation” and click through to the Welcome screen. Select “Try Ubuntu” to boot from the USB Stick.

  2. The laptop will boot into the Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS desktop. Click the Dash icon in the top-left corner, and enter “GParted” in the search box to find the application. Click it to launch.

  3. GParted shows the current layout of the laptop’s hard disk. There will be a Windows partition (/dev/sda1, NTFS file system) and an Ubuntu partition (/dev/sda2, ext4 filesystem), with information about capacities and used and unused space. To shrink the Windows partition, right-click and select “Resize/Move”.

  4. In the Resize/Move window you can drag the slider to adjust the size of the partition, then click Resize/Move to confirm. You can’t shrink a partition below its currently used space, and you should always leave a small buffer of free space to avoid disk errors when you next boot.

  5. To apply the partition changes to your laptop, click the Apply All Operations button. This process may take some time.

  6. Once complete, there will be a new “unallocated” partition of free space in addition to the existing partitions. To make this free space accessible in Ubuntu, right-click the unallocated partition and click New, and select the “ext4” file system

How do I free up more disk space for Windows?

To decrease the size of the Ubuntu partition and free up more space for Windows, first prepare a bootable Ubuntu USB Stick (see instructions above).

  1. Make sure USB Booting is enabled in the BIOS, then boot the laptop from the Ubuntu USB Stick. Choose “Try Ubuntu Without Installation” and click through to the Welcome screen. Select “Try Ubuntu” to boot from the USB Stick.

  2. The laptop will boot into the Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS desktop. Click the Dash icon in the top-left corner, and enter “GParted” in the search box to find the application. Click it to launch.

  3. GParted shows the current layout of the laptop’s hard disk. There will be a Windows partition (/dev/sda1, NTFS file system) and an Ubuntu partition (/dev/sda2, ext4 filesystem), with information about capacities and used and unused space. To shrink the Ubuntu partition, right-click and select “Resize/Move”.

  4. In the Resize/Move window you can drag the slider to adjust the size of the partition, then click Resize/Move to confirm. You can’t shrink a partition below its currently used space, and you should always leave a small buffer of free space to avoid disk errors when you next boot.

  5. To apply the partition changes to your laptop, click the Apply All Operations button. This process may take some time.

  6. Once complete, there will be a new “unallocated” partition of free space in addition to the existing partitions. To make this free space accessible in Windows, right-click the unallocated partition and click New, and select the “NTFS” or “FAT16/FAT32” file system.

How do I remove Windows from the dual-boot system?

To remove Windows entirely and free up more space for Ubuntu, first boot the system as normal into the Ubuntu desktop.

  1. Click the Dash icon in the top-left corner, and search for and launch “Disk Utility”.

  2. In the Disk Utility interface, first ensure your primary hard disk is selected in the left-hand column, then locate the Windows partition among the Volumes section. It uses the NTFS file system. Check the sizes and make absolutely sure you have the right partition before following any further steps.

  3. If the partition is mounted, click “Unmount Volume”. Then click “Format Volume”

  4. Choose the Ext4 file system from the dropdown list, and give the partition a name. Ensure the “Take ownership of file system” checkbox is ticked, and that the “Encrypt underlying device” checkbox is not ticked. Double-check everything, then click “Format”.

  5. Go to the Dash and search for and open “Terminal”, or press CTRL + ALT + T. Type “sudo update-grub” and press enter. Enter your user password when requested.

How do I remove Ubuntu from the dual-boot system?

You can use the Windows Repair Disk to completely remove Ubuntu, but it should only be performed by experienced Windows system administrators. The Windows Repair Disk allows you to install the Windows Bootloader in place of the Ubuntu/GRUB bootloader, before safely removing Ubuntu from the system.

Please be aware that the bootloader is critical to the proper functioning of your computer. Any errors made in this step may render the system unable to boot into either Ubuntu or Windows. If you need more disk space for Windows, we strongly recommend you follow the instructions above in “How do I free up more disk space for Windows?”.

If necessary, please refer to these articles for additional information on how to restore Windows in the case of a Bootloader-related error:

  1. How to create a Windows 7 Recovery / Repair Disk
  2. How to restore the Windows 7 boot loader from the Windows 7 System Repair Disk

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