Need to install Win XP

I want to install Win XP Pro on my computer, I have previously shunned XP since discovering Ubuntu but have found that I do in fact, dare I say it, need Window$ (now I’ll go and wash my mouth out). There are some programs that I need and will not work in Ubuntu.
Phone operating, Disk printing, TV Card, and one or two others I can’t think of at the time.

I want to install it on the same drive as my 12.04 install, will the fact that the drive is formatted EXT4 be a problem?
it has 196Gb free but I want to share the 250Gb drive between the 2, 125Gb each. Would it be possible to repartition it and format the new partition for Window$ with the OS still on the drive or would I have to do both from scratch?

How about using VirtualBox and install Windows in a virtual environment? Then you don’t need to partition your disc and worry bout things that might go wrong… Just a hint :wink:

Sounds a better and easier idea. I’ll have a look and see what I can find out about doing it, is it still possible to install Windows on a non NTFS drive?

Downloaded from

The 64bit version for ubuntu but cant see where it’s installed.

If you’re using Virtualbox to run XP in a virtual machine … YES
(You do NOT need a “real” windows formatted drive)

Virtualbox will create a “virtual” PC containing virtual hardware including a virtual HDD that you install Windows onto … as far as Windows is concerned it’s running on a “real” PC with an NTFS/FAT32 HDD, but this is all being done in a file on your Linux PC.

gimme 15 mins and I’ll type up installation instructions … cause you’ll want the guest additions too.

First let’s install Virtualbox correctly (the following instructions are for 12.04) …

Open a terminal and run:

sudo apt-get remove --purge virtualbox-4.2


sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Now add a NEW LINE at the bottom that reads:-

deb precise contrib

SAVE the file, and close Gedit.

Back in the terminal (to download/add the repository key) run:

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -

Now to install Virtaulbox:

sudo apt-get update


sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.2

Now download the extension pack from here:

Double clicking that should start virtualbox and walk you through the install.

Let me know when you’ve done that, and we’ll move on to installing XP in a VM

Done everything upto downloading the extension pack and clicking on it only opens the archive manager

OK, start virtualbox, then go to File > Preferences > Extensions … then browse to the extension pack.

Done, it’s installed ok.
What’s next?

OK, let’s make sure you’re a member of the vboxusers group … or USB devices won’t work in the Windows VM.

What’s the output from:


pooky2483@pooky2483-ubuntu12:~$ groups
pooky2483 adm cdrom sudo dip plugdev lpadmin sambashare

OK, as the “Users and Groups” GUI application isn’t installed by default in 12.04, run:

sudo apt-get install gnome-system-tools

Now fire up “Users and Groups” … then click “Manage Groups” … scroll down to “vboxusers”, and double-click it … in the resulting “Group ‘vboxusers’ Properties” dialog box, make sure your username is ticked … click “OK” … close the other diaalog boxes that are still open.


when rebooted, run:


and post the output.


pooky2483@pooky2483-ubuntu12:~$ groups
pooky2483 adm cdrom sudo dip plugdev lpadmin sambashare vboxusers

OK, are you going to be installing XP from a disk, or directly from an ISO image ?

How much RAM do you have ?

I’ve got my original XP Pro install disk and as I had it installed before I moved over to Ubuntu, I have the maximum memory that Window$ can handle, 3Gb. I will however at sometime in the future be expanding to 8Gb that ,y Ubuntu system can handle.

OK, read this:

Give the XP install about 1GB - 1.5GB RAM (so you have plenty left for the Ubuntu host)
(you can adjust this later after the install … ie. if you install more RAM … as you can with all other VM settings)

And accept the defaults for other things like the virtual HDD … it will say it’s only an 8GB HDD, but it dynamically adjusts its size (as long as you accept the defaults).

Any questions … feel free to ask :slight_smile:

And remember, NOTHING you do during the install of XP in Virtualbox is being written to your “actual” Linux HDD, it’s ALL being done to the “virtual” machine/HDD file … so worst case scenario, delete the XP VM and start again.

What I’m saying is nothing you do in Virtualbox is likely to hurt your Linux install :wink:


Once you have XP installed in a VM, let us know, as it will be a good idea to install “Guest Additions” inside the Windows VM.

OK, I’ll have a good read and get started. If I have any problems, I’ll give you a shout.

No problem … it really is easy … , after the initial few questions about setting up the VM virtual hardware, it’s pretty much just a normal XP install :slight_smile:


Here’s another link you might want to look at:

But as I said, other than the amount of RAM you assign to the VM … it’s probably best to just accept the defaults and keep clicking “Next” … nearly all the other settings can be adjusted after XP is installed, if you wish.

Not sure what to do with the Hard Drive setting?