Taking Windows XP off PC

I want to put Linux on to my PC. Can I take off XP and store it on a flash drive, and if so how?
Thanks in advance

What do you mean by “Can I take off XP and store it on a flash drive”

Do you mean:

  1. Just backup your user data… this would backup your user directories, allowing you to copy them back, but ONLY after reinstalling XP from a CDROM, you would also have to reinstall any software.

  2. Create a ‘Disk Image’ (with Ghost etc.)… this would allow a full re-imaging of you hard drive, effectively putting your system back to the state it was in when you took the image… bear in mind an image is likely to be very large, and depending on what you have on your hard drive is unlikely to fit on a USB stick.

  3. Create a ‘Bootable’ USB stick with XP and your data… Whilst it is possible to install XP to a Bootable USB stick, then copy your already backed up files to it, you will loose any installed software which will have to be reinstalled.

Is there any reason you don’t want a ‘Dual Boot’ system?.. dual boot would allow you to keep Windows installed and have Linux installed as well… when you start your PC it will ask you which OS you want to boot into, XP or Linux.


I didn’t realise that you could have a “dual boot” system. That would really solve my dilemma.
Whats involved in doing this, and would it slow down my PC significantly? I should mention that I have removed all my files and folders onto flash drives, and may continue working that way in the future.

Whilst I use PCs a lot, I am still very ignorant on many aspects, which no doubt shows in my questions! Thank heavens there’s helpful guys like you about.

Can I push my luck with one more question: Would you keep Open Office and MS Office on a PC, or would you remove the latter?

Many thanks

BEFORE using the WUBI installer, make sure you have a reasonable amount of free space on your hard drive… the installation requires a minimum of 5GB free, but you will also require approx 15% (preferably more) of you hard drive free AFTER the installation for the Windows swap file and system restore points.

By far the easiest way to install Linux as a dual boot system would be to use WUBI which will install Ubuntu 9.10… WUBI can be downloaded (in windows) here:


See here for the WubiGuide (instructions and info):


Bear in mind that on April 29, a new version of Ubuntu (version 10.04) will be released, so if you are in no hurry it might pay to wait till then… there should be a new version of WUBI (which will install the 10.04 version) at the same URL as above on or around that date.

Just download the WUBI installer and run it in windows… the rest is automatic… it will download Ubuntu 9.10 and install it for you… bear in mind it has to download 700mb so it will take a while.

It shouldn’t slow your system at all, quite the contrary you will find Windows the same as before, and Linux should be faster than Windows.

If you were thinking of using a different Linux distro to Ubuntu, it can be done but is a little more involved.

Another way of having a usable Linux system WITHOUT the need to install to your hard drive at all, is to run Linux from a USB stick… again this wouldn’t affect your windows installation at all… but this will only work if your system can boot from a USB pendrive… this may not be as fast as running from your hard drive though… if you want to know more post back, or see:

Nothing wrong with keeping both Open Office and M$ Office if you want.

I personally don’t use M$ Office any more, and only use Open Office, as I only use Linux now and don’t feel inclined to give my hard earned to M$, or to be stuck with their proprietary formats :slight_smile:

And you are more than welcome to ask as many questions as you may have :slight_smile:

Mark, that is so helpful.
I will wait until the 29th for the latest Ubuntu version.
Thanks also for making what I thought would be a daunting task very easy!
You’re a star!