How to try Ubuntu without messing with your existing OS?

Now when you have 25 reason to use Ubuntu instead of Windows, then I am sure you will like to try it. How you do it is a question? And most probably you are afraid to mess around with your existing operating system.
I tell you what, it is very very simple and with Ubuntu 8.04 it is even simpler than ever. (Will be covered in a future post.)

  1. Download the Live CD *.iso image (after 24th April, 2008 for latest Hardy Heron) on your hard drive for your machine. (i386 if Intel processor and AMD 64 if AMD processor)
  2. Burn the image file to a CD or DVD with your choice of software Roxio, Nero or whatever. I will suggest using a RW (re-writable) disc so that if you don’t like it, you don’t waste a CD (chances are very low, but in case)
  3. You can even get it shipped to you free of cost through Shipit if you don’t even want to download.
  4. Insert the burnt Live CD in your CD drive.
  5. Restart your machine.
  6. Go to the system BIOS and change the booting option to CD/DVD drive. (You have to be quick to go to the BIOS, else you will end up booting your existing OS.) Generally you have to press F2, F8, Delete or some specific key to go to system BIOS. Refer your system manual.
  7. Boot Ubuntu from the CD.
  8. Ubuntu Live CD will load and give you a screen to select what you want to do further. (You might have to wait 2-5 minutes depending upon your system to see this screen.)
  9. Select ‘Try and Install Ubuntu’. Don’t worry it won’t load Ubuntu on your machine and you won’t lose any data.
  10. It will take another 2-3 minutes to give you a desktop.
  11. Now you are in Live session of Ubuntu OS. You can test your machine to see all your hardware works on it. You can play games and do lots of other stuff.
  12. If you like you can double-click on the ‘Install Ubuntu’ icon on the desktop. (Next post will elaborate on the install options.)
  13. You don’t have to install now, if you wanna try it for some days.
  14. To exit, just click ‘Quit’ and ‘Shut Down’ the system.
  15. Remove CD from the CD drive when prompted. Hit enter.
  16. Reboot to use your existing OS. No changes have been made to your system…right. Cool….
  17. Come back to this blog to see what you need to do to Dual boot your system keeping your existing OS. (Dual Boot : You will have option while booting to select which OS you want to boot from. You can select if you want Windows, Ubuntu, Mac or any other thing.)

    Hope this post helped you in trying Ubuntu for free without affecting your existing OS.

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    16 thoughts on “How to try Ubuntu without messing with your existing OS?

    1. Pingback: Ubuntu 8.04 ‘Hardy Heron’ Release Candidate is here « Technomania

    2. Hi There,

      I’m trying to do exactly what you described – i’m sick of XP so I want to try Ubuntu with no changes to my computer. I’ve burnt the .iso to a disk, and when I restart my computer, I make sure I have the boot from CD option selected. Then it tells me to select a language for Ubuntu, I select English, then the next menu is “Try…”, “Install”, “Check CD for defects…”.

      In that menu, no matter what I select, it just hangs there. Two minutes pass, 5 minutes pass…..nothing happens and if I click several keys, it ends up saying “Error reading Boot CD”. Any idea what could be causing this? I burnt the CD 2-3 different times, making sure I use the correct image options. it doesn’t work. Could it be a hardware related problem? Are there any hardware restrictions to be aware of?

      I would really like to put an end to my XP life. If you can share some ideas as to what happens, I’d be grateful!

    3. There are couple of things that might be causing this:
      1. The CD might be bad. Try it on some different machine. Shortest method is to check SUM.
      2. Your computer might not be able to boot from CD. Some company owned laptops are known to be restricted like that.
      Else you tell me your computer configuration and brand, I might be able to find out the cause.
      You can also try to search for help on Ubuntu Forum at
      Let me know if it helped to make a move.
      Anurag Bansal

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    5. Tried this w/o installing anything on my computer and now i can’t connect to network from Windows any more.
      re-installing network drivers hasn’t helped.
      This Ubuntu is a piece of cr.. destroying my network connection.
      Can’t find a fix for this?

    6. Pingback: 20 articles to read before and after installing Ubuntu | Knowliz

    7. I to am sick of Windows. The costs, the crashes the time spent trying to fix problems. But I did burn the CD and I get an error message after changing the BIOS settings. The error says NTLDR is missing. Does anyone know what that means.

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