Windows and Linux dual-boots can be painful and tricky, and always lingering with the threat of wiping out your previous set-up if you step in the wrong direction. Beyond GRUB and LiLo, you can easily setup a Linux dual-boot with your Windows machine using the Windows Boot Loader with Wubi.
Using my fully developed (full-production) Windows Server 2003 desktop, I installed Wubuntu where it grabbed all the information it needed and installed Ubuntu parallel to Windows. Machine name, domain info, and just about all the other basics were already migrated over before I even logged into the Ubuntu set-up. This all takes place without partitioning off a section of the disk, but it does have about an 8GB footprint after set-up. This was certainly painless and switching from Windows to Ubuntu are now a restart away.
If you’re a Windows user that would like to experiment with Linux, this is not a bad place to start.
Basically, use your established windows machine and download Wubi. Tell it to install and it will download everything it needs and go about its business. It will take a while for set-up to complete, so don’t do this in a hurry. The next time you boot up, you should see the “Choose your operating system” dialog of white text on a black background. You’ll have a new choice of Ubuntu. Your current default OS remains and Wubi simply adds a 5 second opportunity to jump in and manually specify that you want to start Ubuntu. The first time you start Ubuntu it will take a little while (< 10 minutes) to setup and configure everything, but eventually you’ll get to a point where you can log in and start enjoying the open-source goodness. It’s pretty impressive how easy this was and how much info it carried over. The only thing I had to add was my monitor’s native resolution, restart, and change to that.