Bill writes:

I have installed Ubuntu on my XP netbook. However, I didn’t go through the elaborate steps in your two-part tutorial. I just downloaded the Ubuntu installer using Windows. I now have a dual-boot set up — when I turn on the computer, I have a choice of booting XP or Ubuntu. Did I miss out on anything by not using your approach?

Many readers are wondering if, after they install Linux Ubuntu, if they can still keep XP on the computer.  You can run a dual boot with both operating systems. However, you will still leave yourself open to the same security risks if you leave XP open to the Internet.

You could, however, set it up so you disable your network card when using XP, if you only want to use XP for programs and games that you can use offline. That way, when you want to use those programs you just reboot into XP and start to work. Here’s how you can disable your network card.

First, go to the Start menu and click on Control Panel.

Then, click on Network Connections.

You will see all of your available connections, generally an Ethernet connection and maybe a wireless adapter as well. Right click on each one, and in the menu that pops up, click Disable.

Once it is disabled, it will always be disabled unless you physically enable it again. That way, each time you start up into the XP operating system, your computer will be safely offline. The internet connection will still be active when using Ubuntu.