If you are using Ubuntu as a live CD, there are a couple of things to be aware of:
- DO NOT CLICK THE INSTALL BUTTON ON THE DESKTOP unless you want to erase the hard drive and install Ubuntu. If you do click that button, it will warn you first. It will also give you the option to shrink the Windows partition (section) of the hard drive and install Ubuntu next to it. But if you want to make a dual-boot system, only do it to your own personal computer, and be sure you follow dual-boot instructions carefully, backing up the files first and defragmenting the hard drive.
- DO NOT SAVE FILES DIRECTLY TO THE HARD DRIVE. The Ubuntu live CD makes doing that very difficult, but I mention it in case someone tries to poke around deeper in the operating system. If you save a file with normal methods while using the Ubuntu live CD, it saves it only to the computer's memory, and that is safe. The only problem is if you try to find the computer's hard drive (a somewhat difficult task) and try to write files to an NTFS Windows-formatted hard drive. Linux cannot safely write to NTFS-formatted hard drives. Other drives like USB thumb drives, memory cards, CD, DVDs, FAT32-formatted drives, are all safe to write to.
If you have questions about using Linux, ask in the Linux for Travelers forum.