It almost went flawlessly. The default boot from the live CD gave me hashed squiggles all over the screen, so I rebooted and chose 'safe graphics'. Fine. Then I installed, and tried to resize the partition on my largest drive. I got an error saying the resize didn't work. So I booted to Windows and defragmented my drive. More free space at the end of the drive, and presto, this time the partition resize worked. So I take out the live CD, and boot, and I get:
GRUB Loading stage 1.5.
GRUB loading, please wait...
And it stops. What? and my PC won't boot! Yikes!
Of course I'm actually a geek, so there are two other PCs and a wireless network in the house. Forums suggest checking whether all drives are accessible in the bios. They are, but the 300 Gb drive is showing up as 137 Gb in the bios. Hmm, very suspicious, because my new Ubuntu partition is in the last 70 Gb of that 300 Gb drive. Sigh. I look carefully at the bios, and discover I have an Intel motherboard. Search for bios updates, and lo and behold, one of the new features of the newest bios is 'recognize big drives'.
But how do I install the bios? I don't have a floppy, and the directions don't match what I download - there's no 'run.bat'. Well, someone is promoting the Super Grub Disk to solve boot problems. I try to put it on a USB stick, but the computer won't boot off that, even though USB boot is enabled in my bios. So I finally get a CD .iso, burn it, and boot from that. One of the options is Boot Windows. It works, yeah! Now I can go to the Intel site and get a different version of the bios update, which will install from inside Windows.
Reboot, take out the CD, and I've got a menu for choosing to boot Ubuntu or Windows. Victory!