Well I have seen the enemy, and it is me. Never again will I multitask while I'm playing with a partition table. On the positive side of things, but actually it might be the negative side, I'm now somewhat of a Windows expert at least in my own mind.
Not only have I tried perhaps every tool in the Windows recovery disk, but I have built my Windows laptop from scratch twice.
My last effort was very successful. I ended up formatting my hard drive and creating two equal size partitions using Windows tools. I did a complete install of Windows where I learned the brutal lesson that you have to install drivers to make Windows work. I reinstalled Norton Virus protection, Thunderbird, and MS Office 2003 and all the Windows updates. I managed to get printing going but didn't feel like digging into Windows networking. I would estimate that it took me between two and three hours to get Windows back to the way it was before I managed to re-size the Windows partition out of existence.
After doing Windows, installing Ubuntu's Breezy Badger was an absolute piece of cake. I just accepted all the defaults on partitioning and everything worked great. My previous problem was the old Linux installation.
I still can't get over how easy the Breezy Badger networking is. I figure my Ubuntu Linux installation complete with networking, desktop customization, e-mail and printing took about forty-five minutes. The only driver that I manually picked was for my HP printer. That's hard to compare to all those drivers I had to install for Windows. I can't believe people put up with Windows.
I feeling much more comfortable with Linux. I even managed to follow the instructions to use sudo in terminal to edit the Grub settings so there is some color in the menus and a longer delay before the default OS is started.
I have to say that Ubuntu wins the award as the best Linux distribution for those of us who don't know Linux. I believe it as easy to install as Mac OS X. I also think adding a printer and the networking may perhaps be easier in Ubuntu than in OS X. Of course with Ubuntu you get a full suite of office products and Firefox without having to do any further installs.
I cannot believe that anyone can seriously argue that Windows takes less effort to deploy. I think Ubuntu is a great option for people who want a serious operating system without monetary cost. The Evolution e-mail package and contact manager are very sophisticated.
I don't think anyone will regret trying Ubuntu. Of course nothing is perfect, I'm still having some challenges with wireless networking but everything else is working perfectly including GRUB. Consider me an Ubuntu convert.