[ubuntu] How to Safely install ubuntu

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http://ubuntuforums.org – Hello! I have a new HP laptop preinstalled with Windows 8. I checked and it does have UEFI. I would like to install Ubuntu alongside it, but I don't want to end up with an unusable system, as I can't get a new one. I have heard that the windows partitioner is more reliable than Gparted. However, I also have heard that regular Backups are advised. What is the simplest and most efficient way to backup my whole system? I have read that a special EFI partition is needed. How do you make an EFI partition? And the most important question of all, How can I safely install ubuntu? (Hardware)