2am is never a good time to start installing Linux especially a dual-boot on a Windows 7 netbook.
It had had a previous version of Ubuntu installed running under the Windows Boot Manager (WBM) what should be simpler than to drop the old version and reinstall Ubuntu 10.10.
First I removed Ubuntu from WBM using bcdedit then cleaned down it's NTFS partition
Starting with a Live CD booting from a USB drive this should have been the first sigI should stop as it was very slow but it eventually started (nearly 2 hours) and after checking wifi/webcam I when for the install linux option - unfortunately i wasn't paying attention and it picked another data partition which I was using as a data drive ...
However when the installation completed Ubuntu was failing to start so time to give up.
I removed grub using MBR Fix , very useful utility when you don't have a DVD to run the Windows recovery console, and I'm now restoring my lost data from backup.