Ubuntu installation problems

Asked by bigSQUISHY76

My computer is currently running Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition which is on a 750Gig HDD. On this computer there is a secondary HDD a 500Gig which I am using strictly for data storage and as a back up.

I would like to install Ubuntu 10.4 on the same HDD has XP. The Ubuntu installer does not give me this option. It only gives me the option to install over XP, or do a manual partition. I am not comfortable doing this unguided. The last time I had Kubuntu installed it resized the HDD for me and installed along XP with no problems.

The XP HDD has been CHKDSK'ed and defragmented prior to my installation attempts. Gparted will allow me to create a partition but the install will not use it when I attempt to install.

I am a linux idiot, still very new to anything more than beginner user stuff, If that. Please help if you have the time.

I am currently at work and the computer is at home. I am asking now so by time I get home I may have some suggestions or possible soloutions and I do not have to spend another 3 nights up to all hours trying to do something that normaly be very simple.

Thank you for your time in advance!

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Mario Tomljenović (tomljenovicmario) said :


You will have to make place for Ubuntu first. You can resize first hard disk using partition manager in Windows. After you have done that, you can install Ubuntu.

You will have to do a manual selection of partition. When you get to this window:


you have to select the last option: "Specify partitions manually". Than just use unpartitioned space to install Ubuntu on.

If you have any questions, just ask.

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bigSQUISHY76 (james-mitchell) said :

Thank you for the above assistance. As far as Specify partitions manually"

That is the part where I am out of my element. I am imagining I am not going to use NTFS, but the something 4 file system. Also which option do i choose to mount. I have read here on the site and it explains all the different mount areas. /boot, /local/user etc... but which one should I mount it to and will Ubuntu creat all of the other little partition areas when it installs.

What I am wondering is why I am not getting the option everyone else does when it comes to initial install of Ubuntu? All the how too and what not show an option to install along side XP and choose which to boot on start up. It also explains that during install Ubuntu should show a screen with a slider that will allow you to decide how much ofr the XP HDD to partition off for Ubuntu.

There should be at least 4 options given during for where ot how to install ubuntu.

What might be prevention me from getting these options like everyone else?

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bigSQUISHY76 (james-mitchell) said :

Another question, is this: If I creat a partition on my XP drive for Ubuntu what file format should it be to make it easier for Ubuntu to recognize it as usable?

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Mario Tomljenović (tomljenovicmario) said :

Manual partitioning is not hard at all.

Before you install Ubuntu, you need to make space for Ubuntu. Just download a partition manager for Windows (for example Easus partition manager), and shrink Windows partition so you have at least 15 GB free, or more. When you have done that, you can insert Ubuntu CD, restart computer, and start the installation.

As I said you will have to manually specify partitions. Here are the instructions for the installation:


You will see unpartitioned space, that you prepared for Ubuntu. Click on it, and add new partition for Ubuntu, like here:


Just select ext4 filesystem, / mountpoint, and size.

Eventually, you can make /home partition. It is for your personal data and settings.

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Mario Tomljenović (tomljenovicmario) said :

I forgot one more thing. You can make additional partition called swap. It is a virtual memory for Linux, kind of a backup for RAM memory. I recommend at least one GB.

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bigSQUISHY76 (james-mitchell) said :

The problem seemed to be because the XP disk was completely allocated and had no second partition. However after several tries I found that the second partition I had created was allocated and not viewed by Ubuntu as "Free Space" So by resizing the XP partition it created an un-allocated " free space" on the drive that Ubuntu viewed as usable. I greatly appreciate your help with this issue and although your answer did not directly solve my problem it lead me to the solution in an indirect way. Thank you again!

I have posted my newest installation problem.