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I have win7 installed in my system and I decided to give Ubuntu a try. I formatted my drive as follow :

  1. C:\ - For Win7 - 55G
  2. D:\ - Data - 40G
  3. E:\ - Unallocated space - 55G -> This is where the installation of Ubuntu

I tried to install with this partition table (All set as logical)

  • /dev/sda6 /boot - 258 mb
  • /dev/sda7 swap - 2000mb
  • /dev/sda8 /
  • /dev/sda9 /home

I get this error in the middle of the installation

Unable to install GRUB in /dev/sda6
Executing 'grub-install/dev/sda6' failed This is fatal error

I followed this article but it seems not working for Ubuntu 11.10. Am I missing something in the installation? Any feedback will be helpful.

share|improve this question
I would not bother with all this partitioning. It is obviously confusing the installer. Change everything back to before you partitioned and re-do the install and the 11.10 installer will ask if you want to install alongside Windows -- pick that option and you should be set. – Chan-Ho Suh Feb 21 '12 at 6:25
As what I have read, its better to install by not letting GRUB override the MBR. I currently dont have my win7 dvd that's why I dont want to mess my MBR in case something goes wrong. But why am I getting the fatal error? Do I need to set the boot partition to Primary and the others to logical? – zero Feb 21 '12 at 7:06
GRUB does not overwrite/override the MBR. It gets installed to its own BIOS partition. The auto installation will change a piece of the MBR to point to GRUB. If you're willing to follow the instructions in your link, which does the same kind of thing but using a program you download, I don't see what the issue is here. You're making life harder for yourself for no apparent reason. – Chan-Ho Suh Feb 21 '12 at 7:45
As for your particular error above, you are trying to install GRUB to the swap partition instead of the boot partition. – Chan-Ho Suh Feb 21 '12 at 7:49
shantanu seems to be wrong in quite a few points: 1. You can install an OS into a logical partition. 2. There may be up to 4 (not 5) primary partitions. 3. I don't think a reinstall is needed or useful at all. – maaartinus Apr 22 '12 at 20:42

Did you tell the partitioner to install grub in /dev/sda6/boot ? IIRC, there is a drop down bottom of the partitioner enabling you to so that prior to the final commit.

Did you set the bootable flag on sda6 after you created it? That may have a bearing on it.

Before you do further work on this, download and burn a SuperGrub2 Disk, just in case. That way you'll be able to restore Windows boot if all goes horribly wrong.


share|improve this answer
yes I installed the grub in the /boot. I tried it twice with no luck. what should be the type of partition of the /boot? primary or logical? how about file system? I have use logical and ext2. – zero Feb 21 '12 at 7:46
I reserve Ext2 for solid state drives to reduce the number of journal writes, because the early ones can 'wear out' quickly. With conventional HDDs I use Ext4 because of the added protection that conveys. As an experiment, you could use gparted to remove all the partitions you created and run a vanilla install to see if the installer can create a viable ubuntu installation pretty much left to its own devices as in install using available space. Alternatively, just create a 10Gb /root, 1Gb swap and assign the rest to /home and let the installer take the strain. It rarely goes wrong. – Vic Feb 21 '12 at 10:18
how about for the /boot? can I create it using ext4? and set to primary or logical? does this matter to ubuntu? – zero Feb 21 '12 at 10:45
Try not creating /boot. Left to its own devices the installer will stick everything in /root. After a crash, you can't recover your data. IMHO much better to have just /root, /swap and /home. Then if disaster strikes and your OS flies south you have the option of reinstalling and keeping the original /home, so your data is still there. Which is nice. If you don't specify a /boot partition the installer creates a 'virtual' /boot inside /root, which works absolutely fine, one thing less to worry about. Ext 4 is fine for everything, barring /swap, of course. – Vic Feb 21 '12 at 11:41

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