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I have an HP pavilion g7 with a 500GB HD and 4GB RAM.

My first problem was while I was installing Ubuntu 12.04 for the first time on this laptop. I accidentally deleted Windows 7. So I installed Ubuntu 12.04 on the entire disk.

Then I decided to install Windows 7 again. So I made a partition and installed Windows into that partition. I knew I might lose Ubuntu but did not consider that a problem because I was already thinking of installing Ubuntu again.

The problem is that I can't install Ubuntu into that partition. I tried deleting the partition, but in Windows I can't merge the partition so I can follow the instructions on Ubuntu when it makes a partition for itself. (And I do not want to break the machine again.)

This is how my disk is partitioned.

  1. 270GB Unallocated
  2. 100MB System
  3. 200GB C:/ (Windows 7)
  4. 20MB (I don't remember)

I want to merge the number 1 with number 3 and then start installing Ubuntu. When I try to install Ubuntu with that partition it will not let me install. The install is not allowed because there are more than 3 primary partitions or something like that. The system will not allow me to create another primary partition.

Any suggestions? I just want to merge the partition C:/ disk with the partition I made so I can install Ubuntu in a new partition created at the moment.

I searched in forums and blogs and they all said that once I delete a partition Windows is able to "expand" the C:/ disk. But in my case, I can't do that. I assume that I can't because I created that partition BEFORE I installed Windows 7 again.

I would appreciate any suggestions. If I could I would delete Windows but I depend on it for my work.

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Run an Ubuntu live cd, go into terminal, enter sudo gparted. Proceed to fix your partitions. –  Mike Lentini May 10 '12 at 16:00
    
@MikeLentini LOL! I have a serious problem... #ForeverAlone... lol! No, seriously, I tried that but, how can I fix it? That's the question. I try to expand with GParted and it doesn't let me do it. Sould I make the unallocated area as exteded or something like that? If I make it extended it can be merge with the partition of Windows 7 without any damage on Windows or something like that? –  d_Joke May 10 '12 at 16:05
    
Re: "Si tienes una respuesta en español sería mucho mejor." As far as I know, Ask Ubuntu is supposed to be English only. I suppose it might work if someone wanted to reply in English but also included a Spanish translation. (I don't make the rules, I just read about them.) –  irrational John May 11 '12 at 5:24
    
@irrationalJohn well, sorry. I didn't know. Perhaps I ask for spanish because I've seen some posts in spanish. I don't know... I think spanish and other languages SHOULD be supported. After all, humans have more than just one language. It would be awesome if we all have just one language. But anyways, here we are doing nothing... –  d_Joke May 12 '12 at 18:22
    
I honestly do not know what the policy on including other languages is. If you posted only in Spanish though, my guess ... and it is only a guess ... is that this could be frowned upon. If you're curious, do a search on Ask Ubuntu Meta or Meta Stack Exchange. Did you solve your question concerning partitioning? –  irrational John May 12 '12 at 18:30

4 Answers 4

Windows cant see your Ubuntu partition as windows cant read the file format ext4, which is normally used for Ubuntu 12.04..

Two ways to tackle the problem:

Firstly just reinstall Ubuntu 12.04. During the installation process both partitions will be shown and you can decide to reinstall Ubuntu on the ext4 partition.

Secondly you can recover the grub boot manager. This will allow you to access both operating systems without reinstalling them.

How to recover grub after window install

Have fun

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Sorry, I didn't tell that the partition that contains Ubuntu, well, I delete that partition so I was suppose to be able to merge all partitions and start over again. I didn't needed any information that I had on Ubuntu, so I decide to delete everything and now I can't merge the partitions and start over as a new installation. That's what I want to do. Any suggestion? –  d_Joke May 10 '12 at 15:16
    
Boot from the live-DVD. Run gparted. Delete both partitions. Make one large NTFS partition and install Windows to that. –  barrydrake May 10 '12 at 17:10
    
@barrydrake I need a Windows CD for that and I don't have one. If I make that unallocated partition as extended, it'll work to merge? I don't know... I'm just guessing. –  d_Joke May 10 '12 at 20:00
    
No it won't. If you don't have a Windows CD I strongly recommend that you find a way of getting one! I managed to download one from the internet a while ago. Firstly download and save this msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-58996.iso this takes a little while, then download and run this google.co.uk/… .By using this utility to open your Win 7 iso you can remove the eicfg file turning this into a bootable ,all versions, 32 bit, Win 7 iso. Once you've done this just burn it to a DVD. –  barrydrake May 11 '12 at 8:51

The thing is that you have to install Windows first because it wont run if it's not first on the disk. I should just use a live cd and make the whole disk a NTFS partition Install Windows on it and then install Ubuntu (Without deleting Windows). Or just stick with Ubuntu and install the Windows programs you need with wine and playonlinux.

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I can't install the programs that I run in Windows with Wine or PlayonLinux. I tried. And your solution is what I've think. I just want to know how I can make that partition part of the c:/ partition in Windows so I can install ubuntu again and fresh creating a new partition again. But to do that, I need to Merge the "unallocated" partition with the C:/ disk and that's when I get stuck. –  d_Joke May 10 '12 at 15:40

I suspect your problem is that you have a mixture of both primary and logical partitions on your drive. Yes, Windows 7 can extend a simple volume (partition) if free space is available. However, if the free space is in a logical partition it cannot be used to extend a primary partition.

Before you do anything else you should make a backup in case you do lose your data again. you want to be particularly careful if you do not have either

  1. a Windows install disk or
  2. other recovery media from HP which will allow you to restore your laptop to the condition it was in when you received it.

Many computers today store the recovery media in a "special" partition on the hard drive itself. If that is how your laptop works then you want to be especially careful so you do not delete or damage the recovery partition.

According to the manual on HP's web site you can determine if your laptop has recovery media on the drive by doing the following.

  • Turn on or restart the computer, and then press esc while the “Press the ESC key for Startup Menu” message is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Then, press F11 while the “F11 (System Recovery)” message is displayed on the screen.

Speaking for myself, I would not feel comfortable giving you any advice on how to modify your partitions until you provide a more detailed explanation of how your disk is currently partitioned. Providing a list of partitions and their sizes does not tell us enough about how the partitions are actually defined on your disk.

One way to provide this information is to create a Bootinfo Summary using a tool named the Boot-Repair. You can install and use this tool after booting your Ubuntu Live CD. Here are instructions for doing this.

First, boot your laptop using the Live CD and select the option to Try Ubuntu.

Once the Ubuntu desktop is ready, open a terminal window so you can install and run the Boot-Repair tool and use it to Create a Bootinfo summary. Enter the commands below into the terminal to install the tool using apt-get.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair
  1. After the installation completes, run the command boot-repair in the terminal window to start the tool.
  2. After a slight delay, boot-repair will prompt you to download the newest version. Since you just installed the latest version, answer No.
  3. If boot-repair asks to install the pastebinit package, respond with Yes.
  4. The tool will now scan your system and (eventually) display the window shown in the image below. Click on the Create a Bootinfo summary box/button. This will collect information about your hard drive's partitions, but will not make any changes.


    Initial Boot-Repair Window

  5. When the bootinfo summary has been created, boot-repair will display a message containing a URL which should look like this: http://paste.ubuntu.com/123456/.
    REMEMBER THIS URL!

    Please update/edit your question and add this URL. The information in the pastebin this link points to will help us understand how your computer is partitioned so we can suggest changes.
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Thanks you all for your answers but I fix my problem doing the following.

I was unable to merge disk C:/ with the unallocated area. I think the problem was that the System "partition" or space (the one with 100MB) was in between of the unallocated area and the C:/ disk. So, I merge the unallocated are with the System partition. Once I got that I proceed to shrink the System partition and there was the free space I needed to expand the C:/ disk. I run ubuntu from USB, make the partition again with "install alongside windows 7" and that was all.

Again, thanks a lot for your answers and even maybe there was an easy way to do that, well, I needed to fix my computer and this answer really help me.

PS: Yeah, I shouldn't be answering my own question but I though that maybe this can help someone with the same problem.

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Actually, answering your own question to complete it is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged. I think the opinion is that getting to an answer is more important than how you get there. See It’s OK to Ask and Answer Your Own Questions. This blog entry is also referenced in the last paragraph of this faq. –  irrational John May 12 '12 at 18:45

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