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I'm trying to install along side windows on an HP Pavillion dv7. I've installed ubuntu on other machines, so I know a little about the process.

If I remember right, my HD had too many partitions, and I would have to remove one to dual boot properly, so I put it off until now.

I'm using a live CD now, and I'm on the "Installation type" step. I don't really understand what I'm looking at.


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How are installing, and you have to have an empty drive in order to create a minimum of two partitions. – Mitch May 26 '12 at 16:49
Sorry, but I don't understand. I'm installing from a live CD. – Parker May 26 '12 at 16:53
From the image that you included you do not have an empty drive in order to create the two needed partitions. – Mitch May 26 '12 at 16:55
So I can't install it? – Parker May 26 '12 at 16:59
You can use something like GParted to resize one the partitions. – Mitch May 26 '12 at 17:04
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Let me try to explain this one.

Problem: If you already have four primary partitions, then you won't be able to create another partition on your hard disk.

Solution: Copy all the data from one of your partitions to another and delete that former partition. You can copy it to an external hard disk too. I seriously can't see any workaround for this.

In order to delete a partition, launch Gparted and right-click on the drive that you wish to delete. Refer to the figure below:

enter image description here

After deleting it proceed with inserting a Live CD and your ubuntu installation. When you reach the step that you have shown in the figure, select the "unallocated space" (We will have that since we just deleted a partition) and select "logical" from the small window that pops up.

I think you can complete the rest of the installation steps with your own logic. Do let me know if you need any more information. :)

You can see my logical partition as /dev/sda2. Once you have a logical partition, you can create as many individual partitions in it as you want. As for what's the exact difference between a primary and logical partition, I'm afraid I do not know.

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Thank You! Do you any advice as to which partition I should delete? – Parker May 26 '12 at 17:53
As far as I can see, you should copy your data from /dev/sda3 to /dev/sda2 (Hoping that /dev/sda2 will have that much free space) and delete /dev/sda3. I say this because of one assumption and one reason. The assumption is that /dev/sda2 is your windows C: drive and the reason is that your /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda4 do not have sizes to be useful partitions. – harisibrahimkv May 26 '12 at 17:57
Why do you say that "If you already have four primary partitions, then you won't be able to create another partition on your hard disk.". The screenshot in your answer shows 9 partitions which should be impossible if what you said were true. – irrational John May 26 '12 at 23:49
I have only three partitions on my hard disk namely sda1, sda2 and sda3. The sda2 is a container for logical partitions. If you read the last paragraph of my answer, I have said there that you can create as many partitions as you want inside it. I hope this clears your doubt. – harisibrahimkv May 27 '12 at 0:26

Your screenshot makes it look like you're creating a custom partition. Assuming that's the case:

  • Create two partitions: one more than 7 GB for mounting the root filesystem, and another about 2-3 GB for your swap partition.
  • Create the root partition with ext4 filesystem and set the mount point to /.
  • And the swap partition as linux-swap.

If you want you can create another partition, around 4-5 GB, for as ext4 and mount /home on it. (This puts users home folders on a separate partition from the rest of the files on the computer.)

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What would happen if I clicked "install now?" This step seemed much easier to understand in the past. – Parker May 26 '12 at 17:20
What is the benifit of creating several different partitions when Ubuntu can create all necessary arrangements. – Curious Apprentice May 26 '12 at 19:30
parker u can run into the risk of wiping entire disk @CuriousApprentice control over how much size u wanna assign and where in the disk – sarveshlad May 27 '12 at 4:16
@sarveshlad If you make a small mistake manually partitioning, you also run the risk of wiping the whole disk. If you tell the Ubuntu installer to install alongside existing operating systems (and not to use the entire disk), it will automatically shrink down existing operating systems' partitions (if necessary) and create its partitions next to them. – Eliah Kagan Jan 21 '13 at 7:08
@EliahKagan yes I'm aware, but it often finds the most free space and makes the ntfs partition extremely small with no space for additional files, also the risk of making mistakes are minimum when the partition are labelled! – sarveshlad Jan 22 '13 at 18:13

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