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I recently installed Ubuntu 12.04, which I had been booting from a usb key, as a dual-boot on my machine running Windows 7. From what I had read online while researching, I was prepared to have to shrink the Windows partition and all that. But I never had to - it really was just a few clicks here and there and it was installed. I'm still pretty confused about it, but whatever, it worked, and the two peacefully coexist on my machine, and I have broken things to fix before I worry about fixing unbroken things.

So yesterday I got it in my head to look at my partitions (I was considering making an all new partition to install the Windows 8 Release Preview). What I saw confused me. Here's a screenshot of the disk utility. At this moment, there is nothing connected to my computer, and nothing in any of the optical drives/ports/card readers/etc.

Disk Utility Screenshot

Can you help me figure out what's going on here?
Don's Machine is, I believe, my Windows partition - that's the name I assigned my machine from Windows Explorer.
PQSERVICE is from what I can find online also Windows, but having to do with backup.
And SYSTEM REQUIRED, if I browse it in Ubuntu, is definitely something to do with booting, and I believe it is also Windows'. According to the sizes shown, those three together should use up my 500 GB HD.

Then further down, as a "peripheral device", it lists that 31 GB disk. This is obviously my Ubuntu (Model:Linux Loop:root.disk), but why is it showing up as a peripheral?

So, to sum up those questions and to add some more random ones I had:

  • Why is Ubuntu showing up as a peripheral device?
  • If the Windows sections take up all 500 GB, where does Ubuntu live?
  • If I renamed the disk partitions, would my life become a nightmare (seriously - can I safely rename them)?
  • Why didn't I have to resize the Windows partition in the first place?
  • Would giving Ubuntu more space improve its performance (it hangs alot)?
  • Is it possible to have a partition for each OS (Windows 7 & 8, Ubuntu), a partition for files, and a separate partition for backups? Is this towards the good or bad idea end of the spectrum?

@Elfy, would that explain why it keeps hanging? I guess I'll backup my files, rip it out, and reinstall it correctly later on today.

@Takkat: Rather than bother with converting it to a true install, which many things I read said would be difficult, I decided to just back up my small amount of data, erase it, and redo it the right way. Now I have something a little more in keeping with what I would expect from a dual boot, and every time I start up, I see a purple GRUB screen. Success I think. Second Screenshot of Disk Utility (I successfully created the partition without problem or data loss, but wasn't paying attention and installed 32 bit Ubuntu on a 64 bit system. Didn't work well. Fixed the MBR, uninstalled Linux, and installed the RIGHT Ubuntu).

  • So can I rename these partitions?
  • I set up a 50GB partition. How come the partition is 54 GB, and Ubuntu only took 4?
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Model:Linux Loop:root.disk - if it is called this then you did NOT install as a dual boot - you installed Ubuntu though windows - this is Wubi. Consequently it is not using a partition - but a file within windows. – 23 93 26 35 19 57 3 89 Jun 21 '12 at 10:38
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It seems you installed Ubuntu with the Windows Installer (Wubi). This means that your Ubuntu installation resides in a file on your Windows (NTFS) partition (look for C:\ubuntu\disks\root.disk). This file will be mounted as a loop device on booting into Ubuntu. This is the "peripheral device" you noticed.

It is therefore likely not the dual-boot setup you intended to do. But, as you already mentioned, if everything works fine you may leave it like that. You can always migrate this installation to a regular installation later:

How to convert Wubi install into regular install?

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