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I decided to dual boot Ubuntu 12.04 alongside my Windows 7 install. I'm on a Toshiba Satellite A665-s6050 if it matters, Windows 7 64-bit, 500 GB hdd.

I partitioned 80 gb of free space to install Ubuntu in. Struggled with the manual partitioner since the auto install thing wasn't showing up. Using various goggled tutorials, I made two partitions out of the free space, a SWAP partition about 2 GB in size and the other 78 gb partition, with mount point of "/" and tried installing. It installed, but when I booted again, it would only boot into windows.

So I tried running the install again, and this time it gave me the "Install alongside other operating system" and when I clicked that instead of giving me the slider bar where I allocate space, it went straight to install.

It is now working, and I'm dual booting, but now when I boot into windows, everything is as expected, my C: drive is 80 gb smaller.

But when I boot into Ubuntu, it gives me access to my entire HDD, even the windows files, and I'm not sure why. Did I limit Ubuntu to 80 gb or did I only limit Windows 7?

I'm thoroughly confused, it did not go as smoothly as it has when I've done clean installs of Ubuntu before on other computers. This was my first dual boot and it was a pain.

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What do you mean by "gives ... access"? Windows partitions can be mounted by linux. –  mutzmatron Aug 1 '12 at 19:31
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4 Answers

What happened is that the Ubuntu installer did not touch the 78+2 GB space you created by yourself. The installed chopped off new space from the C: drive.

What you should have done is to select the "Install alongside other operating system" option from the start.

Why did the initial installation fail? I guess the boot loader was not installed by some reason; did you try to install using a USB stick (instead of a CDROM)? If so, the bootloader might got installed on the USB stick which is not good. It should have been installed on the MBR of the C: drive.

How can you reclaim the 78+2GB space? There are several ways. You need to provide an image of your partition layout (a screenshot) from the Disk Utility program. Ask a new question about putting the space back.

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Congratulations on taking the time to try Ubuntu.

  • When you selected 'install alongside other operating system', the installer may have automatically resized the Windows C: partition and used that space. Sounds like it allocated 80 GB for Ubuntu.
  • I would recommend installing gparted Install gparted on Ubuntu to see how your hard drive got partitioned. (Note that if you try to perform operations on your Ubuntu partition while running Ubuntu from that partition, you'll probably run into errors.)

  • Ubuntu can see your Windows partitions without a problem, but Windows can't see your Ubuntu (GNU/Linux) partitions. This is because of the way filesystems work: each partition has a table of information about files, including where the actual file data is on a hard disk. There are different types of formats for storing this information, hence the term filesystem types. Windows (by default) stores data in the NTFS filesystem, whereas Ubuntu stores data in the ext4 filesystem (by default). The problem arises because while Ubuntu has software that tells it how to read NTFS filesystems, Windows doesn't have the equivalent software for ext4. Because of this, Ubuntu can read Windows filesystems, but not the other way around. I think there might be third-party programs for Windows to see Ubuntu partitions; try Googling "read ext4 on windows".

  • You should be careful with dual-boot. If something goes wrong with Windows it can be a pain to make the bootloader work again for someone still getting the hang of Ubuntu. Ubuntu is definately worth the trouble in the long run though.

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everything is right with your installation, only there could be an unused partition , which could be the leftover of your previous ubuntu installation. you can format it but very carefully, if the grub resides there , you will not be able to boot to any os if it is deleted .

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This is normal. Ubuntu can safely read and write partitions made by Windows(using either the FAT or the NTFS file systems). This is normal. Ubuntu isn't made to create a forty-foot wall between it and Windows. It is made to be flexible, and many users find it useful to be ale to access their Windows files. Do not worry.

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