Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have two hard drives, one that my Windows 7 install is on and another that I have my data is on. I had set aside 100 GB on the data drive to install Ubuntu, which has worked fine in the past when I used GRUB. I broke it by messing around, so I wiped it clean and decided to reinstall.

This time, though, I wanted to use Window's bootloader so if I break Ubuntu again I don't have to fix the MBR again. I was following this guide, which is admittedly for dual booting off the same hard drive but I figured I could get it to work.

I partitioned off 100 GB of my data drive and no problem, Windows still recognizes the drive just fine. Then I installed Ubuntu (manually creating the partitions) on my data drive. Seems to work fine, until reboot. For some reason, Windows can no longer see the data drive at all.

What's really weird is that when I was using GRUB as my bootloader it could see the drive just fine. Why can't Windows see the hard drive? Is there a way I can make this work? Or am I just going to have to use GRUB as my bootloader?

share|improve this question
Can you see the disk from Windows as, Rightclick My Computer >>Manage>> Disk Management. What does it shows , screenshot would be helpful too. – atenz Aug 15 '12 at 5:23

Look at the file system of your Ubuntu partition. Windows cannot hardly recognize other file systems than NTFS and FAT32. So if your Ubuntu partition is not NTFS nor FAT32 (the installer proposes ext4 by default I think), Windows will not likely recognize your partition since it does not know its file system. However, there are some softwares on Windows to see other file systems.

share|improve this answer
Right, that I've got. I should clarify that I have one large NTFS partition on this drive (that it can't see) and then the Ubuntu install (/boot, /, and /home as ext4 and swap). I just noticed that the drive is dynamic under Windows, could that give me a problem? – JosephRT Aug 15 '12 at 3:24
No the problem is that Windows does not recognize natively ext4. So it does not not see partitions with it. Among them, there is your Ubuntu install. What you can do is reinstalling Ubuntu on a partition with NTFS or looking for a way for Windows to recognize ext4 partitions. – air-dex Aug 15 '12 at 3:27
I do understand that Windows isn't going to be able to read ext4, but that's not what I, but that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm not try to read the ext4 partitions at all, I'm trying to read the NTFS partition that's on that same drive. The Ubuntu install is on the same hard drive as the NTFS partition, and it's the NTFS partition that becomes inaccessible when I install Ubuntu on the drive. – JosephRT Aug 15 '12 at 3:37

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.