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 put ubuntu 12.04 on a USB (Kingston 8GB) and I go to install and I can't it gives options for erase and something else I have 4 primary partitions win7 for my main partition and 3 created by HP HP_TOOLS, HP_RECOVERY and SYSTEM

To get to my point how do I install ubuntu on HDD

I have a HP probook 200 notebook PC.

Can I remove any partitions? When I do sudo fdisk -l

This Comes Up

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x3ed7e7b0

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *        2048      409599      203776    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2          409600   946591743   473091072    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3       946591744   976560127    14984192    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda4       976560128   976771119      105496    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

Disk /dev/sdb: 7803 MB, 7803174912 bytes
122 heads, 58 sectors/track, 2153 cylinders, total 15240576 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xc3072e18

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *        8064    15240575     7616256    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
share|improve this question
See:… – user68186 Oct 8 '12 at 3:01

It's the four partitions that are the problem; there's currently no space for Ubiquity to put an extended partition since four logical partitions is the maximum. If there is one of the partitions that is not required then you can delete it and let Ubuiquity make its extended partition. (you can then have many more partitions inside the extended partition).

We need to know what the partitions are currently being used for so that we can advise you on which is the best way to go. Presumably Win7 is your main partition, however it may just be a Microsoft bootloader. The recovery partition is the Windows recovery, which can be used to re-install Windows from scratch if you have to. It's probably a good idea to make the boot DVD's as well, rather than just relying on the recovery partition. HP_tools and System could be anything - but System could be your real Windows partition.

If system partition is indeed the largest and contains the real Windows system, I think I would backup the data on it and delete it. You could then use that space for an extended partition which could contain Windows and the Ubuntu root and swap partitions. Backing up your data at this point would be a very good idea, as is making the Windows install disks - there will be a HP Utility for doing so. After you make the Windows boot disk, make quite sure there are no errors and that you can boot off it.

So that we can help you further, please boot of the Ubuntu LiveCD or LiveUSB and select "try Ubuntu". Next open a terminal windows with ctrlaltt and type

sudo fdisk -l

and past the results from it into your question.

Thanks, that gives us some idea. It looks like:

sda1 hpfs   407551     194MB  208MiB
sda2 hpfs   946182143  451GB  484445MiB
sda3 hpfs   29968383   14GB   15343MiB
sda4FAT32   210991     100Mb  108MiB

It seems that the main partition is /dev/sda2, 450Gb

After backing up and making sure that you have made the Windows installation disks correctly, you could try deleting /dev/sda2 and make and extended partition in its place. You can then make three partitions inside the extended partition: Windows partition, ext4 Linux partition, and a Linux swap partition at least equal to your RAM size.

The problem may be that Windows won't install to a logical partition easily, however a google search finds instructions for this so it should be possible to do so. This might be a little complicated for the Windows installation, so there are a few alternatives:

A Wubi install of Ubuntu uses a Virtual Ubuntu boot disk inside of Windows. It's a good way of using Ubuntu without changing your Windows or the partitions at all.

An alternative would be to remove the Windows Bootloader on /dev/sda1 as well since installing Ubuntu will also install the grub bootloader, so it is really redundant. The procedure would be as follows:

  1. Backup all important data in the Windows installation and make sure that you can access recovery options for Windows such as the OEM installation partition
  2. On the Windows main partition run chkdsk and defrag the drive
  3. Delete the Windows bootloader partition
  4. Resize the main Windows partition to make room for the extended partition - size is up to you (maybe 50/50?)
  5. Create the extended partition in the space left by resizing Windows.
  6. Create two partitions inside the extended partition: 1 swap partition of at least the size of your RAM, and the rest as and ext4 partition for Windows.
  7. Install Ubuntu in the new ext4 partition. After install both Ubuntu and Windows should be accessible.
share|improve this answer

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.