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I'm going to install Windows and I don't want it's partition to be mounted when Ubuntu starts. How do I do this?

Also, are Ubuntu partitions mounted on Windows startup?

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I don't know whether Windows auto mounts partitions but from my experience Ubuntu never auto mounts anything but Flash drives, CD/DVDs and SD cards. – Seth Jan 18 '13 at 4:55
Ubuntu mounts all separate partitions =x – Amanda Jan 18 '13 at 4:58
It doesn't have any of mine mounted right now and I haven't touched them since I turned the computer on. – Seth Jan 18 '13 at 5:01
Which version are you using? – Amanda Jan 18 '13 at 5:01
I am using 12.10. – Seth Jan 18 '13 at 14:52

If you are installing Windows after you have installed Ubuntu, then Ubuntu probably won't automount your Windows drives. I can't imagine you're doing this, though, because Windows would overwrite your Ubuntu bootloader (GRUB), and you'd need your Ubuntu install disc to fix that. However, assuming that it does automatically mount your Windows partitions, it's easy to fix:

Open a terminal and type ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid. You will see a long list of hexadecimal numbers linked to a physical partition address such as /dev/sda1. Do you know which is your windows partition? You can check by typing sudo fdisk -l and seeing which partition is listed as NTFS. Make a note of what the UUID of this disk partition is as listed in /dev/disk/by-uuid.

Then, edit the filesystem tab by typing gksu gedit /etc/fstab. You will see that partition UUID listed in this file as being mounted type ntfs. If you insert symbol # before each partition that is mounted as NTFS, save, and reboot, none of your Windows partitions will be mounted under Ubuntu unless you explicitly mount them as the root user.

Be very careful when editing the /etc/fstab file. If you comment out the wrong line using the # symbol, your Ubuntu system may become unbootable. Do not put the symbol before any filesystem that is mounted as type ext3, ext4, swap, or proc - these are used by your Ubuntu installation and must be mounted at boot time.

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You don't have to worry about this.

  1. If Windows and Ubuntu are installed side-by-side, so each has its own partitions, then regardless of which was installed first, Ubuntu will not automatically mount the partitions from the Windows system unless you configure it to do so yourself.

    You will, however, see those partitions in the list of devices in Nautilus (the file manager). You can mount them easily, with a single click. But they are not mounted automatically.

  2. Without installing special, third-party drivers, every version of Windows so far is completely incapable of mounting Ubuntu's partitions. (They are ext4 unless you manually specify a different filesystem type during installation. Even if you do, when Ubuntu and Windows are installed side-by-side, Ubuntu is incapable of installing to any type of partition Windows is capable of reading.)

The Windows partition would be automatically mounted if this were a Wubi system. If you had used Ubuntu's Windows installer to install it to a rewriteable disk image stored in a Windows system's partition, then Ubuntu would be automatically configured to mount the Windows partition as /host. In that case, you could manually edit /etc/fstab and remove the entry for /host (along the lines of what Aaron D suggested).

But since your Ubuntu system was installed before Windows was installed, we know it could not have been installed inside Windows. So this is definitely not a Wubi system.


  • When an Ubuntu system is installed on separate partitions from Windows, it won't mount Windows's partitions without user action.
  • A Wubi system automatically mounts the containing partition of its host Windows system.
  • Windows cannot mount any volume on which Ubuntu is installed, without extensive user action.
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Only the primary partition WUBI is installed on would auto mount. It never mounts my other partitions. Just clarifying. – Seth Jan 18 '13 at 14:54

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