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I'm trying to dual boot desktop Ubuntu for the first time, and hopelessly flummoxed by the partitioning process. I've got a Lenovo notebook (Windows 7) with a 500GB HDD + 28GB SSD, and my goal is to create a single small (~24GB) Ubuntu partition on the HDD for both the OS and filesystem (i.e. I don't need to share files between Ubuntu and Windows).

This is what I see in Windows Disk Management, after shrinking the C: partition to leave that 23.44 GB of unallocated space:

There are only 3 primary partitions (SYSTEM_DRV, C:, and D:), so there should be room for another. I assume the OEM partition is a system restore partition.

I'm totally lost about what to do on the Ubuntu side. When I try to install it from a bootable USB stick, I don't see any devices in the list:

I've tried 12.10, 12.04, 32-bit, 64-bit, and multiple USB sticks, but nothing ever shows up, and the buttons along the bottom are inactive. I'm supposed to choose a device from that field, right?

What am I missing?

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You do not have three primary partitions but four.

  1. System_drv
  2. Windows7
  3. Lenovo (d:)
  4. Helthy (OEM partition)

I'm afraid you have to delete a partition, create an extended partition during installation and recreate as many partitions as needed.

Does your D: contain only data? If this is the case, you can backup the data to an external drive, delete the partition then during installation create an extended partition than covers all unallocated space after Windows 7 and inside it create three partitions: a new d: (NTFS), an Ubuntu partition (mount point /) and a swap partition (4Gb or so).

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Ah, I see. I didn't realize the OEM partition counted towards the 4 primary partition limit. I THINK that what's on D: is just backup copies of default Lenovo drivers and bloatware. It's hard to know for sure, since it isn't well-documented. I'll probably just delete D: and create an extended partition as you described (maybe not even re-creating D: if that's all it contains). Thanks! – NChase Feb 20 '13 at 11:36
Be sure before doing anything. It's a good idea to have a recovery DVD just in case. – To Do Feb 20 '13 at 12:58
It turns out the problem has nothing to do with the current partitions, it has to do with having both an SSD and HDD that are linked up with some sort of RAID configuration internally. It only recognizes the first device, /dev/sda, which is the SSD, not the main HDD, which is /dev/sdb. There are some suggestions for how to try to deal with it but they all seem high-risk for the Windows installation. VirtualBox it is. Sigh... – NChase Feb 20 '13 at 13:50

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