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I have a Windows 7 machine I upgraded to Windows 8, so as a result I have BIOS and not UEFI. I attempted to install Ubuntu 12.10 alongside Windows 8 yesterday, and accidentally used wubi without understanding it had massive errors.

After completely formatting my hard drive and re-installing Windows 8, I want to attempt installing Ubuntu 12.10 again. I made the bootable USB again, but when I went to install Ubuntu, I didn't get the option to install Ubuntu alongside Windows 8. As a result, I have tried making a bootable USB for Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and even Ubuntu 11.10 but none of them gave me the option of installing Ubuntu alongside Windows 8.

In order to rectify this issue, I figured I must partition my drive myself and continue with the 'something else' installing option of Ubuntu 12.10. Would it be better to partition my drive in Windows or the bootable Ubuntu USB? Second, is the fact that Windows 8 isn't recognised by Ubuntu indicative of some errors with the hard drive or my computer that I should fix before I attempt to do something manually?

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You have to resize Windows' partition if it's occupying the entire disk - you can do this from the partitioning manager in the installation process. Then follow one of the many guides online on how to manually partition your drive to install a Linux system. Nikki's answer is correct, but it misses some points such as filesystems for each partition, which I don't recall -- just use Google there are a lot of guides to this. If you cannot see Windows' partition there's something wrong, please comment if that's the case. –  Alex Apr 13 '13 at 20:53

3 Answers 3

If you need to resize your Windows partition to make room for Ubuntu, it's best to do it from Windows's own Disk Management tool. Then, shutdown completely from Windows 8 and boot from your Ubuntu USB.

Choose Something Else, then make 2 partitions. 1 will be 4 gigabytes, though the size isn't too important. This should be used as swap. Use the other partition as ext4, and let it fill the empty space. Mount it at /

That should be all you need.

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Windows 8 may be hibernated, as it normally has hibernation always on. You need to turn the fastboot setting off. Then Ubuntu should see the Windows partition. May be better to shrink Windows with Windows disk tools and reboot so it can run its chkdsk and make its repairs to recognize its new size.

It defaults shutdown to a hybrid hibernation/off state for fast boot

http://www.kapilarya.com/how-to-enable-disable-fast-start-up-in-windows-8

Fast Startup off/hibernation

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/6320-fast-startup-turn-off-windows-8-a.html

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Fact that you had Windows 7 preinstalled doesn't mean that you don't have UEFI. You probably have the UEFI boot disabled by default.
To install Ubuntu alongside Windows manually you have to have 2 partitions

/ - root partition (your system partition)

swap - swap if you are planning on putting your computer into sleep mode (generally swap = amount of RAM you have + a bit more)

Or you can have 3 partitions The same two as described above and

/Home partition - where all your data being saved. If you do not create this partition that Root partition will be used as a Home as well. generally it means that if you will reinstall the OS you won't have a possible to save partition with the data.

Then when you decide how you are going to partition your drive you want to select where to install grub. Commonly it goes to

/dev/sda

So if you have that already selected, don't touch it, either wise change it.

And that's it, you can click Install button. Ignore the message about missing boot partition. I have been installing OS without it all the same and it runs perfectly fine.

After that you follow basic GUI installation process.

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Would I have to make a new partition table for this, because I already have a full partition table that Windows 8 generated for recovery information? And the locations in bold - those are mount locations, correct? –  user1765792 Apr 13 '13 at 20:42
    
I don't know if you really have to re-partition your Hard Drive, unless you have 4 primary partitions (which is a max amount of primary partitions you can have). Items in bold, indeed, are mount points. In case you need a "practical view" on installing manually ubuntu, here is the video youtube.com/watch?v=qBCHsgry2RQ&feature=youtu.be –  Nikki Kononov Apr 13 '13 at 20:55

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