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I'm trying to install Ubuntu (12.10) on a laptop on a 240 GB Intel SSD drive already containing a Windows 7 installation. I have the disk partitioned as follows:

  1. 1500 MB, NTFS, system partition, something that the laptop came with
  2. 198 GB, NTFS, Windows installation partition

These partitions are followed by 23 GB of free space.

The Ubuntu installer, however, is not seeing the free space. Instead what I get in the Installation type dialog, is the following: Partitions aren't shown exactly as they are

I've already tried creating an unformatted primary partition in the free space (using Windows, obviously) but doing that didn't change the situation in any way.

Should I alter the partitions in some way in order to make the free space accessible to the Ubuntu installer or am I missing something else here?

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You can't create more then 4 primary partitions on a HDD. –  prophecy201 Apr 18 '13 at 12:01
I know. As stated in the question, there are only 2 primary partitions on the disk. The Ubuntu installer gets it wrong. –  Kallja Apr 18 '13 at 12:10
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1 Answer 1

You've almost certainly got a Windows Logical Disk Manager (LDM; aka "dynamic disks") setup. This is a Windows-specific system that's similar in some ways to the Linux Logical Volume Manager (LVM) system. Unfortunately, it's difficult (perhaps impossible) to install Linux on a disk that uses LDM.

Fortunately, it is possible to convert back from an LDM to a standard setup, but you'll need to use third-party utilities. EaseUS Partition Master and Partition Wizard are both supposed to be able to do this, IIRC. (Double-check this, though; my memory may be faulty, and I've never used either tool myself.) I recommend doing a complete backup before using either tool, since partitioning operations like this are inherently risky.

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So far I've been unable to to verify that my setup indeed is what is described in this answer. What keeps bugging me is that Ubuntu can read from and write to my Windows 7 partition just fine when run from a live USB stick. Gparted just sees the disk in this wicked awesome way described in my original question. –  Kallja Apr 29 '13 at 14:18
You can verify this in several ways. One is in Linux: Type sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda to see the partitions on your disk with their type codes, which are under the Id column in the fdisk output. If the type codes for your partitions are 42, then you've got an LDM setup. (The number of partitions shown may not match the number in Windows, too.) Another way is in Windows: Use the Windows partitioning tool to view your partitions. If it shows them as being "dynamic" disks, then you've got an LDM setup; but if it says you've got "basic" disks, then you've got a conventional MBR setup. –  Rod Smith Apr 29 '13 at 15:58
First thing I did was check the setup with Windows' disk management. It indicated that all of the partitions were of the basic type. I've since given up on this method of installation. Since my Windows setup was a fairly fresh one, I opted to first install Ubuntu followed by a Windows installation formatting the whole disk in the process. –  Kallja May 3 '13 at 7:07
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