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'm trying to install ubuntu but i already have windows 7 on the same computer and i can't afford losing it. everything went perfectly well until allocating drivespace. i dont have the option to "install it besides another operating system " like in the instructions. i only get this menu when my external hard disk is plugged in, but i dont want that. any help assigning partitions? because i have no clue about what to do there this is what the partition menu gives

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

To answer more Allocating drive space?, you will need to provide how many windows partitions are there. Refer this documentation on disk partitioning.

Refer to the section which says how to resize from windows 7 and try that. Else, report the number of partition reported as per 'Settings -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Storage -> Disk Management' in windows 7 and type of these partitions (meaning primary vs extended or any other type).

The reasons would be more likely, Maximum possible primary partitions that is 4 primary partitions are already defined and allocated for windows. I see this in many MNC brand laptops and it is a very poor partitioning scheme. In that case, you will need to delete one of such primary partition and create an extended partition. You can shrink another existing partition as well and add to this free space if you are able to get contiguous space. Once you have extended partitions/free space created, Ubuntu install will show optin to install along side with windows 7.

There are other possibilities, but probably hearing from you more on your current windows 7 partition types and number of partitions can help if we need to discus those options.

share|improve this answer
@user1477 since im a new user i cant post pictures.. however this is exactly whats written there, if that can help anyhow dev/sda1 size 161000MB used: 119000MB dev/sda2 size 102MB used 35MB dev/sda3 size 246000MB used 46000 MB dev/sda4 size 237000MB used 3200MB – Nadim Hachem Mar 16 '11 at 18:35
That is exactly problem I described. sda1-4 is primary partitions. and sda5 to above are extended. So u exhausted possible primary partitions. need to delete some partition, if you need to have ubuntu. If you have windows 7 recovery DVD created recovery partition can be deleted. else some partitions like that u need to analyse and decide. – Jamess Mar 16 '11 at 20:23
so i cant just use the fourth one? since theres pratically nothing on it – Nadim Hachem Mar 16 '11 at 21:18
U can have only 4 partitions (if all are primary).That is your case. I am not sure why some of vendors ships with 4 primary partitions to make another os install difficult, instead of some extended/logical partitions. So need to get rid of some primary partitions and create an extended partition. Any number of logical partitions can exist in such an extended partition. – Jamess Mar 17 '11 at 4:17
so what should i specifically do? after all im not intending on using W7 for much, so i dont need it to have high performance (and therefore no need to allocate too much memory for it) all i need it for is a couple of programs that wont have a ubuntu equivalent. i dont get it, can't i install ubuntu on sda4 since its only used 3GB? – Nadim Hachem Mar 17 '11 at 9:13

If your entire disk is already devoted to your windows partition, re-partitioning that drive is risky at best. For me, the ideal way has always been to install side-by-side is to install windows first, but specify that the partition that is created only takes up half the drive or whatever. Then when you install ubuntu, you install it in the unpartitioned space left over.

The safest thing if you're worried about your existing data and install, is to use Wubi. This allows you to install ubuntu directly to your windows partition, but in a way that makes it look to Ubuntu that it's in its own partition. It's pretty cool, but the drawback is supposedly that disk access would be slower, hence Ubuntu would appear slower. Personally, I haven't noticed that much of a difference, but I'm sure it's there.

Either way, backups are highly recommended before you proceed.

share|improve this answer
this is exactly whats written there, if that can help anyhow dev/sda1 size 161000MB used: 119000MB dev/sda2 size 102MB used 35MB dev/sda3 size 246000MB used 46000 MB dev/sda4 size 237000MB used 3200MB – Nadim Hachem Mar 16 '11 at 18:44

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.