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recently I want to try out Ubuntu 13.10 by using a Live USB Stick, but unfortunately I find that the installer cannot detect any partition on my HardDrive; however, when I click "Try Ubuntu" and successfully goes to the desktop environment I find that I can access all of my partitions normally, so I don't know what to do next. Much appreciated for the help! Following is the output after using fdisk -l command:

Disk /dev/sda: 750.2 GB, 750156374016 bytes  
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 91201 cylinders, total 1465149168 sectors  
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes  
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes  
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes  
Disk identifier: 0xe8ab35d1  

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System  
/dev/sda1   *        2048      409599      203776    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT  
/dev/sda2          409600   210139135   104864768    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT  
/dev/sda3      1408555008  1456826367    24135680    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT  
/dev/sda4       314996736  1465145343   575074304    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)  
/dev/sda5       314998784   734429183   209715200    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT  
/dev/sda6       734431232  1363576831   314572800    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT  
/dev/sda7      1363578880  1408555007    22488064    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT  
/dev/sda8      1456828416  1465145343     4158464    b  W95 FAT32  

Partition table entries are not in disk order  

Disk /dev/sdb: 7933 MB, 7933526016 bytes  
68 heads, 4 sectors/track, 56967 cylinders, total 15495168 sectors  
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes  
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes  
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes  
Disk identifier: 0xc3072e18  

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System  
/dev/sdb1   *        8064    15495167     7743552    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)  
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What does sudo parted -l say? – psusi Mar 30 '14 at 0:06
Did you already created a separate ext4 partition for Ubuntu? – Avinash Raj Mar 30 '14 at 0:20
Could it be that "Partition table entries are not in disk order" is messing with the installer? – saiarcot895 Mar 30 '14 at 1:51

You've got an extended partition (/dev/sda4) that overlaps with a primary partition (/dev/sda3). This is illegal. This sort of thing can sometimes be fixed by my FixParts program, but in this specific case, I don't believe it will do the job except by deleting at least one partition. The reason is that, as FixParts does it, both /dev/sda2 and /dev/sda3 must be primary partitions, and their ordering on the disk means that you can't have both of them be primary and have an extended partition that covers all the remaining partitions.

It's possible that a commercial Windows tool will be able to handle the job in one operation, but I can't make any specific recommendations on this score. It might be worth asking on a Windows forum, since this seems to be a Windows disk (all partitions are either FAT or NTFS).

If you must attempt a repair within Ubuntu, I'd do the following:

  1. Back up /dev/sda7.
  2. Launch fixparts on the disk. It will probably present a solution with one or more partitions omitted (that is, that fixparts will delete when you save the table).
  3. Use the fixparts options to juggle which partitions are omitted until only the current /dev/sda7 is omitted.
  4. Save the partition table in fixparts.
  5. Using fdisk, parted, or GParted, create a new partition in the space occupied by the current /dev/sda7.
  6. Restore the backed-up data to /dev/sda7.

Another option is to try the repair using sfdisk. IIRC, this tool is more flexible than FixParts in its logical partition layout, so you might be able to make all the partitions from /dev/sda5 through /dev/sda8 (including /dev/sda3) logical. I can't promise that sfdisk will work, though; I might not be remembering its capabilities correctly.

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