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Though I've used Ubuntu for a few years, I'm new to installation. Previously I had help and now I'm doing it alone (moved across the world).

Windows 8.1 came preinstalled on my new laptop (Toshiba Satellite C70-A-17C - Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 750 GB HDD). I have already followed a few steps I found online to prepare for a dual install (with Ubuntu 14.04).

I backed up Windows, created a bootable Ubuntu USB and DVD (just in case one didn't work), turned off fast boot and secure boot, and shrunk C:/. The new unallocated drive portion is 292.97 GB.

After shrinking C:/, I restarted Windows a couple of times to make sure everything was working fine (it is). I then attempted to install with the Ubuntu live USB. However, the Ubuntu installer doesn't see that Windows 8.1 is already installed. I don't understand, and don't want to mess with Ubuntu partitioning when I don't know where the partitions will be created. My concern is that, if I go further with the installation process, Windows might be overwritten or compromised in some way.

I then tried to reboot using the Ubuntu live DVD, thinking I might get a different result. However, I can't figure out how to make the laptop boot from the CD drive. I went into the BIOS and found no option there, either.

Any help is very appreciated!


Looks like I can't link directly to each photo.
Here is my album of screenshots:

  1. Here you can see that there's no option to boot from CD drive, only USB.
  2. Everything looks okay so far.
  3. I don't understand this. Ubuntu has not yet been installed. Unmounting partitions? (I chose 'no'.)
  4. Even though the laptop came pre-installed with Windows 8.1, the Ubuntu USB installer can't see it. I chose 'something else'.
  5. I need to pick and format partitions. I scrolled down and took a second shot to include all information. Completely lost and cancelled installation.
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Post above both of these: sudo parted -l AND: sudo gdisk -l /dev/sda IF you do not have gdisk installed add it with sudo apt-get install gdisk. You also should be able to use something else and manually create partitions. – oldfred Jun 10 '14 at 16:55
Thanks for the fast reply, but I'm afraid I don't understand what you're explaining. I'm a real newbie at this. – Flaminica Jun 10 '14 at 18:26
Using Ubuntu live installer in live mode, open a terminal and copy & paste the two commands. You may have to install gdisk into the live installer each time you reboot it to be able to use gdisk. – oldfred Jun 10 '14 at 20:10
Which version of Ubuntu? – Android Dev Jun 6 at 17:48
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The old "install alongside" option rarely works with installations to EFI-based computers. I don't know offhand if that's a bug or if it's simply been removed. In any event, the solution is to use the "something else" option, which is covered by numerous other questions and answers here, such as:

(That last isn't part of askubuntu, but it's related.)

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Thanks for your help! I did finally manage to install yesterday. I used 'something else' and went ahead and used the unallocated space in Windows (that I'd already set aside) for Ubuntu. It was a bit touch and go for a few minutes there; didn't know what to expect. But everything seems to be working fine. When I start the laptop now, I get an initial screen (grub, I think) that offers options of either booting from Ubuntu or from Windows. If I don't choose Windows, it automatically boots into Ubuntu! I'm very happy :) Now I just have to figure out where to store my music files! – Flaminica Jun 12 '14 at 19:15

It would be useful if you could include some screenshots of what you see.

In normal circumstances, you see the following screens:

  • Preparing to install Ubuntu (checks requirements) -> press continue if you see free space on your HD
  • Installation type -> select Use free space (Something else requires you to have a bit of knowledge about Linux partitioning

As of then, it's simply following instructions and answering basic questions (like user/pass, location, keyboard etc). At the end it will ask you to install GRUB2 and it will automatically add your current Windows installation. Should it not do it as expected, read Add windows to my boot menu

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Thanks. I don't know how to make screenshots while attempting to install Ubuntu. So I took photos with my phone; am adding to my post now. – Flaminica Jun 10 '14 at 18:42
I always forget to say because I always shut down correctly, but before you begin your installation, ALWAYS make sure your Windows installation shut down correctly :) – Jakke Jun 10 '14 at 18:46
Thank you! I do that as well. I want to minimize any possible accidents! – Flaminica Jun 10 '14 at 18:53
It seems like something odd is going on with your windows partition. Did you suspend instead of shutdown? That could be the reason why Linux sees it as a partition being mounted and not recognizing your windows installation. – Jakke Jun 10 '14 at 19:02
If you really shut down your windows properly (right-click start -> shutdown), you could try to unmount the mounted partition and see if that gives you a different result. I'm pretty sure (no guarantees) that it will detect Windows. If not, continue with the something else and create your partitions in the free space area. It seems natural that your installation will boot up in Linux automatically afterwards with no mention of Windows. You will need to manually adjust your GRUB configuration to fix that. There are plenty posts here to show you how. – Jakke Jun 10 '14 at 19:06

Today searching in web I found partial solution, but the real solution is this:

You may be able to get GRUB to chainload Windows by adding a suitable entry to /etc/grub.d/40_custom and then doing a sudo update-grub. An entry like this:

menuentry "Windows 8" {
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