If I install Ubuntu using the Install alongside Windows option (if I have already installed Windows) then where are the files of Ubuntu like /(root) and /home /bin stored? I mean in which Windows drive are they?

For example if on Windows 10 I have C drive 250GB, D drive 250 GB, E drive 250GB, F drive 250GB (Total 1 TB) and if I format the D:\ drive, then can it affect my Ubuntu file system? or E:/ or F:/ or C:/... if I format those drives in Windows 10 then will Ubuntu be affected or not?


2 Answers 2


The data is stored in a separate partition

You won't find the Ubuntu system data in Windows. They are in a separate partition completely hidden from Windows 10.

A drive, a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid state drive (SSD) is a physical object. What Windows people call a drive, such as C:\ drive or D:\ drive are partitions.in either inside a single drive or in two separate drives.

Ubuntu (any Linux) uses a different partition naming scheme

Ubuntu uses /dev/sda1 or /dev/sda2 for two partitions on the same drive or /dev/sda1 or /dev/sdb1 for two partitions in two different drives. A default Ubuntu installation may use one or two partitions.

Windows 10 does not know anything about Ubuntu partitions

These partitions are formatted differently as compared with Windows partitions in a format called ext4. Windows cannot see partitions formatted this way. In a default Ubuntu installation a partition (it may be /dev/sda1, /dev/sda5 or /dev/sdb1 etc.) is mounted at the mount point /. To the user, the system partition is /. This is something similar to C:\ in Windows.

If you have C D E F partitions...

If you have a 1TB drive and 4 partitions C, D, E, F in Windows 10 each partition 250GB each, then you don't have any space to install Ubuntu. You will have to delete at least one of these partitions (not C, as you want Ubuntu along side Windows) or shrink one or more of them to make some unallocated space in your disk drive. Ubuntu installation will find that empty unallocated space and create the partition(s) it needs there.

After you install Ubuntu, formatting any of the Windows partitions C, D, etc. will not delete any data or system files in the Ubuntu partition /.

See Ubuntu Installation Root partition for more on the / partition.

See What is the meaning of the default directories in the Linux filesystem hierachy? for how the system files and personal data folders are structured within Ubuntu.

See What are the advantages and disadvantages of mounting various directories on separate partitions? for why one may mount various system folders as separate partitions.

Hope this helps

  • my question is about if i have dual boot (win10,ubuntu) and ubuntu is installed alongside of win10 and in win10 i have c drive 250gb, d drive250gb, e drive250gb , f drive 250gb Total 1 TB and if i format d:\ drive then can it affect to my ubuntu file system? or E:/ or F:/ or C:/ which means if i format those drive in Windows 10 then can ubuntu affected or not?
    – Stranger
    Jan 26, 2018 at 18:21

If I read your question correctly, you have Win 10 and Ubuntu. You have four partitions/drives. Win 10 should/might be on C drive, Ubuntu might be on D,E,or F drive. If you format one of the drives, you will delete what is on that drive/partition. You should use Ubuntu and open up 'disks' and it will tell you where your Win10 and Ubuntu is located on your hard disk. It will show 4 partitions named sda1(drive C) to sda4(drive F) and the OS on them. Be sure to know what you want to format or all your data can be lost.

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