I've always wanted to dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu and have some experience partitioning but have never been able to, mainly because any time I install Ubuntu from a live disk it seems to prevent me from partitioning the remainder of the hard drive later (this is standard, whatever).

However I recently had a hard drive crash and came to realize that now I have the perfect opportunity to dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu on a fresh, 1TB hard drive.

I understand questions like this have been asked before, but here I am in an ubuntu live session, trying to partition my empty 1TB hard drive to make installation easiest, and cannot seem to find a clear-cut answer for my exact situation.

Here was my plan going in:

Using gparted...

  • Create /dev/sda1, ext4, 16GB for Linux Boot
  • Create /dev/sda2, ext4, 440GB, for Linux home
  • Create /dev/sda3, ext4, 40GB, for linux swap
  • Create /dev/sda4, ntfs, 16GB, for Windows boot
  • Create /dev/sda5, ntfs, 400GB, for Windows home,
  • Create /dev/sda6, ntfs, remaining GB, for Windows swap

Each partition has 0 bytes preceding it, except for the first one, which has 1 MB preceding it.

First error I hit is "you can only have at most 4 primary partitions, but you can make an extended partition which can hold other partitions". Okay... That's too confusing for me, so I decided to just get rid of the swap spaces.

Now I have 4 primary partitions, but gparted refuses to apply this to my new hard drive? I really have no idea what I'm doing. Can someone give me a quick run down, similar to the bullet points above, on what I should partition my hard drive as?

I figure, then, I'll boot into Ubuntu Live and install Ubuntu next in the specified location (e.g. /dev/sda2), and then boot into a Windows Live or whatever its called and install Windows in the specified location (e.g. /dev/sda4).

  • You don't say which version of Ubuntu; some versions need swap. 16gb is fine for Ubuntu but if you load lots of software you may not have the space to release-upgrade to the next version. I would create an extended partition for Ubuntu, then subdivide the space there (and /boot isn't needed or needs little space, but I'm sure you mean /). I would also install windoze first, as it tends to overwrite the MBR & boot loader (grub) that lets you select Ubuntu. You didn't specify version of windoze; but they don't use /home just drives (C: D:) & swap is often just a file (w version specific) – guiverc Apr 26 '18 at 1:42
  • Windows 10, Ubuntu 16 (just edited the question title, thanks) – nick carraway Apr 26 '18 at 2:02
  • UEFI or BIOS. And how you boot install media for both Windows & Ubuntu defines whether install is UEFI or BIOS install. And then Windows install will define whether drive is gpt for UEFI boot only (with Windows) or MBR for BIOS boot. Ubuntu then should be installed in same boot mode. With MBR you only have 4 primary partitions, but one can be the extended and it then is a container for as many logical partitions as you want. With gpt all partitions are primary. Best just to install Windows first as both BIOS & UEFI want extra partitions.Windows also can only be in primary NTFS partition. – oldfred Apr 26 '18 at 3:46

Install always and only as UEFI.

Under BIOS you have limitation to 4 partitions, you don't have such limitation under UEFI.

You than leave the unalocated space for LINUX! 16GB for Linux Boot for Linux Swap your size of installed RAM + 8 GB for Linux Home as much as you are able, for Windows you shall have the partition created for by windows installation and for Windows 10 "recovery" When installing Windows I always separate partition for Windows + all the software about 120 GB to 160 GB, and max for my "archives" (my all personal files). I was able under (UEFI) Windows to partition as many as 16 plus partitions, for Windows swap (all "moving" files known as Temporary Internet files) and other Microsoft crap files (including all the latest factory drivers) I reserve about 16 GB. Before I complete installation after installing Windows I routinely decrapify Hard Disk always using PrivaZer All my software not related to WINDOWS OS is always installed in a DEDICATED FOLDER so I don't have to ever search for in the case I need to access it!!


I also under Linux purge the Windows System Volume Information leaving the only partition log file and getting rid of all other Microsoft crap files.

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