I have purchased a HP Ultrabook ENVY-4 1002TX with 500GB HDD +32GB SSD. It came preinstalled with Windows 7. I tried installing Ubuntu 12.04 through a USB stick. It boots up ok, but during installation it could not detect the 500GB disk. Before starting the installation I shrunk the partion and made an empty partition using Windows disk management. Please help.


I have exactly the same problem with a new HP ENVY-4. I have tried all the suggested 'cures' above.

  1. Shrunk Windows using built in Windows "shrink". This freed up 226 GB.
  2. Ran sudo gparted with a LIVE boot of Ubuntu 12.04 to partition the free disk space into extended partition and then partitions for system, swap and /home
  3. The Ubuntu installer does NOT SEE ANY DISK DRIVE except the USB one it is running from. While 'gparted' sees the drive fine.

The original HP partitioning is (roughly)

 4 Gb 'system'   partition
 400 Gb 'OS'       partition
 100 Gb 'recovery' partition
  ?? Gb 'backup' ? partition

My 'best guess' is that for some (unknown?!) reason HP has set up the laptop disk and controller using "FakeRaid" - which makes no sense to me since there isn't a duplicate disk with 500 GB to "mirror" the hard drive to.

I found this community reference for installing Ubuntu to a "fake raid" device but note that it doesn't cover Ubuntu 12.04 AND the instructions seem really complicated AS WELL AS being different for every version of system referred to (as well as hardware setup?):


In short I tried digging into this but quickly was over my head and caused my computer to jump into RESTORE mode - which (in an hour or so) returned it to the "store bought" configuration.

I don't understand why the manufacturer created this mess to start with.

I don't understand why, since GParted can understand the hardware, partition it, etc. that (by now !!) the installer hasn't had this capability added to it.

OK, there is a lot I don't understand. Among them is how to follow the community instructions to successfully install Ubuntu 12.04 on my new laptop.

I miss my old Sony, on which comfortably ran Ubuntu for many years. I thought problems like this were behind Linux as the community has grown and large corporations have begun adding support for Linux. I guess I was wrong about this too.


I was, eventually, able to successfully install Ubuntu on my HP Envy-4, but in the process of getting there (rebuilding Windows 7 several times) I had damaged Win7 RECOVERY partition - so it is not dual-boot with Win7, but it is dual-boot with other Linux distributions.

I documented this (last) process in a .pdf which I put up on Dropbox for access.

Hopefully it will provide some information that will help for others who are dealing with the challenge of installing Ubuntu on the Envy-4 ultrabook.


I have a soution. In Hp laptops BIOS having options that prevents writing on HDD. ubuntu can not detect your HDD because BIOS prevents hides it.

Go to BIOS settings choose Hard disk settings in your notebooks. Diable Prevention of HDD.

Run ubuntu setup, You will be able to detect your HDD.


I successfully setup a dual boot Windows 7/Ubuntu on an HP envy 4 yesterday. Here are my steps:

Remove fake raid

HP sets up a (pretty useless) fake raid between the two drives (500GB hard drive and 32GB SSD). You need to get rid of this as a first step:

  1. Boot on the Ubuntu CD and type the following:

    sudo dmraid -E -r /dev/sda
  2. Reboot the computer. You should get a screen telling you the RAID array is in a weird state and inviting you to press <Ctrl>+I to enter RAID setup. Do that, and choose option 3 (Reset disks to non-RAID);

  3. Let Windows 7 reboot and check/fix its C: drive.

Free some space

While you're on Windows 7, fire up the disk utility and resize the "OS" partition (which is the biggest one, around 400GB). In my case, I freed 320G and left about 120GB for Windows.

Create new partitions

Now comes the tricky part. HP sets up 4 primary partitions in the hard drive (the 500GB one), which makes it not possible to create new partitions unless you delete one (the limit is 4 primary partitions). Some people on Windows 7 are having the same issue to create a data partition.

Fortunately for us, HP doesn't make use of the full capacity of the 32GB SSD. They only set up a 4GB partition to use as cache for Windows 7 (to ease suspend if I understood correctly). We will use that space to back up the recovery partition for now, and we will use it to install the OS later, making it a very fast setup.

Here are the steps I followed:

  1. Reboot on the Ubuntu live CD and fire up Gparted (or your favorite partitioning utility);

  2. Create a new ext4 partition on /dev/sdb (the SSD drive) using the whole unallocated space (about 25GB);

  3. Mount the new partition on /mnt:

    sudo mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt
  4. We will now remove a primary partition in order to be able to create an extended one. Since I was not sure about touching the HP_TOOLS partition (which apparently is used directly by the BIOS), I chose to deal with the recovery partition (which is /dev/sda3 in my case). First, let's save its data where we have some space (that is, on the newly created /dev/sdb2):

    sudo dd id=/dev/sda3 of=/mnt/recovery.iso
  5. Now that the data from the recovery partition is saved, we can remove the partition. In Gparted, remove the recovery partition (/dev/sda3 in my case). This should leave you with a big unallocated space of the space you saved before by resizing the "OS" partition plus the space of the recovery partition. In my case, it gives me a 340GB unallocated space. Create a new extended partition on this space and then create new logical partitions in this extended partition. In my case, I created 3 logical partitions:

    1. A 20GB NTFS partition labeled "RECOVERY";
    2. A 4GB linux-swap partition;
    3. An ext4 partition using the rest of the unallocated space (about 316GB).
  6. Note the identifier of the newly created partitions. In my case, the 20GB NTFS partition is /dev/sda5 and the ext4 partition is /dev/sda6;

  7. It's time to put back the recovery partition data in place. Run the following (adapt if your partition number is different):

    sudo dd if=/mnt/recovery.iso of=/dev/sda5
  8. Just in case of future problems, I chose to copy /mnt/recovery.iso to my new data partition (which will be my /home):

    sudo mkdir /mnt2
    sudo mount /dev/sda6 /mnt2
    sudo cp /mnt/recovery.iso /mnt2/
  9. Unmount the partitions:

    sudo umount /mnt
    sudo umount /mnt2

Install Ubuntu

Use the "other" (advanced) partitioning mode. Select /dev/sdb2 as the / partition in ext4, and /dev/sda6 (or adapt to yours) as the /home partition. Make sure the bootloader is installed on /dev/sda (since it seems /dev/sdb is not recognized at boot by the BIOS).



Anup, Did you format the "shrunk" partition?

Try to install using an .iso image burned to a cd/dvd.

Perhaps you can try to run the Gparted utility that is packed with the Ubuntu live cd and see the format of your hard disk.

Hope this helps.


When installing ubuntu you can chosse the option "SOMETHING ELSE" this will open the ubuntu partition editor "gparted". You then need 3 partitions 1 about 30 to 50 gig mounted on / formatted as EXT4 another about 5 gig as a "LINUX SWAP" partition an finally format any free space as EXT4 and mount as /home make sure you format all these partitions but not your windows ones obviusly and you cant format your swap.

This is the best set up as if you have any problems you can re install ubuntu to / and save all your file in /home to do this just tick the format box for the / partition and leave the rest as is.

There are many tutorials for this online if you dont understand just search "best way to prtition a hdd for ubuntu".

Hope this solves your problem.


Just make an empty partition (make sure it says "unallocated space" in Windows's Disk Management utility), then boot Ubuntu from an USB or CD, doesn't matter, and just chose Install along side Windows. Ubuntu will use the unallocated space to install Ubuntu and you will dual boot Ubuntu with Windows.


When installing first go to try ubuntu live from the CD or the USB.

Open a terminal and enter the command dmraid -E -r /dev/sdX where the X is your SSD drive.

You can know which is the SSD by typing fdisk -l and searching for the SSD in the output.

After this your installer should be able to find all the necessary drives.

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