I want to dual-boot Ubuntu Desktop 12.04 on my new ultrabook which has

  • an Intel i7 3517U processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • Windows 7, 64-bit
  • no CD/DVD drive

I created my bootable USB stick using pendrivelinux.com with the "ubuntu-12.04.1-desktop-i386.iso". I am following these directions because they include nice screenshots; however, I do not get very far in the process. I am able to boot into the Live Desktop, and then I try to install onto my hard disk. Here are the series of actions that I take next:

  1. First, I see this ( http://i.imgur.com/vucYH ) window, and click 'continue'
  2. Then I get this ( http://imgur.com/2wESc ) window, and click 'continue' again
  3. This appears:

enter image description here

and I get worried because it seems like there is no recognition that I have Windows installed. According to the directions I am following, I should see /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2 partitions. In the drop-down menu at the bottom the only "Device for boot loader installation" is /dev/sdb and no information is shown. I am hesitant to click 'Install Now' for fear of what it might do to Windows. 4. I click 'Quit' and cancel the installation, but then about 5 seconds later this ( http://imgur.com/a/yXi0C ) window pops up (I have expanded it to full screen to scroll and show all the details). 5. Another second later this ( http://imgur.com/vxcrN ) comes up. I'm not sure how relevant this is.

Does anyone have any insight into this issue?? Why does it not show my current Windows partition? What would happen if I tried to continue with the installation process?


PS - sorry, it would only let me post 2 hyperlinks as a new user

  • Are you using Dynamic Disks in Windows? Reboot into windows and check, please. – Sergey Aug 29 '12 at 2:59
  • Also, what's the exact model of the ultrabook? – Sergey Aug 29 '12 at 3:01
  • What are Dynamic Disks? I don't know if I am using them or not. Also it is a Sony Vaio T series svt13116fxs. – KJ50 Aug 29 '12 at 6:33
  • Dynamic disks is a proprietary Microsoft extension which other OS do not understand. Ubuntu setup won't see any partitions on such disk. See petri.co.il/… or google "dynamic disks" for more info. This, however, does not explain why you don't see /dev/sda in the list of disks – Sergey Aug 29 '12 at 7:03
  • I looked at my disk management through Windows 7, and all of the disks are basic. Here is a screenshot of it,if that helps ( imgur.com/gxRNy ). It is still not recognizing the partitions through ubuntu though... – KJ50 Aug 30 '12 at 4:28

Likewise, I encountered a similar problem when I tried to install Ubuntu 12.04 on my new Dell Inspiron laptop PC. The installation process went through the "Welcome" and "Preparing to install Ubuntu" windows without any obvious problems, but then the "Installation type" window did not show any partitions, and I was stuck, with no obvious indication of what was wrong or what to try next. I was trying to install Ubuntu 12.04 from a CD-ROM disk rather than a USB Flash drive, but I don't think that matters.

After doing some reading online and from a few technical reference books, I came to the conclusion that setting up a dual boot configuation with Windows 7 and Linux on the computer's internal hard drive is practically impossible. Apparently Windows 7 uses "dynamic disks", and this dynamic disks technology does not allow Linux to co-exist with Windows 7. Here's an online article that provides some info on this topic, and supports the claim that Linux is incompatible with dynamic disks: https://superuser.com/questions/89304/ubuntu-9-10windows-7-dual-boot-dynamic-disks "Ubuntu 9.10+Windows 7 dual boot, dynamic disks"

This was frustrating, because I would have liked to have Windows 7 and Ubuntu together on my computer's internal hard drive. However, I found a solution that works reasonably well. I bought a Seagate external disk drive, plugged it in to one of my computer's USB 3.0 ports, used the Windows 7 disk management utility to create a few new partitions on that Seagate external drive, and then successfully installed Ubuntu 12.04 (from a CD-ROM disk) on the external drive. Now, if I want to boot Ubuntu instead of Windows 7, I plug in my external drive, turn on the computer, press the F12 key for boot options, and then tell the boot manager to boot from the external USB device rather than the internal hard drive. This seems to work well enough. USB 3.0 provides such high data transfer rates that I haven't noticed any serious performance problems.

One noteworthy advantage of installing Ubuntu on an external drive instead of your computer's internal hard drive is that this provides you with more portability. The Seagate external drive is conveniently small and light. It does not require a separate power cable; it gets its power via the USB connection, and thus requires only one cable - for the USB 3.0 connection. I can easily carry around the drive and its accompanying USB cable in a small case, plug it in to a computer anywhere else, and then boot up my own personal Ubuntu system using the CPU, main memory and I/O resources of whatever PC system I happen to be near (e.g., my PC at the office, or at a friend's house, or wherever).

  • 1
    I think that you're wrong. In the last comment of user @KJ50, he is showing that he has a basic disk, doesn't has a dynamic one (as your answer say). – Lucio Nov 30 '12 at 4:14

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