I tried to setup a "proper" Windows/Ubuntu dual-boot system, by installing Ubuntu from a USB key. However, I simply could not get the laptop to boot off the USB despite the fact that I made the appropriate changes to the boot device order in the BIOS.

So I then turned to Wubi, and (to cut a long story short) it seems I now have a proper dual-boot setup, because I don't need to launch Ubuntu from windows. When I start the laptop, I get that screen that asks me whether I want to run Windows or Ubuntu.

However, I'm still not sure if this is a proper dual-boot setup, because when I run windows, it seems that my C: and D: drives are still the same size. If it was a proper dual boot I'd expect separate partitions to have been created for Ubuntu which would have removed some space from the C: and D: drive sizes displayed in Windows.

Is there some way that I can confirm whether I'm running a proper dual-boot, and if not, is there some process for converting a Wubi installation to a proper dual-boot?

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    – user68186
    Apr 23 '13 at 19:45

Both Wubi and "dual boot" allows you to choose Windows or Ubuntu when you start the computer. However, Wubi uses a virtual partition in a big file inside Windows partition to store the Ubuntu installation and all the user data.

In windows

Boot into Windows and look for the file c:\ubuntu\disks\root.disk (or it may be in D:). If you find it, you have installed using Wubi.

Alternately in Ubuntu

Open a terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and enter:

sudo losetup /dev/loop0 

and if that says /host/ubuntu/disks/root.disk you know it's Wubi. (Thanks @bcbc)

There is a script to move Wubi installation to its own partition and thus make it a true dual boot. However, this is a bit complicated and you may be better off doing a fresh install from a CD or USB after uninstalling the Wubi installation from within Windows.

In either case, backup all the data first.

  • 1
    If you find a file \ubuntu\disks\root.disk then it tells you that you have a file called \ubuntu\disks\root.disk (there could be something leftover from a previous install). What you want is sudo losetup /dev/loop0 and if that says /host/ubuntu/disks/root.disk you know it's Wubi.
    – bcbc
    Sep 19 '12 at 1:18

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