I have looked at other questions but none seem to help my problem.

I am trying to install the latest version of Ubuntu off a USB Stick Side by Side with Windows XP. I have it booted up but when I get to the install page the only options are erase hard drive or "Something Else". I don't want to destroy anything messing with partitions, so if that is the answer please be specific and detailed...


  • Messing with partitions is part of the deal with a side-by-side installation. If you aren't comfortable with that use the Windows installer. – mikewhatever Oct 23 '12 at 0:45
  • I don't mind messing with partitions, I'd just like a detailed instruction on how to. The windows installer didn't work for me, anyway. – Proteus Oct 23 '12 at 0:50
  • Please install and run the BootInfo script and edit your question to include the script's output. See this for more details: help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Info – Sergey Oct 23 '12 at 1:42
  • Messing with partitions is too broad a topic for the comment section. Check out the following links for info: link1, link2. – mikewhatever Oct 23 '12 at 1:56

There should be an "Install alongside Windows" option and I think you know that, but it's not showing. That may be a problem but immediately, to get Ubuntu safely installed isn't too hard:

  1. Boot to LiveCD under the Try Ubuntu mode.
  2. Load gparted
  3. Resize Windows' partition so there's enough space for Ubuntu, apply the changes and close gparted. If it gives you gyp about Windows needing to shut down properly, that might explain why the main installer isn't being cooperative: Boot Windows, shut down, boot Windows again, shut down again, and try the installer again. If that doesn't work, use the try-ubuntu mode and do the resize.
  4. Then run the installer and it should give you an option to install into the free space you have created. Accept all the other defaults.

This should get you to a point where you can boot into Ubuntu. There is a possibility that because that installer couldn't find Windows, that there will be no option to boot to Windows from within the Grub boot menu. If that's the case you might want to run Boot Repair to fix things up.

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Firstly, ensure you have enough space to create a new partition.

In this case, I'd recommend looking at the links in mikewhatever's comment above. The first one at least will give you an overview of the process. But the instructions you probably want are located here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HowtoResizeWindowsPartitions

In short, you can use a program like GParted to shrink the Windows partition in order to provide enough space for Ubuntu. Like James said, be aware the Windows typically uses the NTFS file system, while you'll probably want ext4 for Ubuntu. I think GParted comes pre-installed with Ubuntu, so you should be able to access it when running the live USB/CD.

Once you have created a new partition, you should be able to follow to typical installation instructions to install Ubuntu side-by-side with Windows. Then, when you boot up your computer, you should see a screen that allows you to select which OS you want to boot into.

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Please be sure to read this manual

before doing this be sure to read manual first it a lot of plusses using dedicated /home folder because your files and settings stays with you & still you can reinstall ubuntu just by formating / partition

How did i set dual boot and installed ubuntu on windows system 

So i booted from ubuntu live cd , run gparted wich shows your hard drive with windows on it.My goal was to make unalockated space to create linux partitions and install ubuntu.So i resized windows partition to make free space (you can use any software you preffer*) i created free space with amount of 60 gigs. Be sure to wait until progress is finished dont close it or you will mess up system. In gparted view options under process bar to see whats going on. After its finished i started install (i used live cd so just pressed install ubuntu) went to manage hard drive ( other option in install menu) so there still will be windows partition detected and now free space i created Then i created 3 partitions using warning use free space not the windows partition

I did in following order

  • 1 created main system partition chose to be 'primary' with ex4 type and set it to '/' with amount of 20-30 gigs
    (according to official source 15 gig never used fully)

  • 2 right click on free space and create new partition- linux swap` .There are no options for it just set swap and set amount of space you like ( 4gig of ram =8 gig swap)

  • 3 create /home partition set it to primary ex4 type with big amount of space to store all your files and download media

check this video tutorial installing ubuntu on windows system

thats it i continue to install (pressed install) and ubuntu detected windows and it was displayed in grub loader list ( press shift to reveal on startup)

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You might want to consider using the CD instead of the USB Stick. Then, the option to install alongside your existing OS might be available.

What version of Ubuntu, and what installer are you using?
I'd recommend re-downloading the ISO, and actually burning it to a disk. Writable CD's are fairly cheap at Wal-Mart or wherever; I got a 50-pack for $20 or so. (I can't remember how much, exactly, but they're fairly cheap. I ended up using them for all kinds of things, and it's lasted me forever, so I'd actually recommend buying a few just to have them.)

(The reason I recommend re-downloading it is that you may have gotten an outdated, incorrect, or unofficial version. There may have also been an error in the download, although that's fairly unlikely.) The official download page for the Desktop edition installer is http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop.
Get the "Standard" installer unless your computer is truly ancient, as it is easier to use and more user-friendly (and therefore more likely to offer pre-configured partition options, such as installing alongside an existing OS.)

If none of that helped, and you end up "forced" into a manual partitioning, then remember that the Windows partition will be an NTFS partition. I believe that this will be labeled as "Type 7".

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  • I tried using a Disk, same result. Ubuntu 12.10, latest version. Can you give me advice on how to use the partitions to install a side by side? – Proteus Oct 23 '12 at 5:17
  • @Proteus Hmmmmm... I actually have never dealt with manual partitioning, but I believe it would go something like this: Shrink the existing NTFS partition, leave the Swap partition (if there is one) alone, and install Ubuntu to a newly-created EXT partition. Like I said, though, I haven't done any manual partitioning, so I'd recommend looking up some more info on that before you end up incinerating your hard drive because you did something I recommended. ;) – JamesTheAwesomeDude Oct 25 '12 at 15:50
  • I wonder why my answer has a downvote... :( – JamesTheAwesomeDude Dec 8 '12 at 4:21

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