After failing countless times to install ubuntu to dual boot with windows 7, I decided to try to get rid of all things ubuntu and try again. There is no partition in my hard drive that I can find at this point, but when I go to re-install Ubuntu it says that I already have 2 OSes installed, and I can't use the normal install alongside option. Is there anything I am missing that is making it think there is something left?
Windows can’t read Ubuntu partition, so you can’t see it on Windows. When you have 2 OS’s there should be an Erase Ubuntu ... and reinstall option with warning. It’s exactly what you need.
I mean the second option in this screenshot.
You can alternatively select Something else which shows you all your partitions, then:
be careful and don’t do what you’re not sure about;
select the Ubuntu partition, on which it’s currently installed;
click on change/edit button [I can’t remember the word];
set the type as ex4, check for format, and set / as the mount point.
That’s it. This will format your current Ubuntu partition and reinstall everything again.
You need to use a partition tool to find out how many and which partitions you have. With Windows 7 you will probably have 2 (1 for system and the other for Windows itself).
Partition tools can be Computer Management tool on Windows 7, or Gparted Live iso for example.
After seeing the partitions you should create the partitions where you want to install Ubuntu.
Open Computer Management by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, clicking Administrative Tools, and then double-clicking Computer Management. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
In the Navigation pane, under Storage, click Disk Management.
There you can see all your partitions and you can delete/format it including the Linux partitions.
Best Advice : Delete the Linux Partition and then extend your Windows partition(by right clicking on the Windows partition). Boot up Ubuntu and select the option install Ubuntu alongside with Windows. Then you will get a slider to allocate required space for Ubuntu partition. This will make installation much more easier
Use the Live-CD or Live-USB, choose Try Ubuntu. Then use the installer, and when you see the options 'Install inside Windows', 'Re-Install Ubuntu', etc, there should be an option 'Something Else'. In that option you should see all the partitions in your Hard Drive.
Another thing you can do to see the partitions is, once in the Live version, open the terminal (ctrl+alt+t) and use:
sudo -s fdisk -l
The /dev/sda corresponds to the hard drive, and the /dev/sdaX (where X is a number) represents different partitions.
I guess you don't see the Ubuntu partitions in Windows because they're in a diferent file system (ext2, ext3 or ext4) and Windows recognizes only FAT16 FAT32 and NTFS file systems.
Anyway, in case there are or not Ubuntu partitions, use the 'Somthing else' option to format the existing Ubuntu partitions, or create them if they don't exist.
PS: the Ubuntu version I used is 12.10, maybe other versions don't have this option in the installer...