I need help installing Ubuntu 13.04 to my computer. I have downloaded Ubuntu 13.04 (64-bit) and burned it to a DVD. I test drove the new distribution and it worked great, but installing it poses a bit of a problem for me (I'm an inexperienced Ubuntu/Linux user). Here's what I want to do.

I want to be able to dual-boot my system like I did when I had Ubuntu 12.04 installed on it. I previously used Wubi to install Ubuntu and it allowed me to install Ubuntu onto my D:\ partition.

I have two partitions on my HDD. The first is C:\ and it is where Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit) is installed (please note that my machine's processor is an AMD 64-bit and that is why I downloaded the 64-bit flavor of 13.04). The second is D:\ and it was where Ubuntu 12.04 used to reside prior to trying to install 13.04.

When I tried installing 13.04 alongside of Windows Vista, it does not allow me to pick the partition I want to install to, so I tried "Something Else" and I could not get the installation to work there either. Here's what I tried:

I set up sdb as the partition I wanted to install Ubuntu in and set the mount point to / (I don't even know if that is right), and then it told me that I didn't have a swap partition/space, so I reduced the size of sdb and made another partition (sdc) out of the remaining space, but I didn't know how to label it as "Swap" nor do I know where to set the mount point of sdc so I'm stuck.

I just thought of one thing and that is could I go and delete the partitions I have set up for Ubuntu using Disk Management in Windows and then extend Windows into that space and then try installing Ubuntu alongside Windows Vista? Would that be the easiest way to do it?

Can anyone help me out here?

  • sda and sdb are not partitions, but disks. The partition is the number afterwards, so sda1 is the first partition on the first disk. Didn't you get an option to "install alongside Windows" or something in the installer? It should take care of those things. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Sep 12 '13 at 18:50
  • You should search this site for how to install instructions. Do you have an external drive of some sort attached to your machine? Because you have created your partition on some other disk entirely, by the look of it. – comrademike Sep 12 '13 at 18:54
  • You are correct, it was sda1, sda2, and sda3. Anyhow, I got the system installed alongside Windows and the install went flawlessly. Thanks for your assistance, and yes, I did research for install instructions, but none of them appeared to address the issue I was having. I'll search more in the future. – Dennis Primm Sep 12 '13 at 20:41

First off, in Linux every hard drive has its own letter going from 'sda' to 'sdb' to 'sdc' and so on. But for every partition, you will get a 'sda1', 'sda2', 'sda3', and so on for each partition on a hard drive.

There are two ways to fix this, the automatic way and the manual way. In the end, they do exactly the same thing. If you know what you are doing and want to spare some time, go with the manual way

The Automatic way.

  1. Move all files from D:/ to C:/ as a backup
  2. remove the D:/ partition and expand C:/ over where D:/ was before.
  3. Boot the live USB again and select "Install Ubuntu alongside windows" and set how big you want

The Manual way.

  1. Move all files from D:/ to C:/ as a backup
  2. Boot the live USB

    Now, in Linux, these partitions have different names!

  3. select 'Something else'
  4. Delete the partition after windows (which was called D:/ by windows) and expand it to the end of the hard drive except for 2-8gb of free space that we are going to make swap later on.
  5. Format that partition as Ext4 and set the mount point as /
  6. Make the last partition out of the remaining 2-8gb of space, and format it as SWAP.
  7. In the dropdown menu on the bottom that's called something like 'bootloader location', set it to the correct hard drive (This will be the same as the windows or ubuntu or swap partition name but without a number, for example,/dev/sda, /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc)

  8. Simply continue installing ubuntu!

I hope this helps, and just place a comment if you encounter problems!

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    Thank you for the info. You are correct, it was sda1 (Windows Vista), sda2 (where I intended to install Ubuntu) and sda3 (what I intended to have as a swap partition). From your explanation, I'm going to go the "automatic" way! Again, thank you very much! Dennis – Dennis Primm Sep 12 '13 at 19:13
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    I ended up deleting the volume I used to have Ubuntu 12.04 installed on and then let the install program find the unused space automatically. Everything worked out great!!! I'm so happy. Cah you tell? HA! HA! Thanks again for your help in this matter. Sincerely, Dennis – Dennis Primm Sep 12 '13 at 20:42

First of all, you probably mean sda1, sda2, and so on, not sdb and sdc. But anyways, here's what you can do:

Option 1:

Follow the exact same steps you did, and when you get to the swap part, you'll need to pick the "Use as swap area" to set the swap partition. Here's a screenshot:

Option 2:

You can let Ubuntu take care of all of this for you.

Leave a free, unpartitioned space on your hard drive. Now, when you start the installation of Ubuntu, you'll get an option that reads "Install Ubuntu alongside Windows Vista". Picking that option will instruct Ubuntu to install in that unpartitioned space (it'll create the partitions it needs, along with swap), without harming any other partitions. So no, this option won't ask you which partition to install to, it automatically detects that there is free space on the hard disk, and it installs itself there.

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  • That is too cool! I was making this harder than it actually has to be. Thank you too for your help!!! I am going to give it a try and I'll bet it works this time. – Dennis Primm Sep 12 '13 at 19:16
  • No worries. I advise following the second option. Just start from scratch. Partition your hard disk to leave an empty space. Start the installation and choose the "Install alongside" option. Hassle free. Reply back here if something goes wrong. Also, don't forget to mark an answer as your accepted answer by clicking the grey check box to the left of the answer. – Alaa Ali Sep 12 '13 at 19:19
  • Thank you very much, and I did use the automatic option. First I went into Windows and deleted the volume that Ubuntu used to reside in, then exited Windows and installed Ubuntu 13.04 from a pendrive and the installation went flawlessly!!! I don't know how Ubuntu does it, but it recognized the unused space and created two different partitions, I guess one for Ubuntu (approx. 48 GB's) and the other a swap partition (which is 4 GB's). Anyhow, it worked fine and I'm writing to you within Ubuntu 13.04 in Firefox!!! This worked out great! Thank you all very much for your kind help. – Dennis Primm Sep 12 '13 at 20:38

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