I recently purchased an SSD to speed up my computer experience. Before, I had Windows 7 and Ubuntu in a dual-boot system. The plan was to install Windows 8 on the SSD and then set aside ~30GB for the system files of Ubuntu.

I installed Windows 8 just fine on the SSD, then I booted the Ubuntu install CD to make my partitions like always - but GParted tells me the entire SSD is unallocated. Now I am afraid I will lose my Windows installation if I try to do anything to it.

Why does GParted think there is no partition on the SSD? Shouldn't it be 4 Partitions, like the Windows installer told me?

And is it possible to ignore this and install Ubuntu on the hard disk (where it, frankly, already is) and somehow make it possible to install GRUB on the SSD to revert my dual-boot system without damaging the installed Win8?

  • What format are those partitions? Run sudo parted -l to find out. If you have GParted on the live cd, try formatting the non-windows ones too an ext filesystem. And then try and install. The problem may be Windows 8 formatting the disk, not the SSD. – Wilf Nov 3 '13 at 21:19
  • @wilf: The partitions on the HDD are as I left them - ext4 and NTFS for linux and windows, respectively. – Lanbo Nov 3 '13 at 21:24
  • Did you format the disk using GParted before installing Windows 8? – Wilf Nov 3 '13 at 21:27
  • @wilf: No, of course not, I only installed Windows 8 on the SSD, nothing else. Never touched the HDD for the process. – Lanbo Nov 3 '13 at 21:30
  • You could always wipe the disk and Create a new (msdos) Partition table - though this will wipe Windows 8. Then, after that, see if the Ubuntu installer can detect the disk before you install Windows 8 (just don't press INSTALL). I generally reformat disks as the original formatting is not always the best. Can't think of much else, sorry. Adding a screen-shot of GParted and some of the disk info may help. – Wilf Nov 3 '13 at 21:46

This symptom is usually caused by one of two problems:

  • Leftover software RAID data -- If the disk had been (or is being) used with software RAID, leftover RAID data can confuse the Ubuntu installer. You can usually fix this problem by typing sudo dmraid -E -r /dev/sda; however, you should be very sure that you're not currently using software RAID. If you erase RAID data when the system is actually using RAID, the result can be problems accessing your disk at all.
  • A damaged partition table -- The libparted library (upon which the Ubuntu installer relies) is extremely sensitive to partition table problems. If any exist, it usually reports the disk as being empty. My FixParts program (part of the gdisk package in Ubuntu) will correct many of these problems in an automatic or semi-automatic mannger; see its Web page for details. Other problems may require more specialized and manual repairs. If you think this is the source of the problem and if FixParts can't fix it or if you're wary of using FixParts, post the output of sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda. (Add four spaces to the beginning of each line of that output to preserve columnar output.) If the disk uses GPT rather than MBR partitions, type sudo sgdisk -v /dev/sda and post the output here. (Both FixParts and sgdisk are part of the gdisk package in Ubuntu.)
  • will try that tomorrow, bit in distress right now – Lanbo Nov 4 '13 at 18:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.