I have a Windows XP /Ubuntu 12.04 32 bit dual boot system with partitions I created manually.

/dev/sda 1 21GB Windows OS
/dev/sda 2 5.2GB ntfs spare unused
/dev/sda 3 300MB ext 3 for grub
Extended /dev/sda 4 
/dev/sda 5 2.5GB swap
/dev/sda 6 20GB / root ext 4
/dev/sda 7 25GB shared ntfs partition for docs and files
Free /dev/sda 6GB unallocated

My computer is a home build MSI K9VGM-V Mobo. 80G HD. 2 x 1G RAM in two slots.

I want to do a fresh install of 14.04 retaining the dual boot.

I have 6G unallocated space. I want to add it to the NTFS data partition. Can I resize the ntfs data partition during reinstall to add the unallocated space to it?

Is there enough space in /dev/sda6 for 14.04? I want to upgrade the RAM to 2 x 2GB and install the 64 bit Ubuntu version. must I change the swap partition, and to what size?

One post in askubuntu says to "install alongside windows" but another says to use "something else". Which should I do?

Does the grub reinstall into the same place automatically or do I have to reinstall it? If I have to reinstall it is the current partition big enough?

1 Answer 1


If you do the "Install alongside Windows" it will format everything that is not Windows and install, if you do "something else" you can change around partitions as you please, but I don't believe you can make a NTFS partition. However, you can use gparted on the live cd or install it and using it after the install to do what you are wanting to do. Or you can do it in Windows.

Per the Ubuntu site, it needs about 4.5GB to install, so that's about 15GB or more space for stuff.

There is enough space in boot

with 4GB of RAM swap is optional, but if you hibernate you would need to do a work around.

Either I was dreaming when I installed 14.04, or I saw a 4th option which was remove 12.04 and install 14.04, which keeps your partitions. Your table looks fine.

  • I don't want to make a new ntfs partition, just resize it, or is that the same? Sometimes the OS partition expands to up to 6GB until I clean out with bleachbit, but if you say it still only needs 4.5 I could use some of that for extra ntfs as well? I would like to hibernate, but I didn't think I could in ubuntu. I can suspend, but this keeps the fan running, which on my pc is noisy. Could you advise more about relevance of swap to hibernation as I don't know anything about this. I have seen 4th option in other people's screenshots. If I get it, what is difference between that and option 1?
    – benawhile
    Apr 24, 2014 at 9:57
  • It depends on if there is something on it or not, I personally would extend it in Windows, if that is what you are going for, and you don't have to worry about losing data.
    – ubuntu1up
    Apr 24, 2014 at 12:37
  • OK, I will chose "something else", make new partitions and partition swap at 4GB to enable hibernation. But why extend the ntfs partition in Windows? all data there will be backed up and so I can put it back in after reinstall. Finally: I am apprehensive about where to install grub on my machine. Will install ask where to put it? Current partition for it is not within the extended partition. I can't remember if I made that partition prior to installing ubuntu or if ubuntu made it. Is it the MBR? It is listed as /dev/sda3 but mounted at /boot.Thought the MBR had to be at beginning of the HDD.
    – benawhile
    Apr 25, 2014 at 3:03
  • That works too. I figured, you were probably using Windows now, and you can go to Disk Manager, but otherwise you can do it on the live cd for Ubuntu, or after the install. /boot is first for grub, then you can but / (root) and then swap last, install doesn't ask were to put it, it sees /boot and uses it for grub. If you click "something else" you get a screen with all your partition info and you can change if you want. You can format anything and make a new partition, it won't let you resize anything unless you format and won't be permanent until you click install.
    – ubuntu1up
    Apr 25, 2014 at 8:14
  • OK. Interestingly I have now had advice from the forum that my current location for grub is unsafe and when I reinstall I should just put it in /dev/sda at the beginning (or at the end, maybe, still a bit confused!) of the HDD and not in a partition. I will do this as they are giving good support too. I can remember now at the time of dualboot install I was using a help page that made a point of advising a separate partition for grub. See my post if you like ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2219654 Thanks for help, will mark this as answered although I think my question was a bit messy
    – benawhile
    Apr 25, 2014 at 15:08

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