I know this is a duplicate, sorry, I have looked through all the questions and answers, as well as other sources on the web, tried to follow what was suggested, but still I am unable to install Ubuntu on my laptop which currently runs Windows 7. First I thought the problem was that there are 4 Windows partitions already, which, as I learned is the maximum. Here is how my partitions looked when I tried to install first: (sorry I was just warned that I cannot insert images, so I have to describe:

There were 3 partitions on Disk 0: (1) Active Recovery Partition 1.46 GB 100 % Free (2) Primary Partition 10.07 GB 100 % Free (3) Boot, Page File, Primary Partition 446.22 GB 37 % Free

And 1 partition on Disk 1: (4) Hibernation Partition 11.21 Gb 100 % Free

After a lot of hesitation I deleted the 11.21 Gb Hibernation partition, as it was 100% free. The action was successful, it became unallocated space, - but it remained a separate entity on Disk 1. I have tried to delete Disk 1 but neither the Disk Management utility, nor the diskpart program let me do it.

I tried to install Ubuntu again, - still without success.

I went to the "Try Ubuntu" option (from a bootable USB stick as my laptop has no CD/DVD drive), and used the Gparted program to shrink the 446.22 Gb Windows partition, and created another 60 Gb unallocated space beside it.

But when I try to install Ubuntu, the Installation Type dialog does not offer any options, and the window which should show the partitions to allocate space for the installation is empty. There are 3 buttons underneath: +/-/Change... but if I try to click any of those, the screen goes blank, and I have to restart the computer.

The "Device for boot loader installation" entry box shows: /dev/sda and there is nothing else to be selected.

So at this point I have to quit the installation because I don't want to overwrite my Windows installation.

What am I doing wrong? Can I install Ubuntu alongside Windows, and if yes, how? Please help.

Thank you Peter

1 Answer 1


OK, it seems like you are trying to install Ubuntu when your computer is set up to boot from bios. To check, boot into your Windows 7 partition, press start, click on my computer and select manage. Under disk management all of your partitions should come up. If you see a 100 mb system reserved partition chances are your system uses bios.

Steps to take If your Windows boots fine and works, I would back up the entire disk (it is called create a system image under Windows 7 back up options). You would need another hard drive or a set of DVDs.

This ensures that if you accidentally hose your Windows install you aren't left with a brick.

You would also need to create a repair disk (image back up will prompt you) and system recovery disks if you don't have those already.

What you need to do is resize your main Windows partition (the 400+gb one) so that you have enough space to install Ubuntu.

Once you have done that, to reduce the number of the partitions to less than 4, the safest method is to remove the recovery partition.

This is usually provided by oems to reinstall your computer to factory defaults. However it is not needed if you have create a system image, a repair disk (to let Windows use your system image to restore) and recovery disks so that you can roll back your system to factory defaults.

Once you have wiped the oem recovery partition Ubuntu should install (choose use largest continuous free space

  • Thank you but could you please read my question again, because most of what you are suggesting I have already done, or cannot do (eg. create repair disk). And more questions: (1) Can I delete the recovery partition if I DON'T have a repair disk, but have a system image saved? (2)Is it better to reduce the main Windows partition under Windows (as I have done that under Ubuntu using Gparted, but it did not work)
    – user276939
    May 13, 2014 at 1:50
  • Well, I have done the step you suggested: in the Windows Disk Manager I reduced the size of the main Windows partition, which created a 50 Gb unallocated space. I checked that there are only 3 partitions currently, and 2 sections of unallocated space: the one I have just created beside the main Windows partition on Disk 0, and another on Disk 1 (11 gb) which I cannot delete. Then I tried to install Ubuntu again, but the "Installation type" dialog still does not offer any options, and does not show any partitions, so I had to cancel the installation. Any other ideas what I could do?
    – user276939
    May 14, 2014 at 3:31
  • Can you try the alternative installer for 12.04 lts? I don't have any other ideas to be honest.
    – user67350
    May 19, 2014 at 8:50

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.