To have a fresh installation I was told I need to format the partition it is on and simply re-install Ubuntu. I am currently on a live cd and was going to format it but apparently its mounted so I can't format it.

I'm not sure what to do and I would like Ubuntu back with out screwing something up. Btw I dual-booted it so I would also like to do this without screwing up the Windows partition.

screenshot of gparted: Lspci:

  • add the screenshot of gparted. – rajan May 22 '14 at 16:33
  • How do I post the picture? – zyphon7 May 22 '14 at 16:33
  • to unmount a partition open gparted, then right click>unmount – rajan May 22 '14 at 16:34
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    upload the picture in imgur.com and paste the link here – rajan May 22 '14 at 16:35
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    Also, your post is slightly confusing. Please confirm or clarify the following: You had Ubuntu running on your system normally, but encountered nvidia driver issues (and presumably can't use the installed Ubuntu OS anymore). Now you are running Ubuntu from a Live CD? – 0xSheepdog May 22 '14 at 16:39

to unmount your partition

  • open gparted
  • right click the partition you want to unmount
  • select the unmount option


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  • Doesnt let me...imgur.com/lzfEcaV – zyphon7 May 22 '14 at 17:30
  • swap off the swap partition first – rajan May 22 '14 at 17:32
  • Ah ha! Thanks...now do I format the ext4 space where ubuntu is? Also I currious why my ext4 is under the extended thing...Thansk for all help so far, you guys are great! – zyphon7 May 22 '14 at 17:38
  • yes you can format the partation where ubuntu is installed, and continue the installation.. your ext4 is under extended partition coz you created the extended ext4 partition when you first installed your ubuntu. – rajan May 22 '14 at 17:43
  • So nothing to worry about? Just format it to ext4 then install it on that? Man so many dumb questions I have... – zyphon7 May 22 '14 at 17:47

You should not need to do any formatting ahead of time. If your dual boot configuration is working properly, you should be able to boot the system from your installation media (CD or USB device).

Backup any data you may want, if you can, before proceeding. You could lose it otherwise.

You can choose either 'Try Ubuntu' or 'Install Ubuntu' which then would need you to click the Install icon from the desktop.

Once the basic install process begins, it should scan the system drives and ask you if you want to replace the identified operating systems, replace everything, etc.

Choose the option to replace the previous Ubuntu installation.

That should reinstall ubuntu clean over the previous instance without touching the Windows partition(s).

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    If thats the case, this will be 10x easier than I was expecting! So I just have to say replace ubuntu and windows wont get messed up? – zyphon7 May 22 '14 at 16:55
  • try this method and share the result,... i smell something wrong,... – rajan May 22 '14 at 17:00
  • What is it? I dont wont to mess up my computer! – zyphon7 May 22 '14 at 17:11
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    there are cases that using this method deletes windows partition so i sugested the safe way!.. – rajan May 22 '14 at 17:17
  • I thought that might be a possiblitiy...So how do I unmount and format? Plus I wont learn anything if I always do it the easy way – zyphon7 May 22 '14 at 17:19

First, see what's mounted:

$ mount

Identify which of those is your current existing Ubuntu partition, and then unmount it. For example:

$ sudo umount /dev/sda2

Then if you like, you can run mount again to verify it's no longer mounted. You may get errors about the filesystem being in use, in which case, first make sure that you aren't in a directory on that filesystem, and that you aren't editing or using any files or applications there. If you still have troubles, you can use lsof to see what files are currently in use, and by what processes.

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what i usually do is boot in windows from there i format the ubuntu spaces and make them one with disk D or C or E or F or whatever it made for the dual install and reboot and install ubuntu sorry for my sucky english

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  1. Open Gparted and expand the /dev/sda4 partition.
  2. Select the /dev/sda6 partition, click the "Partition" menu dropdown, and select 'Delete'
  3. Repeat step 2 for the /dev/sda5 partition
  4. Now repeat step 2 for the /dev/sda4 partition (it should now allow you to delete it, now that this Extended Partition is empty.)
  5. Exit gparted (it will probably ask you to confirm you want to write the changes to disk. Agree/click yes.
  6. Reboot into the Live Ubuntu disk again and open GParted to verify the /dev/sda4 -sda5 and -sda6 partitions are really gone.
  7. Install ubuntu normally, choosing to boot it alongside Windows.

Adding this text for background.

See, the problem is GParted is doing it's job. You can't delete the /dev/sda4 partition because it is an Extended Partition, and it contains Logical Partitions. Most partitioning tools won't let you arbitrarily delete an Extended Part. if it isn't empty.

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