I want to install Ubuntu on my laptop that doesn't have a CD-ROM drive and I have no spare USB disk. I've tried Wubi, but that doesn't seem to work (since it prompts me to have the CD in the drive, which I don't have).

How can I install Ubuntu, easily and in a fast way?

P.s: I want to dual boot it with Windows 7 (which was preinstalled).


  1. When extracting the ISO to a folder and running Wubi it does install, but when I reboot the computer, it doesn't show GRUB, nor can I choose if I want to boot Ubuntu or Windows 7.

  2. After trying for the third time today, wubi gives me an error: Permission denied

I'm the administrator on the PC.


For BIOS devices:

To install Ubuntu without CD/DVD or USB pendrive, follow these steps:

  1. Download Unetbootin from here.

  2. Run Unetbootin.

  3. Now, from the drop-down menu under Type: select Hard Disk.

    Hard Disk

  4. Next select the Diskimage. Browse to the directory where you downloaded the iso file of Ubuntu.


  5. Press OK.

  6. Next when you reboot, you will get a menu like this:


  7. Select Unetbootin and you will get the "Try" or "Install" option there.

  8. Finally, you can install your version of Ubuntu alongside Windows.

For UEFI devices:

  • First, download rEFInd.

  • Then, extract it.

  • Now, follow the below steps to install rEFInd[source], so that, you have a boot menu to boot to Ubuntu Live environment. Summary of the installation process given in the source is as belows:

    1. Open cmd with Administrator privileges.

    2. Then,

      mountvol S: /S
      • (you may change S: to any available drive letter)
    3. Type cd in cmd and then drag and drop the extracted folder to the already open cmd window. E.g.,

      cd "C:\Program Files"
    4. Copy refind

      xcopy /E refind S:\EFI\refind\
      • In this step S: will be the drive letter that you used above.
    5. Change directory to rEFInd

      cd S:\EFI\refind
    6. Rename config file

      rename refind.conf-sample refind.conf
    7. Note that {bootmgr} is entered as such; that's not a notation for a variable. Also, change refind_x64.efi to refind_ia32.efi on systems with 32-bit EFIs. Such computers are rare, and most of them are tablets. Check your Windows bit depth to determine which binary you should use.

      bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\refind\refind_x64.efi
    8. Download EaseUS Partition Master Free and run it.

    9. Select your last partition.


    10. Right-click on it and from the context menu select Resize/Move partition.


    11. From the size shown beside Partition Size minus 4096 MB (to mimic a 4GB pendrive).


    12. Press tab and the rest will be auto-completed.


    13. Select the newly created partition and right-click on it. Select Create Partition from context menu.


    14. In this window, select FAT32 as the File System. Click on OK. Finally, click on Apply (present at the top-left of the window).


    15. Next, extract Ubuntu iso to this partition and finally reboot.

    16. You will be presented with a rEFInd menu. From here select the Ubuntu partition. It will boot into a Live environment. Continue with the installation. After the installation finishes boot to Windows.

    17. Run EaseUS Partition Master Free again.

    18. Right-click on the 4 GB partition and from the context menu select Delete Partition.


    19. Right-click on the partition above the Unallocated partition and select Resize/Move Partition from the context menu.


    20. Extend the bar to the extreme right by dragging the button.


    21. Click on OK. Finally, click on Apply (present at the top-left of the window).


    22. Open cmd with Administrator privileges.

    23. Then,

      mountvol S: /S
      • (you may change S: to any available drive letter)
    24. Remove rEFInd

      rmdir "S:\EFI\refind" /S /Q
      • In this step S: will be the drive letter that you used above.
    25. Reinstall grub as your primary boot manager

      bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\ubuntu\grubx64.efi
| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    Tried this on Windows 8.1. Got the boot manager entry for Unetbootin but after selecting it, I get an error stating that Windows (?) cannot find required files. Booting Windows selecting the Windows 8.1 boot manager entry still works. – Alexander Zeitler Nov 24 '14 at 23:41
  • 4
    Any idea why it doesn't show any other drive than "C:\"? – a-Jays Jul 20 '15 at 10:10
  • 2
    "Ubuntu no longer supports using the Windows installer to install Ubuntu from within Windows, but you can still use it if you prefer. The installer will not work in Windows 8 or newer; you must be using Windows XP, Vista, or 7." source : wikihow.com/Install-Ubuntu-Linux-Without-CD-(Windows) – bogdan.rusu Apr 17 '16 at 14:45
  • 2
    You don't need the EasyUS partition tool, just use the built-in Windows Computer Management / Disk management tool to Shrink/Grow your C: partition. And 2.. 2.5 GB is enough. – rustyx Oct 12 '19 at 11:30
  • 2
    Doesn't work with Windows 10 Home Edition – Gandalf the White Feb 25 at 6:49

Instead of using WUBI, you can create an additional partition, or use an additional hard drive to write the liveCD image to, using unetbootin. Then you boot from this partition and continue the same way you would as if you'd be booting from a USB or CD.

| improve this answer | |
  • And how can i make an additional partition and use unetbootin to install ubuntu? – user294273 Jun 17 '14 at 8:05
  • To answer your question of the additional partition, you can either use your disk management in Windows or use gparted. Beware though, resizing partitions always have severe risks of losing all data. Take your backups before you proceed! – Jakke Jun 17 '14 at 8:35

You can use UNetbootin to install Ubuntu 15.04 from Windows 7 into a dual boot system without the use of a cd/dvd or a USB drive. I am writing this from a fresh Ubuntu 15.04 install using the method below.

  1. Backup all your files...just in case

  2. Defrag your C:\ drive [right click C drive>click on Tools Tab>Defrag]

  3. Check for errors [right click C drive>click on Tools Tab>Error Checking] reboot and wait for the app to finish completely, the system will reboot when finished

  4. Create Unallocated Unformatted free space on the C drive [Control Panel> Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Disk Manager>right click the C drive>Shrink Volume] I believe the suggested space for a full Ubuntu install is 16 Gig, I made 41,000 MB about 40 Gig. Just type the size into the already selected box. The wording MS uses is confusing be assured typing 41000 will make 40Gig free space. click next if it asks to format DON'T Also Do Not assign a letter to the newly made volume.

  5. Reboot Windows 7 a couple times to be sure the changes in the volume have taken without errors

  6. Download the Ubuntu 15.04 ISO

  7. Run UNetbootin [choose disk image radio button and select the Ubuntu ISO image you downloaded. Make sure that Type: Hard Disk is selected in the drop down. Make sure Drive: C:\ drive is selected in the drop down. Click OK] The program will run through 4 steps and then ask to reboot now...Comply

  8. During reboot you will have a choice between Windows and UNetbootin, [Choose UNetbootin] This will boot a Live CD try before you install desktop.

  9. After you look around a bit you will notice an Install Ubuntu 15.04 shortcut on the desktop [start the install, I think the 4th step of the install shows the main volume with Windows and the free space you created using Disk Manager. [Make sure you click the free space and set it for "/", click continue install] Takes a few minutes then it will reboot automatically. If you don't press any keys it will default to the Ubuntu OS. Let it boot. setup your WiFi look around a bit then reboot when you are ready. Upon reboot arrow to Windows and it will boot Windows 7 boot loader where you will see the UNetbootin is still a choice. Windows will be the default there and allow to boot.

As I stated before I am typing this from Chromium running on Ubuntu 15.04. I wrote all this so you wouldn't be worried about using other partition software such as Gparted or Parted Magic. No need to purchase anything Windows already has a good tool> Disk Manager

I'll be honest I still need to figure how to uninstall the UNetbootin loader from the Windows boot loader but that is a small issue, I just "Frugal Installed" Ubuntu successfully. :)

| improve this answer | |
  • To remove UNetbootin you have to use msconf or something like that I believe – Manchineel Mar 28 '17 at 16:15
  • It has been about two years since I wrote that answer above. If I remember correctly, to uninstall UNetbootin from the boot loader you simply go into Windows OS from which it was installed and UNinstall it. After that you will only see Windows or Ubuntu as a choice. Go here for UNetbootin removal instructions down the page: unetbootin.github.io – xtrchessreal Mar 30 '17 at 21:17
  • To remove UNetBootin, check out this link – zipzit Apr 4 '19 at 11:50

I would suggest you to install Ubuntu in Virtual machine like VMPLAYER instead of dual booting. This helps to keep your boot process less messy and Ubuntu being fast works well in vmplayer.

| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    Even though this is a good solution to run both OS'es, you could also argue that you can install Ubuntu and run Windows in a VM. I usually suggest though that people dual-boot. It gives people a few more abilities from running in a VM and when people get tired of Windows, they can just clean up the partition and add it to their Ubuntu installation. When you're using virtual machines, you have to start from scratch again. Virtual Machines are a good way to test things, run web servers etc, but they're lacking in some areas. Especially if you're talking about a desktop system. – Jakke Jun 17 '14 at 22:33
  • You make good points there @Jakke, but don't forget one advantage of using a VM is that you're able to run both OS'es simultaneously, which could be a big advantage for some users. – Richard Fawcett Jun 18 '14 at 8:26
  • Duel booting is better because it is always faster, and you don't have to boot into your computer twice. – Jam Risser Nov 16 '16 at 20:44

You can try using EasyBCD to add the ISO to the Windows Boot Manager. In some cases it may not work, but give it a try.

| improve this answer | |
  • I dont see an option to add the ISO to WBM, where can i find it? – user294273 Jun 17 '14 at 8:12

Create a VM that uses a physical disk, then boot the VM with the ISO image.

I'd recommend using VMWare for this, as I've found Virtualbox harder to configure.

I'd recommend using a complete disk for this. Using only a partition is possible in theory but I've never done it.


  1. Delete all the partitions where you'll install linux. On Windows 7 / 8 do it from "Computer Management". (some partitions are protected, and windows won't allow VMWare to access the disk if they're not removed first).

  2. Open VMWare as Administrator (secondary click, run as Admin). Create a new VM, choose custom mode, when creating the HD choose create from physical disk.

  3. Boot the VM from the ISO. If you only see a white cursor and a black screen you're booting from the empty HD.

| improve this answer | |

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