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.


8 Answers 8


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
  • 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. Nov 24, 2014 at 23:41
  • 4
    Any idea why it doesn't show any other drive than "C:\"?
    – a-Jays
    Jul 20, 2015 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) Apr 17, 2016 at 14:45
  • 4
    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, 2019 at 11:30
  • 2
    Doesn't work with Windows 10 Home Edition Feb 25, 2020 at 6:49

Boot Ubuntu on Windows UEFI computer without USB or DVD

  • Use Windows Disk Management to create FAT32 partition 3GB or larger.

  • Copy/Paste contents of ISO file to new partition.

  • Reboot pressing F12 and select UEFI Ubuntu.

  • 1
    How exactly do you "copy/paste" data from iso to a partition under Windows? That would be helpful to mention here :)
    – vadipp
    Dec 21, 2021 at 19:01
  • @vadipp. I use 7Zip to copy data from ISO files in both Windows and Ubuntu. Dec 21, 2021 at 20:06
  • 1
    Thank you - this is genius and worked like a treat. I plugged my new SSD into another computer where I was able to get the SSD setup, created the FAT32 partition, and copied the contents of the Linux ISO into it. I then installed the SSD into the other computer (the one without USB or DVD), was then able to boot the ISO and then install as usual on to the SSD that also contained the ISO. I hope this extra detail is helpful to somebody.
    – John
    Nov 3, 2022 at 15:03
  • 1
    @Mehdi Charife: A FAT32 partition supports max 4GB file size. A FAT32 partition is limited to 2TB. (Windows Disk Management will only allow creating a FAT32 partition size of 32GB). Feb 24, 2023 at 11:48
  • 1
    @Mehdi Charife: Oracle Linux is not on-topic on this site and I have never used it. Have you tried extracting the Oracle Linux ISO to a FAT32 partition? If there are any files in the ISO over 4GB, it will not work. If all files are under 4GB it should work. Feb 25, 2023 at 2:12

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.

  • And how can i make an additional partition and use unetbootin to install ubuntu?
    – user294273
    Jun 17, 2014 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, 2014 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. :)

  • To remove UNetbootin you have to use msconf or something like that I believe
    – Manchineel
    Mar 28, 2017 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 Mar 30, 2017 at 21:17
  • To remove UNetBootin, check out this link
    – zipzit
    Apr 4, 2019 at 11:50

You need to turn of fast boot in Windows. You need to turn of TPM and Secure boot in UEFI ( what some people still but incorrectly call BIOS ) to install Ubuntu. You can install Ubuntu ( or another .iso ) if you install e.g. Grub2Win and make it your primairy bootloader. You need to add the option to boot from .iso in the bootmenu.
Then when booting choose the .iso.


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.

  • I dont see an option to add the ISO to WBM, where can i find it?
    – user294273
    Jun 17, 2014 at 8:12

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.

  • 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, 2014 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. Jun 18, 2014 at 8:26
  • Duel booting is better because it is always faster, and you don't have to boot into your computer twice. Nov 16, 2016 at 20:44
  • 1
    This does not answer the question, -1. Apr 14, 2021 at 18:20

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.

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