I installed Ubuntu to my computer with the install DVD. I have 2 hard drives - (1) 500 GB with windows 7, and (1) 160 GB with nothing.

I installed Ubuntu to a 40 GB partition on the secondary drive.

I'm using these to give my son a play area and now I'd like to add one myself. Is there anyway to create another bootable installation of Ubuntu on the other 120 GB of that secondary hard drive.

Right now with the CD it tells me I must delete everything and start over , and even then I'm not sure I can create 2 bootable versions.

Any help is so appreciated !!!

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo parted -l
Model: ATA SAMSUNG HD502HJ (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 500GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number  Start   End    Size   Type     File system  Flags
 1      1049kB  106MB  105MB  primary  ntfs         boot
 2      106MB   500GB  500GB  primary  ntfs

Model: ATA Hitachi HDP72501 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 160GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number  Start   End    Size    Type      File system     Flags
 1      32.3kB  100GB  100GB   primary   ntfs
 2      100GB   160GB  60.0GB  extended
 5      100GB   143GB  42.8GB  logical   ext4
 6      143GB   160GB  17.2GB  logical   linux-swap(v1)

Warning: Unable to open /dev/sr0 read-write (Read-only file system).  /dev/sr0
has been opened read-only.
Error: Can't have a partition outside the disk!                           


Thanks !!


Yes you can. Boot up the CD and go into live mode (try without installing), when the computer has boot up, go to the terminal and enter sudo parted -l get to partition table for the disk with the 120GB of space (we will continue this process later on). After this, begin the installation process.

When the installation arrives at this screen (GUI updated in recent version but info still the same)

Select Something else

Now, on the next screen

Select the appropriate drive, (the one with 120GB which equates to roughly 122880MB)

Select it and create new partition table (option in the bottom left)

new partition table


BIOS-Boot or EFI partition (required on GPT disks)

If you want to install Ubuntu on a GPT disk (you can check it via the 'sudo parted -l' command as mentioned above), you will need either an EFI partition (if your BIOS is set up in EFI mode) or a BIOS-Boot partition (if your BIOS is set up in Legacy mode).

BIOS-Boot partition:

Mount point: none Type: no filesystem Description: the BIOS-boot partition contains GRUB 2's core. It is necessary if you install Ubuntu on a GPT disk, and if the firmware (BIOS) is set up in Legacy (not EFI) mode. It must be located at the start of a GPT disk, and have a "bios_grub" flag. Size: 1MB.

EFI partition:

Mount point: /boot/efi (no need to set up this mount point as the installer will do it automatically) Type: FAT (generally FAT32)

Description: the EFI partition (also called ESP) contains some boot files. It is necessary if the firmware (BIOS) is set up to boot the HDD in EFI mode (which is default on more and more modern, > year 2011 computers). It must be located at the start of a GPT disk, and have a "boot" flag. Size: 100~250MB

Basic recommended install

The most basic and recommended partitioning for a fully functional system, is a swap partition and a root partition / consuming the rest of the diskapce.

More Advanced Install

For this I will recommend;

DiskSpace -The goal of this page is to offer advice and strategy on partitioning a Linux system.


Recommended Partitioning Scheme

  • Thanks again for the help. I'll give that a shot. To be honest I get confused when it gets to terminal prompts and things like that. I know I'm out of my element when I start dabbling with Linux. Wish this second install was just as easy as the first. Thanks again. – BB Newbie Sep 30 '14 at 2:01
  • 1
    If you're doing it now, then I'll be here to help.. It's a breeze. Post back if you're stuck. I'll try my best to help. – user271219 Sep 30 '14 at 2:04
  • 1
    Let's take this set by step. Edit your question to include the output of sudo parted -l – user271219 Sep 30 '14 at 2:04
  • 1
    Okay I'll do that give me a min or two here. Thanks again ! – BB Newbie Sep 30 '14 at 2:10
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    post it in the question, I'll edit it. – user271219 Sep 30 '14 at 2:19

Yes, you can definitely create as many Ubuntu or other Linux installations as you want. I usually make a copy of my old system before trying or installing a new version, so I can compare things or even go back.

I don't know why the CD would tell you you must delete everything and start over; I've never seen that. At what point does it say that, and what does it say exactly?

I normally create the partition(s) myself first, using gparted, and make sure I know where it is, how big it is, etc. Then, during the install, I choose a manual installation (with Ubuntu, it's called "Something Else"). I just tell it to install into the partition I created, and put GRUB into the MBR of the boot drive (assuming you are not using GPT with UEFI, something I haven't messed with myself). It should allow you to boot either of the 3 operating systems. If it doesn't detect the existing systems, then something is wrong - possibly a UEFI issue, which I don't really know a lot about.

One thing to be aware of is that with all linux distros I've installed, it will always change GRUB to point to the most recent partition's /boot/grub, and use that partition's GRUB menu for booting. So, if you delete the most recent distro, you will no longer be able to boot until you fix it by pointing the GRUB bootloader to a previous /boot/grub menu.

If you are using the GPT rather than MBR, then some of this will probably be different, and hopefully someone can help with whatever the GPT equivalents are.

EDIT: When you add partitions, you don't need to make them bootable; the disk is bootable. It boots and runs GRUB, when then knows how to load many of the operating systems, or it "chain loads" ones like Windows that have their own boot protocol.

Until you've done it a few times, it can be scary, and dangerous I guess. You need to pay attention, and not assume it will know what to do.

  • Thanks for help... When I goto install thru the disk it doesn't allow a simple install. I have to do "something else" and won't let me create a partition in there. Would I be better to format the NTFS drive while in Ubuntu or install anything that way ? .... I'm fairly new to this and am very timid in messing with boot records and the windows 7 in general. If I screw up Ubuntu so be it .. Screw up windows and I'll be po'd ! Ideally I just want to add Ubuntu and not have to delete current Ubuntu. Thanks again !! – BB Newbie Sep 30 '14 at 1:47

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