Here is how my HDD looks like on Gparted,

Partition   |  File System  | Label       |  size       |   Flags
/dev/sda1   | fat32         | DELLUTILITY | 350.00 MiB  | diag
/dev/sda2   | fat32         | OS          | 3.00 GiB    | lba
/dev/sda3   | ext4                        | 912.39 Gib  | boot
/dev/sda4   | extended                    | 15.78 GiB
/dev/sda5   | linux-swap                  | 15.78 GiB

I want to know how to format it probably to work in Dual-boot modew for ubuntu and windows 8, and I need to create a different partition seprate from the system partitions to store other data on it.

  • I tried resizing and creating another partition but I got the error that I only can have 4 primary partitions. and I'm lost in which partition I should delete and which I should keep. and if I deleted one partition I get stuck at creating only one extended partition with two logical partitions within it, but windows will need a primary partition.
  • I need to know please what are the best step by step process for me to achieve the goal I mentioned above noticing that this is not a duplicate question because it is specific to my situation.

Thanks a lot.

1 Answer 1


I have never used/installed win8, so the following may not be the right way to go in your particular case.

Having said that, I just did a win7 + 8 Linux distros (Kubuntu, Trisquel, Puppy, Slitaz, Arch, Slackware, Dragora, Kali) multi boot in a laptop with 160 gb in HDD with 1 common swap partition for all Linux distros and 1 partition for data, and another install with win7 + kubuntu + Debian with 1 common swap and 2 partitions for data, 1 for Linux and 1 for win7 in a 1TB in HDD laptop

Here is what I've learned in the process:

  1. windows needs to be in the first partition.

  2. you only need one primary partition for windows

  3. every other partition can be a logical partition

  4. make a (mental) drawing/map of how your disc will look like after the partitioning process

  5. decide how much space you will give for each partition (OS's, Data and swap)

  6. format the Linux partitions to ext4, swap to swap and NTFS for windows (unless win8 uses a new/different file system). Find out how much space win8 requires. I have found that win7 uses 13-15 GB for a basic install, and that I need up to 30 GB for the programs that I use. So for me, 40 GB for win7 and 25 GB for Kubuntu is enough space for both OS's to live and grow. You can use the rest for data and swap. I put labels on the partitions so it is easier to know what is what later on (Linux_Data, Win_Data, My_Linux_Distro, etc.)

    • for the size of the swap, there are alot of different schools of thought, but I always use a swap that is the same size of my ram + a little more (say 5 MB extra, that way you can suspend your sesion to ram)
  7. Install windows first and point to the first partition during the instalation. After that, the partition formatted to NTFS for data will be recognized automatically by windows (again, this happens with win7. Don't know if it's the same with win8).

  8. Install your Linux distro on it's (logical partition), that is, your mounting point for / should be the partition for Linux, and if you will have only 1 Linux distro installed, you could mount /home on the data partition that you formatted to ext4.

Note: windows cannot read ext4 partitions.

To sum up: 5 partitions (1 swap, 2 ext4 and 2 NTFS), 1 primary (for win8) and the rest logical. Point the installers to the right partitions and that's about it.

  • tell me if I get it right, I understood that only windows needs a primary partition to boot and Ubuntu can be installed on a logical partition??
    – John Smith
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 8:23
  • that's right. Even your data partitions can be logical, both for windows and linux.
    – Jesus DA
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 8:41
  • I'm sorry to bother you but please bare with me.
    – John Smith
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 9:14
  • I'll tell what I've done on gparted but still didn't apply. first partition I left it alone (fat32 partition labeled dell utility) after that one I've created Primary partition ntfs for windows . Then another partition ext4 for Ubuntu installation . then an extended partition including 1 ntfs logical partition for the data and another lunix-swap partition with double the RAM size . notice in this process I've deleted the partition Labeled OS and flagged as lba . is this right, if you tell me so I will apply changes . I trust You :)
    – John Smith
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 9:20
  • i'm not sure that it will work like that because as you mentioned in your question, sda1 will not be for windows but dellutility. I always do a complete format since I never use the utilities that come with the computer anyway. Another question: you do have a win8 disc/dvd/usb right? because as you should know, changing the partitions can mess everything up and you might have to install everything again. If you have your installation discs you can always do it again until you get it right.
    – Jesus DA
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 9:30

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