I have Windows XP on my first hard drive, and have installed a second empty hard drive.

When I load the Ubuntu 14.04 installation disk and try to install, I chose Something Else to mean that I want to install Linux on the second empty hard drive.

When I click install I get a message saying that I haven't specified a root and should use the partition table.

Every time I indicate repartition, I get the same message ("no root").

The 14.04 installation disk is unclear about how to install on an empty second drive. If I select the side-by-side option for installation, then it wants to install Linux on the same drive as XP, which is not what I want.

The empty hard drive is NTFS. Do I have to find some way to reformat it for ext4 without the Ubuntu installation disk, and then try to install?? The menus on the 14.04 installation disk are very poorly written.


A few assumptions first... Windows is installed on /dev/sda, the first hard drive recognized by the system, and Ubuntu will be installed on /dev/sdb

Click through the first steps of the installer until you get to the disk detection step. Even if you do not want to create partitions manually select Something else, then click Continue.

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The Advanced Partitioning Tool should be open now. You should see the disks and partitions connected to the computer. At the top of the list is sda, where WinXP is installed. You do not want to mess with that one. Any action you take here MUST be on sdb, the target disk for Ubuntu. If there are existing partitions on it, as in this example, delete them. You do that by selecting each partition and clicking Delete.

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After all of the partitions under sdb have been deleted, select the free space and click Add.

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The first partition you want to add is going to be mounted at /boot. This is the boot partition and early on, doesn't take up much space, but let's be a little generous to allow for growth that comes with system upgrades. A size of 500 MB is the default on most Linux distributions. The default file system is ext4. Unless you know what you are doing, there is no reason to choose any other. Click OK.

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The second partition will be the root partition. Because resizing a non-LVM disk partition is not a trivial matter, be generous with disk allocation here, too. Pictured is about 15G, but I'd shoot for 20G, especially if you're using a second disk. It's not sharing the space with another OS so you can afford to be generous. Be sure to select / as the mount point, and stick with the default file system type. Click OK.

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For the partition where your home directory will be located, allocate as much disk space as you can afford. Do not skimp on disk space here. More is better, utilize all remaining space. For the mount point, be sure to select /home. Click OK.

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Lastly, create the swap partition. A good measure is to use minimally the size of your RAM, maximum double your RAM. Select swap area from the Use as dropdown menu, then click OK.

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That should bring you back to the main disk partitioning window, where all the partitions you just created should be listed. Before clicking Install Now, you want to make sure that the Device for boot loader installation is /dev/sdb. Else the installer will be overwriting Windows’s boot programs in the Master Boot Record of sda.

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At this point, continue installation as any other. Nothing special from here...


  • Just leave the images in a comment without the H T T P : / / and I'll edit them in for you (number both text and images) after you leave a comment @Fabby
    – Fabby
    Feb 12 '15 at 5:41
  • @Fabby I thought it might be easier to keep things in order if I put the addresses for the images in line... Thanks for your assistance! Feb 12 '15 at 18:31
  • There you go. Have a look at my revisions. The back-ticks "`" are used extensively on this site to show commands, devices, or messages. the <kbd> paradigm is normally used to denominate keys as in <kbd>Ctrl</kbd> but can be used to denominate buttons too. (just my personal use) ;-)
    – Fabby
    Feb 13 '15 at 7:23
  • 1
    @Fabby I had just one small revision :P A small oversight really, but I'm satisfied now. Thank you for impressing on me some useful formatting. Feb 13 '15 at 15:15

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