I bought a new desktop and installed Windows 7 first. I am now trying to instal Ubuntu 11.04, but it doesn't see my partions corectly.

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

Here is the windows setup: enter image description here

What live cd partioner sees: enter image description here

What ubuntu live cd sees: enter image description here


Your harddisk is using the Dynamic Disk Format, which is not compatible with Linux and some Windows Version (Home Editions). Windows allows you to convert every disk to a Dynamic Disk but not back to a Basic Disk. Dynamic Disk format is used to provide features like Software RAID. You're setup doesnt seem to use such a feature, therefor you can safely use the Basic Disk format.

You can backup all your data, delete all partitions and create a new partition table (make sure you don't convert it to a Dynamic Disk again).

There are ways to convert this disk back to a Basic Disk without copy all data around. This Blog entry describes a method using Test Disk. But be careful, and as always, make a backup first!

  • First screenshot, 3rd column in list-view: All Dynamic. Nicely spotted. – aquaherd Sep 9 '11 at 13:46

My guess is this: your Windows setup is using some sort of LVM on your drive. So D:Work, E:Torrents and F: are not real partitions, but rather LVM logical volumes. Nautilus can see and read them (hence your 3rd picture showed them all), but the installer is instead showing you the real partition table. So, you have:

  • /dev/sda1: 1MB - Windows "LVM fake partition table" maybe?
  • /dev/sda2: 100MB - Windows "System Reserved" partition (created by windows 7 for many purposes - encryption, page file, etc)
  • /dev/sda3: 200GB - Windows OS partition
  • /dev/sda4: 750GB - Anything else (combined D:Work, E:Torrents and the empty F: partition)

As you can see, Ubuntu can read those logical volumes, but cannot install into one of them. And since you're already using your 4 primary partitions, you need to delete one to created an extended partition so you can overcome this 4-partition limit.

My suggestion on approach would be:

  • Back up everything. Seriously.
  • Read the link I provided you to remove the System Reserved partition.
  • Make sure your Windows 7 still boots fine after removing it.
  • Using Ubuntu Live CD, shrink the 200GB Windows partition to make room for Ubuntu
  • Create an extended partition there. 50GB will be more than enough. 15GB if you're really desperate.
  • Run the installer. Now you can create additional partitions inside the extended for Ubuntu (10~20 GB), Swap (~5GB) and, if you want, /home (whatever space you have left)

These are just directions... just say so if you need more details in any of the steps above.

Good luck!

  • 1
    isnt there a way to delete the last partition "New volume" and use that space to install ubuntu? tnx – Gabriel Solomon Aug 31 '11 at 11:06
  • As far as i know, no. The partition table which describes the start and end of the partition is not compatible with Ubuntu. Therefor you need to create a new patition table. – falstaff Sep 10 '11 at 11:01
  • @solomongaby: no, you can't. As I said, "New Volume" is not a real partition, but part of a Windows LVM setup (called "Dynamic disks"). You need to delete a "real" partition to make room for Ubuntu's install. The 100MB is a real one, but its too small. So you need to delete it AND shrink windows 200GB one. – MestreLion Sep 10 '11 at 16:17

I have had trouble with NTFS filesystems since I started using Linux with Ubuntu 8.10! I still have difficulty every once in a while... I think your best chance would be to use the windows 7 install disc to just delete the partition that you want to use for Ubuntu, and then you can format it in Ubuntu (most likely) with ext3 or ext4. Thats how I have always got around it. Sometimes Gparted's live CD from a couple years ago works better on NTFS than the newer versions. I wouldn't take my advise though, as I have only switched 20 or so people from using Windows xp, vista & 7 to flavors of Debian / Ubuntu...

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