I have installed Ubuntu on my D: partition using Wubi. Is there any way in which I can remove my Windows from C: drive and move my existing Ubuntu installation to C: drive and make it a regular install.


10 Answers 10


Please refer to: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MigrateWubi

This above Wiki has a downloadable bash script that migrates a Wubi install to a partition. It also has a link to the manual instructions required to migrate a Wubi install, although these are not recommended because the script contains many additional safety checks. The script does the following:

  1. Checks the current install being migrated e.g. Wubi?, size?, type of grub?
  2. Checks the target partition(s) and swap if included. The target partitions must be type '83 - Linux', empty and large enough to hold the install being migrated.
  3. Provides feedback to the user of any errors, or notifies the user what changes the script will make and asks the user whether or not they wish to proceed.
  4. Formats the target partition(s), copies the current install to the new migrated install.
  5. Updates the /etc/fstab and enables hibernation (see README notes)
  6. Chroots to the migrated install, removes lupin-support, then generates the grub menu (grub.cfg) and installs the grub2 bootloader if requested. For grub-legacy migrations it replaces grub-legacy with grub2 (on the migrated install only)
  7. Exits chroot, and updates the current installs grub menu to include the migrated install.

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The following is based on the README file included with the script:

The script is based on the wubi-move-to-partition script from Agostino Russo taken the Wubi Guide (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WubiGuide).

The first version updated the wubi-move-to-partition script to correct a few problems and deprecated commands, as well as to update it to support Grub2. It only worked on Wubi installs from 9.10 and later.

The current version supports Ubuntu installs from 8.04 to 12.10 and adds the following features:

  1. Supports migration of a normal (non-wubi) Ubuntu install. This can be useful to create a working backup, move your installation between computers, or create a working copy to experiment with.
  2. Supports migration of a Wubi install from just the root.disk file (option --root-disk= ). This can be performed from an Ubuntu live CD/USB or another Ubuntu install. The named root.disk must be a fully-contained, working Wubi install, or if there are separate virtual disks for /home and /usr these must be in the same directory as the root.disk. (This option does not support Wubi with grub-legacy i.e. originally installed prior to the 9.10 release).
  3. It supports migration of a Wubi or Normal install that uses grub-legacy - however it will replace grub-legacy with Grub2 (only on the migrated install). It does not update the current install's menu.lst so it is recommended to always install the Grub2 bootloader (or modify menu.lst manually).
  4. The option --shared-swap can be used if you will be sharing an existing swap partition with another install. It bypasses the 'mkswap' command to avoid modifying the UUID.
  5. It supports the ability to migrate to separate /boot, /usr and /home partitions.
  6. It suppors the ability to synchronize a migrated install (e.g. for a bootable backup)

Usage: sudo bash wubi-move.sh [OPTION] target_partition [swap_partition]

   e.g. sudo bash wubi-move.sh /dev/sda5 /dev/sda6

  -h, --help              print this message and exit
  -v, --version           print the version information and exit
  --notes                 print the Assumptions and Notes, and exit
  --no-bootloader         do not install the grub2 bootloader
  --shared-swap           share swap partition with an existing install
  -y, --assume-yes        assume yes to all prompts
  --root-disk=<root.disk> Specify a root.disk file to migrate
  --boot=</dev/sdXY>      Specify a separate /boot partition
  --home=</dev/sdXY>      Specify a separate /home partition
  --usr=</dev/sdXY>       Specify a separate /usr partition
  -c, --check-only        Check only - validate target partition(s)
  --resume                Resume a previous migration attempt that ended
                          due to copying errors (rsync).
  --synch                 Synchronize a previously migrated install

The source for the script is maintained here: https://github.com/bcbc/Wubi-move Releases are tagged and Issues can be raised if required.

Note: the script can be run from a live environment, e.g. to replace Windows, although it is simpler to manually partition and run it directly from the Wubi install (in my opinion). There are some more screenshots of the script (using the previous release) here that show how to migrate using a root.disk or to separate partitions.


I have never made a Wubi install, and I haven't tested any of this, so use with care ;).

There is thread on the forum about this, you can check the alternative instructions sections. It should ease a bit the pain of moving. Please, use the alternative method, as the first one is not working with modern ubuntu versions. There are a lot of people on the thread that tried and failed.

  • 11
    Whilst this may theoretically answer the question and has for quite a while, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – nanofarad
    Oct 14, 2012 at 17:00
  • Agreed, you should include the essential parts here instead of just posting a link. BTW, the thread you linked actually links to lubi.sourceforge.net/lvpm.html as it's basis.
    – James
    Jan 13, 2013 at 16:45

Since wubi creates a file within the windows ntfs filesystem and uses this as a pseudo partition, it is very difficult to do this. Theoretically, you maybe could somehow save the filesystem to another place, and then restore it into a newly installed system. This could be done either by a backup software, or by something accessing directly the filesystem.

  • So do you think I should go in for a fresh install?
    – User
    Aug 1, 2010 at 16:02
  • 6
    Usually the best idea. Wubi ist mostly used for testing out ubuntu or for a setup where you cannot change the windows setup. If you need to you may just want to backup and restore your home directory
    – txwikinger
    Aug 1, 2010 at 16:17

Note: this was merged from Does Ubuntu rely on Windows if I install it using the Windows installer?

If you use Wubi (the Windows installer) to install Ubuntu, then Ubuntu will be installed inside a disk image file in your Windows partition. The Windows boot loader will be configured to give you a choice between Windows and Ubuntu, and when you select Ubuntu, the disk image inside the Windows partition containing the Ubuntu system will be mounted and used.

Once you boot into a Wubi system, no part of the Microsoft Windows operating system is actually running. But the Wubi system still needs the Windows boot loader to start, and it needs the Windows partition to reside. Therefore, completely removing a Windows system will also remove the Wubi system it contains.

If you created a second Windows (NTFS) partition to contain your Wubi disk image, then you could remove Windows and still have the disk image, but you would not have a Windows system to boot into it.

Thus, while a severely broken Windows system can effectively host a working Wubi system, Wubi depends on Windows and if you think you may not want to keep Windows, you should strongly consider installing Ubuntu in the standard way (booting from the Ubuntu install CD/DVD or USB flash drive). You can keep your Windows system while installing in this way by telling the installer to install alongside (rather than instead of) the existing operating system.

It is possible to convert a Wubi system into a standard Ubuntu system that does not rely on Windows, but this is a hassle, and it is probably best to plan ahead so as to avoid having to do so.


there is no c drive. thats a windows thing. but to get rid of windows, you delete the partition. make a new one in its place, but leave unallocated space. use the deja backup tool, run a backup, then get rid of the wubi partition. create a new partition(ext4 is recommended) and install ubuntu to it. restore it from the backup of the wubi. then get rid of all other partitions, and then use gparted(in regular softwre channels if you do notalready have it) to expand the partition.

that might work, i think it should, that should be pretty basic.

and by the way, the partition you install to should be a mount point of /

another thing that might work is if you copy the / directory in wubi to a specific place, (not including /host/ directory) and the get rid of the partitions, and create a new one and put the contents there, then use gparted to mark it as bootable, then it might work. if it dosent, use it as a root and install ubuntu to it using a live installer.


Technically, Yes. If you installed Ubuntu using the Wubi installer, the Wubi installer creates Ubuntu files within the Windows File System which is NFTS therefore also in the Windows Partition. If you installed Ubuntu in another partition (which means not within Windows) then Ubuntu can run on its own as its own operating system. Also, like mentioned above, you still need the Windows boot loader if you used Wubi for Ubuntu installation.

If you installed Ubuntu in its own partition, then Ubuntu installs its own boot loader called "GRUB" (and overwrites the Windows boot loader if Windows is installed).

So, Yes. Ubuntu does rely on the Windows Partition When you use Wubi. Not necessarily on Windows itself, but it does rely on the Windows boot loader in order to boot into it. If installed Ubuntu the standard way, then it can boot up and run on it's own.


Wubi installs your Ubuntu operating system into your existing Windows System.

That's why its pretty hard to backup and restore your settings/programs from there.However you can take a look at this article at Ubuntu Forums which may help you.

This article at help Ubuntu page will show you how to do the backup.

Good Luck!


Wubi installs Ubuntu into a file which is located on a Windows (NTFS) partition. While after the installation booting into Wubi is not dependent on the Windows copy being functional, it is still dependent on that NTFS partition.

So, technically, after installing Ubuntu using wubi you can just delete Windows folder from the NTFS partition, and edit your GRUB configuration to remove Windows entry from the boot menu, making Ubuntu the only bootable OS on the machine. However, Ubuntu will still reside in a file on a Windows filesystem, not in a partition of its own.

One option to work around the problem (if you really-really can't boot from a CD/USB, which would be the best solution) is to make a Wubi install and then migrate it to a "full" install as suggested in the answer linked to by TrailRaider. That would be a multi-step process with a relatively high possibility of making the system not bootable (which would be a problem since you can't boot from CD/USB)

Another, more straightforward, option would be just to move the hard drive to another machine, install Ubuntu there and transfer it back. Unlike Windows, Ubuntu usually works very well when transferred from machine to machine, even if the hardware is very different. A Phillips screwdriver and 5 minutes would solve your problem :)

  • You make things very clear for me, I am new to Ubuntu, thank you! >:D You must mean a little something like this?: askubuntu.com/questions/635/… I was wondering about the machine to machine comparability, I may end up doing that. Do you think I could somehow take the hard drive through a USB HDD reader, install Ubuntu on it somehow, plop it back in the machine and boot it up?
    – user101351
    Oct 29, 2012 at 1:59

It is possible but is rather complicated. A full install form the start is recommended but in your case without being able to use to use a CD or a USB doing the extra work needed is the only option I know of.

What you are trying to do is called migrating Wubi to a full install. This has actually been covered on askubuntu.

See How to convert Wubi install into regular install?

Note: this question is likely to be closed as a duplicate of the question I linked to and this answer should have actually been a comment to your question that gave you the link but I wanted to explain in greater detail that the limited space a comment gives.

  • I see that now, thank you for your response though. Seeing that, 3 things are unclear to me. a) Does that fully configure and install the GRUB loader so the next time you start your PC it boots right to Ubuntu?, b) what does it do with the WUBI install that we will be using that script from and c) what does it do with windows? Thanks Mon! >:D
    – user101351
    Oct 29, 2012 at 1:56

How to migrate

There are some ways to migrate your Wubi installation to a separated partition, but I'll cover the most secure one: Using a Live USB/CD

First of all, you should:

  • Know where is your root.disk file in the Live USB.
  • You should have a copy of this helper on your Live system: wubi-move
  • Create the partition where your system will be migrated.

Seems counterclockwise but lets start working that way.

Create the partition

Boot using your live CD/USB (I will write live or ubuntu from here on) and select Try without modifying the system, and once you logged on, do the following:

  1. Hit the Meta key (or Windows key), write "gparted" and hit enter.
  2. Your physical drive should start with sda, then resized your partitions to create some free space, remembering that it should be the same or bigger than your root.disk file.
  3. Create a ext4 (optional a swap) partition on this space. Note up the name of the partition (something like /dev/sda5, if you created the swap you should copy it down too).
  4. Mount the drive where your root.disk file is located. You should copy the entire path (it should be something like /media/F66E431C6E42D551/ubuntu/root.disk, but I'll representative the path as /path/with/root.disk)
  5. Open the terminal (meta key, write terminal, enter) and execute the following command:
wget "https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MigrateWubi?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=wubi-move-2.4.tar.gz"
tar xzf wubi-move-2.4.tar.gz
sudo bash wubi-move.sh --root-disk=/path/with/root.disk /dev/sda5 /dev/sda6
## The `/dev/sda5` it's the `ext4` partition you created earlier, `/dev/sda6` it's the `swap` if you created one at all.

Now, from here on, the procedure is automatic.

So, what's WUBI?

What Wubi creates is a disk images (if you have some knowledge about Virtual Machines, it's pretty similar to a Virtual Disk), and installs Ubuntu there. Meaning, Ubuntu don't see anything outside this "image" and tells the Windows loader to use a loopmounted device as the boot disk. So, what happens next, for Ubuntu, your physical disk where he's installed is just the image, hence he cannot see nor modify anything outside his, but can see any other driver plugged in your system..

Wubi is dead

Wubi is, by now, a dead project. Will not be included from Ubuntu 13.04 onwards due serious usabilities issues on newer Windows systems (on some case it won't work at all).

It's recommended not to use Wubi, since it won't provide the experience users are expecting (or hopping) of Ubuntu. It's better to create/use a Live USB and in case of wanting a copy of Ubuntu in the system, install it in it's own partition. The installers are safe and well documented (and also supported, in active development), so previous fears about screwing something during the partitioning are near to null.

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