I am having trouble installing Ubuntu on a partition on my hard drive, and none of the other similar questions helped me.

I have a partition set up for Ubuntu, and also a 5 gigabyte transfer partition.

I have a disk with the Ubuntu installer on it (it works).

I am lost using the actual installer of Ubuntu, where it asks you to wipe the drive (or something like a custom partition scheme which is what I want).

I have data on the other partitions on my hard drive that I would not like to lose, and I would like to keep the partitioning scheme I am using.

My hard drive is a 2t external one.

The partitions are as follows: 950gb, 950gb, 50gb, 45gb(where I want Ubuntu), 5gb(for the transfer)

Any suggestions? (I am a Ubuntu noob so detail would be appreciated.)


Linux distros require 2 partitions; 1 for / (known as root-equiv of c:\ in windows) and a swap partition (virtual memory in windows). If memory correctly serves, the installation should take care of that for you within the partition that you choose to install into. It is also necessary to choose a file system type that Linux will work with (older ext2, ext3, reiserfs. I currently installed using ext4). But I wonder if you are having a problem installing to a partition on an external HD. There might be a way to check; when installation begins, and you are in the area where partition selection takes place, there is a way to choose 'manually configure partitions'. After choosing that, there should be a list of partitions from which to choose. If so, choose the space where you wish ubuntu to reside, and create your / and swap partitions within that space. Install should carry on fine from this point. If you do not see a list of partitions, then your external HD is not being seen, and that is almost certainly a situation wherein USB is not setup yet.
Hope this helps Craig

If you are seeing partitions, then remember that you DO NOT want to choose the Windows Partition (should be filesystem NTFS). Click on the partition that you want to be /(root), set up the file system choice (EXT4?), pick another partition for your swap, and click 'save changes'. Ubuntu will then install per your choices, and should automatically set up GRUB for dual booting. Hope this clarifies and gets you on your way Craig

  • So when I select my external hard drive(/dev/sdb), it shows all of my partitions at the top. How do I set a partition to be the one I use? How do I set another to be the virtual memory's? (And I cannot write to the installation disk because it is a dvd if that makes a difference in the installation process.) – JBWar Sep 22 '15 at 0:47
  • You can't, but there's a mini-harddrive thing called "partitions" which makes you free to do that. – Star OS Sep 22 '15 at 7:24
  • So in the list, I select the correct partition that I want, now how do I make it the partition that I install Ubuntu on? – JBWar Sep 22 '15 at 11:20
  • Deleting a partition makes free space that you can create new partitions in. This may be a good idea for swap space as swap partition size needs to be only 3X RAM. – Craig Sep 26 '15 at 2:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.