I have been using ubuntu 12.04 and the update cannot work out. So I'm trying to erase ubuntu 12.04 and install 14.04 directly to the same partition of 12.04. My computer is running wondows 7, with ubuntu 12.04 installed alongside. When I run the installation, it asks me the installation type. It detected that I have multiple systems installed, and gives me these choices:

  • Install Ubuntu alongside them
  • Erase disk and install Ubuntu
  • Something else

I definitely don't want two versions of ubuntu, and I want to keep my windows 7, so I have to choose "something else". And here's where I am unsure about. It asks me to choose a device for boot loader installation. Apart from windows system related disk space, I have two partitions under /dev/sda:

  • /dev/sda5 ext4 (Ubuntu 12.04.5)
  • /dev/sda6 swap

Installation Type

My Ubuntu 12.04 is installed in the partition /sda5, but I don't know what /sda6 is used for. It has around 4GB space and 0MB is used.

If I double click the format little square button, this window will pop up:

Edit Partition

It looks like I can also choose to change the size but I suspect that it wouldn't be safe to do here.

So how should I configure this?


I am changing the settings of my /sda5 in this way:


And /sda6 is automatically chosen as swap area. All other ntfs partitions are left as do not use the partition. Boot loader should be installed at the beginning of the drive in which your ubuntu is going to be installed. (In my case, it's /dev/sda/.) So my final settings are like this:


Click install now, and it Worked!!! Thanks everyone!

  1. Choose "something else".
  2. Select your sda5 as your / partition (mount point) and click to format it.
  3. Select sda6 partition to be used as swap.

That will install Ubuntu the same way it was installed before.

  • It only asks me to choose a device for boot loader installation. Should I select sda5 for it? – CathIAS Oct 10 '15 at 12:58
  • No. Leave it as it is. It should be /dev/sda. And on top of it you should see the partition table, where you should set where to install. – Pilot6 Oct 10 '15 at 13:01
  • Could you explain a bit about the boot loader and swap? I don't really dare to do it right now because I have to click install now to proceed and I don't know what comes afterwards lol – CathIAS Oct 10 '15 at 13:07
  • You should install boot loader on disk (/dev/sda), not a partition. And choose your existing swap partition as a swap. – Pilot6 Oct 10 '15 at 13:09
  • Oh I see what you mean, so should I click format and choose the disk partition use for each partition? For example I should choose do not use the partition for all nfts partitions, and choose Use as ext4 journaling file system for sda5, mount as /; then sda6 as swap area – CathIAS Oct 10 '15 at 13:27

As for the new Ubuntu 14.04 installation I'll suggest you to use the sda5/ partition and let the swap partition as it is. Also, the SWAP partition acts as an overflow to your (RAM) memory. If your memory is filled up completely, any additional applications will be run off of the SWAP partition rather than memory.

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