Im installing ubuntu 16.04 as a duelboot with my windows 7. Im setting the partitions manually because that is recommended. I currently have three partitions, all under the device /dev/sda. The windows partition is dev/sda2. I am installing the ubuntu under dev/sda3. Now, the installer tells me that it needs a swap parition to be most secure.

However, I cannot figure out how to create a new partition. The only time "new partition" is available is when im selecting /dev/sda, but then it gives me a new warning: all old partitions will be removed (including windows?) So i cant create the duel boot without swap, but i cant create a new partition for swap without wiping the windows, defeating the purpose of a duel book. Classic catch 22.

Is there some way i can make a new partition without touching the windows? I suppose i may have to free space by resizing, but i cant find any option to resize anything.

  • Ubuntu is fine with logical partitions which are "inside" one extended partition which counts as one of the allowed 4 primary partitions with MBR partitioning. askubuntu.com/questions/149821/… Best to resize Windows with Windows tools and reboot immediately so it can run chkdsk.
    – oldfred
    May 20, 2016 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! There is a rule that a hard disk with a Master Boot Record (MBR) can only have four "primary" partitions, or three primary partitions and an "extended" partition (which can contain more partitions). If you need more than four partitions total, you must create an extended partition. You probably can't create a swap partition because you have three partitions already, and you'll need one more for Ubuntu and one for the swap partition, which makes five, so you'll need an extended partition.

There is a program on the Ubuntu DVD or USB stick called Gparted (which stands for graphical partition editor). It's a great tool for resizing partitions (and creating and deleting them too).

The easiest way to solve the problem is to boot to the Ubuntu DVD or USB stick, run Gparted, and resize the Windows partition as necessary to get some free space. 75 GB is enough space for Ubuntu for starters if you have a small disk. Leave the free space in a contiguous unallocated block. Then reboot to Windows so that it can run chkdsk, which it runs after you resize its partition, so that you know Windows is happy. Then boot to the Ubuntu DVD or USB stick and choose the "install alongside Windows" option, which will magically appear if there is enough unallocated space on the hard disk. "Install alongside Windows" will automatically create an extended partition as necessary, and an ext4 partition for Ubuntu and a swap partition.

Good luck!

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