Originally, there was Windows 7 installed on a laptop that I was given by my employer to work on. I installed Ubuntu 15.04 next to Windows using bootable USB. Recently, I have received permission to delete Windows, so I used gparted and formatted the partition with Windows to ext4. Now, when I start the laptop, I get "Invalid partition table" message. After pressing any key, Ubuntu normally boots up and I can see no other problems.

Do you know how to deal with Invalid partition table error?


I made a mistake - it's Ubuntu 15.04, not 14.04. I tried installing boot-repair but it seems that there is none for Ubuntu 15.04.

The output of sudo gdisk -l /dev/sda:

GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.8.10

Partition table scan:
  MBR: MBR only
  BSD: not present
  APM: not present
  GPT: not present

Found invalid GPT and valid MBR; converting MBR to GPT format
in memory. 

Disk /dev/sda: 500118192 sectors, 238.5 GiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): 921B3CFE-5AE9-4D20-A006-8212D26F78EC
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 500118158
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 5932 sectors (2.9 MiB)

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1            2048       224854848   107.2 GiB   8300  Linux filesystem
   5       224856064       483569663   123.4 GiB   8300  Linux filesystem
   6       483571712       500117503   7.9 GiB     8200  Linux swap


I upgraded Ubuntu to 16.04 LTS and ran boot-repair, but it didn't help. The report can be found here: http://paste2.org/wGJCdmaZ. Boot-repair also mentioned:

The boot files of [The OS now in use - Ubuntu 16.04 LTS] are far from the start of the disk. Your BIOS may not detect them. You may want to retry after creating a /boot partition (EXT4, >200MB, start of the disk). This can be performed via tools such as gParted. Then select this partition via the [Separate /boot partition:] option of [Boot Repair]. (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BootPartition)

But as Ubuntu eventually boots up correctly, can it be a problem?

  • Have you tried Boot-Repair? If it does not help, edit your question to contain the output of the gdisk -l command, e.g. sudo gdisk -l /dev/sda. – Melebius Sep 15 '16 at 9:59
  • Why install 15.04. It is not supported for a long time. I suggest creating a new partition table and installing Ubuntu 16.04 or 14.04 from scratch. – Pilot6 Sep 15 '16 at 10:30
  • Another tip: As the error message could come from BIOS, try the answer from answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/…. – Melebius Sep 15 '16 at 10:48

Hi according to your description, you did exact the same as I did. The solution is simple but cumbersome: Your partition with the boot files is probably the second (sda2) as you have put Ubuntu “behind” the windows partition. With the cleaning of your windows partition the boot files from this partition were wiped too, thus the BIOS cannot reach any bootable files any more and produces the error.


a) swap partitions

with an external drive, some dd and gparted and boot-repair you could “swap” the partitions. This would put your boot files in the beginning of your harddrive and makes the BIOS happy.

b) create boot partition

shrink the first partition and create a new partition in front of the drive (500MB) mount to /boot With gparted make this the boot partition

c) reinstall

  1. backup /home/user
  2. reinstall with proper partitioning
    • only one partition
    • one / one for /home
    • one for /boot (make this the first partition) others as you like
  3. restore user data

Good luck :)


I believe I have the same issue like you. I just buy refurbished Dell laptop with Windows 7. I end up the same error like yours which every time I restart or turned on my laptop.

I was following this method of installation from youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5iFE6zBHPE

but this one is Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus.

From this tutorial, what I believe that I am able to avoid the error is during at "Installation Type". You have to choose "Something Else" and click Continue. From there, you can see your hard drive and make some partition with it. I just set big amount from 320gb of hard drive as the root "I believe". You have to set the "Mount Point" as "/". As for the remaining of the hard drive space, you set it as swap area. Then click "Install Now". After that, just repeat as how you do it as first time.

Wallah, after installation, I am able to use it and not having that error anymore. But this one method is practical if you do not have anything yet in your laptop/computer but found out the error.

if you already use for a long time, having projects, docs and other stuff, Jan method should work.


For me the issue was that the system was trying to Legacy boot, but it needed to boot via UEFI. The solution was this:

From the BIOS I went to "Other Options" -> "BIOS setup" -> "Advanced Boot Options" and unchecked "Enable Legacy Option ROMs", and the system booted just fine.

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