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I searched for a similar problem, but could not find it. Sorry if this is a duplicate question.

I have an HP Touchsmart TM2 with 4GB of memory and Windows 10 installed. I created a LiveUSB with unetbootin and Ubuntu 15.04.

Following some instruction to dual boot, I get stuck in the install process when it comes to create the root drive. The disk space shows as "unavailable".

I was able to shrink my C: Drive and create the free space. It shows up as Unallocated in the Windows disk management tool (see pic).

Windows Disk Management image

I then reboot into Ubuntu. From the desktop, I select the Install: 1. Connect to Wifi 2. On prepare to Install I do not check either box (download updates, install third party software). 3. On type of install I select something else.

The volumes show up but the free space shows as "unavailable". I select that space, but I cannot hit the "+" button to get to the next step.
Install Type Window

I quit the install at this point.

I then went back to windows and tried to create a simple partition of 120GB with NO disk drive letter. I hit OK and get a message asking to convert the entire drive to a "dynamic drive". Not sure I wanted to do that, so quick that. Here is the error/information message.

"The Operation you selected will convert the selected to basic disk(s) to dynamic disk(s). If you convert the disk(s) to dynamic, you will not be able to state installed operating systems from any volume on the disk(s) (except the current boot volume). Are you sure you want to continue?" YES/NO

Thanks in advance.

closed as off-topic by Elder Geek, Zanna, David Foerster, Eric Carvalho, edwinksl Oct 4 '16 at 2:42

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    First of all, do NOT use unsupported releases. 15.04 is End of Life. Secondly, "dynamic disk" is Microsoft proprietary and unsupported in Linux. Thirdly, you notebook may have a default RAID setting that's also incompatible and if UEFI doesn't have the option to change it to AHCI there's nothing you can do; for the moment it's a Windows only machine. Finally, it has been asked lots of times here and elsewhere and although some machines can be unique, the same basic principles are applicable so the first thing you should do is google your model + Ubuntu (or + Linux). Good luck. – user589808 Oct 3 '16 at 15:48
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    Now, looking at it again, I noticed you have a BIOS/MBR type installation with Windows 7. The reason why the free space is "unusable" is because you already have 4 primary partitions and that's the limit. – user589808 Oct 3 '16 at 16:02
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Your problem is, that your drive contains four primary partitions already and the MBR can not hold more than four primary partitions.

You would have to convert one of the partitions to a logical partition. This will automatically create an extended partition which holds the logical partition. Then you increase the size of the extended partition and can create more logical partitions in the extended partition up to your needs.

Don't convert the windows-system-partition C: to logical, take the Recovery-partition D:.

You can create the logical partitions for Ubuntu during install. You have to install in legacy-mode. To do that make sure that you boot the installer in legacy-mode, how you boot is how you install.

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Recover the unusable space

You have will have to remove one of the partitions and create an extended partition for your Ubuntu installation.

Backup one of the Windows Recover Environment (loader) partitions, then delete it. Then create an extended partition. After you have created an extended partition, you can use that space to create any number of partitions. Make two for your Ubuntu installation. One big one as type ext4 and one small one as type swap. Make the swap partition about 1 1/2 times the size of the amount of ram you have.

Easy Ubuntu Install Procedure

Create a supported LiveUSB. At present version 16.04 has the best support for the later computers shipped with Windows 10 preinstalled.

Ensure that you are in the UEFI mode. Boot to your LiveUSB. You should get a black screen with a menu selection. Use the option to Try Ubuntu without installing. The use gparted (Gnome Partition Editor) to create an ext4 partition for your root/ install. Create this from the unallocated space you have already created.

Now exit Gparted and run the Install Ubuntu application from the Icon on the desktop.


Note: Since your Windows 10 is in Legacy mode on an MBR drive, the install will default to Legacy. The steps for installing to the boot media will always insure you'll have the highest compatibility for your installs. Some later computers actually have problems booting to the Legacy option of the Ubuntu installer. To avoid those problems, use the UEFI option for booting. From that session, the Legacy mode, which you currently have will install seamlessly.

  • 1
    After commenting I noticed it's a BIOS/MBR with 4 primary partitions already. It needs a different approach. Perhaps you could edit your answer accordingly. I'll leave you to it. – user589808 Oct 3 '16 at 16:04
  • Thanks, @CelticWarrior. It's my experience that using the computer's hardware can capability is the best way to go when Installing Ubuntu. If he installs Ubuntu in the UEFI mode that installation will be able to read any disk he adds to his computer either internal or external and add it to the boot menu. I have tested this and advised as resolutions for months. If it fails, I'll investigate what is happening, then see a need for something different for each user. But so far the steps provided has worked in all cases. – L. D. James Oct 3 '16 at 16:12
  • I agree and also always recommend UEFI but the fact is the Windows 7 already there was installed with the "old way" which is the only way if installed from DVD (unlike newer versions, Seven can only ne installed in UEFI with a USB flash drive created with the official Microsoft tool or other third-party tool). Installing Ubuntu in a different mode will make dual booting much more complicated - toggling UEFI/Legacy modes - and Windows may not boot at all. – user589808 Oct 3 '16 at 16:30
  • Ubuntu won't change the mode of the drive. It'll use the mode of drive. The mode of the Ubuntu session is smart and compatible. It checks what is there and uses it. As far as Windows booting after an Ubuntu installation, that is a matter of fact and has always been that way. Ubuntu replaces the MBR boot loader with Grub. It's Grub that will boot Windows from there. Removing Grub and you would have to use a Windows repair disk to fix it. It has always been this way. You have to install Grub (or a Linux compatible boot loader) to run Ubuntu which can boot to either Windows or Ubuntu. – L. D. James Oct 3 '16 at 16:35
  • No, sorry, you're missing a few details: 1. Simply by turning on UEFI mode, Windows no longer boots; 2. How it boots the Ubuntu installer is how it installs and that would be UEFI mode thus breaking the dual boot even further; 3. Unlike Windows, Ubuntu CAN be installed in UEFI mode with either MBR or GPT (drive is MBR) and will be by doing what you suggested. Then, the only way to dual boot will be from UEFI by toggling UEFI mode to boot Ubuntu and Legacy to boot Windows. – user589808 Oct 3 '16 at 16:42

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