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I'm trying to install Ubuntu on my laptop and I'd like to have Windows 7 installed with it. However, Ubuntu installer won't give me the option "install alongside Windows 7". I've shrunk the space on the Windows-drive with no results. I also tried to follow this tip: "You need to convert your dynamic partition to one logical partition. Then do this steps.

Download and Install EASEUS Partition Master Professional Edition (my favorite app ;) ) Run EASEUS Partition Master then click Go to main screen option. Here, select the partition which you want to install Ubuntu. In your case select 31.25GB unallocated partition and right-click on it and select Create Partition. Under the Create as drop-down, select Logical and click OK. Click the Apply button at the top of EASEUS window (under view menu) then click Yes. This operation needs to restart your computer to completing Finish If you continue the Ubuntu installation from (USB/CD) you will see the unallocated space."

But when I tried to create partition, I got this:

Error message

I'm unsure what to do, so can you give me very newbie-friendly instructions?

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First, complaints that the Ubuntu installer "doesn't detect Windows" often mean that you need to use the "something else" installation option, which enables you to do manual partitioning. See this question and its answers for details.

That said, your problem likely requires doing more than this, or at least something different. The screen shot you showed indicates that you have four primary partitions on your first disk. An MBR disk, which that one is, can handle a maximum of either four primary partitions or three primary partitions and one extended partition, which can then hold as many logical partitions as you like. This is a limitation of the hackish MBR scheme.

Given that you already have four primary partitions, you have basically two options:

  • Delete a partition -- You can delete a partition, which will then make room for either one primary Ubuntu partition or an extended partition, which can hold as many logical partitions as you like. The latter is the better choice.
  • Convert one or more partitions from primary to logical form -- You can use a tool like fixparts (which comes with Ubuntu) to convert one partition from primary to logical form. It looks like your D: partition would be a good candidate for conversion, but it could be that I'm missing something. Once the partition is converted, you can add logical partitions immediately before or after the converted partition. (All logical partitions must fit within a single extended partition; you can't put primary partitions in a run of logical partitions.)

I don't know what's on your partitions, so I don't know if you could delete one of them. If not, converting one to logical form is likely to be your only choice. As I said, fixparts can do this. So can some Windows tools. I think this includes the EaseUS tool that you're using, but I'm not 100% positive of that, and if it can do the job, I can't give you step-by-step instructions for how to do it. There are caveats and risks to doing a primary-to-logical conversion. Most notably, you must be sure that you don't convert a Windows boot partition, since Windows insists on booting from a primary partition. The fixparts documentation covers this subject in detail. (Disclaimer: I wrote fixparts.)

(Actually, there might be one other approach, but only if your computer has EFI firmware. This would involve converting Windows to boot in EFI mode and the disk from MBR to GPT form. This Microsoft tool can do so, or so they say -- I've never tried it myself. This approach is likely to be much harder than converting one partition from primary to logical form, and it will work only on EFI-based computers. Most computers sold since late 2011 have EFI firmware, but most older computers are BIOS-only. A Windows 7 system could have come with either type of firmware.)

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