I have the partition setup below. I have a dual boot set up where I initially installed windows on sda2 on a new drive. While installing, windows created the 142M (sda1) partition. Before the windows install sda1 and sda2 were the same, meaning I only had 6 partitions in all. After installing windows I installed Ubuntu 14.04.

My ubuntu install overwrote the Windows boot information. So now I don't get a windows option on boot. This is ok because I actually don't use the windows partition. In fact, I would like to format sda2 as a linux partition and use it for extra storage space.

My question: if I format sda2, will ubuntu fail to load? I don't know whether the initial windows boot information (which ubuntu later overrode) is on sda1 or sda2. Can I safely format sda2?

sda      8:0    0 111.8G  0 disk
├─sda1   8:1    0   142M  0 part /boot/efi
├─sda2   8:2    0  28.9G  0 part /windows
├─sda3   8:3    0   933M  0 part /boot
├─sda4   8:4    0   6.9G  0 part
├─sda5   8:5    0  30.2G  0 part /
├─sda6   8:6    0  29.8G  0 part /home
└─sda7   8:7    0  15.1G  0 part

Boot information is on sda1 as this is the EFI System Partition (ESP). Both Ubuntu and Windows will play nice with this partition. Likely what Ubuntu did was prioritize itself. It didn't actually remove the Windows boot loader.

  • Ok. So I'm assuming formating sda2 will not have any impact on my current setup and Ubuntu will load just fine? – mo_maat Dec 28 '17 at 21:54
  • It shouldn't affect the bootloader. But its mounted at /windows so it will cause mount failures during boot unless you remove it from fstab. – jdwolf Dec 28 '17 at 21:56
  • Could I perhaps use gparted to unmount and format? I'm guessing that would avoid that potential issue? – mo_maat Dec 29 '17 at 2:30
  • Yeah gparted is a good tool for that – jdwolf Dec 29 '17 at 20:42

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