Some installation pointers please

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Some installation pointers please

David Goldsbrough
My experience of installing Ubuntu is limited to either a full install on a virgin hard-disk or into a Win XP environment.

I have been helping a friend recently with problems on their HP 64bit AMD laptop regarding user profiles, corrupt registry and AVG.  Long story, short - all is now sorted.

Being an evangelical Ubuntu user, after them using a spare Ubuntu  12.04 LTS machine of mine and a quickish tour around a live CD plus some rather nice textbook I picked up for a £1 I convinced them they should at least have a duel-boot machine.

I downloaded and burnt the 12.04.4 iso 64 bit version.  I then proceeded to install but it bombed out having chosen for it to install itself alongside Windows.  I thought it would simply find the Windows partition and roughly half the available space still left on the drive.

So, I tried again thinking I would choose the third and final option of "Other" thinking it would simply allow me to manually partition.  As I type, I am now working from my recollection - the machine is now some distance from me.  I seem to recall there was a coloured graphic display (I am colour blind) showing the existing partitions - but I can't recall exactly how many it showed - but my friend suggested there were only 4 different colours - that might be wrong.  Below that, was a table describing it would seem the size of the partitions and the free space available.  I seem to recall there was /dev/sda but with no size info against it.  Below this there were 4 indented descriptions; /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, /dev/sda3. and / dev/sda4.  Three of these were described as NTFS and one FAT32.  Can't remember the sizes, but I'm guessing the largest was the one with Win7 on it.

At that point, I had no idea what to do and was not confident that no harm would take place if I proceeded.  So, I aborted the installation.  

From what I can recall, Windows and the machine seemed to have the following partitions
* where the windows original installation files were
* where windows was installed
* an HP partition for something or another
* and another which I can't recall.

When I used a USB stick at one point it was allocated G: Drive so I'm assuming the others mentioned above were C, D, E and F (not necessarily in the same order above) - four in total.

I have been reading http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Multiple_OS_Installation and other references.  If I understand correctly there is a maximum of 4 partitions allowed on a hard disk.  But I am utterly confused as to how to proceed.  It is very important no damage is done to the windows installation - far too much investment has taken place in terms of time, customisation, software installs etc has taken place.  The data is safe on sticks or in the cloud.  There is also a Ubuntu reputation issue I believe - I have convinced my friend Ubuntu is so easy and simple compared to Win7.

Being a great believer in the adage "you mustn't do anything that can't be easily undone" and you must always have a credible reversion plan, I would welcome both a forward strategy and some detailed pointers on how I should proceed to achieve a duel-booting machine.
Many thanks in advance.  Sorry about the long post.

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Re: Some installation pointers please

Liam Proven
I will offer what guidance I can, but you leave a lot of blanks in
your account and I cannot -- and dare not -- try to guess.

On 14 February 2014 21:04, David Goldsbrough <[hidden email]> wrote:

> My experience of installing Ubuntu is limited to [...] into a Win XP environment.

Does that mean using WUBI?

> Being an evangelical Ubuntu user, after them using a spare Ubuntu  12.04 LTS
> machine of mine and a quickish tour around a live CD plus some rather nice
> textbook I picked up for a £1 I convinced them they should at least have a
> duel-boot machine.
>
> I downloaded and burnt the 12.04.4 iso 64 bit version.

OK, hang on. You do not specify the Windows version they have.

Is this a Windows 8.x machine? Or new enough to be, even if it has Win7?

If so, then it possibly has UEFI firmware. Did you check? If not, do
you have the exact model number, so that we can check with Google?

Anyway, with UEFI, there are still many problems and issues around
Linux. This is deliberate on Microsoft's part - it is one of their
many anticompetitive tactics. However, it means that generally, you
should use the latest version, as much work has been done on
bootloaders etc. in order to bypass Microsoft's attempted exclusion
efforts.

This is all readily learned from Google or from watching the Ubuntu
support lists.

However, one thing is basic: you need to go into the firmware and
disable the "SecureBoot" feature, or even if you can install, Windows
will "repair" the boot blocks and remove Linux' bootloader.

Again, this is common knowledge if you have read about UEFI systems.

>  I then proceeded to
> install but it bombed out

What does that mean? Stopped with an error? What error?

>  having chosen for it to install itself alongside
> Windows.  I thought it would simply find the Windows partition and roughly
> half the available space still left on the drive.

[Blink] You let it automatically partition on a machine with important
data on it? (!)

I hope you had a backup, and preferably 3 of them.

> So, I tried again thinking I would choose the third and final option of
> "Other" thinking it would simply allow me to manually partition.  As I type,
> I am now working from my recollection - the machine is now some distance
> from me.  I seem to recall there was a coloured graphic display (I am colour
> blind) showing the existing partitions - but I can't recall exactly how many
> it showed - but my friend suggested there were only 4 different colours -
> that might be wrong.

The colours are not massively important. They denote filesystem type -
FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, ext3, ext4 etc.

You can get the same info in other ways.

>   Below that, was a table describing it would seem the
> size of the partitions and the free space available.  I seem to recall there
> was /dev/sda but with no size info against it.  Below this there were 4
> indented descriptions; /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, /dev/sda3. and / dev/sda4.
> Three of these were described as NTFS and one FAT32.  Can't remember the
> sizes, but I'm guessing the largest was the one with Win7 on it.

Um. Guessing is, er, not sensible when it comes to disk partitioning.

However, 4 partitions is common for  a UEFI system. There will be a
UEFI boot partition, typically FAT, with some system files in it. You
must not touch this at all.

Win 7+ tends to make a "System Partition" with some recovery tools in
it. This is also common and should also be left alone. It's usually
relatively small.

Then there will be a Windows C: drive.

Then there will often be a manufacturer's recovery partition. That can
be resized, often, but preferably only after making physical recovery
media if this is possible.

However, shrinking C is normally the best way.

> At that point, I had no idea what to do and was not confident that no harm
> would take place if I proceeded.  So, I aborted the installation.

Wise.

> From what I can recall, Windows and the machine seemed to have the following
> partitions
> * where the windows original installation files were
> * where windows was installed
> * an HP partition for something or another
> * and another which I can't recall.
>
> When I used a USB stick at one point it was allocated G: Drive so I'm
> assuming the others mentioned above were C, D, E and F (not necessarily in
> the same order above) - four in total.

Don't forget the optical drive (although you've not specified if there is one).

> I have been reading http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Multiple_OS_Installation and
> other references.  If I understand correctly there is a maximum of 4
> partitions allowed on a hard disk.

Whoah whoah whoah whoah!

Firstly, no, this is not correct.

On hard disks partitioned with the *MBR* format, and only on those,
there is a limit of 4 *primary* partitions. However, one of these can
be an Extended partition, and inside that, you can have as many
logical or secondary partitions as you want.

Secondly, no, it is still not correct.

It sounds like this was a UEFI system. UEFI systems tend to have big
hard disks. MBR only supports drives of up to 2TB. UEFI is one
response to this. UEFI systems tend to partition their disks with the
GPT format. With GPT, there is no longer any distinction between
"primary" and "secondary" partitions, there are no extended partitions
or "logical" partitions inside other partitions. With GPT, you can
have as many partitions as you wish.

(This also applies to other formats such as Windows 2000-2003 "Dynamic
Disks", classic Apple format hard disks and others. The
primary/secondary thing, the 4-primaries limit, only applies to one
partitioning scheme -- MBR -- and nothing else.)

>   But I am utterly confused as to how to
> proceed.  It is very important no damage is done to the windows installation
> - far too much investment has taken place in terms of time, customisation,
> software installs etc has taken place.  The data is safe on sticks or in the
> cloud.  There is also a Ubuntu reputation issue I believe - I have convinced
> my friend Ubuntu is so easy and simple compared to Win7.

Um. I don't wish to attack you in any way, but if you wish to be an
evangelist for Ubuntu and Linux, then you have to understand the
context in which it exists. This means an understanding of the PC
market, the landscape of technical and competitive issues. This means
understanding things like BIOS versus UEFI, MBR versus GPT, SecureBoot
and so on.

I'm afraid there is more to it than just wandering around telling
people how great Linux is. :¬)

 > Being a great believer in the adage "you mustn't do anything that can't be
> easily undone" and you must always have a credible reversion plan, I would
> welcome both a forward strategy and some detailed pointers on how I should
> proceed to achieve a duel-booting machine.
> Many thanks in advance.  Sorry about the long post.

Um, well, I'd start with taking an external drive of equivalent or
greater size along, and using a tool such as Clonezilla to completely
duplicate the entire disk, partitions and all, onto other media.

Then, I'd clean up the Windows system -- empty all the Temp folders,
disable hibernation, delete C:\HIBERFIL.SYS, empty the Recycle Bin,
run CHKDSK /F on all visible drives, run a defrag, etc.

I'd also check for any available updates to its firmware and apply
them if available.

Then, I'd use Windows's own Disk Management tool to look at the
existing setup of the hard disk, make a clear inventory of partitions,
sizes, allocations, filesystems, etc. Only after that, I'd then use
the Windows disk manager to shrink the C: drive to make enough space
for Ubuntu.

Then, I'd go into the firmware setup and disable SecureBoot.

Then, I'd check that Windows still booted and ran fine.

Then and only then I'd try again with the current version 13.10 of Ubuntu.

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Email: [hidden email] * GMail/G+/Twitter/Flickr/Facebook: lproven
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Re: Some installation pointers please

andres
In reply to this post by David Goldsbrough



>
>Being a great believer in the adage "you mustn't do anything that can't
>be
>easily undone" and you must always have a credible reversion plan, I
>would
>welcome both a forward strategy and some detailed pointers on how I
>should
>proceed to achieve a duel-booting machine.

I am very interested in the responses you get! I think I am about your same level of knowledge so can't help much.
I would look at moving the most you can to the large win 7 drive. And then get rid of one of the drives if it is large enough for ubuntu. I think one of the drives is problably the hp backup to set the computer to factory default or the files backup (or both).

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Re: Some installation pointers please

George DiceGeorge
In reply to this post by Liam Proven
Im not an expert either! but...

First backup everything to an external hard disk-
you can do this by dragging from windows explorer.

Before trying to install dualboot run gparted,
partitioning from maybe system menu on live disk.

Hopefully one of the partitions is huge with lots of spare space.

Shrink this (leaving it lots of space for its expansion)

Check windows is still ok.

then boot from ubuntu live cd
Then click install.

Hopefully ubuntu or xubuntu will use the free space youve created

[george]

-----Original Message-----
From: Liam Proven
Sent: Friday, 14 February, 2014 21:47
To: UK Ubuntu Talk
Subject: Re: [ubuntu-uk] Some installation pointers please

I will offer what guidance I can, but you leave a lot of blanks in
your account and I cannot -- and dare not -- try to guess.

On 14 February 2014 21:04, David Goldsbrough <[hidden email]> wrote:

> My experience of installing Ubuntu is limited to [...] into a Win XP
> environment.

Does that mean using WUBI?

> Being an evangelical Ubuntu user, after them using a spare Ubuntu  12.04
> LTS
> machine of mine and a quickish tour around a live CD plus some rather nice
> textbook I picked up for a £1 I convinced them they should at least have a
> duel-boot machine.
>
> I downloaded and burnt the 12.04.4 iso 64 bit version.

OK, hang on. You do not specify the Windows version they have.

Is this a Windows 8.x machine? Or new enough to be, even if it has Win7?

If so, then it possibly has UEFI firmware. Did you check? If not, do
you have the exact model number, so that we can check with Google?

Anyway, with UEFI, there are still many problems and issues around
Linux. This is deliberate on Microsoft's part - it is one of their
many anticompetitive tactics. However, it means that generally, you
should use the latest version, as much work has been done on
bootloaders etc. in order to bypass Microsoft's attempted exclusion
efforts.

This is all readily learned from Google or from watching the Ubuntu
support lists.

However, one thing is basic: you need to go into the firmware and
disable the "SecureBoot" feature, or even if you can install, Windows
will "repair" the boot blocks and remove Linux' bootloader.

Again, this is common knowledge if you have read about UEFI systems.

>  I then proceeded to
> install but it bombed out

What does that mean? Stopped with an error? What error?

>  having chosen for it to install itself alongside
> Windows.  I thought it would simply find the Windows partition and roughly
> half the available space still left on the drive.

[Blink] You let it automatically partition on a machine with important
data on it? (!)

I hope you had a backup, and preferably 3 of them.

> So, I tried again thinking I would choose the third and final option of
> "Other" thinking it would simply allow me to manually partition.  As I
> type,
> I am now working from my recollection - the machine is now some distance
> from me.  I seem to recall there was a coloured graphic display (I am
> colour
> blind) showing the existing partitions - but I can't recall exactly how
> many
> it showed - but my friend suggested there were only 4 different colours -
> that might be wrong.

The colours are not massively important. They denote filesystem type -
FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, ext3, ext4 etc.

You can get the same info in other ways.

>   Below that, was a table describing it would seem the
> size of the partitions and the free space available.  I seem to recall
> there
> was /dev/sda but with no size info against it.  Below this there were 4
> indented descriptions; /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, /dev/sda3. and / dev/sda4.
> Three of these were described as NTFS and one FAT32.  Can't remember the
> sizes, but I'm guessing the largest was the one with Win7 on it.

Um. Guessing is, er, not sensible when it comes to disk partitioning.

However, 4 partitions is common for  a UEFI system. There will be a
UEFI boot partition, typically FAT, with some system files in it. You
must not touch this at all.

Win 7+ tends to make a "System Partition" with some recovery tools in
it. This is also common and should also be left alone. It's usually
relatively small.

Then there will be a Windows C: drive.

Then there will often be a manufacturer's recovery partition. That can
be resized, often, but preferably only after making physical recovery
media if this is possible.

However, shrinking C is normally the best way.

> At that point, I had no idea what to do and was not confident that no harm
> would take place if I proceeded.  So, I aborted the installation.

Wise.

> From what I can recall, Windows and the machine seemed to have the
> following
> partitions
> * where the windows original installation files were
> * where windows was installed
> * an HP partition for something or another
> * and another which I can't recall.
>
> When I used a USB stick at one point it was allocated G: Drive so I'm
> assuming the others mentioned above were C, D, E and F (not necessarily in
> the same order above) - four in total.

Don't forget the optical drive (although you've not specified if there is
one).

> I have been reading http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Multiple_OS_Installation 
> and
> other references.  If I understand correctly there is a maximum of 4
> partitions allowed on a hard disk.

Whoah whoah whoah whoah!

Firstly, no, this is not correct.

On hard disks partitioned with the *MBR* format, and only on those,
there is a limit of 4 *primary* partitions. However, one of these can
be an Extended partition, and inside that, you can have as many
logical or secondary partitions as you want.

Secondly, no, it is still not correct.

It sounds like this was a UEFI system. UEFI systems tend to have big
hard disks. MBR only supports drives of up to 2TB. UEFI is one
response to this. UEFI systems tend to partition their disks with the
GPT format. With GPT, there is no longer any distinction between
"primary" and "secondary" partitions, there are no extended partitions
or "logical" partitions inside other partitions. With GPT, you can
have as many partitions as you wish.

(This also applies to other formats such as Windows 2000-2003 "Dynamic
Disks", classic Apple format hard disks and others. The
primary/secondary thing, the 4-primaries limit, only applies to one
partitioning scheme -- MBR -- and nothing else.)

>   But I am utterly confused as to how to
> proceed.  It is very important no damage is done to the windows
> installation
> - far too much investment has taken place in terms of time, customisation,
> software installs etc has taken place.  The data is safe on sticks or in
> the
> cloud.  There is also a Ubuntu reputation issue I believe - I have
> convinced
> my friend Ubuntu is so easy and simple compared to Win7.

Um. I don't wish to attack you in any way, but if you wish to be an
evangelist for Ubuntu and Linux, then you have to understand the
context in which it exists. This means an understanding of the PC
market, the landscape of technical and competitive issues. This means
understanding things like BIOS versus UEFI, MBR versus GPT, SecureBoot
and so on.

I'm afraid there is more to it than just wandering around telling
people how great Linux is. :¬)

> Being a great believer in the adage "you mustn't do anything that can't be
> easily undone" and you must always have a credible reversion plan, I would
> welcome both a forward strategy and some detailed pointers on how I should
> proceed to achieve a duel-booting machine.
> Many thanks in advance.  Sorry about the long post.

Um, well, I'd start with taking an external drive of equivalent or
greater size along, and using a tool such as Clonezilla to completely
duplicate the entire disk, partitions and all, onto other media.

Then, I'd clean up the Windows system -- empty all the Temp folders,
disable hibernation, delete C:\HIBERFIL.SYS, empty the Recycle Bin,
run CHKDSK /F on all visible drives, run a defrag, etc.

I'd also check for any available updates to its firmware and apply
them if available.

Then, I'd use Windows's own Disk Management tool to look at the
existing setup of the hard disk, make a clear inventory of partitions,
sizes, allocations, filesystems, etc. Only after that, I'd then use
the Windows disk manager to shrink the C: drive to make enough space
for Ubuntu.

Then, I'd go into the firmware setup and disable SecureBoot.

Then, I'd check that Windows still booted and ran fine.

Then and only then I'd try again with the current version 13.10 of Ubuntu.

--
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Email: [hidden email] * GMail/G+/Twitter/Flickr/Facebook: lproven
MSN: [hidden email] * Skype/AIM/Yahoo/LinkedIn: liamproven
Tel: +44 20-8685-0498 * Cell: +44 7939-087884

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Re: Some installation pointers please

Liam Proven
On 14 February 2014 22:02, George DiceGeorge <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Im not an expert either! but...
>
> First backup everything to an external hard disk-
> you can do this by dragging from windows explorer.
>
> Before trying to install dualboot run gparted,
> partitioning from maybe system menu on live disk.
>
> Hopefully one of the partitions is huge with lots of spare space.
>
> Shrink this (leaving it lots of space for its expansion)
>
> Check windows is still ok.
>
> then boot from ubuntu live cd
> Then click install.
>
> Hopefully ubuntu or xubuntu will use the free space youve created


Please don't top-quote.

Also, why did you reply to me and not the OP?

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Re: Some installation pointers please

James Morrissey
Hi David,

You appear to have gotten a lot of info already.

>  having chosen for it to install itself alongside
> Windows.  I thought it would simply find the Windows partition and roughly
> half the available space still left on the drive.

>> [Blink] You let it automatically partition on a machine with important
>> data on it? (!)

This appears to be the biggest issue from your post. You do the partitioning yourself and have the installer put ubuntu on the open space - it should detect the other partitions.

I'll leave you to answer Liam's response and follow George's general advice. In addition though, in case its useful, here is a good tutorial on using gparted: http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/gparted.html

Hopefully this helps.

j



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Re: Some installation pointers please

David Goldsbrough
In reply to this post by David Goldsbrough
Very many thanks to all those who have contributed responses to my original post.
Regrettably, my technical knowledge is not as up to date as it should be. The days of being a Systems Administrator on UNIX servers in the mid-80s serve me well occasionally at command line level, and the days of using and administrating Windows/DOS systems from the early 80s through to the 90s are clearly not good enough for the Machiavellian plots that Microsoft and their hardware partners have got up to in order to frustrate the linux/ubuntu community.

I have done some further research, especially on UEFI.  The usual frustrations apply; viz. out of date articles on the vast range of UBUNTU sources.

The strategies which responders made were very good.  Suffice to say, regrettably I will not be trying to create a duel-boot laptop.  We will be exploring other options that satisfies the prime need of having a backup facility should the windows laptop fail.  Favourite at the moment is buying a cheap second-hand machine where windows does not matter and we can just put a Ubuntu only configuration together.

Once again, thank you.





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