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Thread: installing to an existing partition structure

  1. #1
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    Question installing to an existing partition structure

    I've got ubuntu 11.04 installed, with a windows dual boot.
    My / is most of the disk, and I've got my home folders in a separate partition.

    But when I try to install 11.10, the list of partitions is empty in the installer.
    I feed uncomfortable unless I can see which partition is going to get wiped.

    Basically, all I'm trying to do is to install a fresh version of Ubuntu 11.10, only on my root partition,
    (so not touching my windows partition, or my home partition).

    What do I need to do to get the partitions to show up in the list?

  2. #2
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    Re: installing to an existing partition structure

    From existing Ubuntu post the output of:

    sudo fdisk -l

    df -hT

    I just installed Ubuntu 11.10 from the installer at the disk partioner
    choose "Something Else" this then allows you to use existing partitions.

    For me I was using btrfs filesystems for both / and /home and the first attempt to install the installation crashed. I then decided to make / ext4 and /home btrfs. This time installation completed.

    Post output of those commands first and we'll see what you have setup.

  3. #3
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    Re: installing to an existing partition structure

    Code:
    skela@davinci3:~$ sudo fdisk -l
    [sudo] password for skela: 
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xb78bf718
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *           1        2432    19535008+   7  HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2            2433        4864    19535040   83  Linux
    /dev/sda3            4865        5350     3903795   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda4            5351       57614   419810580   83  Linux
    
    
    skela@davinci3:~$ df -hT
    Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda2     ext4     19G  4.6G   13G  27% /
    none      devtmpfs    2.0G  680K  2.0G   1% /dev
    none         tmpfs    2.0G  596K  2.0G   1% /dev/shm
    none         tmpfs    2.0G  220K  2.0G   1% /var/run
    none         tmpfs    2.0G     0  2.0G   0% /var/lock
    /dev/sda4     ext3    398G  298G   88G  78% /home

    "I just installed Ubuntu 11.10 from the installer at the disk partioner
    choose "Something Else" this then allows you to use existing partitions."

    The weird bit is, I never see the something else button,
    it basically skips that step.
    It goes from the screen where you see the ticks to install proprietary software and to update packages during installation, to the partition editor screen, with the partitions blank.
    I've had the same problem with beta 1, beta2, and now also the live release.

  4. #4
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    Re: installing to an existing partition structure

    Quote Originally Posted by skela View Post
    Code:
    skela@davinci3:~$ sudo fdisk -l
    [sudo] password for skela: 
    
    
    skela@davinci3:~$ df -hT
    Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda2     ext4     19G  4.6G   13G  27% /
    none      devtmpfs    2.0G  680K  2.0G   1% /dev
    none         tmpfs    2.0G  596K  2.0G   1% /dev/shm
    none         tmpfs    2.0G  220K  2.0G   1% /var/run
    none         tmpfs    2.0G     0  2.0G   0% /var/lock
    /dev/sda4     ext3    398G  298G   88G  78% /home

    "I just installed Ubuntu 11.10 from the installer at the disk partioner
    choose "Something Else" this then allows you to use existing partitions."

    The weird bit is, I never see the something else button,
    it basically skips that step.
    It goes from the screen where you see the ticks to install proprietary software and to update packages during installation, to the partition editor screen, with the partitions blank.
    I've had the same problem with beta 1, beta2, and now also the live release.
    It is just before the partition editor screen that the screen appears (or not in your case). This could be an install bug. The first time I installed, the installer crashed, the second time I chnaged filesystems from btrfs to ext4 and install went smoothly.
    Unless someone has a better idea, I would back up your data, then manually
    wipe the partitions and try installing again, to see if this helps.

  5. #5
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    Re: installing to an existing partition structure

    Quote Originally Posted by skela View Post
    The weird bit is, I never see the something else button,
    it basically skips that step.
    It goes from the screen where you see the ticks to install proprietary software and to update packages during installation, to the partition editor screen, with the partitions blank.
    I've had the same problem with beta 1, beta2, and now also the live release.
    If this happens everytime with every distro, I doubt a bad partition table in the MBR. If this happened only with 11.10 releases, it maybe a bug as hal8000 pointed out, but I still doubt a non-standard partition table since the same releases work for others.

    Whatever be the cause, I'd go with what hal8000 suggested (wipe the entire disk > recreate partitions using gparted, retry installation).


    PS:
    Was your hard drive ever a part of some RAID array? If it was, the command for you to remove possible remnants of the metadata:
    Code:
    sudo dmraid -E -r /dev/sda
    Make sure no such option is enabled in the BIOS as well.
    This may be a useful read for you: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...38#post9274738
    Varun
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  6. #6
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    Re: installing to an existing partition structure

    skela, your system is already using 4 primary partitions. On an MBR partitioned drive that is the maximum. This is the reason the installer is not giving you the install alongside option.
    If you want more partitions (or to install another operating system) you will need to delete one primary partition then in its space create an extended partition. This new extended partition can hold as many new LOGICAL partitions as you want.
    Most Linux systems will boot from a logical partition, but Windows won't (unless its boot files are in a separate primary partition).
    MacBook Pro 10,1 retina

  7. #7
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    Re: installing to an existing partition structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    skela, your system is already using 4 primary partitions. On an MBR partitioned drive that is the maximum. This is the reason the installer is not giving you the install alongside option.
    Damn it!! That's why experience counts.. I missed that simple fact. Thank you quackers, you hit the nail on the head.
    Varun
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