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Thread: Partitioning and Dual Boot

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Partitioning and Dual Boot

    I have a new Asus laptop with 500GB HD, 4 GB RAM. I want to dual boot Windows and Ubuntu on it. How do you suggest I partition it.

    Windows partition (how large?)
    Swap 4GB (or should that be 8GB, that is 2xRAM?)
    Root 5-10 GB
    Home (Data?) the remaining disk space (Both Windows 7 and Linux can access files. NTFS folder?)

    And how much space does a normal Windows partition need (Windows Enterprise, Office 2007, plus a few more programs, probably not many programs because I have lots of programs as "portable" on my USB DiskOnKey.

    Note: I find the whole extended partition thing SO confusing (primary, extended, and logical). I just never manage to understand it.

    Important I want my data to be accessible both from Windows and from Linux. I guess that means Data will be a shared NTFS partition.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Xubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Partitioning and Dual Boot

    I would make your Windows partition not too small, something like 50 Gb would be more than enough and you can still install programs in the future and expand. But minimum would be 26 GBI found this page very helpful and easy to follow. He also gives another solution for the swap, no partition but storing it in a file on the Ubuntu partition.

    I hope it helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Sussex, UK

    Re: Partitioning and Dual Boot

    Loads of good info on partitioning with helpful screenshots:

    Loads of info on dual booting again with lots of helpful screenshots:

    I found screenshots helpful when looking at partitioning - hope these of use?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: Partitioning and Dual Boot

    BEFORE you start messing around with repartitionig, strongly suggest you read the following ...

    You need to see the disk partitions when you boot into Win7 and use the Disk Management utility. Count the partitions you see. IF there are already four of them, that is the maximum allowed. IF you FORCE the creation of another, not only will that automatically convert the Basic Volumes into Dynamic Disks (something you do NOT want to do), it will then PREVENT the installation of Linux.

    If you decide to continue on with dual-boot, then use ONLY the Win7 Disk Management utility to shrink the Win7 OS partition to make room on the drive. Win7 is very finicky about its OS partition being messed with from "outside" with other tools -- like GParted. While it may be OK, it's more likely to result in filesystem corruption, which will then render Win7 unbootable.

    And, after you create some free space, do NOT format it using the Win7 Disk Management utility; leave it as free space.

    Then BEFORE you install Ubuntu, use the Win7 Backup feature to create and burn a Win7 Repair CD. You might need this later if the dual-boot install corrupts the Win7 boot loader.

    When you then install Ubuntu, use the "Something Else" option to allow Manual Partitioning.
    Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
    Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Chicago Suburbs
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Partitioning and Dual Boot

    /home cannot be NTFS.

    I do prefer smaller system partitions Windows & / and larger data partitions. Use NTFS for shared data. If putting most of your data into the shared NTFS data you may not need a separate /home. I moved /home back into / and had a shared NTFS and as I stopped using XP created a ext3 (I would use ext4 now) data partition and use the shared less.

    I might suggest Windows at 30 to 50GB, Ubuntu 25GB, swap at 2GB if you have more than 3GB of RAM or swap at the same size as RAM in GiB if you want to hibernate. Use the rest for NTFS shared data and maybe separate /home or data partitions.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair - Updated Mar 2015:
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Re: Partitioning and Dual Boot

    Thanks for all the great information.

    Another question
    And when I boot up this laptop off of an Ubuntu Live Disk
    I only see /dev/sda = 465.76 GiB, with all that space "unallocated"
    That doesn't make sense to me. I should see at least a recovery partition and "the rest"
    or: Recovery, Data, and OS Edit: Here is how the partitions look when I boot into Windows 7 and use the Manage Disks
    Last edited by webmanoffesto; September 1st, 2012 at 01:14 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Les Gets, France
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Partitioning and Dual Boot

    Hi there

    I understand your confusion. You have some good answers above. Post #4 is very important! You do have 4 primary partitions on Disk0 (partitions are primary or extended or logical and it would say if they were the latter 2 types)and cannot install Ubuntu without sorting that out. My suggestion is:

    Using Win7, delete the Data (D) partition. (Its empty and this gives you unused space and only 3 primary partitions left)

    Using Win 7, shrink the windows OS C: partition to say 100GB. Its already got 56GB in it, so 50 isn't enough!)

    Now you can use Ubuntu install disk to create an extended partition in the empty space. An extended partition is like a container holding Logical partitions. (In itself an extended partition does not hold data, just partitions. Its like the outer box you get when ordering from Amazon - nothing in it but other boxes)Within the extended partition you can create all the new partitions you want, using the "something else" option as suggested by others above.

    I would physically unplug your external drives while doing any of this so you can't accidentally format over your data!

    I'm not sure why you can't see the partitions from the Ubuntu disk. Is the md5 sum OK? Have you tried looking at it with a gparted live disk?

    Hope this helps a little.
    Last edited by roger_1960; September 1st, 2012 at 02:15 PM. Reason: To address the original question!
    Acer Aspire 1353 Xubuntu 12.04 (32 bit)
    Toshiba A200 LXLE 14.04(64 bit)
    Asus EeePC 1011PX LXLE 14.04 (64 bit) dual boot W7

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