View Full Version : [ubuntu] Partitions on Windows 8.1 Hard Disk

February 13th, 2016, 11:05 PM
Hi all,
I would like to install Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on my HP Pavillion laptop alongside Windows 8.1. I'm ready to start with a freshly burned DVD but I'd like to know your opinion about partition creation strategy. I already successfull installed (about 2 years ago) Ubuntu on my old Acer laptop. On that occasion the task was rather simple because the Acer had two partitions (C and D Windows 'drives'), the first with Windows OS and the second for data so in that case I cleared the D partition and installed Ubuntu on this partition. Now I got the HP with two physical drives, one of about 4GB (Windows D drive named Recovery which I suppose contain Windows OS for system recovery) and a second large disk with only one partition, that contain everything. My intention is to left some space for Windows (about 200GB). I just made a backup of Windows using Macrium Reflect (Windows PE rescue disk and whole system image on an external hard disk) so I'm rather confident to be able to restore things in case of failure. I suppose that in this case I have to repartition /dev/sda1, right? Furthermore, I don't know the meaning of the Warning message (see the fdisk command log below) and the note "Partition 1 does not start on physical sector boundary". Hope that they are not a problem.

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -l

WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted.

Disk /dev/sda: 750.2 GB, 750156374016 bytes
256 heads, 63 sectors/track, 90845 cylinders, total 1465149168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x4fe02b41

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 1465149167 732574583+ ee GPT
Partition 1 does not start on physical sector boundary.

Disk /dev/sdb: 3931 MB, 3931111424 bytes
2 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60936 cylinders, total 7677952 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x032e05aa

February 13th, 2016, 11:29 PM
Now I got the HP with two physical drives, one of about 4GB (Windows D drive named Recovery which I suppose contain Windows OS for system recovery)

Is that a typo? Not sure where you would get a 4GB hard drive these days. I doubt a windows Recovery would fit on it. My windows 7 Recovery from six years ago is nearly 10GB.

Your sda1 on the other disk takes up the entire drive. You can't install Ubuntu there. Your first step should be to use Disk Management in windows to shrink that partition and leave some unallocated space on which to install Ubuntu. You are also using UEFI/GPT with windows so you MUST do the same for Ubuntu. See the link below for info on that. Also, you are going to have several options under Installation Type and the best is the manual "Something Else" option.


The message you are seeing about physical sector boundaries is usually not a problem.

February 14th, 2016, 12:50 AM
Fdisk does not work with new gpt(GUID) partitioned drives. There is a new fdisk that will work in 16.06.
But we use gdisk which is the fdisk for gpt or parted to see gpt drives.
sudo parted -l
sudo parted /dev/sda unit s print
sudo gdisk -l /dev/sda

Most HP have UEFI boot issues.

HP Check if Customized UEFI settings available like this HP ProBook 4340
HP Envy 700-430QE desktop used bcdedit to dual boot
Boot Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bits on external hdd - HP Envy 17 w/Windows 8.1 Details
HP to get into UEFI/BIOS menu - escape then f10 as soon as it starts.

Most use a copy of shimx64.efi to /EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi and boot the hard drive entry not the ubuntu entry.

HP ProBook 450 G1 Custom UEFI boot or copy to bootx64.efi, delay of a so called "Express Multiboot menu"
HP 4545s Secure boot off, manually copy files.
HP Manually renamed files to make it work.

February 16th, 2016, 10:30 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I read carefully some articles but I'm not an expert so I'm rather confused. Here below you can find the parted and gdisk command outputs (there is also an USB Flash drive from which I booted Ubuntu in live mode) and some screenshots of my HP UEFI/BIOS Configuration screen.

Model: ATA HGST HTS541075A9 (scsi)Disk /dev/sda: 750GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt

Number Start End Size File system Name Flags
1 1049kB 420MB 419MB ntfs Basic data partition hidden, diag
2 420MB 693MB 273MB fat32 EFI system partition boot
3 693MB 827MB 134MB Microsoft reserved partition msftres
4 827MB 728GB 728GB ntfs Basic data partition msftdata
5 728GB 729GB 367MB ntfs hidden, diag
6 729GB 750GB 21.3GB ntfs Basic data partition hidden, msftdata

Model: USB Flash Drive (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 3931MB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
1 32.8kB 3931MB 3931MB primary fat32 boot, lba

Model: ATA HGST HTS541075A9 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 1465149168s
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt

Number Start End Size File system Name Flags
1 2048s 821247s 819200s ntfs Basic data partition hidden, diag
2 821248s 1353727s 532480s fat32 EFI system partition boot
3 1353728s 1615871s 262144s Microsoft reserved partition msftres
4 1615872s 1422827519s 1421211648s ntfs Basic data partition msftdata
5 1422827520s 1423544319s 716800s ntfs hidden, diag
6 1423544320s 1465147391s 41603072s ntfs Basic data partition hidden, msftdata

GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.8.8

Partition table scan:
MBR: protective
BSD: not present
APM: not present
GPT: present

Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.
Disk /dev/sda: 1465149168 sectors, 698.6 GiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): 6548D7D6-B222-4A7A-A904-AE28C1608833
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 1465149134
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 3757 sectors (1.8 MiB)

Number Start (sector) End (sector) Size Code Name
1 2048 821247 400.0 MiB 2700 Basic data partition
2 821248 1353727 260.0 MiB EF00 EFI system partition
3 1353728 1615871 128.0 MiB 0C01 Microsoft reserved part
4 1615872 1422827519 677.7 GiB 0700 Basic data partition
5 1422827520 1423544319 350.0 MiB 2700
6 1423544320 1465147391 19.8 GiB 0700 Basic data partition

I was wondering which is the 'safer' way to make room for Ubuntu in the Windows partition and then install Ubuntu from the Dvd.
I have an AMD Radeon HD 8760M 2GB Graphics Card on my laptop besides the Intel HD Graphics 4000. I'm not sure that the Radeon is supported.

February 16th, 2016, 10:52 PM
The safest way to make room for Ubuntu is to shrink partition 4 which is probably your primary windows partition. Use the Disk Management tool in windows. Right now the various partitions you have take up the entire drive so you need to shrink that partition which takes up most of the drive. Since you are using UEFI/GPT with windows, you must do the same with Ubuntu. Read the Ubuntu documentation on that at the link below.


February 17th, 2016, 11:18 AM
Sorry, some doubts.

I'm thinking about shrinking the Primary Windows Partition (#4) to make about 200GB available for Ubuntu. I was wondering if a 20GB Linux root partition is good or is too much. I read somewhere that 8-10GB should be enough but actually I'm not sure on how many applications I'll install on it.
I have 8GB of RAM. Should be the Swap 8GB or it can be less?
I already have one EFI System Partition (#2, 260MB Fat32) on my HDD. Is it the same that I'll use to put the bootloader during Ubuntu installation?


February 17th, 2016, 02:37 PM
I normally suggest 20 to 25GB for / (root). And I use about 13GB of that including /home which is about 2GB because of .wine for now discontinued Picasa. But all my data Documents, Music, Videos etc are in folders in /mnt/data linked to /home. Those normally are just in /home. If a newer user better to use a separate /home as that is something you can set up during install.

For swap you really may need none with 8GB of RAM, but I suggest a little like 2GB. With my older BIOS based system I had 4GB of RAM and never used swap. Only if hibernating which is not recommended if dual booting would you need 8GiB of RAM or about 8.5GB.

Only one ESP - efi system partition per device or hard drive. While UEFI spec may allow multiple ESP, most implementations will not work with two ESPs. But I do suggest one on every device, even though grub will always use the ESP on sda, or first device.

September 16th, 2016, 09:45 AM
Hi all, since February I didn't have time to install Ubuntu on my HP laptop (see previous posts) but finally and hopefully I've decided to move forward. I just downloaded the 16.04.1 Desktop amd64 iso and I was wondering if the above suggestions are still needed and I should take into consideration, or the new 16.04.1 have solved some issue with laptops with UEFI-GPT on pre-installed Windows8.1. I am referring to this (http://askubuntu.com/questions/221835/installing-ubuntu-on-a-pre-installed-windows-10-with-uefi) Ask Ubuntu post and Secure boot/UEFI Settings in Windows before installing Ubuntu. Thanks for your patiente.

September 16th, 2016, 03:44 PM
HP has not changed its UEFI as far as I know. So you still have some issues with moving shimx64.efi into /EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi and then in HP's UEFI boot hard drive, not ubuntu entry. But Boot-Repair can do that from a gui.

Boot-Repair now creates bkpbootx64.efi and copies shimx64.efi as bootx64.efi. This is a hard drive default or fallback boot entry in UEFI.
'Use the standard EFI file' in advanced options.

Summary UEFI install instructions:
Back up Windows, your data, and make a Windows repair flash drive.
Download and create Ubuntu 64 bit installer, flash drive or DVD.
Use Windows own Disk Management tools to shrink Windows & reboot so it can run chkdsk.
Turn off Windows fast startup in Windows.
In UEFI turn off fast boot (different than fast start up) and often better but not required to turn off Secure boot.
Some UEFI may need you to turn on or allow USB/DVD boot, especially if Secure boot is on.
Boot Ubuntu installing in UEFI live mode, and verify your system works ok.
Install Ubuntu.
If Issue with install, more info needed, or terms not understood, see info & links below: