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Old 05-24-2018, 04:26 PM   #1
linuxuser7
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Ubuntu Installation - a cautionary tale


If you are installing Ubuntu 18.04 and want to dual boot with MS Windows and if you let Ubuntu decide how to install, BE SURE that Ubuntu has detected your Windows installation. Otherwise, manually partition (I believe it's called "something else" in the installer) the free space on your hard drive and set the mount points for Ubuntu.

It's usually assumed that manually partitioning is more dangerous and requires more knowledge, and that might be the case, but if you let Ubuntu decide how to install itself when it did not detect your Windows installation you will be sorry.

Normally, I partition my hard drive myself when I install Linux, but this one time I decided to let Ubuntu do it because I had lots of free space and could let Ubuntu decide how to allocate it. However, Ubuntu did not detect my Windows installation which I ignored thinking that surely it will detect it when it sets up grub. Easy and painless or so I thought.

The result was that Ubuntu destroyed my Windows bootloader and I was unable to get Windows to boot no matter what I tried. Eventually I wiped the hard drive clean and installed Linux on the whole hard drive. I'm a bit sorry to have lost Windows, but ultimately I am fine since I use Linux 99.9% of the time anyway. However, I learned a powerful lesson.
 
Old 05-24-2018, 08:49 PM   #2
yancek
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The most common reasons that windows isn't detected when installing a Linux system is that windows 8 and 10 by default hibernates and a Linux system will not mount a hibernated system as it is too likely to cause problems. With an EFI install it is better to use the manual (Something Else) option.

Another problems many new users have is thinking because they have 'free space' on their windows partition they have a lot of room to install Linux, that won't work.

Depending upon the type of install (EFI or Legacy), with an EFI a LInux system will not overwrite windows EFI files but will create a separate directory in the EFI partition for its EFI boot files. If you did an MBR install, of course the default is to overwrite the MBR but windows systems almost always are detected by Grub. Not sure which of these situations fit you, you don't indicate which windows you were using.
 
Old 05-24-2018, 09:06 PM   #3
colorpurple21859
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Quote:
with an EFI a LInux system will not overwrite windows EFI
that is true for most linux distros. I did have freebsd overwrite the efi partition the last time I tried it. That was fun fixing.

Quote:
but if you let Ubuntu decide how to install itself when it did not detect your Windows installation you will be sorry.
I had something similar happen a few years ago and ever since I manually partition. If the installer won't let me manually partition I walk away from it.

Last edited by colorpurple21859; 05-24-2018 at 09:13 PM.
 
Old 05-24-2018, 11:14 PM   #4
Dave Lerner
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My only gripe with the Ubuntu installer is that it needs a confirmation screen that states "Here's what I'm going to do ....", with details about which devices and partitions it's going to modify, and "Continue" and "Go Back" buttons. If the "details" are considered too technical for average users, they could start with a simple explanation, and have a "Show Advanced Information" option.
 
Old 05-25-2018, 08:57 AM   #5
yancek
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Quote:
I did have freebsd overwrite the efi partition the last time I tried it.
Interesting but, FreeBSD like Linux is based on UNIX but isn't Linux and certainly not Ubuntu which the post is specifically about.

Continuing with an install when known drives/partitions are not seen as the OP did is a big mistake. The most common reason is having still hibernated.

Quote:
My only gripe with the Ubuntu installer is that it needs a confirmation screen that states "Here's what I'm going to do ....", with details about which devices and partitions it's going to modify, and "Continue" and "Go Back" buttons.
If someone is using the "auto-install" option, Install Alongside another OS, that won't happen although it should not be that difficult to add that option. Partition changes are shown using tools such as GParted for partitioning so I would not expect it would be that difficult to add. Using the manual option, a user needs to make the selections so will know what is happening and there are Back and Continue buttons in this method as well as the location to select for bootloader installation. I think that with the advent of EFI systems, it would be useful to give a user the options to select EFI install, Legacy install or let the installer make the selection. I'm not aware of any OS that goes into detail like this during an auto-install.

Last edited by yancek; 05-25-2018 at 09:02 AM.
 
Old 05-26-2018, 01:01 AM   #6
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxuser7 View Post
if you let Ubuntu decide how to install itself when it did not detect your Windows installation you will be sorry.
yes, that is true.
it also applies for all and every operating system, e.g.:
Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxuser7 View Post
if you let Windows decide how to install itself when it did not detect your Linux installation you will be sorry.
the difference being that windows never recognizes your linux installation, and linux almost always recognizes your windows installation.
 
Old 05-26-2018, 08:53 AM   #7
rokytnji
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I treat my computer installs like society treats itself.

Linux has it's side of the tracks.
Windows has it's side of the tracks.

I don't let the 2 intermingle any more. It just creates strife. Just like society in real life.
 
Old 05-26-2018, 09:14 AM   #8
linuxuser7
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Quote:
it also applies for all and every operating system
This is true, but it happened to me specifically with Ubuntu. I first installed Scientific Linux without any problems and then tried to install Ubuntu which detected S.L. but failed to detect Windows and destroyed windows boot. And, yes, Windows was an EFI installation.

Quote:
the difference being that windows never recognizes your linux installation, and linux almost always recognizes your windows installation.
This is certainly true, but my point in posting concerns the cases where Linux and specifically Ubuntu Linux doesn't recognize a Windows installation. I'm just saying "be careful" and not pitting Linux against Windows or putting down Ubuntu.

Last edited by linuxuser7; 05-26-2018 at 09:17 AM.
 
Old 05-26-2018, 09:41 AM   #9
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxuser7 View Post
I'm just saying "be careful" and not pitting Linux against Windows or putting down Ubuntu.
ok, fair enough and thanks for keeping your pants on (unlike me).
people tend to forget that when comparing operating systems:
installing windows, or in fact any operating system, has as many, if not more, pitfalls as installing linux.
the only difference being that windows is usually already installed.
 
Old 05-26-2018, 01:33 PM   #10
yancek
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Quote:
BE SURE that Ubuntu has detected your Windows installation.
There's the problem, big mistake continuing when you knew it didn't see windows. As I mentioned earlier and I have seen countless posts like this, windows 8/10 by default are hibernated and will not be mounted so obviously will not be seen. Was windows fully shutdown when you installed Scientific Linux, no hibernation? Did you do a Legacy/GPT install of Ubuntu or was it also EFI. I doubt that the Ubuntu Grub destroyed your windows boot files as they are in a totally separate directory on the EFI partition and if you were to mount that partition, you would see a Microsoft folder as well as one for ubuntu and scientific Linux. Since you have deleted everything and installed some other Linux system it is all moot now so no one knows what the possibilities were. Boot repair or the bootinfoscript are pretty handy tools to have, but using boot repair should always be with the option to Create BootInfo Summary until a user is very familiar with booting.

I think what you have pointed out is a problem with these "auto-install" options which have become more problematic with the advent of UEFI systems. The install ALongside option would more appropriately be called "cross your fingers and hope for the best" because if something goes wrong, the user won't usually have a clue what happened. Ubuntu generally recommends using the manual option on an EFI install.
 
  


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