Ubuntu dual boot with XP question.

  muddypaws 15:43 13 Apr 2014

I have spent a couple of hours today trying to install Ubuntu as per title.

Installing Along Side takes me to an HDD with Vista on it. This must be my XClone back up drive which originally came with Vista installed ( Originally my 'C'). So I go to the 'Advanced Partitioning tool' option and select the one that has a 475gig new partitiion on it and is my C drive with XP on the first partition. I select 'dev/sda and this shows as a 1TB drive which is correct.

I select 'Install now' and get the message 'No root file system is defined. Please correct from partition menu' Which leaves me completely stumped.

The same message appears when trying to install 'Somewhrere Else

I have read numerous help installation sites.

For 'Alongside' should I not have pre-partitioned the drive?

Presumably the 'Alongside' option does not mess up the XP MBR as I have read that other options do.

At this point I decide to 'Try Ubuntu' from the DVD and go to set up my existing Thunderbird account with my Tiscali address, but every time I enter the @ I get ".

I do have 'English' selected.

Advice please. Thanks.

  LastChip 17:04 13 Apr 2014

To take your first point, it sounds like you've already partitioned a dive, but have not specified a mount point. If you want to do it that way, you need to click on the "Advanced" button and define a file system type and mount point - for example ext4 and / (which is root or what would normally be a "C" drive in Windows).

Ubuntu is trying to do as you ask, but you haven't told it the full story.

Be careful of /dev/sda - it stands for device scsi drive "a", in other words, your first sda drive which is likely to be "C" (the whole drive). If you've already partitioned it, you should be able to see /dev/sda1 /dev/sda2 and so on. The 1 and 2 and whatever, defining the partitions on that drive. You then need to define the correct partition to install the system on to.

Along side will (as far as I know) change your MBR. Along side means "as well as" in this context. That's why if you're doubtful, you need to get a suitable application and back-up your MBR to a USB drive or something, so that if push comes to shove, you can reinstall it. Microsoft has no intention of allowing you to install an alternative system, and make it as difficult as they can for you. So you need to be one step ahead.

You can tell Ubuntu to install the boot loader on it's own partition. But then, you will have to tell Windows manually, how to give you an option to boot Ubuntu, or use a boot manager such as Boot Magic. In other words, using that method will not automatically, give you a multi-boot menu option.

As always with a dual boot installation, back-up everything that is important.

Finally, if it were me and you're thinking of moving from XP, I would try Linux Mint in preference to Ubuntu. You'll find it far less of a culture shock! All the above still applies.

  Jollyjohn 17:30 13 Apr 2014

On your last point about @, go shift 2 and you will get an @ symbol. You may have selected English but it thinks it is an American keyboard for some reason.

  muddypaws 17:45 13 Apr 2014

Thank you very much to both of you


I do see sda1 and sda2 and have during the many attempts ( as far as I can recall) selected sda2. As far as Alongside goes I think I will give that a miss. I use XCClone to make a bootable clone of C. If I lose the XP MBR then it will be gone when/if I do another clone and I don't have an XP disc. So I do have a clone of C on another internal already. I will give it another try using the 'Somewhere Else' option.


Thanks. Will try that.

  muddypaws 17:45 13 Apr 2014


PS. Will look at Mint.

  muddypaws 18:35 14 Apr 2014

LastChip Jollyjohn

I am now trying Linux Mint Cinnamon. ( Am on it now via the DVD.) The problem I have now is that it installed successfully to the C Partition apparently. I continued to try it before re-starting. When I restarted I changed the boot priority back to the HDD, but it wont boot, The writing comes up ( sorry can't remember the screen name) and tries to boot, then states :

Verifying DMI Pool Data.

Error: Unknown file system.

Entering rescue mode.

GRUB rescue. The cursor then keeps flashing and nothing happens.

So what has gone wrong?! I can't get out of the boot screen without manually switching of on the tower.

On entering the BIOS I read ' IDE Ch. 2 and 3 Master Disc HDD SMART capability disabled'

Is that normal? I changed to 'enabled' but no change.

I haven't tried yet to access my cloned XP drive, nor, if necessary, tried finding an option to format the Linux partition. Nor looked for a wqay copy the cloned HDD back to the XP partition.

Thanks in advance for your or anyones' help.

  LastChip 23:35 14 Apr 2014

Not sure what happened to you, but take a look at this from your live DVD and make a note of the commands. Don't forget to hit enter after each command and let us know if that fixed it please.

  muddypaws 07:30 15 Apr 2014


Thanks. Will do.

Apologies re double thread. Thought it might be better to start a new one, but will stay on this.

I do still have the old C HDD that I removed a month ago and was still working, so presumably if all is lost I can replace that.

  muddypaws 12:08 15 Apr 2014


Just about managed to read the writing in that video.

Difficult to see where there are spaces or not.

And the last frame refers to W.7. Is there some stage I have to enter XP?


  LastChip 13:08 15 Apr 2014

The only space is between "set" and the subsequent string.

There's no need to set XP anywhere, that's the menu you'll see if it works and the system will pick up your installed systems (including XP).

  muddypaws 19:00 15 Apr 2014

I got the script correct on the second attempt! It d/loaded and installed the grub file. Unfortunately the programme now sticks where it says ' Probing for devices to guess BIOS drivers. This may take some time'. Left it for an hour and then closed it. Same result on second run. Think I may have to replace the existing C HDD with the the one I removed just under a month ago. So fairly up to date. Unless there are any further suggestions, and just run Linux from the DVD. That shouldn't cause any problems.?? I could try the XP installation CD to repair, but never gone down that route before. Wondering how to format the existing 1tb drive. Would it be visible from a caddy? Only recently bought it. so prefer not to waste the money! Have looked at other utube videos, but they are mostly un- intellible American ones.

Thanks for help so far.

PS. I did install Linux to 'Somewhere else' as opposed to side by side, but I think the result would have been the same.

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