Tools for Installing the Ubuntu Operating System alongside Windows

Developers realized quickly that many people wanted to install Ubuntu on Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 computers without removing the original operating system. This resulted in a special Ubuntu installer for Windows. The installer can be combined with other Windows tools to create a computer with two operating systems. Anyone interested in installing Ubuntu alongside Windows will want to understand the installation definition for this process and the tools that will help with the process.

Operating System Installers

Ubuntu is the easiest operating system to install alongside Windows. The Ubuntu Windows installer runs under Windows and does everything necessary to put the Linux variant on the drive. The installer allows users to specify how much space Ubuntu should use for data and files. It also downloads all required installation files from a repository. The entire installation process can be done with just a few clicks and little to no technical knowledge.

 Boot Managers

A boot manager is an operating system tool that is part of the basic input and output services, or BIOS, under Windows. The boot manager is designed to detect if different operating systems exist on the same machine. If the boot manager is active, then it will bring up a text menu when the computer is started allowing users to select which operating system to run. The boot manager makes it possible to install Ubuntu alongside Windows without having to remove one operating system first. The boot manager tool activates automatically on most systems.

 Partitioning Tools

Anyone who wants to have a more customized Ubuntu installation can use partitioning tools to change the structure of the target hard drive. Partitioning tools are run under Windows. They allow a user to define a specific amount of space on the hard drive that will be separated from the rest of the file system. It effectively divides a hard drive into multiple sub-drives that can each have separate file systems. Partitioning allows for custom Ubuntu installations. It could also be used to create a third partition that both operating systems can access like a common drive.

Cleanup Utilities

The Ubuntu Windows installer needs to download and process over 500 megabytes of data. Download errors or other problems could mean the installation fails and leaves a partially installed operating system on the drive that cannot be accessed. The Windows installer cleanup utility can walk through recent installations and remove all the files associated with the failed process. The cleanup utility is important because a failed Ubuntu installation can cause problems with a valid installation in the future.

 Operating System Restore

Most computers containing both Windows and Ubuntu have no problems or conflicts. Some situations such as bad disk sectors, rogue programs or hardware issues can cause problems. Windows could become corrupted if something happens. The system restore utility allows users to save the state of Windows at any point and then restore it later if there are problems. This means it is possible to restore Windows to a working state and then run the Ubuntu Windows installer again to reestablish the operating system. System restore is an administrative tool inside Windows and as such will not need to be installed separately.

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3 Responses to Tools for Installing the Ubuntu Operating System alongside Windows

  1. sander simoni says:


    • Steve Nakashian says:

      I have a new HP probook laptop w/ Windows 7-professional installed. My problem is that it is in spanish & cannot change the language to english. What to add the Linux or Ubuntu system to make it easily for me to understand all my commands.
      I have the MS Office 10 and still need to retain that program. Will I be able to use the MS office program w/ Ubuntu or Linux?
      Need some help on tjis subjevt. Please advise.

  2. How many years have linux installations been plagued by the infamous “No Root File System is Defined” message, whenever a pc user attempts to install Linux or Ubuntu on a hard-drive alongside their Windows installation?!

    This has been going on way too long, for the makers of Linux and Ubuntu to not find a simpler way to facilitate this issue. We all know what the problem is yet, for those of us whom wish to use Linux on the same drive as their Windows OS, literally seem to have no choice but to format the entire drive in order to install Linux, because of some stupid glitch that prevents it recognizing the appropriate partition parameters.

    Of all my experiences with Linux, none of them have ever been with a hard-drive installation but instead only using the LiveCD versions—because I will not remove Windows, just so that I can install Linux on the one Hard drive I have—which is why I want to install Linux alongside Windows.

    The nagging but persistent problem is always the same, “No Root File System is Defined.”

    Even after I extended the system partition and changed the partition id of said system partition (which had over 100GB of unused space), to [ “Linux Native” ] from the drop-down menu of the partition program I was using, it still displayed the same error message above. I tried it with the [ Primary ] option in the Linux installation module, as well as an attempt with the [ Logical ] option——-both of these made no difference and yes, before any nit-picking techies get on my case about it——-I tried the above scenarios with following options:

    First Attempt-

    [ Use As: (Ext 4) and Mount Point: ( / ) ]

    Second Attempt-

    [ Use As: (EFI Boot Partition) ]


    This is what I got after I listed the partition info from the terminal:

    mint@mint ~ $ 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: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders, total 625142448 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: 0x02ebc2e4

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 2048 206847 102400 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda2 206848 505081855 252437504 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda3 505083904 625139711 60027904 83 Linux


    When I visited the Ubuntu and Linux support pages which depict a working installation, what displays is a screen-shot of the Linux installation module, at the screen that actually gives the user a choice if they would like to install it with Windows. I was never given that option when I attempted to install Linux Mint 17 or Ubuntu 14.04.1. Both ISO’s provided me with the exact same setup scenario upon installation——-Either I could erase my only hard-drive (which includes my Win7 I want to keep) or (I could attempt to install manually using the partition options). That’s it!

    No option to install with Windows like it showed on the website.

    This is so disconcerting to me that after hours of attempting to install a Linux or Ubuntu platform, neither installation module will recognize the appropriate partition configurations to make a dual-boot (without removing Windows) work.

    Microsoft may definitely be number one at the top of my list of the most frustrating companies in the world, but after enduring this rigmarole to simply install the OS, Linux is definitely not far behind Microsoft when it comes to such improprieties.

    Heck, even Microsoft’s installation of Windows is far simpler than this.

    Linux may have intrigued me time and again, but the more I’ve delved into it’s world, all the more frustrated I became. Really——-how different from Microsoft is Linux, when it’s developers couldn’t even fully automate something as simple as a detect and auto-configuration feature to as to facilitate any type of installation a user might want?!

    After all these years——-and Linux still can’t fix this problem with partition allocation and configuration, except to again dump all this nonsense on the user to try to sort out?!

    It doesn’t matter if it’s free. It’s still marketed as and geared toward users whom want an alternative and even better experience than Windows (even if they still want to keep their Windows installation). Yet the current options available easily put average users in an enormous debacle just to get started with this so-called great Software.

    If its that great——–then why make it extremely difficult to setup?! Us average users in the Windows community already have enough Microsoft headaches to deal with all on their own. You promote a cleaner experience on a faster OS that’s easy to use but fall short of making it a complete package by putting together a very sloppy, at best, installation module, which undoubtedly leaves much to be desired——-to say the least.

    Please fix this problem with the boot-loader/partition/allocation/Root File System Definitions issue. This is an unnecessary road-block which is probably turning away a lot of users whom might otherwise benefit from using this software and whom might actually like it and want to contribute——-but heck!——-if it’s this much trouble just to try to get it installed onto the same drive as my primary OS——-then maybe that’s just one of the reasons why Windows will likely always be my “Primary” choice!