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I was given an old server from work that I wanted to convert to a home file server. So I wanted to just do a clean install of Ubuntu server. Problem is, when I get to the partition screen I don't get the normal options. Instead of getting the normal options, its skips straight to the confirmation screen and I have 3 options:

  1. Help on partitioning
  2. Undo changes to partitions
  3. Finish partitioning and write changes to disk.

1 is obviously not helpful here, 2 just gives me a blank screen, and 3 tells me that "No root file system is defined." If I were to make a guess I would say that the hard drive is most likely encrypting and perhaps that is causing the problem?

I have no interest in the data that's already there. I just want a fresh install. I can probably get the root password to the machine if I have to. Any ideas?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Hit escape and you'll get a menu of options. Go to the bottom and find the entry for entering a shell. You'll get a warning about returning to the installer, then you'll be dropped to a shell.

Run cat /proc/partitions to get a list of what drives have been found on the system. You should see one there that is pretty obviously the system disk. You'll want to use the one without any number on the end.

Run dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/<name from above command> bs=1024 count=1024 to clear the partition table.

Then restart. The installer should see it now as a blank and unpartitioned disk.

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