Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am using Ubuntu Live CD version 9.10 32 bit. I can see my other FAT32 drives and access them in the Live session but when I try to install, the drives are unmounted (their shortcuts are removed from desktop) and I can't see any partition table, only sda which is empty, apparently... How can I install this Ubuntu on my system if I can't see partitions correctly ? I have also setup a free space on disk to be used by Linux (did it from Windows) and I can't see that either, of course..

This is my fdisk -l output:

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x7ab852fc

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1         262     2098176   27  Unknown
/dev/sda2   *         263        4179    31463302+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3            4180        6092    15361024    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4            6093       30402   195269153    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5            6093       28444   179533406+   7  HPFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdb: 32.3 GB, 32346472448 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 3932 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x001048b3

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *           1        3933    31588320+   c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

Can anyone help ?


share|improve this question
Title says USB when in the post you say that you're booting from CD. Also, what are you trying to do with these FAT32 partitions? no offence but if you could clarify your question a little... – BuildTheRobots Jan 6 '10 at 4:41

Well, your question contains great notes on the layout of your disks, so perhaps what you really want to ask is "How can I make certain that the ubuntu installer creates partitions in the right place?"

For that, I recommend...

  1. run "gparted" from the live cd before you begin the install. that way, you can shrink whatever existing partitions you need to shrink in order to lay out the disks to your liking. if, for some reason, you need to reboot to run chkdsk on the windows side, at least you won't have wasted time working your way half-way through the installation process.

  2. run the install and when you get to the disk partitioning step, choose manual partitioning and instead of modifying the disk layouts at all, just select the partitions you wanted to use and tell the installer where to mount them.

for further reading and better confidence in this process, you may want to do a bit of RTFM as well. seems like a good place to start...

share|improve this answer

When I installed Ubuntu 9.10 from a live CD I don't recall seeing a desktop with icons.

It was more like the install application took over the computer and asked me questions about what I wanted to do. In no sense did it seem like the live session was still running.

But I wouldn't have expected to see any mounted partitions. Partitions don't have to be mounted before the partition editor can do it work. In the same way that fsck requires a partition to be unmounted.

I think the installer can see (and/or create) partitions, even if you can't.

Of course, I didn't have any Windows partitions to worry about. That might be an important difference.

share|improve this answer
you can boot the CD either in 'live' mode -which gives you a working desktop (with an installer icon as well as drives etc...) and install mode, which just launches the Installer in place of the desktop. – BuildTheRobots Jan 6 '10 at 4:40
I think I did the second. Yes, from the menu which starts 'Try Ubuntu without touching your hard drive' or words to that effect. I chose the second option. – pavium Jan 6 '10 at 6:42
i've tried installing from the live session before without success... i think the boot-into-install-mode installer is much more solid. – quack quixote Jan 6 '10 at 11:33

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.