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I am trying to install Windows 7 in a dual boot configuration on a PC that's already running Ubuntu 8.04.

Windows 7 is kind enough to refuse installing very early in the process, issuing the following error message:

Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition

Update: I found this thread describing a struggle with a similar issue. The "solution" there was to disconnect all drives except for the one on which Windows 7 is to be installed. This does not work for me!

Any idea how to solve this problem without wiping clean my Ubuntu installation?

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3 Answers

Use gparted live CD and move the Ubuntu partition towards the end of the disk. Windows 7 wants to be in the first partition (don't know if just creating a 100Mb "boot" partition is enough).

You might want to take a look at this guide before you get that done. There is a section for reloading grub mentioning that for 10.04+ with Grub2 the guide is on a different page. Also there is a similar question here in superuser.

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thanks (and +1). I tried using the GParted live CD as you suggested, but it has no way of moving the unallocated space in the extended partition (that I reserved for Windows 7) to the beginning of the disk. I may end up simply re-installing everything. This is horrible. –  Android Eve Dec 7 '10 at 17:38
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@Android Eve you need to move the ubuntu partition to the end of the disk, you simply dont allocate anything for win7 and the install disk will do it. You can resize the ubuntu partition if you need to. –  Marlon Dec 8 '10 at 4:49
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

And the answer is... it is possible to install Windows 7 on a partition other than the 1st partition, as long as it is a primary partition. I just managed to do so, with the Windows 7 partition being the 3rd one, after an extended partition, as show below:


alt text

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Try imaging the different partitions, then wiping the disk, then rearranging all the partitions and restoring the images. It's not pretty, but it could prevent reinstallation of several OSes.

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thanks (and +1) for your suggestion. It seems that re-installing Ubuntu 8.04 will take the least amount of time. But out of curiosity, which imaging software do you recommend? –  Android Eve Dec 7 '10 at 19:20
    
I recommend Ghost if you have cash, Acronis if you want free. –  CamronBute Dec 7 '10 at 19:50
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