I need to repartition my drive so that I can dual boot windows and Ubuntu. I have an older laptop so I need to have the kernel in a BIOS accessible partion. With my current partition layout as done by ubuntu's dual boot default setup:

Drive layout
/dev/sda1 -ntfs 128GB -boot
/dev/sda2 -extended 170GB -lba
 /dev/sda5 -ntfs 167.59GB
 /dev/sda6 -ext3 2.33GB
 /dev/sda7 -linux-swap 172MB

I get a Grub error 18 indicating that Grub can't access the kernel.

What should I move where using GParted?


In order for your older BIOS to find your kernel, it must be within the 137GB limit, which is the first 137GBs. Your current setup has the only ext3 partition much past this. As others have noted, you are really going to be space-starved once you get to the Ubuntu install anyway. My suggestion is to shrink the size of /dev/sda1 by 15-20GB, and make a /dev/sda3 which is inbetween /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2. This should be your new root partition for Ubuntu.

  • Worked a charm. – srboisvert Sep 30 '09 at 18:36

It looks like you only have one Linux compatible partition, sda6. As far as I know, 2.33 GB is barely enough for a basic Ubuntu install.

You need to find where your kernel is located. I would hope it would be on sda6, because I do not know if Ubuntu can boot from an NTFS volume. Your best bet may be to boot from a live CD (if you have Ubuntu, use that) and see what is on the sda6 partition.

If you have any more details it may help.


Shrink your /dev/sda5 -ntfs 167.59GB with at least 10 gygs and add it to /dev/sda6. You can use any partitioning tool to do so, partition magic is handy.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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