Unknown but working Windows file system - What is it? How do you modify / Install Ubuntu?

Posted on 2016-09-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-10-01
Well, I have this computer with 3 SATA devices, as seen from boot screen:
Boot the computers 2 SATA drives and a DVD Drive shownNow I would load GParted DVD from the DVD drive, and for deva it shows an unknown file system:
GParted StartedThis is the Samsung drive, sda, shows up as unallocated space in GParted:
Unallocated in GParted, SDA propertiesThe other drive shows up as a normal NTFS file system:
DEVB, normal NTSF file systemThere is a warning with SDA if I go back to it:
SDA WarningSDA Warning icon clicked expanded on DEVA:
SDA Warning Expanded / ShownI can normally boot into this file system as Windows 7 that was created by Windows 7 64-bit setup.
Setup did not want to install in an NTFS file system I  created originally with GParted prior to installing Windows, it installed
Windows into this 'unknown' file system it created out of the whole sda drive:
Windows 7 loading normally
Please note that the NTFS sdb drive shows up as another drive normally in Windows, as expected.

What is this hidden file system? How would I resize it? How would I install Ubuntu in the second half
after resizing? (I would just want to keep the other sdb drive as a shared NTFS file system
shared by Ubuntu and Windows.
Question by:AttilaB
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LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 41821104
Use the disk manager within windows, it looks as a gpt partition.
What is it you want to do?
You may gave partitioned the drive prior to the install which might have been repartitioned during the Windows install contrary to your pre-existing partitioning.
List disk
Select disk
List partitions

This will give you the info ....
Might you have used bitlocker.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:John Tsioumpris
ID: 41821129
Well with such a controversial info from Gparted i would try another tool to check if what you see is what you should...
Mini Tool is quite good..free and is a bootable OS independent solution...
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 41821211
I think it is Gparted which misleads you.
In Windows Disk Management - is it shown as NTFS?
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 41821251
You want to replace Windows with Ubuntu, or do Dual Boot? If replace, in GParted just click on "Device" after you have selected the disk you want to install Ubuntu to, then click on "Create Partition Table", and then choose GPT as the new partition table. This will erase kill all data on the disk and create a new GPT partition table that Ubuntu understands, and then just install the OS.

Author Comment

ID: 41821722
Yes I will try to look at it with the disk manager within Windows, once I get home. What I would really want is just split this drive into two equal parts. Use the first terabyte as an NTFS regular file system for Windows, which is also accessible from elsewhere, No GPT or other fanciness. Then install Ubuntu Mate in the empty space in the second terabyte or so. So that I would have dual boot, with the Windows NTFS file system accessible from inside Ubuntu boot.

Then, I would plug in the other 2Tb NTFS-formatted drive and use it as storage space with no OS for BOTH operating systems.

In other words, how would I resize or possibly re-install Windows so that I have space on this drive? Would the recommended Mini Tool make it possible?

In other words, how do I make this GPT partition disappear, so that Windows can be confined into the first half of hard drive and recognized as a plain vanilla NTFS file system from the outside world, with empty space for Ubuntu install afterwards?
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 41821797
Isn't it better to use a virtual machine running on Windows 10 with Ubuntu installed in VM? Then you do not need to resize anything.
LVL 88

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 1000 total points
ID: 41821839
Then you'd first have to make sure your BIOS isn't set to UEFI mode. After that you'd have to change the disk you want to boot your OS's from to MBR (via Gparted that is easiest). After that install Windows 7. You can assign the amount of space to use during the installation of Windows (also remove your other disk so it doesn't interfere).

Once you have installed Windows 7, Install Linux to the rest of the disk. It should be straight forward and will install Grub as boot loader, then add Windows 7 to the boot menu.

Once done, you can add the other disk again. This can be GPT or MBR. If it were larger than 2TB you should use GPT, as disks larger than that are limited to 2TB when using MBR.

Author Comment

ID: 41822859
All right. This is how the BIOS settings look like:
It looks to me that it has no settings for anything but UEFI.
Am I missing something here?
Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Page 6
The other thing I don't understand this strange 'ubuntu' entry with the drives. I wonder how i could  clean up this disk. Something must be wrong with it. Deleting all file systems did not do it.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 41823003
You'll have to look through all the BIOS settungs to find where you can turn off UEFI. I don't know your BIOS so I don't know where that would be.

Just use GParted and create a new partition table, and select MBR. That will clear up the disk.
LVL 47

Accepted Solution

noxcho earned 1000 total points
ID: 41823203
Your BIOS is a clean UEFI BIOS. However it has a CSM - Compatibility Support Mode at least in version 12 like here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM9UyNcSEU0
I see you are using version 11. Check if you have BIOS update for your motherboard.
If no update is available then you cannot turn off UEFI. This is the only option you can use.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 41824771
I did find my motherboard online:


Downloaded the the BIOS update 'noxcho' referred to with instructions. I watched the Youtube video how to do it with this updated version. I will need to finish something before re-installing Windows and then I will
do the BIOS update and re-do the drive from scratch as a regular MBR drive.

There is no way to go into CSM mode with the current UEFI only version. Also thanks for 'rindi' for pointing me in the right direction.

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