Who do I receive a “no root file system defined” error when trying to dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu?

Husnain Ahmad October 16, 2012
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I am trying to install Ubuntu 12.04 using WUBI.exe from within Windows 7. All goes well but when it restarts and installation proceeds it gives and error “No root file system defined”. I have tried booting from live USB and Live CD but the same error occurs. Then i downloaded 11.10 version and booted into it using live USB but same error occurs there.

Now the thing is that I have 4 partitions on hard disk: 1- C: 147GB (with Windows 7 installed) 2- D, E which I use for file storage in Windows 3- G: 19GB NTFS formatted from Windows.

I am trying to install Ubuntu into this G drive. I want to keep my Windows 7 files and installation intact. I have tried it a while ago for 11.10 and at that time it all went super smooth. I have tried rebuilding the partition table from cmd.exe in Windows and i have also tried by formatting my G drive to ext3 using Easeus Partition manager in windows and then installing using wubi but wubi.exe didn’t detected the partition formated to ext3. When I ran the installation wizard from within Ubuntu running through live usb, i got a window with DEVICE= /dev/sda and no type no size nothing.

Here when I choose my 320GB drive it just gives the option as in picture and when i pressed install the same error “no root file system defined”. I have tried to select the new partition table option but it gives me the window to create a partition by dividing 320GB whole into whatever i want. I don’t proceed into that option because i think i will ruin my windows 7 stuff.

I am posting the pictures at of installation steps i have defined in the following link please have a look. https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D0690308_082_7483607


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  1. Abba Jee
    November 22, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    i installed ubuntu a few days earlier and had to face same problem as you, maybe i was lucky it worked for me :)
    sudo apt-get remove dmraid

  2. Freud Iomc
    October 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    you've b0rked the master boot record... you need to decide whether windows will be your boot loader, or whether Ubuntu will be.

  3. Jonas Nordgren
    October 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    i recently suffered a similar problem, you could try using a live ubuntu usb, downloading a boot repair tool, and using it. it worked great for me :)

    • Abba Jee
      November 28, 2012 at 11:07 am

      did you use Check files system Force or what ?

  4. Adrian Rea
    October 17, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I think this may be the wubi installer making the bootloader think that the ubuntu is within the windows partition but I am not sure. You may need to seek help on ubuntuforums. You say the same happens on a live CD, are you sure it is booting the cd? check that it is booting the cd and that the cd works ok on other systems. good luck

    • Justin Pot
      October 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      I agree: there's no way this should be showing up for the live CD. Something is off about that.

  5. memo1288
    October 17, 2012 at 1:20 am

    I also had this problem recently, and it took me a while to figure out what to do. I didn't use WUBI but a live CD, so these steps may be a bit different.
    When trying to install Ubuntu, you should see at some point a window like this:
    If you are able to see the existing partitions like that, then you can define a root file system by selecting the partition in which you want to install Ubuntu, selecting "Edit partition", and in Mount Point, you have to choose "/" (either that or "/home", I can't remember exactly. I think it was "/"). That should make it a root file system, and allow you to proceed. You should not have to modify anything else about that or any other partition. Creating a SWAP partition is recommended, but not necessary.
    If you are unable to see the existing partitions at any point, then I don't know what to do. You should not create new partitions in Ubuntu, only edit the partitions that you already have.

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