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While trying to install elementary OS as a dual boot to existing Windows, the elementary's installer does not "see" the target HDD: Installer does not see the HDD It can only see an external HDD (/dev/sdc).

Here's some diagnostic output which all seem fine to me:

elementary@elementary:~$ sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda
Disk /dev/sda: 465.8 GiB, 500107862016 bytes, 976773168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0xb48e151f

Device     Boot     Start       End   Sectors  Size Id Type
/dev/sda1  *         2048   1538047   1536000  750M  7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2         1538048 662199299 660661252  315G  7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3       662200320 976773119 314572800  150G 83 Linux
elementary@elementary:~$ sudo parted /dev/sda print
Model: ATA HGST HTS725050A7 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 500GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End    Size   Type     File system  Flags
 1      1049kB  787MB  786MB  primary  ntfs         boot
 2      787MB   339GB  338GB  primary  ntfs
 3      339GB   500GB  161GB  primary  ext4

elementary@elementary:~$ sudo gdisk -l /dev/sda
GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 1.0.1

Partition table scan:
  MBR: MBR only
  BSD: not present
  APM: not present
  GPT: not present

Found invalid GPT and valid MBR; converting MBR to GPT format
in memory. 

Disk /dev/sda: 976773168 sectors, 465.8 GiB
Logical sector size: 512 bytes
Disk identifier (GUID): 493E05A6-4E6B-4FD5-BA37-045C762F28D4
Partition table holds up to 128 entries
First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 976773134
Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
Total free space is 3049 sectors (1.5 MiB)

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1            2048         1538047   750.0 MiB   0700  Microsoft basic data
   2         1538048       662199299   315.0 GiB   0700  Microsoft basic data
   3       662200320       976773119   150.0 GiB   8300  Linux filesystem

Also GParted sees the target drive and the 150GB partition intended for elementary: Gparted sees the HDD

Most importantly the laptop, I try to install it on, has these options for SATA controller in BIOS:

  1. ATA
  2. AHCI
  3. Intel Rapid Storage Technology (it uses an intermediate 32GB SSD to cache most used files)

Before trying to make the laptop dual boot, this option was set to Intel Rapid Storage Technology. Changing this option to ATA or AHCI (which stops Windows from booting) yielded the same results; the installer does not detect the hard drive at all.

I am also booting elementary OS in BIOS-compatibility mode (not UEFI).

Any ideas an/or suggestions?


1 Answer 1


As often happens I found a solution myself:

The problem seemed indeed in Intel Rapid Storage Technology. If you log into Windows and disable acceleration of the hard drive with SSD, then reboot into elementary installer; the installer seem to be able to detect the laptop's hard drive. At least it was in my case. I installed elementary into the target partition (150 GB on the pics above) on the HDD successfully.

After this you can even re-enable IRST and Windows partitions of the HD will still be browsable from elementary.

It is probably not specific to only elementary installer. Debian's installer also could not see the hard drive. Albeit I did not try installing Debian after disabling IRST.

  • Mark your question as solved!
    – Fultie
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 21:04

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