Dual-Boot Windows & Ubuntu on Lenovo S205


Important: If you follow this tutorial you wont’t be able to use Lenovo OneKey Recovery anymore (but on the other hand, you will get a fully-functional secondary OS and a more secure partition structure instead :)).

Recommendations / Guidelines:

  •  There’s a difference between advertised and actual capacity of an HDD. You can use this calculator to get the actual size of you drive. My 320 GB hard drive has the capacity of only 298.02 GB.
  • According to the official requirements Windows 7 needs at least 16 GB (32-bit) / 20 GB (64-bit) hard disk space. Keep in mind that Windows tends to grow over time and don’t forget to add the the sofwares/games you are going to install to the final size as well. For someone who wants Windows as primary OS, I recommend an at least 80 GB partition.
  • Ubuntu’s documentation says it’s going to need at least 5 GB hard disk space. For a general user (who just wants to have a secondary/backup OS or simply wants to try Ubuntu) I recommend a 10 GB partition. In this tutorial you don’t have to create any Linux partition as Ubuntu will automatically create them for you on the empty space. Linux experts will probably set the partition types and sizes manually anyway 😉
  • People tend to use the standard Documents folder (or even worse: Desktop) for file storage. THIS IS WRONG AND IRRESPONSIBLE. Your OS can die anytime/virus can hit and I don’t think you would like to spend your time with recovery. It’s a lot easier and safer to just create a partition for your stuff. Besides, this partition can be used under both Windows and Ubuntu without any conflict. WORK or PERSONAL partition size should equal HDD capacity – Win7 partition – Ubuntu partition. In my case 300-80-10 = 210 GB.
  • Don’t expect partition sizes to be exactly the same you’ve entered. Windows will subtract a small 100/200 MB partition from your System drive and there will be differences due to rounding as well.
  • You have to enter partition sizes in MB (1 GB = 1024 MB surprised).

Scenario #1: You’ve bought your netbook with pre-installed Windows.
Your partitions should look similar to this:
Preinstalled Partitions

  • No drive letter | 100 MB / 200 MB | SYSTEM_DRV / No label
    This is a Windows System Reserved space. DO NOT MESS WITH IT.
  • C: | Windows_system / Windows7_OS / any other Win related label
    This is your Windows partition. DO NOT DELETE IT.
  • D: | LENOVO
    Partition containing your Lenovo Drivers & Softwares.
  • No drive letter | LENOVO_PART / No label
    OneKey Recovery backup partition.

You have two options:

  1. Use Wubi (Ubuntu Installer for Windows) – Recommended (this is the only method which won’t disable OneKey Recovery)
    Installs Ubuntu on your Windows drive without messing with the partition table. You can install/uninstall it like any other Windows software. Keep in mind, that Wubi won’t be as fast as the standard Ubuntu (see pros/cons here).
  2. Re-partition your hard drive.
    • If you’ve stored files on your D: (Lenovo) drive, back them all up to your C: partition. You might want to back up the Lenovo stuff as well.
    • Type in diskmgmt.msc in Start menu and Disk Management will pop-up.
    • Delete Lenovo’s partitions: LENOVO and LENOVO_PART (it’s the last one with “OEM Partition” attribute, not necessarily have a label). Be careful not to remove any Windows-related or personal volume.
    • Right click on your C: drive and choose Shrink. Enter the desired size in MB (see my recommendation above, I’ve set it to 81 920 MB).
    • You should see two partitions and an unallocated space.
    • Right click on the unallocated space and select New Partition. In New Parition Wizard select Primary partition > Enter the desired size in MB (see my recommendation above, I’ve set it to 215 040 MB). > Assign the letter ‘D’ > Select Format, choose NTFS as file system and enter a Volume label. I named it WORK.
    • The Windows part is over. If everything went well, you should have your computer ready for Ubuntu. Proceed with the Ubuntu installation tutorial below.

Scenario #2: You’ve bought your netbook without pre-installed Windows.

Installing Windows

Important: You have to install Windows in Legacy/BIOS mode instead of the default UEFI mode (otherwise WiFi/Sleep/Hibernation won’t work due to their incompatibility with UEFI).

  1. You have three ways to install Windows on your device:
    • via External (USB) DVD drive
    • via Pendrive
    • and via Network (PXE)
  2. If you want to install Windows via DVD, do these extra steps to start Windows installer in Legacy mode:
    • Enter BIOS (press F2 when you see the Lenovo logo) and set SATA Controller working mode to ‘AHCI’ under the Configuration tab. Switch to Exit and select Exit Saving Changes. Reboot.
    • Enter Boot menu (press FN+F11 when you see the Lenovo logo). Select your DVD drive.
    • Windows installer’s “Press any key to boot from CD/DVD…” message will appear but DO NOT PRESS ANY KEY – WAIT.
    • It will then either boot straight from the DVD or it will once again say “Press any key to boot from CD/DVD…”, but in a slightly different (DOS-like, low-resolution) font.  This is when you need to press a key.
    • If everything went well, Windows installer will now start in legacy mode.
  3. Windows Installer
    • Set your localization > Install now > Accept the licence terms > Choose Custom (advanced) installation
    • You will see some default FreeDOS / Lenovo partitions. We are going to delete all of them. biggrin
    • Click on Drive options (advanced) and delete the partitions one-by-one until you have a single Unallocated Space on your drive.
    • Click on New, enter the desired partition size for the System volume (see my recommendation above, I’ve set it to 81 920 MB) and click Apply. Windows will automatically create an additional partition (System Reserved) along with the new partition.

    Important: If it creates three partitions, it means that Windows installer is still in UEFI mode. Delete these partitions and do the steps again.

    • Create your work/personal partition the same way (this partition is going to be accessible by booth Windows and Ubuntu). As for the partition size, see my recommendation above. I’ve set it to  215 040 MB.
    • Now, you should see three partitions and some unallocated space.
    • Select Partition 2 and click next.
    • That’s it. The rest is self-explanatory. After the Windows installation is done, you can proceed with the Ubuntu installation tutorial below.

Installing Ubuntu

  1. You have three ways to install Ubuntu on your device:
    • via External (USB) DVD drive
    • via Pendrive
    • and via Network (PXE)
  2. In Ubuntu’s Boot Menu choose “Try Ubuntu without installing”. This will start Ubuntu in Live mode.
  3. Click on the “Install Ubuntu 12.04” icon on your desktop.
  4. Ubuntu Installer
    • Set localization
    • Check “Download updates while installing” and “Install this third-party software” if you have a working internet connection. Ubuntu live may have trouble setting up wifi and ethernet, in this case you can either try to fix the network devices (see my tutorials) or install the updates later.
    • Select “Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 7”. Ubuntu Installer
    • That’s it. The rest is self-explanatory.
    • If you want to customize your boot loader (change default operating system, waiting time, etc.), read my GRUB customization tutorial.

The result:


GRUB 1.99 – This is what you are going to see when the computer starts.

diskmgmt result

Partitions under Windows 7 (Disk Management)

gparted result

Partitions under Ubuntu 12.04 (GParted)

Leave a comment


  1. No me detecta windows 7 a la hora de seleccionar las particiones en ubuntu… me sale el disco duro completo como si estuviera limpio y ya lo hize al pie de la letra! :/ saben por que??

  2. @Sergio:

    If I understand you correctly, your Ubuntu installer won’t recognize Windows 7.
    Please tell me which scenario you’ve followed. You could also run GParted under Ubuntu, take a screenshot (FN+F11) and send it to me.

  3. st

     /  October 22, 2012

    how do to install ubuntu via pendrive?

  4. st

     /  October 23, 2012

    J tried to install dual boot windows8 and ubuntu 12.04 ,but it could not work .i’ve used scenario 2

  5. Rahul

     /  October 27, 2012

    Currently I’ve this dual boot setup & everything works fine except one problem. Whenever I create any file from Ubuntu and put it on NTFS mounted windows drive; windows7 deletes it automatically. So here’s the entire scenario

    1) I login into ubuntu & create any file (ie text, doc, java, perl, jpg)
    2) I copy it into mounted drive as I’ve allocated only 10G for ubuntu
    3) When I login into windows7, the file is gone & I can’t find it using either of the OSs.

    I suspect either windows 7 security essential or some kind of security software. Can you provide any helping direction?

  6. st

     /  October 30, 2012

    can I create the partitions with gparted instead of windows inataller?

    • As long as you know what you are doing: yes. But in my opinion it’s much more simpler to do it with Windows installer as you have to install Windows first anyway.

  7. st

     /  October 30, 2012

    How I can to install Windows via pendrive in legacy/ Bios mode ?have I only set sata controller working mode to”AHCI” ?

  8. st

     /  November 1, 2012

    I tried to install dual boot windows7and ubuntu 12.04 via pendrive,,but it could not work .i’ve used scenario 2.The partition /dev/sda5 under ubuntu 12.04(gparted) does’nt is set to :/

    • What do you mean under ‘it could not work’? Does either of the operating systems boot? Or both? If you’ve created the Ubuntu partitions manually, then you must have missed to specify the Mount Point to root ‘/’.

      0. Run Ubuntu Live again.

      Option #1 – Ubuntu creates the partitions automatically:
      1. Delete the whole sda4 partition (using GParted).
      2. Run Ubuntu Installer and choose ‘Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 7’.

      Option #2 – Keeping the existing Ubuntu partitions:
      2. Run Ubuntu Installer and choose ‘Something else’.
      3. Click on sda5, select ‘Change…’ and set ‘/’ as Mount point. Click ‘OK’.
      4. Check the Format option for all Ubuntu partitions (sda4, sda5, sda6)
      5. Select sda5 and click ‘Install Now’.

      I hope this solves your problem.

  9. st

     /  November 5, 2012

    I have delete whole sda4 partition (Option #1) and run ubuntu installer but it didn’t work.After install I haven’t a boot option.When I start the laptop,I can’t choose between win7 and ubuntu.Start only windows7

  10. appears this message :Boot successfully repaired.

    You can now reboot your computer.

    The boot files of [Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS] are far from the start of the disk. Your BIOS may not detect them. You may want to retry after creating a /boot partition (EXT4, >200MB, start of the disk). This can be performed via tools such as gParted. Then select this partition via the [Separate /boot partition:] option of [Boot Repair]. (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BootPartition)
    pastebinit packages needed
    User refused to install pastebinit


  11. I have reboot the computer.All right!!!!! Not works usb right
    you are the best!!!!!!!

  12. Because with driver open the fans are very noisy?I must to install driver proprietary ati.

  13. I decide to test java with chromium ,and chromium says”you icetea plugin is obsolete….What can do?

  14. Alto Stratus

     /  March 15, 2013

    Thanks a lot that helped! I’ve got rid of the OneKey recovery but that’s okay with me, quality work right there!

  15. Jonno

     /  March 30, 2013


    Thank you for composing this simple but extremely effective tutorial for dual booting. As an anxious beginner to the world of Linux, I was quite nervous about the multitude of partitioning schema that is presented on the internet. What’s more, I had just acquired a brand new Lenovo W530 and was worried about some of the Lenovo idiosyncrasies such as the One Key Password. I also found the Windows 7 disk management program to be faster and easier to use than my early foray into Gparted.

    One aspect that I encountered was the 8gb Hibernation Partition that was (still is) occupying a Primary partition slot. I also noticed that my model only had one recovery partition which I removed thanks to your sound advice.

    One question: what would you recommend I do with the 8gb Hibernation Partition? In Gparted, it has an exclamation mark against it. Because of the three primary partitions that were in use, I was unable to make my shared data a primary partition. Perhaps because I was partitioning (only possess) a SSD?

    Note to other newbs like me: with a bit of research, I discovered that it is perfectly fine to have the shared data as a logical partition (as long as it is set to NTSF).

    Thank you again for this wonderful tutorial. It made the transition to (and between) Windows smoother than I thought possible.

    • Hi Jonno,

      Sorry for the late reply. This might help you with the hibernation partition. First follow the steps on Lenovo Forum to delete the hibernation partition, then open Disk Management and extend the previous partition on the SSD to take up the freed space.

  16. Jonno

     /  March 30, 2013

    Just one other thing: since installing Ubuntu, Windows 7 pops up with a notification that the base system driver was not properly installed. Would you know how to resolve this issue?

  17. Alistair

     /  September 8, 2013

    Hi Balint,

    I have been using Linux alongside Windows XP/7 for the last few years, and I never had any major problems with it until I got this laptop 18 months ago. I have been pulling my hair out trying to get Win7, Ubuntu and XP all to play nice together, with little success.

    I had all sorts of problems with Ubuntu 10.04/10.10/11.04/11.10 on the S205, it seems that it wasn’t until 12.04 that the wireless connectivity problems were finally fixed, although I still experienced other bugs and performance was pretty slow.

    Most of the blogs and forums on this subject seem to concur that getting this laptop to dual or triple-boot is near-impossible, so I had pretty much accepted that this was the case, and I was using a system with Win7 (worked OK), Win XP (lots of bugs) and Ubuntu 12.04 (slow and buggy). I also accidentally partitioned only 200gb of the disk and couldn’t create a new one because I had reached the limit allowed by MBR.

    I came across your blog today, and within a few hours – mostly taken up waiting for Windows to complete updating – I have a system working nice and fast with Win 7 and Linux Mint 15. I followed the steps exactly as they are for Ubuntu, but I’ve gone off Ubuntu in its latest incarnations so I’ve decided to give Mint a try. Win XP runs just fine in VirtualBox 🙂

    Thank you SO MUCH for your clear and simple tutorial. I feel kind of stupid for not just trying your method before, it’s so straightforward! I owe you a few beers.

    • Hello Alistair,

      Thank you for your kind comment. I’m really glad that this tutorial was helpful to you. I’ve written a few other posts that may be interesting to you and I’m planning to write a new Windows 8 – Ubuntu dual boot tutorial along with a few other posts (wlan card replacement, gadget reviews) but I didn’t have much time lately. It’s good to know that there are still some Lenovo IdeaPad S205 users out there 🙂

  18. Sergey

     /  March 7, 2016

    How to make dual boot with GPT HDD? I’ve installed Windows 10 x64 and Ubuntu 15.10 x64. But I can’t add Ubuntu into boot UEFI boot menu. Only Windows can be loaded.
    I tried with efibootmgr, But I always get error:
    efibootmgr: Could not set variable Boot0008: No space left on device
    efibootmgr: Could not prepare boot variable: No space left on device.
    Can you help me?

  1. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS PXE Network Installation Tutorial (with Ubuntu Live Graphical Installer) « Lenovo IdeaPad S205 Blog
  2. Windows 7 PXE Network Installation Tutorial « Lenovo IdeaPad S205 Blog
  3. Tip – Enable Hibernation in Ubuntu 12.04 « Lenovo IdeaPad S205 Blog
  4. Ubuntu 12.10 Live PXE Network Installation Tutorial (updated, easy) « Lenovo IdeaPad S205 Blog

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