NTFS partition on Ubuntu

Hi Everyone,

I have Ubuntu running on my home PC, my better half wanted windows, so I installed a separate SSD and installed windows. Now when I try to boot my buntu SSD it shows a black screen with;

No such partiton
Entering rescue mode
Grub rescue

Then nothing, I went into Gparted and it shows that /dev/sdb1 is ntfs (assuming that is why it isn’t booting). What do I do, do I delete this partition or change it to something else.
Any help would be appreciated.
Many thanks

Hi, and welcome to the forum.

It may be that Windows installer has taken over from Grub therefore does not ‘see’ Ubuntu. Also (from my memory) Ubuntu installs using Ext4 - did you specify NTFS when you installed it? And is there important stuff on Ubuntu? If you delete those partitions you will lose all data on them and you will need to reinstall from the beginning.

If you can access GParted, you must have the Ubuntu installation medium, so there are options as to what to try to recover Ubuntu.

Hi Rich J,
I did not specify NTFS when I originally installed Ubuntu. I have important documents on this drive that I would like to keep. I have 3 hard drives on my PC, one 500gb SSD which has Ubuntu installed which is the one with the important data on it, 1 250gb ssd which has Windows 10 installed on it and a regular dard drive that has an old version of Ubuntu on it (Gparted is on this drive and that is how I got the screen shot).
Would I be able to use Gparted to convert the NTFS partition on the 500gb SSD to Ext4?
Failing that what are my other options?
Many thanks

First of al I suggest very strongly that you use the old Ubuntu system (on HDD) to back up to a USB/DVD all your important files from the 500GB SSD.

Since only one person in your family can use the computer at a time, I suggest that you:

  1. install Ubuntu on the 250GB SSD alongside Windows and
  2. use that new Ubuntu to copy your files from the 500GB SSD to the 250GB SSD. The fact you can’t boot into the 500GB drive doesn’t mean that you can’t read from it.

If you have a truly huge amount of data I would reformat the 500GB SSD to EXT4 and save your archivable files there from your back-up.


Short answer to this is - I don’t know! I suspect it will be possible but what it will do to the data thereon…?

My way would be to copy off the relevant data to an external source (DVD or USB stick), or clone the drive if you have the know-how and then attempt to repair Grub. If repairing Grub fails, then a clean re-install of Ubuntu to the 500Gb drive would do it. On reinstall, remember to apply updates first, then update Grub. This should find all the drives and list them at start-up for you to choose from. When running Windows and Linux together, whether as a dual-boot on one drive or on separate drives, it is always the case to install Windows first, then Linux. Windows boot loader will over-write settings and will not ‘see’ Linux, whereas Grub will ‘see’ all.

When repairing Grub, it is imperative to know where the bootloader files lie and as you have 2 drives with versions of Ubuntu on you need to repair Grub on that one. :wink: Again, it may be the case that a simple update of grub will do the trick but get those important files copied first anyway - it’s always best practice and regular backing up should be a given to guard against this sort of thing happening in the future.


EDIT: +1 for the advice from Keith above.

Hi Guys,

Thanks for your suggestions, I am new to Ubuntu, so how would I copy the data? From the screenshots you can see the three drives listed, 250Gb Volume, 500GB Volume and Marks Ubuntu PC.
Marks Ubuntu PC (which I assume is the one I am using right now) shows 25 files.
500Gb volume shows three files SRecycle bin, System volume information and Pagefile, so I am assuming my data is in here somewhere,
If I look in Srecycle bin or System volume it does not show any of my data, so at a lose as to what to do next.

It’s good that you can see the other drives as this means that you can copy files.

To get to the data:
double-click on the “Home” directory shown on your attachment,
double-click on your user name (Mark?)
and you will see your files. You can then copy them to a USB/DVD as required.

A quicker and neater way to back up is to use terminal commands and we can guide you if you wish, as it looks a bit complicated to those unfamiliar with it. Let us know.


Hi Keith,

Thanks for the reply, but the 500 GB Marks Ubuntu PC is the one I am using (Denoted by the image of a disc platter and arm). The 500 GB Volume is the SSD denoted by the square icon, this only has SRECYCLE.BIN, System volume information folders and a Pagefile.sys file. So I am taking it that I cannot access the SSD drive!

If this is the case and everything is lost, then should I just change the NFTS partition to Ext4 and attempt a grub repair?


Ah, I ought to have looked more closely at your image.
Just out of interest, try

df | grep sd

and copy the output here.

This is the output

mark@marks-ubuntu-pc:~$ df | grep sd
/dev/sdb2 451651100 195440868 233244632 46% /

Interesting that Nautilus file manager sees all the drives but the df command sees only Mark’s drive.
Looks like you’ll have to attempt a Grub repair after all. Perhaps Rich can help with that.

This URL looks like it might help with a repair: How to Rescue, Repair and Reinstall GRUB Boot Loader in Ubuntu. You’ll need to scroll down to “Reinstall Ubuntu GRUB Boot Loader”.
I found here the statement: "Usually, you should install the boot loader on your first machine hard disk MBR, which is /dev/sda in most cases. " - which might be relevant in your case.


On the odd occasion that Ive had a problem with not booting, I always use the Boot Repair Disk. This might not work for this problem, but its worth a try.