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Thread: Partitioning questions

  1. #1
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    Partitioning questions

    Hello there,

    I needed to ask for help since I wanted to assign more space to my ext4 partition without losing data.

    So the thing is I wanted to resize/move the partitions to expand sda1 (ext4) by getting memory from sda4 (ntfs, no OS inside).

    Problem comes when the partitions are apart one from another, which means I would have to move the partitions until the ext4 and ntfs are one next to another.

    Would this cause the system not to boot? I've been reading that if I move my ext4 partition, grub wont select the correct HDD sector and thus wont even boot. Furthermore, if I also move the "System Reserved" partition, which seems to be holding windows boot, it would become unbootable too right?


    So, by having a look at this screenshot:



    Would you say it is possible to assign any more space to my ext4 partition without losing any data? Without making my system unbootable?

    Thanks for all your help, I'm not sure if this question belongs to this forum, I just didnt know where to put it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Partitioning questions

    Make a 100%, perfect, know-it-works backup. Do not do anything else before you complete this.

    Changing the order of partitions can turn out very badly for Windows. Moving Windows partitions can force a reinstall. With Linux, we have the expertise to move anything almost anywhere and recover. This will require use of non-GUI tools, however. How comfortable are you with grub_install?

    Instead - just make more room for sda4 and leave sda1 alone.

    Using Windows, reduce the size of sda3 by the amount you want. There are lots of how-tos on the internet if Windows is stubborn. DO NOT use gparted. Verify that Windows boots when you are all done.

    Using gparted, expand the sda4 partition into the newly created area between sda4 and sda3.

    BTW, you are using all 4 primary partitions. Not an issue today, but .... Ask about that when you are ready - usually it is easiest to accomplish during a HDD swap.

    Last, it would be more helpful to copy/paste the output from sudo parted -l (wrapped in _code_ tags) rather than using GUI stuff that is less exact. Characters are more efficient too.
    Last edited by TheFu; November 3rd, 2013 at 04:44 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Partitioning questions

    I would solve the problem in a radically different way.

    First of all, is this the only disk in the computer? If not, tell what's on the other disk (sudo parted -l will tell automatically) and ignore the rest of this post. I don't see a swap partition. A swap partition isn't stricktly necessary, but usually recommended.

    I would use Windows to make backups of all files from sda4 on sda3. There's plenty of space. Also back up all important files to an external disk, just in case something goes wrong (i.e., you delete the wrong partition. Shouldn't really happen, but it's best to have them backed up anyway.).

    Then boot from a live disk, delete sda4, create an extended partition where sda4 used to be and create inside the extended partition some more partitions. In fact, you can even do it from your installed Ubuntu system, without using a live disk. Make one ext4 partition, one ntfs partition for shared data between Windows and Ubuntu and a small swap partition (unless you don't want one). Then move your /home directory to the new ext4 partition: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Pa...ng/Home/Moving. If you follow those instructions it can't really go wrong, even in case of a power failure. When using sda1 only for system files, 22GB should be large enough. The files you backed up to sda3 can be copied back to the new ntfs partition. You may want to edit fstab to mount the shared ntfs partition automatically. If you create a swap partition, add it to your fstab too.

    Using this strategy you don't have to move large amounts of data on your disk (i.e., it's fast) and it should never put your computer in an unbootable state or cause data loss, even in case of a power failure.
    Last edited by Impavidus; November 3rd, 2013 at 03:33 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Partitioning questions

    It's hard to tell because the text in your screenshot is so tiny, but your sda2 partition looks to be the boot partition for Windows (probably 7?) on sda3. If so, you would be unwise to move it. I can't remember the precise details, but the problem is something about Windows boot files referencing the absolute location on disc of the boot sector of that partition rather than the relative location. If you move it, you are in danger of making Windows unbootable.

    Please do not PM me about your forum account unless you have been asked to. The correct place to contact an admin about your account is here.

  5. #5
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    Re: Partitioning questions

    Yea, just a tip. Please attach large pics rather than inserting them in the body of your posts. 'Go Advanced' and use the paperclip icon. Spare a thought for those with slow connections and vision issues.

    I can't read that either, so don't have much to say.

  6. #6
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    Re: Partitioning questions

    Here is what "sudo parted -l" shows:

    "Modelo: ATA TOSHIBA MK6476GS (scsi)
    Disco /dev/sda: 640GB
    Tamaño de sector (lógico/físico): 512B/512B
    Tabla de particiones. msdos


    Numero Inicio Fin Tamaño Tipo Sistema de archivos Banderas
    1 1049kB 24,1GB 24,1GB primary ext4
    2 24,1GB 24,2GB 105MB primary ntfs arranque
    3 24,2GB 332GB 308GB primary ntfs
    4 332GB 640GB 308GB primary ntfs"


    And here I will atach the screenshot, I didnt notice it was so blurry lol

    Oh and I only got one hard drive.

    So as far as I got, best option I see is to erase sda4 (no important stuff there, I can format without backing up anything), reformat it into ext4 and move /home there.

    Now Ive got a couple of questions about this:

    Is it really that important to have a swap partition? I've got 4gb ram.

    Supposing I finally move /home to the new ext4 partition, will the 22gb be surely enough for linux system files?


    It just keeps uploading the image with less resolution it was made with.

    Heres the direct link: http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...1.png~original
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by grak90; November 3rd, 2013 at 06:38 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Partitioning questions

    Sounds like a good plan.

    Having -some- swap is important, so that when memory becomes tight, the machine slows down instead of crashing. Some desktop apps are terrible about RAM use, so it is easy to use up all that you have. On servers with extremely well-known workloads, swap can be ignored, provided RAM is always greater than need. On a desktop, I always have -some- swap.

    How are you backing up without another HDD? Even a cheap 500G USB drive could be enough. Think I got one 3 weeks ago for $45.

    Every hard drive will fail - and it will never be at a convenient time.

  8. #8
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    Re: Partitioning questions

    Quote Originally Posted by grak90 View Post
    It just keeps uploading the image with less resolution it was made with.

    Heres the direct link: http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...1.png~original
    There's a 1024x768 limit on images uploaded to the forum. It will resize anything bigger, but 1024x768 should be sufficient. Part of the problem is that you have set a very small font in your desktop settings. Most people's uploaded gparted screenshots are entirely readable.

    In fact, photobucket has reduced the size of your image even more than the forum software! It's more difficult to see on Photobucket.

    Please do not PM me about your forum account unless you have been asked to. The correct place to contact an admin about your account is here.

  9. #9
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    Re: Partitioning questions

    I finally made it !

    I made two partitions from sda4, one is a big ext4 partition in which I migrated my /home folder. The other is a 4001mb swap partition which I activated from fstab.

    Thank you so much for your precious time, it really helped me out =)

  10. #10
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