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Thread: cant partition free space

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    cant partition free space

    hello. i have a toshiba laptop here that came with vista. i now have it set up as a dual boot with ubuntu, and im having some issues with partitions.. what i WANT to do is have a reasonable vista partition, a resonable ubuntu partition and then have the rest of my free space in some 3rd partitioin that both ubuntu and win can read and write to.

    the problem is that toshiba put a primary (recovery i assume) partition in the front + vista and ubuntu are primary and then my ubuntu swap came out as primary also.. when i set up ubuntu i told it to make the swap logical, but i dont think thats what happened.. i also seem to have random free space between all my partitions. when i try to make a partition with my remaining free space i get "youcan only have 4"


    to get what i have so far i used vista to shrink itself, then i used the ubuntu install to make the 50gb ubuntu and the 3gb swap. what can i do with this free space? do i want ntfs? or fat32? or what. im pretty noob with partitions. can i convert my swap from primary to logical? do i really need a swap at all when i have 3gb of ram?

    any help would be awesome! thanks




    jason@silversat:~$ sudo fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 200.0 GB, 200049647616 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 24321 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x7a8ba399

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 1 192 1536000 27 Unknown
    Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
    /dev/sda2 * 192 6719 52429056 7 HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda3 6720 12943 49994280 83 Linux
    /dev/sda4 23948 24321 3004155 5 Extended
    /dev/sda5 23949 24321 2996122+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
    jason@silversat:~$
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: cant partition free space

    You cant have any more than 4 primary partitions on a hard drive. So you probably want to create an extended partition and put your swap space and your third storage partition as logical partitions under that.

    I would say ntfs would be fine for your storage partition as ntfs support is very mature in linux now, however there will be a lot of people who will recommend fat32. Thats something you may want to do a bit of research into yourself, but its not a huge issue these days.
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  3. #3
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    Unhappy Re: cant partition free space

    You cant have any more than 4 primary partitions on a hard drive. So you probably want to create an extended partition and put your swap space and your third storage partition as logical partitions under that.


    create an extended partition.. so that means destroy the primary swap partition i have at the end, and then make a big 88gb partition that starts at the end of my ubuntu, and put the ubuntu swap inside of that? would that extended partition be ..a primary partition? can i have a swap partition inside of a ntfs or fat32 partition?

    also, if i have to recreate my swap partition, does that mean i cant do it from ubuntu? ..would ubuntu instantly die if i use ubuntu to kill its swap space?

    also, i have no idea what that sda4 thing is. i dont remember making that..

    sorry for being so noob

  4. #4
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    Re: cant partition free space

    From your screenshot, your swap is already an extended partition. You can have severl partitions inside your extended partition, but the extended partition itself counts as a primary partition. Resize your extended partition to take up the entire free space and create your 3rd partition in the extended partition. As for NTFS or FAT, I prefer NTFS, blocks are smaller and it's faster than FAT, but as Tatty mentioned, that's up to you.

    It should be noted that, to resize your extended, you'll need to use Gparted from the Live CD because it contains your swap. Also, you'll need to turn off your swap partition (after booting the Live CD and running Gparted, right click on the swap partition and click on the SWAPOFF option. Furthermore, you will need to edit your fstab to match your new swap ID, you can do this from the live CD as well.

    As for the 4MB free space between partitions, unfortunately that's lost space (not that 4MB matter these days) because of the block allocation on your HD.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: cant partition free space

    Ah! i just looked at your attached image again and realised that you already have an extended partition, that makes things much easier.

    A very brief explanation:
    * you can only have up to 4 primary partitions on a drive
    * one of your primary partitions can be an Extended partition
    * an extended partition can have "sub-partitions" under it
    * you can have as many "sub-partitions" as you want in an Extended partition


    If you look at your partitions, /dev/sda4 is an Extended partition, and under that you have your swap partition as a "sub-partition".

    What you need to do is to expand /dev/sda4 to take up all your free space, then under that you can create a new "sub-partition" which can be your storage drive.
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  6. #6
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    Re: cant partition free space

    Quote Originally Posted by jason10 View Post
    also, if i have to recreate my swap partition, does that mean i cant do it from ubuntu? ..would ubuntu instantly die if i use ubuntu to kill its swap space?
    You will have to do this from the Live CD...

    also, i have no idea what that sda4 thing is. i dont remember making that..
    That's your extended partition, you created it during your install...
    "There are 10 types of people: Those who read binary and those who don't"
    >>>"who is general failure and why is he reading my files"<<<
    The Ubuntu Counter Project - user number # 22367
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