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kudzu
January 12th, 2010, 06:40 PM
Hey everyone,

I think I gave Windows too big of a partition and Ubuntu too small of a partition when I installed Ubuntu. I've been playing around with Ubuntu a little bit for the past year and I've decided to abandon Windows and use Ubuntu exclusively, since I've come to enjoy it so much more than Windows. I figured I might as well leave Windows on my computer, even if I won't be using it, though. So, I was cleaning up my Windows, uninstalling programs and degragging so as to minimize the space taken up by Windows on my hard drive, when I noticed that my Windows partition seemed to be pretty big, relative to my hard drive space, according to My Computer in Windows. I checked on Ubuntu, and from what I can tell, Windows is allotted 94GB of my 120GB hard drive, while Ubuntu is allotted 22GB. I could be misunderstanding this, so I've attached two screenshots to this post.

If it is the case that my partition arrangement doesn't suit my intended uses for my system, how might I got about repartitioning my hard drive? Windows came pre-installed on my computer and I have no idea where the Windows disc is.

Thanks.

scragar
January 12th, 2010, 06:42 PM
If you still have your ubuntu liveCD look into gParted which is installed on the CD.

pricetech
January 12th, 2010, 06:47 PM
You are reading correctly. Before you downsize your winders partition you need to turn off system restore (temporarily) and defrag it. Once you decide how small you want your winders partition to be, then downsize accordingly.

Hypothetically speaking; If you had the Dell installation media, would you do away with winders ??

kudzu
January 12th, 2010, 06:50 PM
My original Ubuntu live disc was for version 8.04 and I just upgraded to 9.10... and I definitely don't have that disc anymore, anyway (I moved from the U.S. to Korea not long after I bought my computer and installed Ubuntu - I left the live disc, along with a lot of stuff, back home).

EDIT in response to pricetech: What would be a good size for an unused Windows partition, in your opinion? And then how do I do it? I have considered getting rid of Windows, actually, and my installation media is probably somewhere back home. How hard is it to get rid of Windows? The only thing holding me back, really, is that my webcam doesn't work automatically in Ubuntu, and I like to use it to call back home on Skype. I've looked into the situation and it seems like the drivers are out there and workable, but I haven't had any luck sorting the situation out yet.

raymondh
January 12th, 2010, 07:02 PM
I've had XP down to 20gb. Vista and 7, about 40gb.

Which version windows are you using?

Raymond

kudzu
January 12th, 2010, 07:09 PM
I'm using Vista.

raymondh
January 12th, 2010, 07:25 PM
I'm using Vista.


I would download and burn this first...just in case....

http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/

Use Vista to shrink the vista partition. Note that windows has a habit of 'scattering' (my words) immovable files around the partition. The net effect is that, using the vista disc management tool, you won't be able to shrink as much. There is a workaround posted by how-to-geek.

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/working-around-windows-vistas-shrink-volume-inadequacy-problems/

Even with this, would I still recommend using Vista to shrink Vista? Yes. (Note, I say YES even though I am a big fan of gparted).

After shrinking Vista, boot into it (vista) and let it run its' checkdsk. Make sure Vista is booting fine. Then boot into the liveCD and access gparted to enlarge the existing Ubuntu root (/) install.

Back-up your files. Good luck.

Raymond

btedm
January 12th, 2010, 07:44 PM
Instead of changing partition sizes, you could probably leave it alone and rearrange your files. Your Linux partition is reasonably large and you will only need more room if you have some large directories for example with music or pictures. These large directories can be stored on the Windows partition. Ubuntu can access NTFS partitions so make a directory/folder there and most of the data can be stored on the Windows partition. There are many ways of arranging a drive so select the method you like the best.

pricetech
January 12th, 2010, 08:01 PM
What would be a good size for an unused Windows partition, in your opinion?

I do a lot of imaging to replicate winders setups across several identical computers. A typical XP image tends to be between 6 and 8 gigs depending on what's installed. Based upon that I would agree that 20 gigs should be fine for an XP partition.

I haven't deployed vista yet, so I can't say what's the best size for it, I'd guess that the 40 gig recommendation would be sound.

I also concur that downsizing it with vista is probably the best approach, then use Ubuntu to take up the new free space. Are you planning a fresh install of Karmic ??

kudzu
January 13th, 2010, 02:44 AM
scragar, pricetech, raymondh, btedm - thanks guys!

I hate to waste your advice, but the more I think about it, the more I think I'd like to just get rid of windows altogether. I've read on this forum that if I make a live disc and run GPartEd from the disc that I can delete the Windows partition on my hard disc. Going on the screenshots of my partitions that I attached to my first post, is there anything else I need to know about this process? For example, I read that it's best to have Linux on the first partition, since that's the fastest part of the hard drive - will Linux occupy the first partition after I delete Windows using GPartEd?

sandyd
January 13th, 2010, 03:05 AM
scragar, pricetech, raymondh, btedm - thanks guys!

I hate to waste your advice, but the more I think about it, the more I think I'd like to just get rid of windows altogether. I've read on this forum that if I make a live disc and run GPartEd from the disc that I can delete the Windows partition on my hard disc. Going on the screenshots of my partitions that I attached to my first post, is there anything else I need to know about this process? For example, I read that it's best to have Linux on the first partition, since that's the fastest part of the hard drive - will Linux occupy the first partition after I delete Windows using GPartEd?
you will have to manually expand the linux partition using Gparted after deleting the windows partition.
Right Click -> Resize i believe

kudzu
January 13th, 2010, 03:48 AM
Ok, cool. Should I still go into Windows and turn off system restore and defrag my hard drive before I delete the Windows partition with GPartEd? And will expanding the Linux partition on my hard drive by using GPartEd sort out all of the partitions so that Linux is on the fastest partition?

raymondh
January 13th, 2010, 03:56 AM
Ok, cool. Should I still go into Windows and turn off system restore and defrag my hard drive before I delete the Windows partition with GPartEd? And will expanding the Linux partition on my hard drive by using GPartEd sort out all of the partitions so that Linux is on the fastest partition?

Defrag is always a good idea.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/larry/resize/resizing.htm

Since ubuntu is in an extended partition, you'll need to resize the extended partition first ... and then resize the Ubuntu partition. Tip: Click to highlight the partition you intend to resize (you can also double check by looking at the partition table and verify that the same partition is highlighted).

If you need help identifying the partitions, kindly access a terminal (applications > accessories) and type


sudo fdisk -l

Small L. It will ask you for your password which will be invisible when you type.

Copy and post back the results of that command.

Raymond

kudzu
January 13th, 2010, 04:29 AM
Here's my partition information, raymondh:

Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x88000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 12 96358+ de Dell Utility
/dev/sda2 13 274 2097152 7 HPFS/NTFS
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3 * 274 11761 92274688 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4 11762 14593 22748040 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 11762 14470 21760011 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 14471 14593 987966 82 Linux swap / Solaris


Since I don't have access to my original live cd, can I just download a new one? And if I do, will it fresh install Ubuntu? If possible, I'd like to keep Ubuntu with the programs and plugins that I've installed since I started running it.

raymondh
January 13th, 2010, 02:25 PM
Here's my partition information, raymondh:

Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x88000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 12 96358+ de Dell Utility
/dev/sda2 13 274 2097152 7 HPFS/NTFS
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3 * 274 11761 92274688 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4 11762 14593 22748040 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 11762 14470 21760011 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 14471 14593 987966 82 Linux swap / Solaris


Since I don't have access to my original live cd, can I just download a new one? And if I do, will it fresh install Ubuntu? If possible, I'd like to keep Ubuntu with the programs and plugins that I've installed since I started running it.

Go ahead and burn a Ubuntu liveCD. It will not install unless you tell it to (by clicking on the icon/selection INSTALL). If you want to be sure and not make a mistake with any INSTALL icon, why nto download and burn a live gparted cd. (http://sourceforge.net/projects/gparted/files/).

What you will be resizing, in order, are

-sda4
-sda5

See the previous link about resizing reference.

Good luck.

Raymond

kudzu
January 14th, 2010, 03:10 AM
Awesome, thanks. I read the link you posted and I feel pretty prepared for the procedure at hand, but I still have one more question before I shut up and get to work: Will deleting Windows and resizing sda4 and sda5 leave me with an optimally sorted-out hard drive for my purposes of running Linux exclusively? Is there anything else I can do, partition-wise, like what I've heard about making Linux the first partition, or sda1, I guess?

Thanks a ton for all your help so far.

raymondh
January 14th, 2010, 05:36 AM
Awesome, thanks. I read the link you posted and I feel pretty prepared for the procedure at hand, but I still have one more question before I shut up and get to work: Will deleting Windows and resizing sda4 and sda5 leave me with an optimally sorted-out hard drive for my purposes of running Linux exclusively? Is there anything else I can do, partition-wise, like what I've heard about making Linux the first partition, or sda1, I guess?

Thanks a ton for all your help so far.

Is this a fairly new install? Do you have back-up (tested) of your files? How important is that DELL utility partition to you.

If you don't mind a new install, what you can do is tell ubuntu to install with option "use entire disk". That will erase everything and re-install Ubuntu.

If you want to keep your current ubuntu (as you originally wanted) ... proceed with your plan to erase windows and its' recovery partition and just enlarge the extended partition and then the ubuntu partition.

As for being optimal, that is quite subjective. I don't think the location will affect the speed/responsiveness that much to be noticeable. Also, it would not matter whether it be sda1 or sda5.

On a side note, I prefer to have my system files .... which we refer to as ROOT, also known as / (slash mark) .... separate from /home (where your user files and configurations reside). That way, should I need to re-install because of any mishap, I just re-install the root whilst keeping /home intact. Net effect is that my specific files and configuration remain intact with the new install. To do this will require either:

- creating the partitions beforehand and then manually installing unto them (my choice because I have more control over the process) or,
- separating /home after installing Ubuntu.

If you want to read up on that, here's a link by psychocats

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/separatehome

And this is a reference read about the linux file system hierarchy for a better understanding about root and everything else.

http://tldp.org/LDP/Linux-Filesystem-Hierarchy/html/

No worries on the questions. Ask as much as you want/need :) The best preparation is to get yourself comfortable and informed with the task at hand.

Raymond

kudzu
January 14th, 2010, 11:43 AM
I appreciate your continued help with all of this newbness.

I thought about what you said, about the "use entire disk" option, and from what I gathered from googling the matter, I decided leave my Dell partition intact, considering that I think I have my Dell disc back home, but I'm not exactly sure. While doing that research I discovered that I was mistaken about thinking that I have a Windows disc at home, since apparently no Dells come with Windows installation disks, but merely recovery discs, like the kind that the link you provided earlier shows how to make.

So, I decided to go back to my original plan to shrink my Windows partition down as small as possible and then expand my Linux partition. I followed the Vista partition tricks as outlined in the other link you provided, and then I went to shrink my partition but it would only allow me to shrink it by roughly 7GB, down to about 82GB total. I tried it anyway and got an "Access Denied" message, even though I was using my administrator account. I researched the matter and all I could find were posts that recommended using a third party partitioning program, like GPartEd.

You said that you recommend using Vista to shrink my Vista partition - why is that you recommend Vista's partitioning program over GPartEd?

oldfred
January 14th, 2010, 06:03 PM
Microsoft changed with Vista and 7 where it starts its partition. Everyone including XP started at 63 but Vista changed to 2048 which is not a cylinder boundary. With some versions of gparted it will move Vista to 63 and often cause boot problems. They should be solvable since you can install Vista in a XP partition that starts with 63 but many have issue and it requires repairs.

I would download a gparted liveCD and use it. Make sure to uncheck the round to cylinder.

Herman on Gparted old error and not in Ubuntu but still use Vista partitioner for safety:
http://www.uluga.ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=7816261&postcount=17

starting with Vista - MSoft made some changes to the way it installs itself in a partition. Gparted can deal with it but should have the round to cylinder unchecked.
Herman on checkbox
http://www.uluga.ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=7816261&postcount=17

I have seen where windows is not happy if it down not have at least 20% free space, so that should give you an idea of how small you can make it.

After editing the partitions, boot Vista several times. It will want to do some fixes like checkdisk since it will see that changes have been made.

kudzu
January 25th, 2010, 06:57 AM
Thanks guys. I used GParted and I think my partitions are pretty well sorted out now (I did decide to delete Windows, in the end). I created a home partition, and I'm having some problems booting now, but the partitioning process seemed to go well aside from my own bone-headed mistake of making my /home partition too small and then copying more data from my /home folder than I had room for in my /home partition. I created another thread for this problem, though, so I'm marking this thread as "solved."