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  1. #1

    Dual boot - How grab more disk space from linux

    have a laptop with internal 80Gb drive

    Was originally destined as a linux( suse 9) , with windows XP for other things.

    So the disk got divided up with majority of Hdisk assigned to Linux.
    Now I am running out of space on the windows partition and I desperately need to get more space with the least re-installing/ hassle possible. The entire disk is allocated to either linux or Windows plus small shared area 3Gb for data

    I have a native linux partition of 54 Gb which I would like to grab back some space from to make a new windows drive /increase existing one.

    How can I do this?. I know that I cannot resize the native partition.

    Thanks in advance and apologies if the answer is here already - but searching turned up nothing for me.

  2. #2
    You should be able to use a Live CD and parted to resize the linux partition. Most live CD's will have parted on them, but you may want to try and find one with gparted or qparted frontends to make life easier.

    What i'd do is to resize only the linux partition from within the live CD, then boot windows and use a tool such as partition magic to regain the free space inbetween the linux and windows partitions.
    "I am not an alcoholic, alcoholics go to meetings"
    Registered Linux user = #372327

  3. #3
    One of the maintainers of Gparted said all the above tasks could be accomplished within Linux. I tried it out and confirmed success with resizing both both XP and Win2k.

    Both Gparted and Parted Magic provide Live CD. The latest versions are 3.3 and 1.4 respectively. Both use gparted as the main engine and host a variety of utilties inside. The author of Parted Magic is a previous maintainer of Gparted.

    These two are possibly the most up to date and therefore most versatile for handling NTFS partitions.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Posted , made lunch, came back ,found two answers!

    What fine fellows your are!. Thanks

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by saikee
    These two are possibly the most up to date and therefore most versatile for handling NTFS partitions.
    Though they may be able to resize NTFS partitions, if you have a windows based tool, i would still prefer to use that myself, and also recomend to others to use windows based tools. But feel free to use the live cd if you want.
    "I am not an alcoholic, alcoholics go to meetings"
    Registered Linux user = #372327

  7. #6
    Before using the latest Gparted and Parted Magic I was also adamant it would be safer that Windows Partition Magic were to resize XP partitions.

    My view changed after trying the Linux latest software. Apparently a significant improvement has been made in the last year making the resizing NTFS partitions reliable and dependable. There is a claim the latest Gparted can resize Vista too. Vista keeps a copy of the partition table and refuses to boot if the kept copy does not match the one in the hard disk.

    I have an issue with Partition Magic as I don't believe it understands Linux, Solaris and BSD partitions or be able to handle the maximum number of 63 partitions in a Pata disk. It always reports that my disks have errors and offers to correct them. If I take up the offer I always end up rebuilding the entire partition table of every disk it touches. This happened to me at least couple of times. Other Linux users also reported similar results and this software has been renamed "Partition Tragic" if it is allowed to interfered with Linux partitions.

    It is a decent software for MS systems but if Linux is involved then I would keep it at a distance. It always corrupts my partition tables which work flawlessly in Linux, Windows, BSD and Solaris.

    Partition Magic has its view on how a hard disk should be partitioned and that view should be ignored by Linux users.

  8. #7
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    CT --> PA
    i am still a little wary of any "one disc" solution when it comes to doing any resizing anything...since i have actually had it work fine on 1 install, and then butcher another...i play by this set of rules - i let each OS do their thing, on their own...and i use a 3 step process.

    (this will be a rough approximation, because i never take part space AWAY from linux, usually it's the other way around , i am taking it from XP)

    1) use a linux live CD to shrink the partition on the *nix install - make sure to leave the new space as blank space (un-partitioned space in the HD)

    2) use partition magic to move the xp partition around so that you can grow the XP partition INTO the blank space

    3) grow the XP partition into the blank space

    i have found that letting one system leave blank space and then another reclaim it is safest, this way a borked process doesn't destroy a hapless filesystem...
    Chicks dig giant mechanized war machines

  9. #8
    Your approach is my approach too and I also favour the "staged" operation so that only one major task is given in any resizing exercise.

    This thread shows the author of Parted Magic criticising my advice for being too cautious and not up to date with the work done in gparted.

    I have since stopped using Windows-based software after satisfying myself the ability of the recent Gparted (also featured in Parted Magic).

  10. #9
    Well I did "step 1 " - used a Live CD of Gparted and have 45Gb of space to use under windows - happy with that

    ..but all this discussion has made me a little nervous for stage 2

    Putting aside the "some in windows vs All in Linux" debate aside for 1 moment - Why do I need Partion Magic on windows to make the free space into a new drive?.

    Does not the standard windows tool with GUI interface under system administration harddisks allow me to select the space that it "sees" and create a new drive say G: out of it? It seems to want to do.

    What does PM buy me just for this little 1 off task? or am I naive

  11. #10
    The abilty of Gparted to resize XP partitions reliably is quite recent. Prior to that PM has the market to its own.

    It is no different to Norton Ghost or Acronis. Linux users can use terminal command "dd" to carry out cloning that the commercial software were invented for.

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