karen2205: Me with proper sized mug of coffee (Default)
Karen ([personal profile] karen2205) wrote2013-06-11 10:58 pm

Disk partitioning

Google isn't being a very good friend at the moment.

Does anyone know how I can alter the size of partitions of a hard drive on a computer? There are two partitions at the moment, one is very small and contains Windows and other software stuff and I want to make it bigger as there's only 9% free space on it. The other contains lots of unused space.
cjwatson: (Default)

[personal profile] cjwatson 2013-06-12 08:52 am (UTC)(link)
You generally need to do so from outside the normal OS running from those partitions, so I would grab a Linux live CD (say, Ubuntu), boot into a live session rather than its installer (e.g. the "Try Ubuntu" option) and run GParted from that. You'll first need to move the second partition to have a later starting point, which is typically a very slow operation and may (I forget) need to be done in a separate pass from resizing the first partition. Extending the first partition should be relatively quick.

Do take backups of anything you care about. Maintainers of partitioning tools usually put a fair bit of effort into making them as reliable as possible, by necessity, but at least in the case of moving the start of the second partition the tools have to physically move lots of data around on your disk and don't really have a good way to undo, so a certain amount of risk management in the form of backups is a good idea.

Consider whether you actually need two partitions, or whether you can consolidate the two into one to avoid this problem in future. If you want to do the latter, then you'll need to make enough space in the first partition to move all the files across from the second (probably in Windows) and then go back to GParted to delete the second partition and extend the first to cover the whole disk.
toothycat: (Default)

[personal profile] toothycat 2013-06-11 10:37 pm (UTC)(link)
The magic Google terms are gparted livecd ;) Partition Magic is another alternative.

unetbootin can automatically download those (and many other things) and put them onto a USB key for you. Make sure you back up anything of importance before you start.