manipulating booting flash drive for storage

Asked by JOB

hi. i've got the recent ubuntu jaunty version which i installed on my flash drive. it has around 900 MB of free space left which i wanna use to store other files. however i can't use the remaining space on the flash drive whenever i boot from it as it won't mount it for me. any help would be appreciated.

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Nandan Vaidya (gotunandan) said :

Is the 900MB free space part of the same parition on which the jaunty version is installed ?
You will then have to resize the existing partition and reduce its size.
Create a new partition with the free unallocated space that you will have now.

And if the 900MB isnt part of the same partition as Jaunty, you just need to create a partition from that space.

Either way, please backup any important files before you fiddle around with partitions !

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JOB (eyob-fitwi) said :

hi Nandan Vaidya

i think so, because i didn't go through any partition process. anyway, since i'm a newbie, let me tell you exactly what i did. after booting from the CD, i went to the USB startup disk creator and allocated around 315 MB for reserved extra storage, so that i could have almost half of the stick for storing files.

if i do have to partition it, how do i do it exactly? is there a way i can partition it without formatting and erasing the ubuntu boot installation on it? i had to go through some process and time to download and install some plug-ins and stuff, which could be a messy procedure. (i'm still figuring out how to get totem player working, and its a challenge)

Thank you dearly for your time and help.

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Nandan Vaidya (gotunandan) said :

Plug in the USB stick in your Live CD session.

Goto System -> Administration -> Partition Editor

Select your USB disk instead of your hard disk from the top right hand side.

You will see the layout (partitions) of the USB stick.

If you see a single parition you can resize it and create a new partition from the remaining space)

P.S. if you arent sure about what you are doing and feel that you should not proceed, you can always exit the program without clicking apply in the toolbar

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JOB (eyob-fitwi) said :

hello nandan.

well i partitioned my stick and installed ubuntu all over again. it worked - just one little (or not little) problem. you see i can manipulate the second partition for storing data but it works only on ubuntu and other linux based operating systems. the second partition doesn't appear whenever i tried it on windows, only the first one with the Ubuntu installation does. why is that? is there anyway i could fix this?

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Nandan Vaidya (gotunandan) said :

well, you are right... I've had the same problem.
I partitioned my usb stick into two partitions of 1GB and had Ubuntu 9.04 alternate installer on the first partition, and data on the second.
windows could not detect the second partition :P

What you could try is use the 1st partition of the USB stick for data and the second one as an installer.

Alternatively, I think (i am not sure about this actually !) the partition on which you have the installer, actually allows you to have other data on it as well. As long as you do not move/remove the files pertaining to the installer (unless of course you want to remove the installer) you can have other files on it and not have any problem.
You could just create a single directory the USB stick alongside the installation files called "DATA" and have the data within it, so that you can be sure which directories/files are yours and those that are not.

basically copy all the data in the second partition of the USB stick off to a safe location
You could use GParted (Partition Editor) then to delete that second partition and resize(extend) the first partiton to include the free unallocated space.

Be careful when using GParted at all times and make sure you accidentally do not delete data that was not meant to be deleted !

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