Manipulating Multiple Partitions

Asked by Caron Margarete on 2011-06-19

I have many partitions on my hard drive and now want to clean them up but not sure how to. I looked for a simple guide but they seemed to use a lot of tech-talk and I'm a lay-lady so can someone walk me through the following?

My hard drive as per the Disk Utility information is:
+ Free 73GB: sda
(this was Windows but I formatted it because it got a virus and I rarely use it- might eventually load it back but don't need 73GB to do it- suggested size would be helpful)
+ Jamie 122GB ext 4: sda2
(I have ubuntu 11.04 on here but as you may see from Question161961 it's not being used)
+ Extended 125GB: sda3- which is made up of the following:
~ Ubuntu 116GB ext 4: sda7 (what I'm using right now and need more space)
~ Swap 5.0GB: sda8
~ 3.8GB ext 4: sda5
~ Swap 233MB: sda6

So ideally I'd still like to have three partitions. The first goal is to give sda7 more space, taken from the free sda. The second goal would be to remove sda5 & sda6 because they seem irrelevant (feel free to explain otherwise).

Thanks in advance,
Caron Margarete.

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English Edit question
Ubuntu gparted Edit question
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Solved by:
Caron Margarete
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Can you give the output of:

uname -a; lsb_release -a; echo; dpkg -l | grep linux-image-2


caron@CaronMargarete:~$ uname -a; lsb_release -a; echo; dpkg -l | grep linux-image-2
Linux CaronMargarete 2.6.32-24-generic #43-Ubuntu SMP Thu Sep 16 14:58:24 UTC 2010 x86_64 GNU/Linux
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS
Release: 10.04
Codename: lucid

ii linux-image-2.6.32-24-generic 2.6.32-24.43 Linux kernel image for version 2.6.32 on x86
ii linux-image-2.6.32-27-generic 2.6.32-27.49 Linux kernel image for version 2.6.32 on x86

OK no real space save there, If you install and run bleachbit as both root and user you can save a lot of space. Watch options which say they will take a long time and watch application setting or it will remove settings you want (favourites in browsers etc).

How much RAM does the system have?

There is no room to install another program or installation and that's the point of adjusting the partitions. Can we make sda7 bigger from using some of the free space in the non-numbered sda?

I don't know how to tell you how much RAM I have because I don't know how to look it up. When I bought the laptop years ago I know I got more added, I want to guess there's about 300GB based on the break down I gave originally.

peter b (b1pete) said : #5

pls be aware that working with partitions when systems are already in place is a pretty advanced task - it require quite a bit of 'computerize' knowledge and experience.

I would ask you BEFORE proceeding with such a task to consider and answer some questions as follows:

- first, v. important, do you have any DATA saved to ANY partition that you care about and want to use it in the future ? if yes then pls SAVE IT NOW to some other media - usb sticks, CD's etc.

- second, if you still want to reinstall XP please decide it NOW and tell us your decision - it would much easier for you to get XP installed first .

- third, pls run in a terminal cmd as follows

sudo fdisk -l

l above is lower case L; just copy cmd above in a terminal and run it then copy/paste its output here.

I can see that you use 10.04 lucid release. do you have lucid INSTALL media ?

pls run in a terminal following cmd

free -m

and copy/paste its output here.

in order to accomplish successfully and with least 'pain' (for you) the task at hand (ie manipulating/resizing/deleting various partitions that currently hold os's and maybe data - I would strongly suggest to think NOW about starting with a 'clean slate' so to speak that will give you flexibility to add in the future whatever partitions you'd like.

Hey Peter, thanks so much for getting back to me and giving me such a great break down!

I agree that it's really full on to be playing with partitions and have taken on board what you've recommended. I need to source the Windows XP cd's again because I don't have mine anymore. Once I'm at that point I'll then be able to wipe everything and start again.

There are some things on the Jamie drive that I do want so will make sure that's saved before doing anything.

I also have Ubuntu on a cd but it's an old version- off hand couldn't tell you what it is though- will try to burn the latest version before doing anything.

So... given this information I don't know if you still need the outputs as you requested. Will give for the shits'n'giggles of it:

~ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xe0cde0cd

   Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda2 8925 23708 118752480 83 Linux
/dev/sda3 23709 38914 122133505 5 Extended
Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda5 38428 38885 3677184 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 38885 38914 227328 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda7 23709 37824 113379328 83 Linux
/dev/sda8 37824 38428 4847616 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Partition table entries are not in disk order

~ free -m
             total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1754 1307 447 0 43 343
-/+ buffers/cache: 919 835
Swap: 221 0 221

If you've nothing more to add I may just close this ticket and re-open it/ create a new one, once I've got the Windows XP, data saved, and latest version of Ubuntu downloaded.

Thanks again.

peter b (b1pete) said : #7

ok, everything you said tells me that you're 'at home' kind of speaking with what's needed to manipulate/create partitions. this being said, be aware pls that there is a whole lot of other things related to partition sizes, file systems, their location on the HD etc,etc that are very important and must be observed at this stage of the 'game' (clean slate hd).

for your info, you said ...'don't need 73GB to do it- suggested size would be helpful'..... here's an answer - yes, you're right, for an xp install with all updates/upgrades and some room to spare 25-30GB is more than adequate. note pls that data can be stored to dedicated data partitions.

couple of points - there is a 320GB HD present on your pc - it is sufficient to install xp and several ubuntu releases if you wish and have quite a bit of space left for storing data. secondly - your pc has satisfactory ram for xp and ubuntu.

re .....'If you've nothing more to add I may just close this ticket and re-open it/ create a new one, once I've got the Windows XP, data saved, and latest version of Ubuntu downloaded.'..... it is entirely UP TO YOU - do as you wish; if you decide to continue/keep open this thread/question ticket, yes, I would be pleased to assist you in your task as mentioned initially .....'can someone walk me through the following?'.... just post here when you've done ALL stated at beginning of this para and we'll continue.

Went offline to chat to Peter. He gave great advice and help me understand how to achieve the end result.

Thanks Peter!