Partition problem

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Partition problem

Postby cilliandoc on Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:30 pm

Hello,
Enjoying my first few hours of Mint but I have a concern about the partitioning that was done by the installer.

I have a Thinkpad r61 w/ 120gb hdd.
I am dual booting XP and Mint 4.0.

In the installation process I opted for guided. I moved the slider to the left to what I thought would minimize the size of partition for Mint but I realised once I booted up windows after a couple of hours playing with Mint that I had minimised my XP partition leaving it with only 650 mbs free space.

I thought I could then use a partition editor to resize the xp section and take some space back from the sections that Mint formatted in the install.

The problem is that looking at the disk w/ partition editor from the LiveCD the whole disk is showing as unallocated, no ntfs, no linux, no thinkpad recovery partition shown, even though the machine happily boots to either environment from GRUB. Norton Partition Magic in my XP environment keeps error messaging out before it starts up so I don't really know how my HDD has been divided up and have a bad feeling that something has gone wrong.


I'm beginning to panic a bit as I had bad experience messing around with partitions in the past and need this machine for work.

Help!! How do I resize the XP partition? I want to continue experimenting with Linux but I need to give back about 20 gbs to XP.

Definite noob in Linux so any simple help would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Partition problem

Postby proxima_centauri on Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:33 pm

Does the partition editor in your installed Mint show the same thing?
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Re: Partition problem

Postby cilliandoc on Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:36 pm

Thx for the quick reply
Just checked. Yes it shows the whole drive as unallocated,
Any ideas?
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Re: Partition problem

Postby proxima_centauri on Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:41 pm

Very strange indeed. Maybe its a problem with gparted specifically.
What do you see when you run
sudo fdisk -l
in terminal?
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Re: Partition problem

Postby cilliandoc on Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:50 pm

First time using the terminal.
Here's what it says:
Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xed1f86f7

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 5839 46894648+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2 13865 14593 5851440 12 Compaq diagnostics
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda3 5839 13531 61794022+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda4 13532 13864 2674822+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 13532 13864 2674791 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Partition table entries are not in disk order

That doesn't sound good but I don't know what it all means.
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Re: Partition problem

Postby proxima_centauri on Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:57 pm

Quite frankly this is out of my league, I've only been using linux since the new year :).
Did some searching, seems like this is the same problem you have down at Post #5
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php? ... nallocated

You can try what is suggested in that post, or maybe wait to see if husse replies who is much more knowledgeable.
Good luck.
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Re: Partition problem

Postby cilliandoc on Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:06 pm

Thanks for that proxima, ill check that out. Looks like the Mint community is pretty great so far.
TestDisk looks promising but I'm still bumbling around without a clue.

Any one else able to throw a noob a few ideas?
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Re: Partition problem

Postby proxima_centauri on Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:09 pm

No problem, found another thread with the same problem http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-653160.html
Test-disk seems to be the general consensus for fixing the problem. Give it a shot running it in windows.
Cheers
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Re: Partition problem

Postby cilliandoc on Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:34 pm

Ran TestDisk in XP. It is recognising the partitions but I still don't know how to proceed.

How can I fix the partitions with TestDisk?
If these are fixed will I then be able to manually enlarge my NFTS partition?

Thanks in advance...
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Re: Partition problem

Postby proxima_centauri on Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:41 pm

I've never used it so I honestly can't help you or vouch for the program, however there seems to be documentation on the testdisk website.
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

You can look at all the documentation here http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk, scroll down to "Documentation"

Also, it's never a bad idea to back up important data.

Cheers.
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Re: Partition problem

Postby Fred on Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:58 am

This is exactly why I like to defrag a windows install and do the partitioning with Gparted instead of doing it as part of the install. I haven't seen this problem before with the Ubuntu/Mint installer. But I have seen it with several RPM distros and the old Debian installer.

It seems to happen when trying to shrink a windows install. I have no idea why. I have never seen a good fix for this. I would love to know if you find some none destructive way to remedy this.

What I have always had to do was wipe the drive and reformat as a single partition in ext2. Then delete the partition and start all over with the partitioning and formating.

Back-up your data first, while you still can. :-)

Good luck,

Fred
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Re: Partition problem

Postby jbaerbock on Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:50 am

I had a similar problem. Basically seems to me it is impossible to give back to a Windows partition. What I ended up doing is taking that unallocated space and making a new windows partition with it. Sure ya got two windows partitions then but at least you can use the space. I always say to create a windows partition it is always best to use the windows setup disk and have it make the partition, then you know Windows will recognize it.

And yes always read the Linux installer options carefully especially when dual booting. The slider is to resize your windows partition and then the resulting free space will be formated and used by Mint. Partitions are confusing at first but it doesnt take much to get used to them and learn what they do/are.
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Re: Partition problem

Postby cilliandoc on Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:51 pm

Thanks guys. Gonna bite the bullet and reinstall windows from scratch. Have backups on an external HDD.
Lesson learned. After this I'll be more familiar with partitions next time.
I'll post a follow up when my machine is back to health.
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