SOLVED: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join?

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expat_tony
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by expat_tony »

I just had an outside-the-box thought. There's 68GiB of space immediately in front of sdb9 (/home) now. Could I resize sdb9 forwards?
Nope, I couldn't. Just had a look in Gparted and that space was greyed out - or in my theme greened out :) - All I could do was get rid of the 1 MiB which appeared out of nowhere behind sdb9. I hope that doesn't bode ill for joining it up with the 135 GiB. That's it from me for tonight, gentlemen. Thank you all very much indeed.
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by expat_tony »

gp_sept14_4.png
Above is the current status, sdb10 is now history and sdb9 is enormous, having swallowed the 135 GiB space.

Can you confirm that the two screens I show next reflect normal behaviour in Gparted?
1. You can shrink a partition from the left (e.g. to create space for an existing partition further left)
Gpmanual_1.png
2. However, you can't grow a partition to the left, i.e. here I'm locked off from the 68 GiB space that's directly in front of sdb9 now...
Gpmanual2.png
...though not because there's something particular to that space (it was created in GP from an ntfs partition, remember), but because that's just the way it is - you can only ever grow into space to the right of a partition.

If that's right, then all that's left to do is backup the 19 GiB of data in sdb9 to an external HDD, then try to move sdb9 in front of the 68 GiB space, as discussed yesterday, while meanwhile doing some shopping or whatever.
Would it save time if I shrank the big sdb9 down to 20 GiB, or is unused space within a partition moved more rapidly?

Now I'll start the backup, which will be useful anyway.
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by gold_finger »

expat_tony wrote:2. However, you can't grow a partition to the left, i.e. here I'm locked off from the 68 GiB space that's directly in front of sdb9 now...
It's been a while since I've tried shrinking/moving partitions, so can't remember for sure. I did not think that it was limited to expanding only to the right, but could be wrong about that. If you try again and it won't let you expand to left, then do what you said -- move it to left, then expand to right.
expat_tony wrote:Would it save time if I shrank the big sdb9 down to 20 GiB, or is unused space within a partition moved more rapidly?
I'm not sure, but do not think you'll save any significant time shrinking to 20GB first. I'm pretty sure the bulk of time used is in moving the written files, not the empty space. Plus, I would think that it's safer to perform as few alterations as possible to the partition. Adding another shrink/expand step just increases chance for something to go wrong in my eyes.
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by gtsfer »

expat_tony wrote:Can you confirm that the two screens I show next reflect normal behaviour in Gparted?

1. You can shrink a partition from the left (e.g. to create space for an existing partition further left)
2. However, you can't grow a partition to the left, i.e. here I'm locked off from the 68 GiB space that's directly in front of sdb9 now...

...though not because there's something particular to that space (it was created in GP from an ntfs partition, remember), but because that's just the way it is - you can only ever grow into space to the right of a partition.
I don't know for sure yet, but something tells me you should be able to move/resize to the left. As long as it's unallocated space I am pretty sure this should be doable. I might even vaguely remember doing it myself. Wait for the experts to wake up in their time zone and do backups in the meantime.

On a side not, didn't you want to leave room for the possibility of another OS? Or is that something you want to address later? You can always shrink something to make room for that if your goal now is to just to clean up all the unallocated space.
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by austin.texas »

expat_tony wrote:Would it save time if I shrank the big sdb9 down to 20 GiB, or is unused space within a partition moved more rapidly?
Now I'll start the backup, which will be useful anyway.
Shrinking sdb9 down to 20GB is exactly what I was thinking that I would do. That would give you the option to move the whole partition to the left all the way to the swap partition more quickly. And you could backup the 20 GB partition to an external drive before the move, as an additional safety measure. You could create a data partition after the move, instead of making the / partition bigger. I am sure you are already familiar with the strategy of having a 20GB / partition with a large separate /home or /data partition. That is my preferred configuration.
I like gtsfer's suggestion of creating an extra 20GB partition for future use " to leave room for the possibility of another OS." You might want to play with some other flavor of Mint...
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by expat_tony »

I had a busy day today and now is too late for me to make that move, when I don't really know how long it'll take, and if something went wrong, I'd end up not sleeping due to thinking about it. So it's a job for tomorrow.
austin.texas wrote:...you could backup the 20 GB partition to an external drive before the move, as an additional safety measure.
My /home files, including the hidden ones, are already backed up as of this afternoon. The most relevant parts of the File System are in a snapshot too.
austin.texas wrote:You could create a data partition after the move, instead of making the / partition bigger. I am sure you are already familiar with the strategy of having a 20GB / partition with a large separate /home or /data partition. That is my preferred configuration.
Mine too, that's why I have my / partition on a separate SSD (sda1). In fact it was gold_finger, gtsfer and yourself who helped me do it - can't blame you for forgetting, what with the hundreds of people you've helped since then. :)
austin.texas wrote:I like gtsfer's suggestion of creating an extra 20GB partition for future use " to leave room for the possibility of another OS." You might want to play with some other flavor of Mint...
That was in fact my original thinking behind leaving 135Gb unallocated, also on gtsfer's advice. Now I've got more realistic, and I think it'll be 40 GB in two partitions of 20, so not unallocated any more. Realism is also behind my shrinking the Win 8 OS partition - I'll never, ever need as much as I had allocated to it, if anything Win 8 is more likely to disappear completely once I can get a grip on clunky old Wine, which has defeated me so far.

EDIT Two things slightly worry me: 1. gold_finger and austin.texas don't, for once, share the same opinion on whether I should pre-shrink sdb9 or not, and 2. I can't help agreeing with gold_finger that there's something odd about that 68 GiB space, or to be precise about not being able to expand sdb9 into it. Other readers' opinions would be welcome. Where's Derek and the cavalry? :lol:
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by gtsfer »

expat_tony wrote:That was in fact my original thinking behind leaving 135Gb unallocated, also on gtsfer's advice. Now I've got more realistic, and I think it'll be 40 GB in two partitions of 20, so not unallocated any more. Realism is also behind my shrinking the Win 8 OS partition - I'll never, ever need as much as I had allocated to it, if anything Win 8 is more likely to disappear completely once I can get a grip on clunky old Wine, which has defeated me so far.
Realistically I have come to realize that for a second LM OS, even less will do. I have 2 distros installed on my hard disk now. But I only have one copy of my data files (on that hard drive, don't panic or berate me 8)). There's a copy of my data on a 2nd hard drive and also on an external USB hard disk.

So when I run my 2nd OS on the hard disk which is KDE, I just access my data which is on an LMDE /home partition. (I use a symlink I guess it's called in KDE /home, makes it even easier). The /home KDE partition in fact only uses about 301 MB. It's all for the application config files. My KDE /home is 20GB but I now realize that even 2 GB would have been plenty. Live and learn.
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by austin.texas »

When talking about shrinking the partition down to 20GB, I was thinking that it was the / partition. I forgot that it was only a /home partition. I see now that you just wanted to know if it would save time to do it that way. I don't know that it would, because the shrinking operation itself would take a lot of time.
About the problem of using the unallocated space to the left -
When I try that, it works in gparted. But I don't have GPT partitioning. GPT may work differently.
gpartedScreenshot.png
gpartedresizeScreenshot.png
Edit: Once you have that 20GB of data backed up safely (including hidden files), there is no need to resize or move the partition. You could just delete it and create the new ones you want. That could take care of the resizing problem you are having, and it would be MUCH faster.
You would need to edit /etc/fstab with the new volume ID for /home, to mount it.
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by gold_finger »

expat_tony wrote:EDIT Two things slightly worry me: 1. gold_finger and austin.texas don't, for once, share the same opinion on whether I should pre-shrink sdb9 or not, and 2. I can't help agreeing with gold_finger that there's something odd about that 68 GiB space, or to be precise about not being able to expand sdb9 into it.
No need to worry about #1. Like I said, I haven't messed around much with moving/resizing partitions, so not sure what is fastest way to do it. Also, there are many ways to do things and no one way is always "the" answer.

Now that austin.texas confirmed with a test that you should be able to expand to the left, that is something you might need to worry about if it still won't let you do that. But, like he said -- maybe it's a GPT related thing.

Maybe you should boot into Windows 8 again first to let it do whatever it needs to do to adjust to the new size. Who knows, maybe that has something to do with GParted not allowing you to expand to the left.
austin.texas wrote:Once you have that 20GB of data backed up safely (including hidden files), there is no need to resize or move the partition. You could just delete it and create the new ones you want. That could take care of the resizing problem you are having, and it would be MUCH faster.
You would need to edit /etc/fstab with the new volume ID for /home, to mount it.
I didn't think of that, but he's right -- that would definitely be the quickest way if you've got a full backup of the entire /home.
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by gtsfer »

gold_finger wrote:Now that austin.texas confirmed with a test that you should be able to expand to the left, that is something you might need to worry about if it still won't let you do that. But, like he said -- maybe it's a GPT related thing.

Maybe you should boot into Windows 8 again first to let it do whatever it needs to do to adjust to the new size. Who knows, maybe that has something to do with GParted not allowing you to expand to the left.
Is is possible that somewhere along the line you were booted into Windows and you did something (or attempted to) with that space? Gold_finger's idea seems like the best idea to try first and see what might be going on there.
austin.texas wrote:Once you have that 20GB of data backed up safely (including hidden files), there is no need to resize or move the partition. You could just delete it and create the new ones you want. That could take care of the resizing problem you are having, and it would be MUCH faster.
You would need to edit /etc/fstab with the new volume ID for /home, to mount it.
gold_finger wrote:I didn't think of that, but he's right -- that would definitely be the quickest way if you've got a full backup of the entire /home.
This sounds scary at first but I can confirm that it will work. It's much the same as what I did when I copied a KDE home partition to an install on my hard disk. If option #1 (Windows) won't let you resize or somehow otherwise straighten out being able to use that 68GB space, this might be the way to go.
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by gold_finger »

Just had a thought regarding possible reason GParted won't let you expand to the left. Have no idea if this is why it's happening, but it could be.

Windows 8 has a "Fast Startup" feature that enables booting into it with minimal delay. From what I understand, when that feature is enabled, it doesn't actually do a full shutdown of Windows. Instead, it puts it into some kind of hybernated state. I don't know specifics, but when it's in that state it may limit access to its partition and put it in some kind of locked down state. Maybe that's what is wrong. Windows 8 may be in that state currently.

If that is what is going on, then shrinking the partition from within Linux might have messed something up. Guess you'll find out when trying to boot back into Windows. If it's able to fix itself and/or keep working after that resize, have a look at these links for directions on disabling the "Fast Startup" feature:

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/63 ... s-8-a.html

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/window ... ure-works/
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by gtsfer »

gold_finger wrote:Just had a thought regarding possible reason GParted won't let you expand to the left. Have no idea if this is why it's happening, but it could be. ... Windows 8 has a "Fast Startup" feature that enables booting into it with minimal delay. From what I understand, when that feature is enabled, it doesn't actually do a full shutdown of Windows.
Possible aha! Is this all related somehow to what might have been done before in Windows?
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=177638
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... 39#p919739

I still find that messing with partitions can be tricky and I don't do it as a general rule. Well, maybe sometimes. :wink: But on an external USB disk that I can afford to mess up and still have my primary OS's intact.
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by Derek_S »

Hello expat_tony - I see you're still having a problem with moving/resizing partition sdb9. Are you booting your system from DVD or USB flash drive and running a live cd session? I ask this becuase in the last three screenshots you provided, I see that all of your Linux system partitions are mounted. You cannot use Gparted to modify a mounted partition. You must use Gparted from a live cd session in order to move/resize your existing Linux partitions.

Once you're in a live session, there are two ways to move sdb9 to the left. 1.) If you want sdb9 to use all the space (68GB) between sdb8 and sdb6, grab the left side arrow and slide it to the left until it's butted up against sdb8. 2.) If you want to move sdb9 to the left, without making it larger and leaving the 68GB of unallocated space located between sdb9 and sdb6, then grab sdb9 in the middle and slide the entire partition to the left.
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by gtsfer »

Derek_S wrote:... I ask this becuase in the last three screenshots you provided, I see that all of your Linux system partitions are mounted. You cannot use Gparted to modify a mounted partition. You must use Gparted from a live cd session in order to move/resize your existing Linux partitions.
:?: :!: :oops: Derek to the rescue! How could we have missed this? They are showing as mounted partitions in every screen shot. :D
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Re: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I join them?

Post by expat_tony »

Derek should be renamed General <Enter name of 19th C. US cavalry general who did rather better than Custer> - not Grant, too obvious.
Thank you Derek, and I too must offer a :oops: . The repartitioning was completed in a live boot session using a Multisystem-powered USB stick, and now looks like this.
GP_nodeadspace.png
The thread will of course be closed with a SOLVED
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Re: SOLVED: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I jo

Post by pcpunk »

Hey guys, I have been following this post and I must say-my ears are smoking LOL! I was hoping someone would answer a few questions as this is all very interesting to me.
1. I thought that the Swap was supposed to be after sdb9 /home? Okay-I see, does it have something to do with expat_tony having Root on another drive? Some would put it after Root / and before home right?
2. And, now there is no /home partition? but there is two extra ext4 partitions?
3. Last but not least what are the two last ntfs partitions for?

I was thinking at the post in which I joined in that it would be simpler to just wipe all linux partitions and start over. But I can see that it was a good learning exercise and perhaps that is part of what tony wanted.

Thanks, very interesting.
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Re: SOLVED: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I jo

Post by expat_tony »

pcpunk wrote:1. I thought that the Swap was supposed to be after sdb9 /home? Okay-I see, does it have something to do with expat_tony having Root on another drive? Some would put it after Root / and before home right?
All the advice I've ever had said make root - swap - home in that order. I really don't think it matters that much because Mint will always seek swap whenever it needs it, that's why it gets a special format label to itself.
pcpunk wrote:2. And, now there is no /home partition? but there is two extra ext4 partitions?
/sdb9 is home, this Gparted view just didn't show the label, I forget why. The two other ext4s are for putting in different Mint roots to test out in the future. They will not have a separate /home, though.
pcpunk wrote:3. Last but not least what are the two last ntfs partitions for?
They came with the Lenovo machine and include an online manual plus files that assist in Windows recovery. They're last because that's where they turned up the first time I looked at Gparted, and it's too much bother and risk to move them.
pcpunk wrote: I was thinking ... that it would be simpler to just wipe all linux partitions and start over. But I can see that it was a good learning exercise and perhaps that is part of what tony wanted.
Exactly. I tend to put detail and repetition in my posts because I feel it's not only for me to learn from, but the readers too. That's also why I wish more people would bother to write SOLVED when their cry for help is successful. It would make searching so much more fruitful.
By the way, I've wiped most traces of Windows from my drive in the meantime, except for those two Lenovo partitions which take up almost no room. But I managed to re-make the boot & swap partitions without touching root on my SSD, nor /home (sdb9) on the HDD. That meant there was very little recovery work to do, except that a lot of software repositories disappeared, but an expert had a quick fix ready for that.
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Re: SOLVED: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I jo

Post by pcpunk »

Thanks, that helps me learn!

If you have time: Why do you put your root / on the external drive? and if I remember right it is an SSD right? is that because an SSD would be faster than a external disk drive?

Thanks tony
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Re: SOLVED: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I jo

Post by expat_tony »

It's not external, my Lenovo U410 came with 1 small SSD plus 1 huge HDD. For a long time I thought there was something vital to Win8 on it, but it turned out it was being used as a Windows cache, a bit like a swap partition, and as I had turned off fast boot anyway so I could dual-install, I grabbed it for something more important, i.e. Mint root.
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Re: SOLVED: Gparted shows 2 unallocated spaces, how can I jo

Post by pcpunk »

So this is just to keep it separate in case of loosing your Install on your HDD? or does it also have something to do with speed?
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