Unable to Shrink Partition

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applesauce1234
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Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by applesauce1234 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:10 pm

hi there

i have linux mint installed side by side with vista on a toshiba satellite laptop, and am having difficulty expanding the size of my linux partition.

i have three partitions:

1 - the toshiba system volume (around 1.5 GB)
2 - my vista partition, which is about 180 GB in total, with about 60 GB of free space
3 - my mint partition, which is only around 10 GB in total.

i simply want to expand my mint partition by shrinking my vista partition as much as possible... however, i am unable to using gParted... when i try to drag it to the left, it does not move.

i have defragged in vista three times with three different programs, and they all say that fragmentation is around 1% (originally around 25% before defragging)

my guess is that unmovable files are at the end of that partition, and thus it cannot be shrunk.

i have checked out a number of solutions using vista, and none have worked... one for example was to use Perfect Disk 2k (didnt work)

when i try to search for native solutions to defragging my computer (or rather the NTFS volume that vista is on), almost every page tells me that defragging is not necessary in Linux... however, i want to defrag a NTFS partition WITHIN linux... is this possible?

thanks!

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by StanTheMan » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:02 pm

The Toshiba laptop normally comesd from the factory with THREE Primnary partritions installed. A small one for Toshiba tools, and larger one about 15 GB with Vista system files used for Format C; restoring, and a large C:drive for the main Vista system.
DO NOT alter the Tool and Systemn partitions. The C:drive partiution can normally be reduced with Vistas built-in resize menu , then do a Vista restart to let it check its file system.
Next , use Linux GPartEd from a LIVE disk , and in the empty space. create LOGICAL partitions for your Linux system.
I have six Logical partitions running two Linux distros besides the Vista running on the original reduced C:drive Primary partition.

applesauce1234
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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by applesauce1234 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:16 pm

hey thanks so much for the reply

it's actually my friend's computer, and im just getting him linux installed...

not sure what to tell you about the partitions... what is presently on there is this:

sda1 - NTFS toshiba system volume
sda2 - NTFS vista
sda3 - extended
which contains:
sda4 ext4
sda5 linuxswap

basically, i just wanted to extend sda3 by shrinking sda2 (which claims it has plenty of free space)

i first tried to shrink the vista partition in vista, but it said that there was no empty space (even though i have about 60GB free)

i don't actually have access to a burner... am i able to mount it, or use a USB stick?

thanks again

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by Reorx » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:06 pm

Vista won't let you shrink the partition that it resides in if you are booted to it!!! Who'd 'ave thunk it!!!

Try booting Linux via the CD/DVD or USB. Should work easily.
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lmintnewb
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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by lmintnewb » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:33 pm

That's why I posted the link to this how to in another of your threads about this. LINK

Person who wrote it mentions some of the stuff I think are good ideas a bunch don't, not going to relist em or type ma bootie off about it. He mentions the immovable files headache you're talking about a bit and think links to a poss solution or more info too. One of the many craptastic things M$ and the big oem's came up with to give you a hard time getting ahold of better + free software and keep people having to buy their poopware. Can give ya a bit of advice on it, only ever had 1 pc w vista and hadn't dual booted it with anything.

1. You can look at stuff like this And google up on how to make a recovery disk if you're using vista/win-7. Should be a way to do it w or w/o the actual install disk now and think it's a dang good idea before dual booting if you're like most people and the oem you bought your PC from only gave ya a recovery partition ... But no reinstall disc. Yep ... they do that because M$ + them doesn't want you to be able to easily reinstall your OS. aka: More craptastic nonsense M$ + big oems do to people to keep them from using all the great opensource laying around.

On a side note I BELIEVE ( note I said believe there ) that if ever something does go wrong, you can have anyone with a working system w your windows OS of choice vista/win7 make you a recovery disc on their pc and use it to fix yours if you run into probs and didn't make your own. Also if they are one of the few who actually have an install disc ... Someone can use the repair tools on it to fix another box with the that same windows OS. Meaning if you happen to know someone with an install disc for your OS and run into trouble, you could borrow said install disc and use it to repair your borked windows. And/or could ask someone ya know to make you a recovery disc and email/etc ya the iso. From what I understand isn't as good as having an actual install disc but better than nothing.

Couple other things I wanna mention about this for the sake of being thorough. This whole not giving people reintall discs ( only recovery partitions) is a good reason to NOT buy a computer from someone that doesn't give you reinstall discs + drivers with it. And making a recovery disc for your windows OS is imo ... ALWAYS a good idea either way.

2. Yep the guy mentions the ole immovable files trick M$ cooked up to frustrate people and keep them from using other/better AND free operating systems. Some poss solutions for ya ( others ). Boottime defrag .... quasi boottime defrag might work too.

Quasi boottime defrag: Boot PC in safemode and then defrag it. Not getting into all the why I thinks and blahs. Don't feel like typing that much .. GOOGLE ... Boot time defrag n etc.

Real boot time defrag: Get a disk util that lets someone do it for your OS. Which is more craptasticism from M$. They should already have a native util that will do it and scattering immovable files all over someone's hdd is just yet more of their craptasticness. If your M$ os ... doesn't have a tool that can do it, there's plenty of people giving away free software that's mucho better than the stuff M$ sells people. Hmmm go figure, notice a recurring theme in this ? Free software that's better than windows is not hard to find at all, lol.

One place you could look is a site called snapfiles.com, they have a freeware section loaded with good windows freeware. The one I use with XP and runs circles around the crappy native disk util that comes with it is called Puran free edition that I scooped up from snapfiles. XP's native disk util won't even let someone resize a partition, XP's defrag tool is also craptastic, no easy boottime defrag option. Both those things have been around since jebus was in diapers and M$ should've put onboard tools to do it. But that's just M$ being craptastic some more. Anyway, am not telling you Puran defrag will work great for you, know it does on XP. Never tried it with vista, might be compatible and work great w it too, might not. That's up to you to figure out, you take a look at the selection and find something that looks good to you.

But doing boottime defrag can often deal with the M$ immovable file trick ... Google if curious. This has been a public service announcement. Some other stuff can help too, not really complicated at all. Google is open 24hrs a day, be d**ned if I'm going to type out the gettysburg address about it. People can do their own googling and homework. :D

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by Inkit » Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:47 pm

I haven't checked the links that lmintnewb suggested, but just a few things.
Firstly, you cannot extend a partition to the left, only on the right. So since your linux partition is already on the right most extreme, you basically don't have much of a choice other than to delete the partition and then reinstall.
The easiest way I can think of doing this is to create a live USB. If you already have the downloaded OS on your system, use unetboot to create a bootable image on a usb stick, plug it into the port, reboot, go into bios and change the boot order to the usb stick that will be listed there, and you have a live system.
Open gparted -> delete the last extended partition -> shrink the vista partition (after having taken a backup of all important information of course -> Create a new extended partition with as many logical drives as you want (including a swap) -> Install mint into a larger partition.
Hopefully you should be good to go after this.

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by wayne128 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:03 pm

applesauce1234 wrote: not sure what to tell you about the partitions... what is presently on there is this:

sda1 - NTFS toshiba system volume
sda2 - NTFS vista
sda3 - extended
which contains:
sda4 ext4
sda5 linuxswap

basically, i just wanted to extend sda3 by shrinking sda2 (which claims it has plenty of free space)

i first tried to shrink the vista partition in vista, but it said that there was no empty space (even though i have about 60GB free)

i don't actually have access to a burner... am i able to mount it, or use a USB stick?

thanks again
I think these info alone does not tell some important partition information.

May be you could run from any Linux Live CD, use GParted, take a snapshot of hard disk partition image , showing all the partitions, post here for better appreciation of your situation.
That way, graphically it is very easy to understand your issue and possible solution.

applesauce1234
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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by applesauce1234 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:17 am

thanks for all the replies, guys... where to start?!
Reorx wrote:Vista won't let you shrink the partition that it resides in if you are booted to it!!! Who'd 'ave thunk it!!!

Try booting Linux via the CD/DVD or USB. Should work easily.
reorx: thanks for the reply... not sure if youre being sarcastic here... i was actually trying to shrink the vista partition FROM mint, NOT FROM vista, as you stated... i booted from the usb, and still couldnt adjust vista's partition, even though there is like 60 GB free space... i didnt delete the linux partition though... would that be necessary? if possible id like to avoid that, but if not, i shall do what it takes!
Inkit wrote: Firstly, you cannot extend a partition to the left, only on the right. So since your linux partition is already on the right most extreme, you basically don't have much of a choice other than to delete the partition and then reinstall.
The easiest way I can think of doing this is to create a live USB. If you already have the downloaded OS on your system, use unetboot to create a bootable image on a usb stick, plug it into the port, reboot, go into bios and change the boot order to the usb stick that will be listed there, and you have a live system.
Open gparted -> delete the last extended partition -> shrink the vista partition (after having taken a backup of all important information of course -> Create a new extended partition with as many logical drives as you want (including a swap) -> Install mint into a larger partition.
inkit: thanks... i wasnt actually trying to extend the linux partition to the left; i was trying to shrink the vista partition (by dragging it to the left)... not sure if that's what you meant...

it seems like you and reorx are both telling me that in order to proceed, i have to delete the existing linux partition... but won't i run into the same problem after that? won't vista still be claiming that there is no empty space available to shrink itself, even though there clearly is? i know im totally out of my league here, but it really seems like the problem is that my NFTS has am unmovable fragment at the end of its partition... maybe thats not the case at all... at any rate, if you guys are confident that deleting the linux partition and reinstalling it again will solve the problem i will do it, but when i originally installed mint, i was unable to shrink vista then... im not really sure what has changed since then... know what i mean?
wayne128 wrote: May be you could run from any Linux Live CD, use GParted, take a snapshot of hard disk partition image , showing all the partitions, post here for better appreciation of your situation.
That way, graphically it is very easy to understand your issue and possible solution.
wayne128: thanks, and good idea... i tried to attach a screenshot, as you instructed, but i got the message "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached." any ideas? i could send it to you...

lmintnewb: thanks for all the info! i really appreciate it... i will look at the links tmrw, but as for now, i totally agree about the microsoft stuff... frustrating, eh!

again, thanks so much guys... i really thought this would be a simple solution, but it seems that microsoft is pretty talented at making things difficult!

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by wayne128 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:23 am

you can use free hosting website, to upload your image, then copy the link and post here. such as

tinypic.com

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by lmintnewb » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:36 am

No worries, you are definitely welcome. I really like opensource, like trying to encourage people to try it and hope they have a good time using gnu/Linux. Plus despise M$ ( ya can probably tell from that post up there, am not a big fan of em. :D )

More babblings on it ... Don't quote me, but assume vista's disk tool can resize a partition just fine, can't remember really. Might also be something they put out with one of M$'s endless Service packs or whatever. As an update ... so forth. Or maybe you have to pay more for the feature. Vista premium or who knows. Yep ... resizing partitions and boottime defrag have only been around forever pretty much. Though knowing M$, not like they'd miss a chance to gouge more money out of some PC user for features that should've come standard in XP a longggggg time ago. But don't know one way or the other for real.

Am not sure they're suggesting or telling you ya HAVE to delete your / < root partition and start over, though are likely telling you it's probably easier that way or how they'd advise somebody in that situation to go about it. Hang on ... and stick to it, it's not nearly as hard as things may seem to people. Since its a brand new install, you don't have much to loose. Better to do it right the 1st time, so you can get down to enjoying your computer, instead of wrestling with it.

Though does take some time and homework ( not much really ), not a big price to pay for a great alternative to windows. So it pays off and keeps paying off, the headaches you deal with now will pay off for ya again and again down the road. You don't have to ever be a computer scientist to enjoy gnu/Linux ( unless you want to be), esp with distro's like Mint around.

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by Inkit » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:18 am

I don't know if this will work, but a couple of years back I remember shrinking a vista partition from vista itself. There's a partition tool there (I forget it's name or where it's at) and you don't have much control over how much space you can recover. And this is from the HD install, not from any live disc. It's worth a shot don't you think?

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by applesauce1234 » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:38 pm

lmintnewb / inkit: you certainly can partition a drive from within vista, and it is supposed to be easy... you just go to disk management (http://www.pcworld.com/article/132079/p ... vista.html)...

the problem is, it says that it has no empty space available to shrink, even though there are about 60GB of free space on that partition... that is why i am convinced the problem is a frag at the end of the partition... and also why i suspect simply removing linux and trying again won't solve the original problem (but i will try that option eventually)

im trying one last defrag utility, 'Puran Defrag'... it has detected a MFT fragment during a boot defrag (could this be the problem i seek?), and is hopefully repairing it... will let you know... if it doesn't work, ill be removing the linux partition and installing it again... and probably destroying microsoft at some point.

wayne128: thanks for the idea... im just defragging the laptop right now, so if that doesnt work, ill put the screenshot up thru tinypic.

thanks guys.

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by lmintnewb » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:58 pm

One more, am soooo burnt out on these forums atm. Finish whatcha start kind thing though ... arghhh.

Hopefully you made a recovery disk ? Have a reinstall disk or other means of backup for Vista if things went bad ? Also did you try what was suggested in that one how to for dealing with this kinda thing ? I didn't follow the link the guy mentions, but at least he mentions it, so worth looking at THIS. Yep ... immovable files smack dab in the middle/end of a hdd with 60gbs of freespace ? Hmmm ... wonder if that's accidental ? Nor does it makes any kind of sense. Sounds like yet another face palm* TYVM M$ moment.

If you've done all the above, couple other things I'll suggest someone could try. Obviously dual booting vista is perfectly doable. Have seen others in these forums report success at it. Ummmm ( again if you've done the above, looked over the above etc.) ... couple other things. Turn off system restore ... which will delete all you restore pts. But might help make those immovable files move. Personally in XP keep system restore disabled anyway. In a real problem situation it's not the best of help.

2 ... try out Parted Magic on it, it's an opensource prog with gparted live on it. Have to download and burn an iso ( like ya did with Mint's install disc) and see if it can't force vista to stop hogging your hard drive for no good reason. Guessing must carry a better than avg risk of borking vista for you though. Being a live disk it runs from RAM. Have always had good experiences with Parted Magic, it's become my disk util of choice when messing with partitions. So if vista refusing to resize is a major problem for ya. Might go ahead and see if you can't force it. Check out easybcd again, would advise against installing grub to sda/mbr for reasons that link mentioned already. Anyway ... good luck. Funny what a craptastic megacorp making billions a yr selling poopware will do to keep people from using stuff like gnu/nix huh ? Arghhhhh D:

Worst case scenario ya end up with a vista that won't boot, I mean its M$ vista anyway. That happens would keep the recovery partition and just start deleting the rest. Install LM and wave goodbye to M$. :D I mean not much of a loss ... Ya get rid of vista and get LM all in one fell swoop. Two birds w one stone, lol.

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by Reorx » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:46 pm

applesauce1234 wrote:thanks for all the replies, guys... where to start?!
Reorx wrote:Vista won't let you shrink the partition that it resides in if you are booted to it!!! Who'd 'ave thunk it!!!

Try booting Linux via the CD/DVD or USB. Should work easily.
reorx: thanks for the reply... not sure if youre being sarcastic here... i was actually trying to shrink the vista partition FROM mint, NOT FROM vista, as you stated... i booted from the usb, and still couldnt adjust vista's partition, even though there is like 60 GB free space... i didnt delete the linux partition though... would that be necessary? if possible id like to avoid that, but if not, i shall do what it takes!
Oops, you caught me... When you said "tried to shrink the vista partition in vista", I took that to mean you were booted to Vista... sorry for the misunderstanding... I really can't understand why you can't shrink the vista partition... Have you used gparted successfully in the past??? I haven't used it much but found it to be mostly intuitive but not completely... the process of shrinking vista should occur in several steps - select the partition, manipulate as you see fit, and then write the changes... I am not sure where you are running into problems... it's one of those, if I could watch you or sit at your keyboard, it would probable be an easy fix... OBTW, before you shrink the vista partition defrag and compact it

Good luck...

- R -

PS: you don't need to do anything to the linux partition in order to manipulate the vista partition.
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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by Inkit » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:07 am

Do you want to try using the command line. I've never done it so I can't help you out here, but one of the advantages of the Cli is that it works where the gui doesn't. I've read a little on how you can do this, but I'm no expert and generally found gparted to be sufficient for my needs. Maybe someone with a little more experience can show you how you can do this. You can also try creating a new post with a new heading to reflect your new needs which will give you a better chance of getting help from someone with more knowledge.

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by applesauce1234 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:45 am

so i did all the steps from lmintnews's link here: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows- ... -problems/

that is the exact same problem i am having... but alas, none of the steps work...

i disabled all the system files that i suspect are at the end of the vista partition, have defragged about a dozen times (boots as well) using many programs (including perfect disk 2k), and have tried to adjust the partition size in vista, using gParted from the linux boot, and using gParted from a USB boot... they all still claim that there is no space available to shrink the vista partition, even though there is over 60GB free...

ill totally try a cmd run, if you think that might help

reorx: ha no worries... yeah, it really should be a lot easier... gParted just keeps claiming theres no space available on the vista partition...... i have defragged and compacted it significantly...

im just about at the end of my patience for this... i might just try to convince my friend to get rid of the vista partition altogether.

i attached a pic of my gParted screenshot... let me know what you guys think... as i said, there is over 60GBs of free space, but i just cant shrink vista.
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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by lmintnewb » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:28 am

Sounds like one more great reason not to be a big vista/M$ fan. As if anybody needs anymore of those. :D

Have you tried this tool ? LINK ? How to for it, sorta, sure the same applies pretty much to the personal edition I've linked to. Not hard to figure out for sure. I had a good experience with easeus's stuff ... or this prog LINK?

Those are a couple that might be worth looking at. Have used Easeus disk master ... Haven't personally used the other .. Minitooletc. If you've tried the rest of it ... and came up scratch still. Is about the best I can do. Well can think of some other more intricate poss's but trying to find a how to for it or worse still write one ... arggggh, no thanks. A general pt in the direction though ... Pt. Clone vista's partition ... delete extremely annoying vista partition you're dealing with ... Set up a better sized one ... reinstall vista to it ... etc.

Mentioned DO NOT, advise people to use gparted or 3rd party tools to resize vista/win7's partitions. Think it's wise to try windows own tools and stuff like the info in that link above ...this one. Guessing the normal resize will work fine for most people, might have to do a bit more, like described in that link or elsewhere through-out this thread. Really does help to backup your OS ( whatever platform ) imo too. There are also plenty of utils that can image/clone ... etc windows OS's surely. Would also greatly help TO BE GIVEN THE FRIGGIN REINSTALL DISCS AS A PERSON SHOULD ANYWAY !~!~! D:

Good gawd, spent a couple hrs worrying about some online strangers PC. :D Though gnu/nix is an incredibly worthy cause, so is worth it. I hope this works out in the end. Hmmm .. now that I think about it, either a. Vista gets borked or b. Mint get's installed or c: both. So imo, it's a no lose situation regardless. ;)

PS, yet another suggestion/afterthought. Might also contact the support for the maker of that system and ask them about what's going on with it ... Even ask M$, they make the software ... Should have some support for it available.

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by Inkit » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:37 am

I'm running out of ideas here, but just a few thoughts. Have you tried entering the size in the fields instead of trying to pull the arrow to the left. Don't know if this will work for you though. also have you tried booting into safe mode in windows and trying to resize. Once again don't know if this will work, but just thinking aloud here.
The last thing I can think of is to reinstall windows, but choose the size of the partitions during installation itself. If you have a windows cd, it's actually quite easy, although it's much more time consuming than installing mint, and unless you have all the drivers it's a pain going online to find and install them.
As I said, I'm running out of ideas.

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by applesauce1234 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:00 pm

hi

yeah, i tried manually entering the number, as well as trying in safe mode.

as i said, it's not my computer, and im not sure if my friend has his windows disks still...

at any rate, i gave him back his laptop with the partitions as is... you can always save stuff on other partitions from linux, so it's not a huge deal

just very frustrating because i thought the whole process would have been so easy!

anyway, thanks for all the ideas, guys.

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Re: Unable to Shrink Partition

Post by Aging Technogeek » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:29 pm

Your screenshot shows something that may be quite important.

There is a small orange icon ahead of the "file system" entry for /dev/sda2 (the Windows partition). I seem to remember seeing this in the past but I cannot quite remember when or what it means. I know I do not have one in my partition table and I can resize the Windows partition.

It may be something as simple as the partition being mounted in your Linux OS. In this case, Gparted will not touch it. I wish I could remember more about that orange icon because my gut feeling that is what is preventing you from resizing the Windows partition.

By the way, in spite of what some others have said in this thread, if you can create some free space to the immediate left of /dev/sda3, that free space can be added to /dev/sda3 and then to /dev/sda5, your Mint partition. Just remember that the space must first be added to the extended partition before it can be added to the logical partition.

I will do some more investigating and testing and hopefully will be of some help.
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