[nSLUG] Partition resizing question

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Feb 21 20:34:55 AST 2007

On 2/21/07, Vikram Chhatre <crypticlineage at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> I have not posted here in a long time.  How has the winter been in
> Halifax so far?  I miss the snow.

There is about 4cm of snow in the deep shade here.  My mother lives in
the high dessert in New Mexico and has 0.5m of snow (as much moisture
as they get in a normal YEAR).   I hope the spring comes gradually or
there will be severe flooding.

> A partitioning question: A friend wants to have a dual boot system on
> his laptop that has a 80 gig hd.  We tried resizing the partition to
> free up some space for linux using Gparted, but the program fails to
> write the changes to the disk.  The drive is /dev/hda but Gparted keeps
> on looking for /dev/hdb.  I am baffled by this.
> A quick google search hinted that windows needed "chkdsk /f" before
> Gparted could proceed, but haven't had any luck with that approach
> either.  Yes, I am running Gparted as root (off of Ubuntu live cd).
> Any ideas?

Dual boot is rarely successful -- you end up needing some file that is
on an inaccesible partition and wasting time rebooting to get it.
Pick your primary OS and put the 2nd in a virtual machine.  Then take
the cash equivalent of the time you save to get a nice new disk with
5-year warranty and a USB case or an older high-end cast-off PC (I
have an IBM 365 dual P-Pro, but Dell Optiplex P-III's seem to run
forever, unlike newer Dell's that die a few days after the warranty
expires).   With the USB disk, make a smallish FAT partition to share
files between Windows and linux.  With the PC, install linux and make
it into a file server so you can use a minimal virtual disk.  With
Samba and NFS on the file server both OS's can share files without

If you still want dual boot, I've partitioned Windows disks several
times without problems, using an old Mandrake 10 install disk (you
only need the 1st CD).  To prepare, run defrag and examine the display
to see if there is enough free space on the end of the disk.
Sometimes I had to run defrag several times and remove some big files
(.iso images) to free up space.  I've learned to shedule Windows
defrag to run every night.

When you start the mandrake install it will ask if you want to resize the
Windows partition.  After the disk has been partitioned it is a good
idea should boot WIndows, delete the new partion and create it again
Windows as there have been reports that WIndows sometimes objects to
linux partitions (and especially if the user might someday want to use
the partition for NTFS).

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia


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