Harddrive partitions control how much space you and other users have to work with, aside from the space used for operating systems. Not many general computer users have experience editing partitions, as it can be a dangerous endeavor. But for the brave, and those who can summon up the courage (myself included), enlarging designated space can be a necessity. And today, I’m going to explain my journey with Linux installed side by side with Windows 7, and the partitions envolved.
If you read my previous post, Windows to Linx: There and Back Again, you know that I thought I had lost my laptop about a year ago. We booted Linux via USB and installed it next to Windows 7 (due to registry corruption). Anyway, due to unfortunate circumstances I found myself in quite the situation. I had never installed Linux before in my life, and I didn’t understand how the partition menu worked, leaving myself with 32gb to work with (minus 5gb set aside for Linux use). There aren’t many articles out there to help those running Linux Mint 13: Cinnamon, so bare with me as I try to explain the following “tutorial”.
Assuming you’ve already installed Linux, and need to enlarge your space capabilities, you’ll need to boot via USB with the same version of Linux. It’s my understanding that you cannot edit partitions while you are running something that requires space. Once you have it up and running from the flash drive, install GParted if you don’t already have it (you may install it through Software Manager). Linux allows for four partitions, so you need to lower the capabilities of another partition, unless you are able to delete unused partitions (which is what I was able to do).
In my case, I also have Windows 7 running beside Linux, and I chose to take away from that partition while I transition data from one location to another. In other words, I am moving pictures, music and documents from Windows folders and pasting them into Linux folders. The space being used is filled with yellow, white space is unused space within a partition, and gray space is a completely unused slot. Just right click on your Windows partition and select “Resize/Move”. From that menu, slide the bar to the left, taking away from Windows partition. Secondly, right click on the Extended partition (Linux) and “Resize/Move”, expanding the size before it… this will take advantage of the space you just released from Windows.
My understand is the “Linux Swap” actually contains the Linux install itself, so it needs to be left alone. In my case SD5, EXT4 is my usable Linux space. By right clicking, and again, selecting “Resize/Move” use up the newly added space setting before EXT4, leaving 0MB sitting behind it. You will have to apply all of the changes, and accept the prompts as they come unless you’re concerned with losing data (which is always a possibility).
Restart, and viola! Thanks for reading 🙂