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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
is GParted destructive to data when resizing?
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nubc


Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Posts: 1113
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 11:27    Post subject:  is GParted destructive to data when resizing?  

I have Sony Vaio with a 120 GB hard drive. The hard disk drive is partitioned, such that the partition C for the operating system is quite small at 15 GB. Somewhere in the rest of the drive, partition D, there is a restore program for WinXP. I want to enlarge the OS partition C: to 20 or 25 GB. If I resize (enlarge) this partition using GParted, do I risk losing the restore data in partition D? If GParted encounters data in a partition being reduced, will GParted manage the resident data so that resizing is non-destructive?
Last edited by nubc on Wed 23 Jan 2013, 13:09; edited 1 time in total
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9374
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 11:30    Post subject:  

When you run Gparted, how many partitions does it see? Do they match with the Windows C: and D: drives?
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nubc


Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Posts: 1113
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 11:39    Post subject:  

I will look at the partitions with GParted as soon as I can, probably this weekend. Thanks for your input.
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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 746
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 20:24    Post subject:  

Resizing partitions in Gparted is not meant to be a destructive process, but it is HIGHLY recommended to backup any important data when doing any partition work.

For best results,make sure that the drive you are resizing is defragmented, then all the data is in one location on the disk, leaving a big chunk of free space at then end for resizing. If its fragmented, it will be all over the place, not leaving much free space.

Usually a restore partition is only pretty small at about 5gig, and is often barely used, so will not be fragmented much if at all.
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don570


Joined: 10 Mar 2010
Posts: 3437
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 20:34    Post subject:  

You can expand the size of partition into an unused region safely.

Gparted GUI will show you if you have an unused region nearby to
expand into.

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nubc


Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Posts: 1113
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jan 2013, 03:43    Post subject:  

GParted results:
sda1, NTFS, 6.01GB total, 3.92 GB used, 2.09 GB unused, flag=diag
sda2, NTFS, 15.01 GB total, 9.47 GB used, 5.54 GB unused, flag=boot
sda3, extended, 90.78 GB total, ---, ---, flag=lba
sda5, NTFS, 90.78 GB total, 3.01 GB used, 87.77 unused
unallocated (gray), 2.49 GB (MB?) total
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anikin

Joined: 10 May 2012
Posts: 557

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jan 2013, 06:58    Post subject:  

Judging by the output, there's a lot of free space on the disk and resizing shouldn't be a problem. Gparted is considered to be safe and non-destructive, and I've been successfully using it for quite some time. However, it has one unresolved issue - an 'NTFS resizing bug': http://gparted-forum.surf4.info/viewtopic.php?id=13777
In case you're bitten by this bug and need to survive, just make sure you have an account on their forum. So that you can file a report, and the developer will get back to you with a command-line solution.
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nubc


Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Posts: 1113
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jan 2013, 18:24    Post subject:  

Questions:
1. What happened to sda4?
2. Where is the Sony restore software likely to be located?
3. Why are sda3 and sda5 the same partition?
4. What is the boot flag named "lba"?

I am guessing that sda1 is a hidden partition, containing the restore software. Also, that partition sda3/sda5 corresponds to drive D: in Windows. There's a lotta free space because this is a clean restore/install of Windows XP.
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gcmartin


Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 4507
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jan 2013, 18:46    Post subject:  

nubc wrote:
Questions:
1. What happened to sda4?
2. Where is the Sony restore software likely to be located?
3. Why are sda3 and sda5 the same partition?
4. What is the boot flag named "lba"?

I am guessing that sda1 is a hidden partition, containing the restore software. Also, that the partition sda3/sda5 corresponds to drive D: in Windows.
Current disk architecture dates back to the mid 1980s. In that architecture, which is followed even today, a single HDD (hard dsk drive) could be divided into 4 "PRIMARY" partitions.
Your PC manufacture has chosen to assist users by dividing the drive for expected PC use. Thus you see the layout displayed by GParted.

Your PC manufacturer is aware of the architecture. One feature of the architecture is that ONE and ONLY 1 primary partition on any HDD could be an extended partition. In an extended partition, any user or manufacturer is "freed" (so to speak) from the architecture and can add as many more partitions that they desire.

In your case, Your manufacturer decided to use 3 primary partitions where 1 of them is an "freed" primary called Extended. In the extended area, they chose to create an additional partition and to use all remaining space in that additional partition. This is a common practice among PC manufacturers and system administrators.

So the tool used by the manufacture to create the partitions you see created 2 primary partitions, and an extended (primary) area where more partitions could be added.

Now, you have been given good advice here in this thread about the need to defrag your C: drive (its the biggest one you see). This is done by booting and using your Windows for such.

Once complete, you should expect that resizing that very BIG partition will yield a Windows which is still bootable and allow you to create new partition(s) in that extended area to cover your needs.

You shouldn't concern yourself with the partition numbers. They are reference numbers used by the tools. But, if you must know, you will need to check both Linux architecture, disk architecture, and tool for disc manipulation for how the number Primary partitions and extended area partitions..

In guessing, I am going to guess, base upon structures seen in the past, that your Windows system delivered with recovery built into Partition 1 and Partition 2. But. remember, that is a guess.

I would guess that you do not touch or modify partition 1/2. But, to focus attention to partition 3.

Hope this bring some ease and some better understanding. And, there are 25 years of information around on this. If your current system contain important information that you would miss if it were lost, I would, if I were you, go somewhere, college, store-front where there are people who have done this before who can show you safe approaches to maintaining your data.

Here to help

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nubc


Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Posts: 1113
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jan 2013, 19:00    Post subject:  

I am quite willing to defrag drives C and D from Windows. I believe the partition sda2 corresponds to drive C, containing Windows OS, 15 GB in size. Drive D is presumably a data drive, and shouldn't have much data on it because this is a clean install using the Sony restore software. The Sony restore software decided on this arrangement of partitions on the hard drive. The whole point of this exercise is to make the Windows drive (C) larger, although the drive with Windows (C) is only 63% used, 37% unused, with Windows XP, Office, Nero, PowerDVD, a few junk programs from Sony, and several select utilities installed.
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gcmartin


Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 4507
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Tue 29 Jan 2013, 14:50    Post subject:  

nubc wrote:
I am quite willing to defrag drives C and D from Windows. I believe the partition sda2 corresponds to drive C, containing Windows OS, 15 GB in size. Drive D is presumably a data drive, and shouldn't have much data on it because this is a clean install using the Sony restore software. The Sony restore software decided on this arrangement of partitions on the hard drive. The whole point of this exercise is to make the Windows drive (C) larger, although the drive with Windows (C) is only 63% used, 37% unused, with Windows XP, Office, Nero, PowerDVD, a few junk programs from Sony, and several select utilities installed.
OK, based on this, you could boot Linux, start GParted, and
  1. reduce the size of the partition in the extended area
  2. reduce the size of the extended area itself
  3. move the extended area to the far right
  4. expand the size of the 2nd partition.
This may be a help as a guide.

here to help

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