Partition problems after installing a second Kubuntu version

Nils Kassube kassube at
Sat Sep 12 07:56:31 UTC 2009

john d. herron wrote:
> Well, if possible it would like it to look something like this:
> 1)    Leave /dev/hda1 (the fat32 partition) in place, but trim it by
> about 2 GB. I've already stored most of the win97 stuff in a like
> partition on a 70%-empty 160 GB external USB harddrive; all I need to
> do is delete about 3 GB of non-essentials from /dev/hda1.
> 2)    Remove /dev/hda3 after moving its current contents (a skeleton
> /home directory) to a location on the external USB drive.
> 3)    Move /dev/hd1 free (the hidden 'buffer' partition) to a
> position adjoining the end of the trimmed /dev/hda1.
> 4)    Remove /dev/hda4 (currently empty; I used it for temporary
> storage of ISO files to be burned on CDs).

So far it looks like these tasks can be easily done with qtparted.

> 5)    Resize (i.e. left-grow) /dev/hda2 to a position adjoining ~ the
> end of the free /dev/hda1. Thus the extended partition /dev/hda2
> would then span ~ 28 GB (commencing at ~ 10 GB and ending at ~ 38.34
> GB. Then, inside this enlarged extended partition (/dev/hda2): 

I'm not sure you can left-grow the extended partition (and I don't have 
a spare disk to easily test it). But you can try with qtparted if it 
lets you do it.

> 6)  Recreate a somewhat enlarged /dev/hda3 (e.g. ~ 13 GB) into which
> to install Kubuntu 8.04.2

If you can't left-grow the extended partition you could recreate it as a 
primary partition.

> 7)   Recreate a somewhat enlarged /dev/hda4 (e.g. ~ 2/3 GB) next to
> /dev/hda3, to temporarily store things that don't really pertain to a
> particular distro.

I would suggest to use your external USB disk as a temporary storage 
instead. Then you can us this space to make one of your important 
partitions larger.

> 8)   Move the linux-swap partition (which will presumably become
> /dev/hda5) left, to adjoin the enlarged /dev/hda4.
> 8)   Left-grow the current /dev/hda7 (which will presumably become
> /dev/hda6), to adjoin the relocated swap partition.

If you can't left-grow the extended partition I would suggest you make 
the swap partition a primary partition and use the entire extended 
partition for your current hda7.

> Does this sound feasible - and practical - to you?

Like I wrote above, I'm not sure you can grow the extended partition. 
But if qtparted lets you do it, all of the above seems feasible. But be 
warned, it may take a long time (several hours) to left-grow a 

> and how should
> these changes be reflected in grub?

Well, the new partition names or UUIDs should be used in the grub file 
/boot/grub/menu.lst and don't forget to adjust your /etc/fstab as well.

> Yesterday afternoon I tried to do step  1: qtparted let me enter the
> change, but did not commit.
> Am I overlooking anything? perhaps something elementary?

Probably you didn't unmount the partition. You may not make changes to a 
partition which is in use and qtparted doesn't allow to do it. I would 
suggest you do all those partition shuffling from a live CD where you 
don't need any partitions mounted. But beware, the live CD may use the 
swap partition anyway. You can disable the swap partition with the 

sudo swapoff -a

in a terminal if you can't do it from qtparted.

> or should I
> use some other partitioning application?

Personally I prefer gparted but I would expect that qtparted has the 
same features and only a different look.


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