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Here the deal: I have Ubuntu 12.04 and Windows 7 both install in separate partitions in the following partition configuration:

  • Windows
  • Ubuntu
  • Swap

I decided that I wanted to move 50gbs from Linux to Windows, so I shrunk the Ubuntu partition with GParted. Now it's like this:

  • Windows
  • Ubuntu
  • 50gbs unallocated space
  • Swap

Now, I tried moving the Ubuntu partition to the right so that I could expand the Windows one, but GParted warned me that moving it could make Linux unbootable. Is there any way to do this without breaking my OS? Thanks a lot.

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Please remember to accept/upvote the best answer(s) to your question when possible (tick/check mark on the left). This way, the question is marked as "answered" and future readers can refer to it knowing the solution works. Thank you...:) –  izx Aug 30 '12 at 23:43

1 Answer 1

This depends on whether you installed Ubuntu to an extended partition, or if it's on a primary partition.

  • If primary, Ubuntu shouldn't break inspite of the warning.
  • If extended, Ubuntu will break (or more accurately, its bootloader GRUB will)
    • To fix this, you will need to boot from a LiveCD/LiveUSB and run sudo update-grub (you could possibly do this after GParted finishes, if you're already booted from a LiveCD)
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this is curious ... Why does this happen ? (i.e. why would there be such problems, and just for extended partitions ?) –  josinalvo Jul 22 '12 at 21:45
@josinalvo: my explanation is limited because I'm typing on my phone, but here it is: GRUB2 needs to chain-load most of itself, called core.img before it can function. If your /boot is on an extended partition, Grub2 hard-codes the location of core.img based on the disk offset. If you move such a partition, core.img is no longer present at that offset and Grub2 will fail unless you run update-grub to update the offset to the new (moved) location of core.img. –  izx Jul 22 '12 at 21:50
Interesting. So grub understands primary partitions and, inside them, offsets. That is still curious =P Is it much harder to interpret the extended partitions ? –  josinalvo Jul 22 '12 at 22:00
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_Boot_Record explains why extended partitions are a bit more complicated to interpret –  josinalvo Jul 22 '12 at 22:44

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