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I have installed and working Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04.

I discovered that I do not need all this space that I have assigned to my D:\ drive in Windows and now would like to include it as a partition in Ubuntu.

A friend told me that if I have first installed Windows and then Ubuntu, then the order of the disks does not favor such a move and that I must just format it and auto-mount it in Ubuntu.

Here is my partition table:

  /dev/sda1 ntfs 209715 MB (C:/ drive with Windows installation)
  /dev/sda2 ntfs 268928 MB (D:/ drive that I would like now to use in Ubuntu)
  /dev/sda5 ext4 100000 MB (Ubuntu root /)
  /dev/sda7 ext4 162467 MB (Ubuntu home /home)
  /dev/sda6 swap 9034 MB   (swap partition)

Here is what I am planning to do but am so scared to break anything.

I booted with the 12.04 Live USB and chose "Something else" (3rd option after "Erase Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS and reinstall" and "Erase everything and reinstall").

Then I plan to select /dev/sda2 then click on "Change". In the dialog box, I plan to select ext4, to tick the Format checkbox and to choose mount point to be the root /.

Am I creating a disaster?

Please advise.

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2 Answers

Option 1: You don't need to reinstall the system to take advantage of the extra partition, of course. Actually, you do not even need to reformat it -- Ubuntu can mount an NTFS partition as well, so you could use it to exchange data between the two systems. For example, you can mount it in such a way that it is always accessible under /data, for example, so you can store your multimedia files there.

There is a step-by-step instruction on how to do it here. Even if it seems complicated, it's not, and is actually by far the easiest solution.

In short, you need to

  1. Install ntfs driver

    sudo apt-get install ntfs-4g
  2. Run the graphical configuration tool

    sudo apt-get install ntfs-config
    gksudo ntfs-config

Also, if I would not use so much space for the root system. My system barely uses up a few gigs; it's better to leave the system partition relatively small, because if needed you can just go on and reformat it, not worrying about what you really care about -- your data files. How much does your system currently take? Multiply it by two and you will get the most of what you should allocate to a root filesystem. And if you do not keep data on your root filesystem (as you should), then you waste disk space.

Option 2: if you really plan a full reinstallation, just delete all the Linux partitions and the NTFS partition using the manual partitioning option in the Ubuntu installer, and set up the partitions to your heart's content. It's not as dangerous as one might think, as long as you read what's on the screen and do a backup before installation.

Note about backups: there are two sorts of people, those who do proper backups and those who will. Whatever you do, backup your data on an external disk or in the cloud, make sure that backups work, and you'll be fine.

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Thank you @January for the options. I feel that it makes more sense but I still confused on the best way to move the NTFS partition to Ubuntu without removing the Windows installation (or even the Ubuntu one). –  nunix Aug 19 '12 at 18:03
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I did the same thing that you are planning to do and with me works just fine.

So, I don't thinks you're going to have problems.

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Thanks for the quick reply. Do you think mounting under root is better than mounting under /home? –  nunix Aug 19 '12 at 16:15
So, I think that depends on your wishes. I usually create only 2 partitions: /(root), /home. An one Partition NTFS for backup, because I will be able to access its from Windows and Linux. –  vhbsouza Aug 19 '12 at 16:19
@nunix; I'm sorry, I didn't understand your question. If I was in your place I'd mount under /home. –  vhbsouza Aug 19 '12 at 16:27
That makes more sense :) Thanks @vhbsouza –  nunix Aug 19 '12 at 16:37
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