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I have an extended 52-gigs partition that I can't seem to see from Linux, I can't mount it, delete it nor format it. How can I reclaim that drive back, I want the space.

I manually installed my system from the live Ubuntu DVD. As I mentioned before, I'm using now a normal Ubuntu 11.10. This drive has been like this for a long time, but I've been very lazy to fix the problem when it happened. But now, I need the space. I tried to mount it, didn't work, tried to do something with it using some GUI apps, like Gparted and that disk utility tool that comes with Ubuntu, they didn't give me any options to do with the drive, except for deleting, which didn't work, gave me the message that you see in the picture here

Thank you so much for any help :)

EDIT: Here's the output of the 'sudo fdisk l-'

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The picture shows a process list from System viewer. What does that have to do with your partitioning layout? Please post the output of sudo fdisk -l in your question. An extended partition needs partitions on it itself to be able to hold a filesystem. (counting from number 5 where 4 is the 'umbrella' extended partition). – gertvdijk Jan 15 '13 at 9:19
Sorry .... :S Wrong picture, will correct it. – VeXe Jan 15 '13 at 9:26
Check it out again please :) – VeXe Jan 15 '13 at 9:27
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I guess you need to have some more basic knowledge about the traditional partition table layout using primary and extended partitions.

It's not possible to format the Extended partition (sda4) itself. Use the partitions you have as part of it (sda5, sda6). It's clearly shown in your picture that you already have two partitions on that piece of disk as being drawn in the same space (horizontally) and on the same sectors in the fdisk -l output. If you would format this partition directly (becoming a primary one) you will lose data on on both the sda5 and sda6 partitions.

To reclaim the space, you'll have to give up sda5 and sda6 first.

The history about extended partitions is that the good old MSDOS partition layout does not let you have more than 4 primary partitions. The extended partition is an extension representing itself as a primary partition, yet holding extended ones in itself.

So, to put it really simple as you said from the comments: sda4 = sda5 + sda6.

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I'm a noob here, could you tell me how to fix this?/how to get the drive back?/how to get a filesystem on it?/how to do what you just said "Use the partitions you make on top of it"? – VeXe Jan 15 '13 at 9:42
You already have partitions inside (sda5,sda6) the Extended partition (sda4). It's the same piece of hard disk you're already using. In other words: what you're trying to do is not possible. In case you want to remove it, you'll have to remove sda5 and sda6 first. – gertvdijk Jan 15 '13 at 10:30
So? I understood that I can't remove it, I'm asking: how can I make it usable? – VeXe Jan 15 '13 at 11:12
I'm repeating myself here: you're already using this piece of your hard drive. If you want to use it for another purpose remove the partitions sda5 (50G ext4) and sda6 (2G swap) first. If you don't understand what I'm saying, please refer to what you don't understand. – gertvdijk Jan 15 '13 at 11:18
This is something really basic, don't overcomplicate it. Think of it like a cake cut into 4 pieces. Now, let's say one piece is divided into some more itself. This is your situation, with the cake being your hard drive, the 3 regular pieces the primary partitions, the piece divided into more is your extended and the smaller pieces are your sda5/sda6. The smaller ones (sda5/sda6) are part of the bigger one (sda4). – gertvdijk Jan 15 '13 at 11:39

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