Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
  • First, my partitioning looks like so:

enter image description here

  • I do not like how it looks, and am not sure how I came up with that extended partition sda3[**] which I do not need, but it did not bother me initially, so I continued with that structure.

  • At a certain point I have shrunk the Windows partition and used the new partition to test different Linux-es. Now, that is called sda2.

  • I am not sure if I use the terminology properly, but sda2 is my only linux partition outside the large extended partition. (As far as I understand it, an extended partition is like a container for smaller partitions: in a way sda3 contains and is formed by sda5, 6 and7.)

  • I have used sda2 to test different Linux OS-es. At a certain point, when sda7 was not a system partition, but an empty one, I have tried to enlarge sda2 into sda7 but this was not possible - I think because sda7 was within the extended partition sda3. So, I just copy/pasted the sda2, which was a system partition into the free sda7 (with Gparted) and in this way have transferred the system to a larger partition. But now I would like to enlarge even more sda7 (now my system partition): and cannot do it. I would like to use sda2 which now is separated and kind of useless.

  • sda5 is a space to deposit files.

My question is:

Is it possible to change this structure of my partitions so as to add sda2 space to my system partition sda7 without having to remove my system - that is: without formatting sda7 and sda5?

I am familiar with Gparted booting from external USB and with Boot Repair. So, I do not mind if solving this would corrupt the grub, I could restore it later with Boot Repair. I just want to now what would be the chances of adding the space of sda2 to the system partition.

[**I am under the impression, although not really sure, that the structure of sda3 as extended partition is the result of the manipulations made while installing/testing different Linux-es on sda2 and that the partitioning program of the system installer was able to change the record entries of what now are sda5, 6 and 7 without formatting them: so, I hope to do something like that from a bootable GParted USB].

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

To add a space from outside an extended partition to a logical partition contained in that extended partition, that space has to be first included in the extended partition.

Only then it can be added to one or more of the logical partitions from within the extended one.


  1. Using GParted from a live CD/USB, delete sda2 which is EMPTY.
  2. Resize sda3 (extended) partition to the left to take up all the unallocated free space left by sda2.
  3. You can then use the new unallocated free space before sda7 in any way you like:

    • increasing the size of sda7 (preferably by making a backup of this partition first, e.g. using clonezilla or redo although GParted should perform this without any problems), after which you can even share some of the newly gained space with other partitions (sda5 & sda6) in several steps of moving their start boundaries to the left, or
    • creating a new partition there
share|improve this answer
This is the tricky part of Extended Partition, which is regarded as one Primary Partition. First, you must resize it (sda3). Second, you can only then resize Logical Partitions contained in it (sda7,6,5). – Sadi Feb 20 '13 at 8:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.