Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

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

I have a PC with Ubuntu 12.04 and Windows 7 in dual boot. The Ubuntu partition has 25GB of disk space and I'm running out of space so I want to make this partition bigger. The situation is the following:

Dispositivo Boot    Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048     3071999     1534976   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda2   *     3072000   254730239   125829120    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3       254730240   438394879    91832320    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda4       438396926   488396799    24999937    5  Esteso
/dev/sda5       438396928   488396799    24999936   83  Linux

Gparted screenshot

The sda2 partition is the Windows 7 one, in sda3 I have only some data (this is the partition that I want to resize to gain space for the Ubuntu one) and then in sda4-5 there is Ubuntu.

My questions are:

  • I don't understand what is the sda4 partition that seems to contain the Ubuntu one (sda5)
  • Is safe to resize partitions sda3 and sda5 using gparted from a LiveCD? I mean safe both for Windows (data in sda3 and system in sda2) and for Ubuntu (sda5). It is better if I move my data from partition sda3 to an external memory before doing the resize?
share|improve this question
You can try minitool partition wizard supports both MBR and GUID partition table (GPT) on 32/64 bits Operating System including Windows XP, Vista, Windows Server 2000/2003/2008/2008-R2/2012, Windows SBS, Windows 7 and Windows 8. – user254544 Mar 4 '14 at 6:04
possible duplicate of How to resize partitions? – Eliah Kagan Sep 5 '14 at 0:02
up vote 1 down vote accepted

/dev/sda4 is what's known as a extended partition; the partition table only has room for 4 primary partitions. To get more than 4 partitions out of a disk you need to create one of the partitions as a extended partition...this is then subdivided into further partitions as you create them.

As for resizing the Windows partition I've successfully used gparted to do it. However you need to make sure you run a "Disk Defragmention" tool across your Windows partition before doing it. The GParted FAQ does come with the following warning:

When resizing boot NTFS partitions, it is advisable to perform this as a single operation only. After resizing, boot into Windows twice to allow Windows to perform its checking operations.

Make sure you backup any data you want to keep in both Windows and Ubuntu when resizing the partitions; it should be a straight forward process but it can go wrong and you don't want to loose data!

share|improve this answer

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.