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I recently cloned my hard drive to a new one with an additional 250GB of space (232GiB per Gparted). This has left 232 GiB of unallocated space at the end of the drive that I would like to redistribute amongst the existing partitions. I would like to add some to sda1, some to sda2, etc.. I realize that one can only merge partition space when the unallocated space is adjacent, but can't figure out the best way to do this, given existing partitions are all primary... Can someone advise on this? BTW, since this is a cloned drive, the original is still intact, so I don't need to backup.

GParted After Upgrading Hard drive

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can move partitions with gparted. Start my moving the swap partition to the end of the drive. Select the parition and click the resize/move button. You can drag it to the end. Click apply to see it happen. This one should be pretty fast.

The moving of the other partitions will take a really long time as it has to move every piece of data in the partition. I would have a play with moving and resizing without hitting apply to figure out what you want to do. Then when you have the plan written down, perform each action one at a time.

Something like:

  1. Move swap
  2. grow sda3 to x (this will fast as it is just adding empty spave on the end)
  3. move sda3 (this will take a long time)
  4. grow sda2 to y
  5. move sda2
  6. grow sda1 to the rest

As you can see you should to grow a partition before you move it as that will make it a lot easier to line up the new partitions.

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Good answer, one minor correction though: Moving swap does not make sense since the data on swap partitions is only required during uptime or for resume. Consider rewriting to instruct 'delete swap, move / resize, recreate swap'. – aquaherd Oct 2 '11 at 9:58
Technically I agree with you. However from a learning point of view moving the swap first and seeing how the process works on a partition that does not matter is a good thing. IMHO. – quaeritate Oct 14 '11 at 21:22
Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks – djthoms Jan 24 '13 at 2:37

Since you have the original, you should:

  • start with an empty drive (no cloning)
  • copy the partitions one by one from old drive to new drive (resizing while copying should be possible)
  • create swap, don't copy it
  • chroot into new drive and do install-grub (since this isn't a clone. the master boot record didn't get copied).

This should be much faster than cloning + resizing.

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