I have Windows and Ubuntu partitions on my computer, and what I want is to use some space taken from a Windows partition for my file partition on Ubuntu.

I booted a USB-live Ubuntu, opened Gparted, and here is a picture of my partitions: my partitions

/dev/sda7 is the system partition of my Ubuntu. I would like to use the freed space (38.19GB) for the /dev/sda8 partition. I see three options:

1) extend /dev/sda7 to the left to occupy the non-allocated space, shrink it by the same amount (38.19GB) to the right, then extend /dev/sda8 to the left by the same amount.


2) move /dev/sda7 to the left to occupy the non-allocated space, then extend /dev/sda8 to the left to recover the 38.19GB. PROBLEM: When doing it in Gparted (without confirming), I get a warning message saying that I could probably be unable to boot on my Ubuntu (which is on /dev/sda7) if I move it.


3) Do not touch /dev/sda7 and /dev/sda8 but create a new partition at the non-allocated space, which I would use as additional partition when /dev/sda8 is full.

Which of these three options should I use?

Which one is advised or not, and why?

By "advised" I mean safe for my Ubuntu system and data (I want to have my usual Ubuntu exactly as before after rebooting, but with more space available for my files).

In option 1, would the extension to the left of my system partition /dev/sda7 be a problem? (in terms of booting, performance, or other...) Option 2 is probably not advised because I would end up with a non-bootable Ubuntu, but I mention it in case the other options have more drawbacks.


  • I backed up my files, but not my Ubuntu system, and I am worried about Gparted not recommending to move partition /dev/sda7 (Ubuntu system) in option 2. Any explanation on the risks when moving this partition would be appreciated.

  • My plan is to remove /dev/sda5 in the future.


Make sure that you have a good backup of your important Ubuntu files, as this procedure can corrupt or loose data.

Keep these things in mind:

  • always start the entire procedure with issuing a swapoff on any mounted swap partitions, and end the entire procedure with issuing a swapon on that same swap partition

  • a move is done by pointing the mouse pointer at the center of a partition and dragging it left/right with the hand cursor

  • a resize is done by dragging the left/right side of a partition to the left/right with the directional arrow cursor

  • if any partition can't be moved/resized graphically, you may have to manually enter the specific required numeric data (don't do this unless I instruct you to)

  • you begin any move/resize by right-clicking on the partition in the lower part of the main window, and selecting the desired action from the popup menu, then finishing that action in the new move/resize window

Do the following...

Note: if the procedure doesn't work exactly as I outline, STOP immediately and DO NOT continue.

  • boot the a Ubuntu Live DVD/USB
  • start gparted
  • move sda7 partition all the way left
  • move sda8 partition all the way left
  • resize sda8 right side all the way to the right

If it looks good, click the Apply button.

  • Is your Windows really 100% full? Or did you shrink it too much? Windows NTFS likes 30% free, starts to get slow at 20% and at 10% you just about cannot do a defrag as no working room. Time for major houseclean or larger hard drive. – oldfred Jun 9 '18 at 15:12
  • Thanks, but could you please give the explanation of why you are advising this choice? Also, you did not comment on the Gparted warning I got (saying that moving partition /dev/sda7 would likely result in an unbootable system)... – Giuseppe Jun 9 '18 at 21:35
  • @oldfred In fact my Windows is not bootable (I posted the problem here and didn't get any answer), so my plan is to remove it in the future. But for now, shrinking it to maximum sounded like sufficient to me. – Giuseppe Jun 9 '18 at 21:37
  • Sometimes changing partitions around may make a system unbootable. it often depends on what you do. That is why you must have Good Backups. And with any partition change, it can break system, power failure or user stops it in middle. Always have good backups & repair disk like Ubuntu live installer. – oldfred Jun 10 '18 at 1:13

The safest is surely option 3. But both 1 and 2 are doable.

But first thing first, let's address a bigger problem:

By "advised" I mean safe for my Ubuntu system and data (I want to have my usual Ubuntu exactly as before after rebooting, but with more space available for my files).

You DO have a backup of everything you don't want to loose, right?
Because anything can happen that kills your hard disk, a dab bump to the computer while the HDD is spinning or a lightning that strikes too close and your hard disk is gone...

Given a backup, I would personally choose option 2, because it will give you a cleaner system (IMHO) than the other two.
It will take some time (maybe hours) to complete, and at the end you will need to update your /etc/fstab with the new UUIDs, but the result is what you want, a larger partition for your data.

  • With just a move, UUIDs should not change, but best to check before trying to boot. – oldfred Jun 9 '18 at 15:24
  • Thank you. Yes, I have backed up my files, but not my Ubuntu system, which is why I mentioned the Gparted warning saying that I might not recover from moving partition /dev/sda7; what do you think about it? Are there risks? And why are you saying that option 2 would give a "cleaner system"? – Giuseppe Jun 9 '18 at 21:32
  • There are always risks when moving partitions around. I say "cleaner" because at the end you'll have a smaller partition with / and directly after that a bigger partition with /home. – dadexix86 Jun 10 '18 at 18:47
  • Ok, so do you recommend also making a recovery drive of my Ubuntu before using Gparted? If yes, what is the easiest way to do it? Or do you think I should instead make a System Rescue CD, or other? – Giuseppe Jun 12 '18 at 19:20
  • @ dadexix86 Also, you mention the update of the /etc/fstab with the new UUIDs. Could you please explain to me how to do it? (how do I find these "new UUIDs", how to access /etc/fstab if I cannot boot, what to modify exactly, etc.) – Giuseppe Jun 16 '18 at 16:03

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