I know how that should be done but it doesn't work.

I want to save a (rsync) snapshot of my system with Timeshift on an external drive. I want to save thus a "perfect" exemplary of my system in order to restore it later in case the running one gets bloated or dies.

Timeshift offers a choice between two types of snapshots: RSYNC and BTRFS. RSYNC snapshots, unlike BTRFS, can be saved on external drives, but only on a Linux-type partition, that is NOT on an NTFS partition.

All my external drives are NTFS. So, I need to shrink the NTFS partition of one that has free space and create an ext4 partition there.

When the drive is mounted and I start Gparted all seems well.

enter image description here

enter image description here

But when it is unmounted (Gparted can unmount it) an exclamation point marks the partition, the free space is not seen, the shrink slider is stuck because no free space seems available, and info contain a warning .

enter image description here

enter image description here

Also, at this point the "mount" option is grayed out in Gparted. If I restart Gparted while the drive is not mounted, Gparted cannot mount it.


I was able to create an ext3 partition in Windows 10 with EaseUS Partition Master Free (which allows ext2 and ext3, not ext4 support). First I checked the drive for errors and then shrunk the ntfs to make space for the ext3. Oddly, EPM only allowed shrinkage of c.20GB out of the c.45GB of free space, so a c.19GB ext3 partition was created.

But in Ubuntu nothing changes as far as the NTFS partition is concerned: it is accessible in the file manager, appears mounted in Gparted, can be un-mounted there, but cannot be re-mounted nor modified by Gparted.

  • 1
    If used with Windows, it may have the hibernation flag set from "fast start up". All NTFS partitions are then locked. Or it could need chkdsk. Always best to use Windows to resize NTFS and then reboot into Windows and run chkdsk as that is required after any NTFS resize. askubuntu.com/questions/843153/… More explanation of NTFS driver & Windows hibernation askubuntu.com/questions/145902/… – oldfred Oct 24 '18 at 13:11
  • @oldfred - It's not that, I never said ntfs partitions could not be mounted and accessed. Although I do have a dual boot with Windows 10, that drive was not used at Windows shutdown, and I only use "real" shutdown in Windows 10 anyway. – user47206 Oct 24 '18 at 13:18
  • @oldfred - Updated question. – user47206 Oct 24 '18 at 13:27
  • If you click on the yellow exclamation point in gparted what does it say? What is "real" shutdown in Windows? If you have not changed settings to turn off fast start up then shutdown uses it. And Windows updates (which may be in background) may turn fast start up back on. – oldfred Oct 24 '18 at 14:48
  • @oldfred - exclamation point is related to details given after warning in the last image posted above. relating to windows: I use a shortcut for shutdown /s /f /t 0 which is a full shutdown. Were it not so, all ntfs partitions, namely the large local one used in common in Linux and Win10 would not be accessible (mountable) in Linux. But ALL ARE accessed in Linux by the file manager, including the external one. I can do whatever I want on those partitions, mount or unmount them; the only thing I cannot do is modify the external one in gparted it or remount it once unmounted in gparted. – user47206 Oct 24 '18 at 16:49

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.