I've got a 2 TB external HDD.

The HDD is partitioned into 3 partitions:

200 mb efi partition and two about 1 TB Fat32 partitions.

Formatting the whole drive isn't an option because there is important data on the drive.

Is there a way to delete the EFI partition without affecting the other two partitions?


Yes; using any disk partition editor, including gparted or the gnome disk utility.

  • but was is the efi partition for? faster loading of the hdd? or something else? i dont wanna risk losing the data on the drive. – NotANormalNerd Apr 25 '12 at 20:42
  • @DennisSchma, it is for EFI based ( as opposed to conventional PC BIOS ) machines to boot from the primary internal hard disk. It shouldn't be on removable media. – psusi Apr 26 '12 at 2:32

The ESP is created automatically by some tools on disks over a certain size. Apple's Disk Utility does this, for instance. As psusi says, it's not needed for a non-boot disk (or even a disk with a bootable OS, if its boot loader resides elsewhere), but it also does no harm. A 200 MB ESP is 0.01% of the total space on a 2 TB disk. This is a trivial amount, and to reclaim this space, you'd need to erase and re-create your first partition or resize the partition backward from its starting point. Either operation will be a hassle, and could result in data loss. Thus, I recommend just leaving it in place unless you have some compelling reason (say, to keep partition numbers aligned across multiple backup disks) or if you need to delete and re-create that first partition for other reasons.

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