I need to create some space to that I can dual-boot with Windows. Looking at Gparted, it seems that to do that, I need to unmount my /dev/sda1 which contains my Ubuntu system. While searching online, it seems that people were doing it for removable media, but I'm working with one hard drive. Is it safe to unmount to create some space?


You cannot unmount a partition while you are using it. The way to do it is to boot from a live CD or USB drive, and run gparted from there. Then you will usually be able to resize any partitions on your hard drive.

The original Ubuntu disk will work, as will specialized utility disks like gparted magic, but all of them simply use gparted to do the work.

  • Did not know that part! But will it effect my Ubuntu system at all? – Imnotanerd Sep 13 '12 at 2:51
  • Normally, no, but any low-level operation such as this has the potential for messing up, either by user error or something like a power loss or something while in the middle of a critical operation. If you pay attention, the chance for user error will be minimized. Just don't assume anything, and ask questions before you do something you don't understand rather than later. – Marty Fried Sep 13 '12 at 2:53
  • @Imnotanerd: as always when changing partitions I strongly recommend you backup your data before you proceed. – Takkat Sep 13 '12 at 6:42

You cannot unmount the file system that you are booted into currently. What you should do is to boot into Ubuntu live and launch gparted from there. Since it is live, none of your partitions will be mounted and you can resize any partition according to your whim.


After booting from a LiveCD or LiveUSB, then run Gparted; to unmount the extended partition, FIRST turn off the swap partition (part of extended partition) by right clicking on swap and selecting "swapoff". This should unmount the extended partition at the same time. Was having this problem booting from a LiveUSB, couldn't unmount the extended partition; puzzled, then by accident discovered that unmounting the swap partition would unmount both. After that, was able to resize as I wanted. Hope this helps.

  • Had a similar problem booting from LiveCD using VirtualBox. The vdi drive I wanted to resize was locked by default, though I wasn't using it at all for boot. Right-clicking on it and selecting Deactivate was all that was needed. – killthrush Oct 21 '15 at 11:20

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