So my disk ended up being partitioned like this (in order):

  • System reserved (100MB)
  • Windows 7 (NTFS, 500GB)
  • Ubuntu (ext4, 100GB)
  • Swap (4GB)
  • Unallocated Space (400GB)

Unfortunately, the unallocated space is not next to ext4 or NTFS partitions.

I want to allocate 200GB to the Windows 7 NTFS partition, the other 200GB to the Ubuntu partitions. I think one can only merge partitions that are next to each other, not sure how to handle my case.

Any suggestions? Is there anything I should pay attention to (such as not screwing up either Windows or Ubuntu system, not screwing up GRUB).

I am using Ubuntu 12.04.

2 Answers 2


Yes, the space does need to be contiguous to merge. You will need to move a few things around, and do it in stages. I wouldn't try to do it all at once, since some steps may take a bit of time.

You will need to do it using a live CD or live USB, as you can't mess with a mounted partition.

I recommend first creating a swap drive at the end of the disk. Then, highlight the old swap drive, choose swap off, unmount that partition, and delete it.

You can move the Ubuntu partition over into the unallocated space, then merge the space before Ubuntu with Windows, and merge the space after Ubuntu with Ubuntu.

You might also consider leaving them as is, creating a data partition using NTFS, then pointing both windows and Ubuntu to this partition for Documents, pictures, music, etc. Windows 7 has a way to change the location for these directories, and you can create symbolic links in Ubuntu to point to the same place. This makes it much easier to share data with both systems, and never duplicate data.

  • 1
    And if there's any important data at all, make backups of it! Moving and resizing partitions is how I blew my Windows install up and got to Ubuntu in the first place. Oct 6, 2012 at 5:37

Just because it may be interesting to know, given the time/effort it will take to do what you are planning: Just allocating the whole 400GB to Ubuntu should be pretty painless.

You delete the swap partittion, recreate it on the far "right" side and resize the ext4 partition. This is easiest done in a live system, but if you need to you can evn do it in the actual system since ext4 supports online growing. This process should be a lot faster than actually moving the Ubuntu partition.

  • I'm not sure if it's actually faster, since the Ubuntu system will need to be moved either way, your way is one less step. I actually prefer my method because if there is a problem with one step for some reason, especially a final step, the entire process doesn't need to be repeated after parted rolls back the entire operation. Oct 6, 2012 at 16:16
  • Why would you need to move Ubuntu around if you assign it the full 400 GB? The partitions would then look like this: - System reserved (100MB) - Windows 7 (NTFS, 500GB) - Ubuntu (ext4, 500GB) - Swap (4GB) And the swap partition can simply be deleted and recreated, so all that would be left to do is resizing the Ubuntu partition, which can be grown quite easily and fast, since growing does not involve any moving of data. Oct 7, 2012 at 14:05
  • Yes, but I was answering his actual question (adding half the free space to Windows, and the other half to Ubuntu), whereas you now seem to have been making a suggestion rather than answering his question. Making suggestions is fine, but don't get a suggestion confused with an answer. Oct 7, 2012 at 17:13
  • 1
    Hmm, okay, might have asked on meta before. I thought the First sentence made clear enough why I wrote the (non-)answer. Oct 7, 2012 at 18:01
  • Well, after rereading it, I can see what you were saying, but it wasn't really that clear the first time. Probably because I expecting it to be an answer to his question, so I read it quickly without noticing that it was not what he asked. Oct 7, 2012 at 18:14

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