I want to install Windows 7 on a computer which has Ubuntu 13.10. When Ubuntu was installed on this computer, its boot partition received all available hard disk space(except for the part given to swap).

Now, whenever I am trying to shrink the area occupied by boot, GParted blocks most of the menu options (including resizing). So, why can't I resize boot? Also, is there a tutorial about working with GParted from tty or pts?(everything I found so far uses the GUI menus exclusively, which may get very frustrating after a while).

enter image description here

I've tried using a Live CD (by burning the downloaded Ubuntu iso on a dvd), so I've changed ROM to boot from ODD as the first option, but the Live CD still doesn't show up, and Ubuntu boots as usual(this part was more like a secondary point).

  • 2
    /dev/sda1 is not /boot partition, it's your / root partition. You doesn't have any separate boot partition. Apr 5, 2014 at 13:31
  • 3
    Resizing your / partition would be possible only if you boot from a live disk. Apr 5, 2014 at 13:32
  • 1
    You can only resize your Ubuntu partition from the LiveCD. How did you burn your CD? Make a bootable USB drive instead, if you have one, it's much easier. Working with GParted is pretty simple from the GUI: boot into LiveCD. Open GParted. Right click on drive. Resize. Drag the arrow to make it smaller. Apply. That's it.
    – Alaa Ali
    Aug 11, 2014 at 16:45

5 Answers 5


I think Avinash Raj answered most of this question in the comments, but I'll go ahead and write an answer just to square it off.

In your screen shot Gparted has locked the partitions of the drive (sda) because you are using the partition sda1 (/) to run Ubuntu and Gparted.

To edit the partitions on sda you will need to boot a live cd. When you do this the partitions will not be locked and Gparted will allow you to resize them.

You will have to right click the linux-swap partition and select swap-off to move that partition when using the live cd.

As far as booting the Live cd goes, try pressing: Esc, F1, F2, ..., F12, Del. when the computer is starting. Just run your finger from Esc to F12 then Del (delete). That's the lazy way of doing it. It usually brings up the boot selection screen for me. The alternative is reading the boot screen or the manual for the computer.


As an alternative to using a live CD you can simply attach your storage device to another computer. As an auxiliary storage device you will be able to do anything to your auxiliary storage device's boot partition that your partition editor will allow you to do.


This will screw up your grub, you can follow this link, to make boot repair after partitioning your disk and installing windows. I recently had to use this method and it works if you install windows on a separate partition after Ubuntu is already installed. Do not see why the reversal would be any different, for any other OS or just for partitioned space to backup files as well.

Not sure if the method would be the same if you run the Ubuntu live CD, resize your Ubuntu partition, then create a new fat or ntfs partition for installing windows. You could download the Boot Repair Disk, or follow the 2nd option through the Ubuntu live CD, thought that this was the simplest method from own personal experience:

Boot Repair

No matter what, partition or no partition, windows, if installed after Ubuntu, overtakes your boot and you will have to fix your boot. Another words, still have to run the Boot Repair Disk.


To do this you need to unmount the partition which you will be resizing. my best bet is to download gparted iso from google and resize whatever partition you want


Do not resize your partitions. You won't be able to install Windows and dual-boot with Ubuntu.

You should delete all your partitions including the extended partition with that huge swap space.

You can download Ultimate Boot CD and burn it on a regular CD. It is a small 580MB iso image. This is the direct link for download.

After you burn the UBCD iso image, you can reboot computer with the UBCD in tray, and then you can select from the menu /HDD/Partition Management section. Use Gparted or Cute Partition Manager to completely delete all your partitions from your hard drive. Next you can save your empty partition table, exit Gparted or Cute Partition Manager, take out UBCD from tray, reboot and poweroff your computer.

And next you can start by installing Windows first using your Windows DVD. Windows DVD has its own partitioning tool, and you can use it to allocate some space from your hard disk for windows system (C: drive), and maybe create another NTFS partition to keep your windows files (D: drive).

After you finish installing Windows, you can choose to reinstall Ubuntu using your Ubuntu DVD. Choose the third option given by Ubuntu installer Something else, and when you get to the partition table, you can allocate space for your Ubuntu root partition, and do not worry about swap space, Ubuntu installer will automatically create the swap space too. Just don't forget to choose your mount point (which is usually root /) before you press next to start installing Ubuntu.

You can use half the space from your HDD for Windows, creating 2 equal size NTFS partitions, and the other half for Ubuntu. Or you can create just one primary partition for Windows (up to 50-80GB space), and after you finish installing Windows, you can use Gparted tool from UBCD to create a large extended partition using the rest of your disk space with many logical drives (2 or more NTFS drives, and also 2 or more Linux ext4 logical drives for Ubuntu).

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