I have a 500gb hdd with 4 primary partitions: sda1: ubuntu, sda2: swap (2gb), sda3: win8.1, sda4: logical (sda5 & sda6) storage.

while creating all these partitions, i inadvertently left 7gb unallocated (adjacent to sda3) now i want to create a backup partition (probably bootable,don't know) to use with the dell backup utility but can't since i already have 4 primary partitions :/

i thought about removing the swap partition as i have 4gb of ram, but i read thousands of threads and i'm still lost.

is there a way that i can create such a partition without loosing any data? btw, if someone could tell me how, it would be very kind.

2 Answers 2


Since you've stated that your extended partition has 2 logical data only partitions on it, you could always move that partition to the left, and then extend it to eat up the 6gb of space. You will then be able to create a 6gb logical partition.

Steps: Slideshow Of Steps

  1. In terminal type "sudo apt-get install gparted".
  2. Go to the Unity Dash, and search "gparted". Click the Gparted result to run Gparted.
  3. Right click on the extended partition, and choose "Resize/Move".
  4. Change the "Free space preceding" entry to "0", and click "Resize/Move". [To make the button clickable you may need to click into one of the other boxes first, but don't edit them.]
  5. Click the checkmark at the top of Gparted, and then click "Apply" in the prompt to apply the changes.
  6. When it finishes you can click "Close". Gparted will re-scan your devices, and you should now see the free space listed in your extended partition.
  7. Right click on the free space, and choose "New".
  8. Enter you desired partition paramiters, and click "Add". Click the checkmark, and then click "Apply" to apply the changes.
  9. Click "close". You now have another partition! :)


  • Never move partitions that have an OS on them, or are being used by a program that will expect them to be in specific place unless you know what you're doing as this can have dire concequences like inability to boot and operating system.

  • Always backup your entire hard drive (or at least data on the partitions you're modifying) before engaging in any kind of disk management activities, because it only takes one error to change your life forever.

Additional Resources:

  • great explanation. but should it be in fat32 or could i use ntfs? also how to make it hidden? is it possible using the 'manage flags' section?
    – Vgas
    Jun 22, 2014 at 0:24
  • 3
    You can use NTFS, I only put fat32 as an example because it's one of the most widely supported filesytems. NTFS is better since it supports large files. Using the manage flags section you can apply a hidden flag to hide the partition in Ubuntu. I'm not sure if it will show up in Windows, but if it does you can use Disk Management to hide it by removing the assigned letter. To access Disk Management go to control panel/system and security/create and format partitions. Right click on the partition, and choose "Change drive letters and paths". Then remove the letter. Jun 22, 2014 at 0:32

You could extend your logical partition to include that free space, then create a new partition there, if the space is between sda3 and sda4. If not, then just move sda3 so the free space is adjacent to sda4. Moving partitions can take a lot of time, up to several hours.

It's a relatively easy operation if you use a live DVD (or USB disk as I prefer) and gparted.

Note: Removing your swap partition is not recommended, it can ruin your day to run out of memory at some point. The recommended size for swap is at least the same as your RAM, but preferably, twice the size. See the Community Wiki for more details.

  • actually, sda3 is a primary partition. can i turn it into a logical/extended one (knowing it contains windows) and add the free space to create a backup partition that i could boot from in case something turn wrong with my win8.1? in other words,i want to convert a primary volume to logical to create a fifth volume on a disk with 4 existed primary volumes all this without loosing data of course :)
    – Vgas
    Jun 21, 2014 at 22:58
  • I'm not sure if Windows will be able to boot if you convert the partition from primary to logical, I haven't used Windows for about 8 years now, but I remember XP having troubles with this. But you don't have to do that, as written in my answer, you can just attach the free space to the existing logical partition (sda4) and create a new partition within that.
    – kraxor
    Jun 21, 2014 at 23:10
  • could be a good solution too :) will i be able to boot from using any recovery tool? also i want to hide this partition from my desktop, how?
    – Vgas
    Jun 21, 2014 at 23:33
  • @Vgas You can hide a partition for Ubuntu by using Gparted to apply the "hidden" flag. I'm not sure if it will show up in Windows or not, but in Windows you can always just remove the assigned letter using Disk Management. Jun 22, 2014 at 0:13
  • ok, i'll give it try and let you know ;) tkx guys.
    – Vgas
    Jun 22, 2014 at 0:32

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