I have a 40GB hard drive with 26GB free with a single partition with an ntfs file system that I want to install Ubuntu 14.04.2 on.

If I resize the windows partition for the installation, will the partition erase my data?

EDIT: The hard drive has no OS on it.

EDIT: Solved, I partitioned the hard-drive into two 20GB partitions and successfully installed Ubuntu without losing any data.


You'll only lose data if you shrink the partition too far. Use the Windows partitioning tools to shrink the partition a safe amount. Doing this manually with a such limited space is dangerous. How to do this: Click on your start menu and type in "defragment". A tool for this will appear. Select it, and defragment your hard drive (this is to get the maximum amount of space). After that finishes, go to the start menu again, and type in "disk management" and choose the Disk Management tool. Right click on your largest partition (which should be C:), and choose "Shrink Partition". Windows will fill in a safe amount, but you can make it less. After it finishes, you will have more free space on your drive for Ubuntu.

  • Okay, thanks. My hard drive doesn't actually have an OS right now, windows or otherwise, otherwise I would use the windows partitioning tools. How much space would be safe? – Laharon Mar 24 '15 at 7:39
  • So if I shrink the partition by only 26GB or less during the Ubuntu installation I won't lose any data? – Laharon Mar 24 '15 at 18:11
  • @FutureBoy Ubuntu will only take up to ~5GB on a fresh install. See if you can install it without wiping your drive. After you've finished that, I suggest copying the ~14GB of files you have onto an external hard drive. If you need any help with that, just ask. – Terrance8D Mar 24 '15 at 18:19
  • @Terrance8D I got to install ubuntu in my 128g ssd alongside win10. I HAVE GOT 0 AVAILABLE SHRINK SIZE IN DISK MANAGEMENT FOR SSD. I tried your defrag method. No help. I'm afraid to shrink via ubuntu coz it has the os right now. Help – Adil Saju Jul 14 at 11:58

Resizing a hard-drive would not cause data loss. But 40GB hard drive is not meant to be shrinked so as to install another OS. I assume you are a Windows XP or Windows 7 user.

Windows would require free space so as to accommodate new programs, page file changes if any etc.

Hence, I request you to think again before you proceed toward installing Ubuntu.

  • The hard drive does not have an OS. I don't plan on having two OS on this hard drive, I only want to keep the data on it that is in an ntfs file system. – Laharon Mar 24 '15 at 7:46

I have broken a system by shrinking the Windows partition using Linux tools. (I asked about it in this question.)

Based on my experience, I would advise shrinking the Windows partition using Windows tools, then moving over to the installer.

That said, this is a mighty small drive you are working with, and you may run into trouble because of that.

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