I have a dual boot setup with Ubuntu and Windows 7. I need to shrink my root Ubuntu volume in order to get some free space to create a new partition. Are there any Windows based tools that will do this for me? I tried booting up in gparted to do this but I cannot tell which partition is which since I cannot find the size (it displays everything in blocks).

  • Windows 7 comes with it's own resizing Tool but can only resize NTFS volumes as Windows 7 doesn't "see" ext4 (or other Filesystems besides FAT) by the way you shouldn't resize stuff while you're using the drive, what you see on gParted are partitions the most obvious way to tell which one is the one you want to change is simply by looking at its size. – Uri Herrera Sep 7 '11 at 17:51
  • I can't see size, only blocks...are there any softwares on windows that support the resizing of ext3 drives? – Necross Sep 7 '11 at 18:09
  • Blocks? can you add a screenshot?, no there's no software available to do that on Windows. – Uri Herrera Sep 7 '11 at 18:15
  • How can I take a screenshot when I'm booting inside gparted in commandline – Necross Sep 7 '11 at 18:16
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    @Necross gparted is a graphical tool, not command line, and it clearly shows size in mb, and what the filesystem type is so you can easily tell which one is the Windows partition ( because it is NTFS ). – psusi Sep 7 '11 at 18:58

Parted Magic is a good suggestion, but if you already have an Ubuntu live CD or USB stick you can boot from that and run GParted from there. Basically, you need to boot from something which is not the hard drive you're going to resize partitions on.

As it's already been pointed out - gparted is a graphical utility, so what you're referring to as "GParted" is definitely not it. Which brings me to another important point: make sure you have a backup of everything, because your chances of screwing everything up are relatively high :)


You can burn the Parted Magic OS into a CD and boot from that. That OS includes a very basic graphical interface as well as GParted and other graphical tools. It should make a job like resizing any partition really easy, because it boots from ram and you can manipulate any partition from the familiar environment of GParted.

  • Website
  • Screenshots: You can note from the screenshots that size on that GParted is displayed quite nicely.

Resizing a partition is a slow task, so make sure your computer doesn't shut down if you are on a laptop for example.

  1. Boot with Ubuntu installation cd, choose to try ubuntu
  2. Use GParted partition editor to resize your partitions.

Yes, use gparted. Boot from your Ubuntu CD and in the terminal type: sudo -i gparted

there you can resize and delete/create partitions. When you apply the changes, I would recommend not to interrupt the progress.

  • Actually, for graphical programs it is much better to use gksudo – Tomas Aschan May 19 '12 at 13:28
  • I guess it probably is better, but seriously, if you're booted from a Live CD and any file changes you make are being discarded when you poweroff... well, whatever. – Matt May 31 '12 at 22:11
  • Sure - in this specific case it doesn't matter very much =) However, it's easy to form habits... – Tomas Aschan Jun 1 '12 at 1:25
  • TBH, I never ever use gksudo, I either use sudo or use su to become root, then execute the command. And my laptop hasn't blown up yet.. ;) – Matt Jun 3 '12 at 21:21

Use GParted from live CD/usb of Ubuntu...it is a good tool to work with partitions if you don't have a live CD/usb get one, download Ubuntu and burn it on a CD...keeping a live CD with you is always helpful.


I had this exact problem, and have since solved it. The process required a number of steps which the above gparted-only solutions didn't address or provide enough detail

step by step: Problems resizing root filesystem with extended-partition, lvm, and snapshots on vm disk

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