I have a hard disk, which was partitioned before (probably in Windows) like this:

  • Partition 0 - primary, 20Gb
  • Partition 1 - extended, 200Gb

I have unallocated space after Partition #1, so I wanted to increase the size of the Partition #0. At first I wanted to move the Partition #1 to the right, so I started Ubuntu from CD and called GParted. All the logical partitions inside the extended partition aren't mounted. I've assigned the Partition #0 as swap (temporarily) because it looks like the Ubuntu needs the swap even when started from CD.

The GParted can resize the extended partition (Partition #1) but it can't move it. The left arrow in the slider is not movable.

What might be a problem?

Also, the Partition #1 has a single flag on - it's "lba" flag. What's it for? Maybe it's the reason the GParted can't move it?

  • Please post a screenshot of gparted.
    – Pilot6
    Aug 10, 2015 at 14:23
  • As you use partition 0 (sda1 maybe?) as swap - I hope you don't have any data on it. Not sure, but I would bet using a partition as swap is deleting its contents.
    – Byte Commander
    Aug 10, 2015 at 15:08
  • You also have to move all the logical partitions. You cannot move the entire set at once. Expand extended into unallocated and then move all logicals right one by one. Will take a long time. And be sure to have good backups as any interruption/power failure will corrupt data.
    – oldfred
    Aug 10, 2015 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Extended partitions are like containers for logical volumes. But unfortunately, you can't just move the whole container.

Maybe it helps if you imagine partitions as cardboard boxes. A primary partition is a standard box and logical volumes are like little boxes that have to stay inside an extended partition. Now the interesting thing is how the extended partition would look like as box: It would be a box without a bottom!

It covers the small logical volumes, so to the outside (e.g. to the MBR partition table which only allows 4 partitions per disk) just looks like one big box, but if you would try to move it and lift it off the floor, all those little boxes inside (logical volumes) would still sit on the same place on the ground. You understand what I want to illustrate to you? By moving an extended partition (which does not work for that reason), you don't move the contained logical volumes.

So the solution to move an extended partition is to first enlarge the extended partition by moving one boundary to cover all the new space it should be moved to, then move all contained volumes to their respective new position, then shrink it again by moving the other boundary so that there's no unassigned space left inside the extended partition.

  • I guess you know or can find out how to perform those simple steps in GParted yourself. Otherwise please comment on this and ask for clarification.
    – Byte Commander
    Aug 10, 2015 at 15:18
  • Thank you, it's clear - I'll try moving logical partitions at first
    – HEKTO
    Aug 10, 2015 at 15:22
  • Fantasmorgastic! +1 @HEKTO: Don't forget to click the grey at the left of this text, which means Yes, this answer is valid!
    – Fabby
    Aug 10, 2015 at 15:27

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