I've got a problem on my hands. My disk contains /dev/sda1 which is my Ubuntu partition, /dev/sda2 which is an NTFS partition, then comes the unallocated space which I want to use to expand the next partition which is /dev/sda3 that contains a Windoze install, along with a /boot flag. The last partition is the Linux swap partition.

Here is a screenshot of my partition layout, for an easier overlooking perspective: http://i.imgur.com/NGn1gVf.jpg

Now, the problem is that the unallocated space is in between two partitions. I guess I must move the unallocated space to the right somehow, if it can be done, or move the sda2 NTFS partition to the left of the unallocated space, which Gparted warns me not to do:

Moving a partition might cause your operating system to fail to boot. You have queued an operation to move the start sector of partition /dev/sda3. Failure to boot is most likely to occur if you move the GNU/Linux partition containing /boot, or if you move the Windows system partition C:.

I'm sure there is a simple solution to this, if so, please educate me. I'm not sure of what to do. My goal is to expand the sda3 NTFS partition to include the unallocated space, while not messing up the bootloader. That's all.

Thank you in advance! Would really appreciate you all's help on this one. Too bad Sony do not make their Android flash tool for Linux, along with other software pertaining to Android and flashing ROMs. Only reason I dual-boot.

  • No way. From my experience, you can only safely increase a partition if the unallocated space is after it. Dec 25, 2015 at 23:46
  • Um. Yeah. That's what I want to know how to do, if you read my post in it's entirety. How do I move either the unallocated space to the right, or the partition to the left?
    – user224674
    Dec 26, 2015 at 0:12
  • 1
    First why do you need to move it. Just format it and mount as a /mnt/data partition. Second you can move it in multiple steps. And any partition change has risks so you must have good backups of everything and current version repair CD/flash or installers with repair capability. You have to move sda2 right, then expand sda2. But all this can only be done from live installer as partitions must be unmounted (little key icons). And what is icon on your Windows. Is it hibernated or needing chkdsk? Do not do anything until that is resolved.
    – oldfred
    Dec 26, 2015 at 0:25
  • Again, no way. If you create an unallocated space in the beginning of the disk it will stay there. If you create one in the end of the disk it will stay there. When you put files in a partition its beginning is filled with data. You can't increase its size with an unallocated space before it without messing the data in the beginning of the partition, that's why it must be after the partition. But you can't move this unallocated space to the end of the partition. Dec 26, 2015 at 0:28
  • It's pretty much like writing in a piece of paper. If you leave a big blank space between two words you still can write a few words there, but you can't use it to increase the size of the last sentence of the text. Dec 26, 2015 at 0:30

1 Answer 1


The unallocated space can be used for sda3. The process involves moving the sda3 partition to the left into the unallocated space and growing it to the right. Note that this process can take a very long time (many hours to days) since it involves moving over 15 GiB of data.

Before doing this, first ensure that you have a backup of all your information. Also be sure to have bootable media standing by in case you need to restore the ability to boot. See the GParted FAQ if your system fails to boot after moving a partition.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.