Quick Tutorial: Resizing/Moving Partitions without Losing Data

More and more people are dual booting or have more than one partition. Sometimes we might decide we wish we had sized our partitions differently after we have installed the OS (s). Well, as long as you have some time, you can do so without losing data. And, you can even do it with a GUI. All you need is a blank DVD or a USB flash drive. 

The first step is getting yourself a copy of Linux. The easiest would probably be Ubuntu or BackBox for most people. Here’s what to do: 

  1. Download a Linux ISO. I’d use the torrent as it’s much faster. Ubuntu is at http://torrent.ubuntu.com:6969/file?info_hash=i%1F%D3%8F%97%98%00%7F%9D%BF%E3%24%11%0E%F9%8A%D4%80%F6p and BackBox is at https://backbox.org/download (you can set the donation to $0)
  2. Either burn the ISO to a DVD or use these instructions to make a bootable flash drive. I’d definitely go with the flash drive if you can boot USB 3.0.
  3. Put the DVD or flash drive in your computer and reboot. 
  4. You may need to hit F12 or some other key to choose your boot device. Boot off the DVD or flash drive you just created. 
  5. Once in Linux, use the task bar and search for “gparted”. Start the GParted program. 
  6. Use the drop down to select the physical device your partition is on. 
  7. Unmount the partition using the right click menu if it has a key icon next to it. 
  8. Right click the partition and select “Resize/Move”
  9. Now, note if the partition you hope to grow is above or below the partition you will shrink or take space from. 
  10. If you are growing the partition on top, right click the partition on the bottom and choose “Resize”. If you are growing the lower partition, right click the top partition and choose “Resize”.
  11. Resize your partition using the 3 numbers. If you are resizing the bottom partition, then use the arrows on the top number to grow the space before. For the top, grow the number after. The middle number or partition size, will shrink as you grow the other numbers. 
  12. When you are done, you should be left with free space above or below depending on the partition you chose. 
  13. Now right click the partition you would like to grow and choose “Resize”.
  14. Use the up arrow on the middle number, or partition size, to grow the partition. The free space will automatically be taken away. 
  15. Click “Apply” and find something to do. Gparted will need to move around file chunks, so the more full the partition your shrank is, the longer this will take. 
  16. After anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours the process will complete. Reboot and remove your flash or USB. Boot normally now. 
  17. If all went to plan, you will boot up with your now resized partitions. 

I hope this helped. Hold on to your DVD or USB drive. It can be used for many things and if it’s USB 3.0, it will probably run faster than your normal drive. 

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