Changes to Dual Boot System (Closed)

Hi Guys,
Some time ago with a great deal of help from Mark I managed to set up a dual boot system on my ageing Dell Inspiron 1540 Laptop, I would now like to increase the amount of disk space that is available to Peppermint4. The system is Peppermint 4 (64 bit) dual booted with XP. The laptop has a 120GB hard drive but only 7GB is devoted to Peppermint. Can I fairly simply change the amount available? The remaining 113 GB has some 50GB unused.
Sorry if this is rambling and unclear but your help/advice would be appreciated.

Hope this output helps:
derek@derek-MM061 ~ $ sudo fdisk -l
[sudo] password for derek:

Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders, total 234441648 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xe686f016

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 176715 220492124 110157705 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2 220493822 234440703 6973441 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 220493824 231315455 5410816 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 231317504 234440703 1561600 82 Linux swap / Solaris
derek@derek-MM061 ~ $


Yes you can resize your partitions using gparted but you would need to boot into a live CD

It wouldn’t do any harm to backup any important data on both the Windows & Linux installations first and I believe you should defragment the Windows partition as well before proceding

Good luck


I take it that you want to keep XP and dual boot?
If so then I would approach it like this:

  1. Boot to XP and run defrag
  2. Then boot to a LiveCD and fire up Gparted
  3. Shrink the /dev/sda1 ( XP partition) to suit the ammount you want to donate to PM
  4. Move up extended partition /dev/sda2 to take up the slack and expand it to the end of the drive
  5. Move /dev/sda6 to the end (within the extended partition)
  6. Expand /dev/sda5 to fill the gap
  7. Reinstall grub to /dev/sda from the Live enviroment
    8 ) Reboot to your new layout

As Emegra said backup, backup and backup again before any partition manipulating

Thanks, Graeme and Sezo for your advice, will work my through it, I do have everything backed up anyway, but will double check. It would not be a total disaster if I do cock up and lose XP as I have only booted it about twice since installing Peppermint, would just prefer to still have it there just in case there is something obscure I might need it for before the support ends. Will get back to you if I need further advice,

P.s. May take a while for me to get through your advice so bear with me.

Hi Guys, sorry this has taken so long but in your advice (Sezo) you say to “reinstall grub” how do I do that please? Hope that is not a dumb question.

TIA, Degsy

Not sure you’d need to, is the system booting normally?
There’s information here - - in case your system isn’t booting (post back here first!)

Haven’t actually done the repartitioning yet, just reading through the instructions and came across the grub comment, so thought I would ask about it before I got to the situation of not knowing what to do, sorry but I am not a techie.

Hi Guys, sorry this has taken so long but in your advice (Sezo) you say to "reinstall grub" how do I do that please? Hope that is not a dumb question.

Assuming you are in the live enviroment:
Run these commands in sequence:

sudo mount /dev/sda5 /mnt


for i in /dev /dev/pts /proc /sys /run; do sudo mount -B $i /mnt$i; done


sudo chroot /mnt


grub-install --recheck /dev/sda



Then hit Ctrl+D to exit the chroot environment

Thank you very much Sezo, will work through your process in the next day or so.

Many thanks,

Hi Guys,
Finally got around to trying out your suggestions as above but am having problems.
Used a live Peppermint 4 CD to boot up and fired up GParted from it, no problem.
Resized /sda1 from 105.05 GiB to 59.51, no problem.
Tried to move /sda2 to left and grow into space and I continually get an error message saying “not allowed overlapping partitions”. Can someone please explain whatever it might be that I am stupidly doing wrongly?

Many thanks in anticipation of your help in this matter.

Regards, Degsy

Dont try to MOVE the extended partition sda2 to the left … EXPAND (grow) it to the left, so it fills the space between it and sda1

now for the 2 partitions inside the extended partition -

make sure sda6 (swap) is all the way to the right.

Then expand sda5 to fill the empty space inside the extended partition.

Ok, thanks Mark, started again, no problem shrinking /sda1, then tried expanding /sda2to the left using the double headed arrows, but almost immediately got the error message, "unable to satisfy all constraints on the partition. Can’t have overlapping partitions.
Your further thoughts would be appreciated.


Try shrinking sda1 from the right towards the left … then apply just that operation.

once that’s done … try expanding sda2 into the free space.

Mark, on shrinking from the right the following warning was given: Moving a partition might cause your operating system to fail to boot. You have queued an operation to move the start sector of the partition /dev/sda1 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:"
Comments please.

Are you saying it’s giving that warning when SHRINKING the sda1 partition away from sda2 towards the beginning of the drive. ?

Sorry, misread your instruction, however have now done the shrink from the right to the left, no problem, but again trying to expand sda2 into the free space results in the overlapping partitions error

First lets see the current state of the HDD (from a LiveCD)

sudo fdisk -l

Come to think of it, it is possible that you need to disable the Swap partition first.
In Gparted, right click on the Swap partition and click on Swapoff.
Then try to move the extended partition to take up the slack in front of it.

Hi Sezo,
Ran sudo fdisk -l from live cd, the output was identical to the original I posted in first post of this thread except for /sda1 end now reads 220491775 and blocks now reads 110157530+ all the rest is identical. Hope this is helpful.

Regards, Degsy

See my edit above.

Already done that with the swap partition, ie used swap off but still get the overlapping partition error.