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Thread: How do I remove Windows partition and create new partition

  1. #1
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    Default How do I remove Windows partition and create new partition

    Up front: I'm running a dual boot system with Windows XP and Suse 10.3.

    When I first installed Suse I split the harddrive 50:50. 50% for my existing Win XP system and the remaining 50% for Suse. I now have decided to stick with Linux and reduce my XP partition.
    (Sadly I still need Windows for a couple of important programs, that won't run with Suse and don't have a Linux equivalent)

    My question is this: how can I reduce my Windows partition (data loss on Windows is no problem for me, since I'm planning to do a fresh Windows install anyway)?
    I presume I will have to remove the whole partition and the create a new one. But how?

    Many thanks
    g

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How do I remove Windows partition and create new partiti

    Suse comes with a pretty decent partitioner. You can access it from yast > system > partitioner. You should be able to resize the windows partition from there. You can't resize a partition in use though, so you'll have to boot into a different partition or use a live cd before you can resize the suse partition.
    Unintentionally left blank...

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up Re: How do I remove Windows partition and create new partiti

    Try using Acronis Disk Director Boot CD.

    There is also another free alternative - The System Rescue CD.

    Main Page - SystemRescueCd

    Its always better to resize/remove a partition from outside the operating system using a boot cd...

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    Default Re: How do I remove Windows partition and create new partiti

    Defrag the windows drive before you resize it. Back up your /hme directories before you set to work with a partitioner on a bootable CD. One of the best and simplest partitioners for this job is GParted which comes on two very good bootable versions. One is from the GParted site the other as mentioned by CurvyTail is on SystemRescueCD.

    If you use SystemRescueCD, boot it up, accept the defaults, let it settle, enter startx to get the GUI, enter gparted in the terminal that is open in the GUI -- and GParted will start. It's a pictorial/graphical GUI partitioner.
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    Default Re: How do I remove Windows partition and create new partiti

    Do I reduce the Windows partition first, via Yast, and how? And then use the bootable CD?
    I didn't do the original partition, a friend did it for me, hence I'm a bit out of my depth and might need a little more prompting...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How do I remove Windows partition and create new partiti

    I just tried to resize my windows partition via Yast. It tells me I have to unmount the partition first. How do I do that and what does it mean?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How do I remove Windows partition and create new partiti

    i'm working about it now,i should install xp too on the new pc because i had problems with CAD softwares with OS,so i decided to run 3 softwares on xp,now defrag is running,as soon as it will finish i think that i'll do as swerdna said,i hope that this time will be all right!!!

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    Thumbs up Re: How do I remove Windows partition and create new partiti

    You seem to be a newbie....anyway, helping newbies in distress is our specialty!
    Just make sure you follow the instructions given below carefully:

    First visit the following site, and download the documentation for GParted (take a printout if necessary).

    GParted -- Documentation
    GParted -- Screenshots
    GParted -- LiveCD

    Download the GParted live cd and burn it as an ISO (it becomes a bootable disc now).

    1. First boot into Windows XP and defragment your HDD.
    2. Shove in the GParted Live CD and shutdown your system.
    3. When you switch it on, it should boot into GParted.
    4. As per the instructions in the documentation, reduce your windows partition to the required size and apply the changes.
    5. When you've finished, reboot into Windows XP.

    Windows XP might seem bewildered by the new change it has undergone and will take a few seconds to get accustomed to it.
    As I said before, it is safer to resize/remove a partition from outside the operating system rather than inside.

    I think you wanted to reinstall Windows. I hope you remember that when you reinstall Windows it will rewrite the MBR.

    Therefore, you'll have to reinstall GRUB.
    So, in my opinion, you needn't reinstall Windows, just resize the partition, that will do.

    In case things go wrong, and opensuse doesn't boot, you can try reinstalling GRUB using the Super Grub Disc...that's another live cd !

    ...anyway Papa swerdna is there to help...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How do I remove Windows partition and create new partiti

    First, regardless of method used, it is strongly advised to backup openSUSE, at the very minimum your /home directory. You are working with different partitioning tools, and in particular, you are touching the partition table with both Linux and Windows software, which handle the table differently. Windows is exceptionally rigid, unforgiving, and doesn't tell you what's it's doing. And even if you use other tools like SuSE or GParted to partition, you will still be writing to the table with XP when it installs. Best also to have Windows reformat the partition, which you have to do anyway if using NTFS. Having said that . . .

    If you are going to do a clean install of Windows, you don't need to do any advance partitioning. The Windows installer will do it for you. You cannot resize, but you can delete what it sees as the C partition, and then re-create a smaller one.

    Next, as already mentioned, Windows is going to install its own MBR, like it or not. Let me suggest that before doing any of this, you go into the YaST Boot Loader module and install grub to the "root partition". In the event something goes awry, this can come in handy getting yourself back working.

    You can reinstall grub to the MBR with the Repair menu option on your openSUSE install DVD (can also be done from Rescue, but that's using the command line and grub shell as opposed to Repair which will use YaST).

    Finally, and this is important: With the first partition downsized, you will have unallocated space between the first and second partitions. When you add a new partition(s) in that space, it will change the partition sequencing. Right now, SuSE is on sda2. If you do the above, reinstall grub in the MBR, go into SuSE to add new partition(s), and then reboot - it won't work. This is because when you install grub in the MBR, you place a pointer to the SuSE boot partition. It will be sda2. Except now with the added partition(s), SuSE is no longer on sda2, it's sda3 (or sda4, if you added 2 partitions). And your grub device.map file (which tells grub which partitions correspond to its hd0, hd1, etc.) will also be wrong. So you need to add the partition(s) in the used space before reinstalling grub in the MBR, or, reinstall grub once again to the MBR after having made the partitions.

    You may have another consideration, depending on the size of that space and size of the drive overall. If this is a smaller drive, this won't apply. But if one of the new large drives, it very well may . . . If you add 2 partitions in that space, you will have 4 primary partitions; you cannot add any more. The method by which more than 4 partitions is implemented is for one of the 4 primaries to be an "extended" partition inside of which "logical" partitions can be created. It is vastly preferable to have that extended partition be the 4th. The 2nd or 3rd can be used for this purpose, but it creates complications. So it may be best to only create 1 partition in that space, leaving an unused 4th (for now) for a later extended partition, should you later want it (e.g., to create a separate /home).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How do I remove Windows partition and create new partiti

    Quote Originally Posted by gilap View Post
    I just tried to resize my windows partition via Yast. It tells me I have to unmount the partition first. How do I do that and what does it mean?
    I think the Yast partitioner will not let you reduce the size of the windows partition because it doesn't like to leave gaps (even temporarily) on the hard drive. Recommended not to resize windows with Yast.

    Don't get confused by trying to decide between SystemRescueCD and GParted live CD. They both contain the same tool, Gparted, so flip a coin.
    Last edited by swerdna; 05-Jul-2008 at 14:52.
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