Problem with partitioning when trying to install suse 11.1

My laptop already has windows xp up and running fine.
Of the total 298 GB of hard disk, 250 GB is in use and I have already left 48 GB unallocated.

When i try to install suse 11.1, when i get the partitioning screen, instead of using the unallocated space or shrinking the windows space, it tries to delete windows completely.

I get the following message in red letters:
Delete windows partition /dev/sda1 (50.00 GB). Resize impossible due to inconsistent fs. Try checking fs under windows.

The same message appears for each of the three other drives as well and it tries to use up the entire 298 GB.

I am not able to find a feasible solution even if i try to create a new partition myself.

Anyone faced and/or solved this issue before?

my problem is similar. But not the same, first of all, the 11.1 x64 DVD resized my vista partition. The message before resizing is terrifying “partition data will lost blah blah” I was sweating but still pressed ok.

after resizing I got 50GB unallocated, but installation failed in partitioning.
message: “YaST, Failure occurred during following action:
setting type of partition /dev/sda6 to 82, system error code was: -1012”

could not google anything useful so far,

Sorry for squeezing on to your boat. :sarcastic:

BTW, I can still get into Vista and see the partition changed in computer management and write reply here. Hux…

Sorry guys, got reedit my reply here, I think I find solution for my problem by using search in this forum, better than google!!!
Maybe you should try also.
solution to my problem (maybe will post a ticket more to google search)

You need to use Custom Partitioning.
You say Unallocated but do you mean Free Space, there is a difference.

If it’s truly Unallocated it means windows cannot currently use it. If it’s free, it’s available to windows but free space.

IMO. If it’s free space I would be careful. What you have is not much when you consider the size of windows. Backup important data and defrag. I wouldn’t use more than half the space available.

If it’s Unallocated use Custom Partitioning and create a partition using all the space. Make it all one big extended partition and then create thre partitions within that: swap, /(root), /home

Install Demo - With Pics and Video - openSUSE Forums

Watch a SUSE 11.1 install Slideshow - openSUSE Forums

There is a how to somewhere. Check the sticky threads in install and boot section. I can’t tell you the blow by blow of how to do it but to start with:
When you use the installation dvd/cd, under the partitioning you have to select the partitioning for expert There you have to start from scratch by building your own partition using the unallocated partition of your hard drive. You need to create your root partition (/), home and swap. Try it and play with the options in the installer to familiarize before proceeding with the suse installation.
Someone is posting also while I’m writing my post so he might have a clearer picture on his post.

Defrag and scandisk under windows.

Thanks a lot guys.

I mean unallocated space and not free space. As windows could not even use this space, i was hoping that suse would reside within this space without tampering the existing windows.

I will try to fiddle a bit with the disk partitioner.
If i get on to anything fruitful either by myself or anywhere else from google, will sure post it here for other’s help :wink:

Delete windows partition /dev/sda1 (50.00 GB). Resize impossible due to inconsistent fs. Try checking fs under windows.

Two things to try here:

  1. Restart your pc fully (i.e shutdown and turn it back on). If you have your Windows in Hibernation the file system cannot be altered so the installer will not try and shrink it.

  2. If point 1 doesn’t work make sure your windows partition is clean by doing a defrag and checkdisk as mentioned earlier by suseclown.

This way your windows partition should be clean and the Suse installer should be able to shrink it no problem. I have not had a problem dual booting with XP on a single drive providing you have enough space (which it looks like you have) and your file system is clean.

Further tweaking with the ‘Create Partition’ option revealed the 50 GB unallocated space that is left.

When I try to install Linux on this partition, i get the following error:

The current selection is invalid:
Too few parameters are marked for removal or the disk is too small.
To install Linux, select more partitions to remove or select a larger disk.

This is quite surprising. I was under the impression that 50 GB is more than enough to install a copy of Suse.
Does this mean I have to start tampering with the existing windows partitions?

50GB is more than enough for a Suse install !

You mention “three other drives” in your first post. You mean you have 4 windows partitions (e.g. “drives” c,d,e,f) already on the physical disk? And they’ll all be primary partitions?

In which case you can’t add an extended partition in which to create the logicals that Suse could use.

If this is the case, best course of action (although it’s a bit ugly) would be to back up the data from the 3 non-system partitions (“drives”) - assuming only “c” is your system drive - delete those three “drives”, create one big extended partition in all the space the one remaining “c drive” isn’t using, then recreate 3 NTFS logical partitions in the extended (where you can copy back the contents of your previous 3 “drives”) plus the swap, root, home partitions for Suse.

This assumes I’ve understood your drive usage correctly and comes with the huge caveat that once you start extreme partitioning (nomination for an Olympic sport anyone?) you need to be 101% sure of what you’re doing and that everything (did I mention “everything”) is backed up - twice !

Oh and you’d be better off downloading the Live Parted disk to do all this rather than try from within the Suse installer.

Maybe you could confirm that I’ve got your disk usage right for starters then I’m sure you’ll get the help here to get the result you want.


No, 50Gb is plenty for a installation but Suse by default needs 3 partitions.

  1. swap
  2. Root
  3. Home

Root is generally 20Gb, swap is defaulted to 2 (I think) and home would be the rest (bout 28Gb in this case)

Try to create these partitions in the free space using the partitioner in the installation. Create a custom partition and create the 3 above mentioned partitions and mount points. I don’t know what to click but maybe someone else will :slight_smile:

@ignz - Thanks for your suggestions.
You have got my partitioning spot on.
And your reasoning for why the partitioning is wrong makes perfect sense to me.

I indeed have 4 different primary partitions in windows.
Merging them and making it one big extended partition seems to be the ideal solution - which unfortunately requires a lot of swap space from my side.

This backup process is gonna take some couple of days i guess…
Suse will have to wait till then :frowning:

Are you using the other 3 partitions in Windows for anything else other than storage of loose files i.e. mp3’s, pictures, documents?

If yes, I would suggest copying them all to the C: drive is possible and get rid of your 3 seperate windows drives (E:, F:, etc). Keep windows on 1 partitions and this way Suse should not have any problems with the install and partition suggestion.

If No, then you are stuck to doing what was previously suggested by IGNZ and yes this takes time. You could make a extended partition out of the free space within windows, transfers yours files if it all fit and create 1 big extended partition including the free space so you have one primary partition and one extended partition. I am sure the SUSE installed will be able to shrink one of them to make room for the install. I would personally try and make 1 big primary partition but this might not be easy.

I don’t like using loads of partitions within Windows. It’s messy and can be easily done with seperate folders.

You don’t need to merge them. If you want to keep three separate partitions as well as your Win system partition, just recreate those, but as logical partitions in the extended partition - then any pointers to those Windows “drives” will still work. You can have as many partitions as you want (within reason, there is (was?) a limit but it’s stupidly big !) in that extended “space”

And of course if you have any programs installed anywhere other than your Windows c drive they will need to be re-installed - just copying back other than data almost certainly won’t work. If it’s just data then you’ll be fine.

btw the Live cd I mentioned is “gparted” - I’ve found it very reliable, as well as easy to use. Just remember when you hit “Apply” after choosing to delete those 3 Windows partitions they’re gone (unless you fancy some very expensive forensic recovery) so did I mention make sure you have backed up everything :wink:

Off to see the Sports Council to see about funding for extreme partitioning…

Look forward to your next post…from your fully functioning Suse install.


The other partitions contain only data and no windows related files or other applications installed there.

So, I guess I will have to start with the backup process.
But I really like organizing my hard disk this way a four partitions.
I only have to make sure to recreate them as extended partitions and not as primary partitions.

I really am planning to recreate them as four different partitions.
I am considering leaving the C drive as is and am planning to recreate the other three drives as extended partitions instead of as primary partitions.

May be the 50 GB of unallocated space i have reserved for linux will be my swap space for this purpose before i start the suse installation.

I think you are right with your observation. The three window partitions were made as all primaries that is why the remaining unallocated partition had been wasted. The op has to confirm/check it by booting into windows. If those are all primary partitions indeed there is no way he can use it unless he take out the last primary partition and extend those into logicals.

Went looking online after getting confused bout all the different types of partitions.
Have a look here -> Primary, Extended and Logical Partitions

Multiple Partition Windows PC: To use more than one partition at a time on a DOS/Windows system, two partitions are used. One is a regular DOS primary partition (which becomes the “C:” drive). The other is the extended DOS partition. Within the extended DOS partition, all the other logical drives are created. So a drive with four logical drive letters would have the first (C: ) be the active primary partition, and the other three (D:, E: and F: ) would be logicals within the extended DOS partition.
Thanks for sharing the problem. I learned something from this one :slight_smile:

Good luck with the move and please post back if you have any further issues or indeed more with this issue. Do you have a USB / eSATA external hard drive? They’re not to expensive these days and can be of great help in situations like this.

Not sure what you mean by this. The 50GB space is currently not useable - you have the maximum number of primary partitions already on your disk so you can’t create any more to use as “swap space”. Because you have 4 primary partitions already that’s all you can do with that disk - as conram said, that last 50GB is currently “wasted” space

The only “on-disk” option would be e.g. to move the entire contents of your last primary partition (“f drive”?) to an “earlier” partition (e.g. “e drive”), then delete the now empty fourth primary (“f drive”). You could then create an extended partition in the space previously occupied by the “f drive” plus the unused 50GB. You could then create an NTFS (or FAT32 if that’s what you had) logical partition to re-instate as your windows “f drive” leaving the remainder of the extended partition for Suse use.

If it were my machine, I’d use my first example, i.e. copy the contents of your 2nd, 3rd , 4th partitions to an external device; delete those 3 (now empty) partitions so you would be left with just your first primary or windows “c drive”; then create one big extended partition; within that re-create 3 partitions for Windows, the same size as they were if you need to, and you can replace the backed up data to its respective previous windows locations. And actually you can do all of that from within Windows.

If you were to get to that stage and then try & install Suse, the installer would “see” the now free space at the end of the extended partition and create the default swap, root, home linux partions for you, without touching your Windows partitions (well, except for offering them as mount points).

Hope that all makes sense but as Dexter said, if you have any more questions, come back & ask. Better to be asking and understanding now, even if it means delaying your install by a few days, than to rush into it and seriously break something ! And bear in mind this is nothing to do with Suse (or any other Linux), it’s just “the rules” as far as hard disk partitioning goes…oh and have I mentioned about backing up your data before you start? :wink:


For the sake of completeness, I should point out the methods I suggested are just one way of doing this, using GUI interfaces you are probably familiar with. Furthermore the partitioning limtations don’t apply to all filesystems, just the ones we’re interested in here.

In case you thought it was confusing already lol!


Yeah. I did get the idea of securing the data before I start my voyage into suse.
The 50 GB can be used as a swap size if i can resize one of the existing drives to include this space. I can then use that 50 GB as a swap space and start with converting each drive to an extended drive. Finally i should end up with 50 GB free space which i can un-allocate again for suse.