Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Resizing NTFS partition on Windows XP


When I installed Ubuntu in dual boot with Windows XP on my daughter's desktop I could resize the partitions since it had FAT32 partitions.

Recently I installed Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy on another desktop which had 80 GB SATA hard drive. The administrative tools in Windows XP did not allow me to resize the NTFS partition (c:/ drive size 45 GB). But I was sure that Ubuntu installation CD could do this.

So I put the install CD and booted (after changing boot options in BIOS). At manual partitioning stage I resized the partition to 20 GB. Just as a curiosity I aborted rest of the installation process and rebooted in Windows XP.

I was able to see the unused space but there were 3 primary partitions (all NTFS) so I could not create the fourth one. I copied the contents of drive D: temporarily on C: and deleted the partition (drive d:). Then I created three extended partitions in FAT32. (Windows XP allows no of extended partitions). I named one partition as D: and copied the data back from C:

I had created another 2 FAT32 partitions one of 9 GB (for linux /) and another of 600 MB (for SWAP).

I rebooted putting Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy install CD and installed the operating system using the two FAT32 partitions (changing them to Linux partitions).

The GRUB boot menu boots in Ubuntu if you don't select Windows XP. I modified the menu.lst file in /boot/grub and brought Windows XP on top of the list since the user wanted the machine to boot in Windows by default.

I am now more confident of installing Ubuntu Linux in dual boot with Windows XP on an existing system.