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partitioning external HDD using GParted


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namenotfound's Avatar
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14-Dec-2007, 10:25 PM #1
partitioning external HDD using GParted
I'm trying to use GParted to partition an external hard drive, and format the new partition to FAT so it can be written to from a Mac.

Screenshot: http://i11.tinypic.com/8eh5hlf.png

I'm not exactly sure how to do this, can someone help?
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15-Dec-2007, 12:23 AM #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by namenotfound
I'm trying to use GParted to partition an external hard drive, and format the new partition to FAT so it can be written to from a Mac.

Screenshot: http://i11.tinypic.com/8eh5hlf.png

I'm not exactly sure how to do this, can someone help?
First off, why would you want to partition an external hard drive? But if you need to, the first step you take is unmount the hard drive. This is usually done by right clicking the disk, and then clicking unmount.

Then, with anyluck, the options will longer be greyed out on gparted
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15-Dec-2007, 05:36 AM #3
FAT doesn't make much sense, on such a large drive. FAT32 aka VFAT may do. Your screen shot shows NTFS, not FAT.

There's lots of good reasons for partitioning drives, rather than having 1 huge filesystem, despite "partitioning" being unappreciated by many and seemingly out of fashion.

The kernel has options to read Mac & Berkely UNIX partition tables, so you may be able to use a more native format, rather than lose uncessary information by going through a Windows format.
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15-Dec-2007, 07:45 AM #4
namenotfound,

Look you can't partition a Fat partition unless you have unallocated empty space in the hard disk.

You need to first "resize" the existing partition to a smaller size by moving its end boudary back. Get this done first, reboot to check the system and then use the empty space for whatever partition type you after. Gparted can be used to resize ntfs partitions reliably but check its version with the latest one available now as Live CD. A Fat32 partition should be readable and writable by any system. Fat16 has a limitation that it can only be addressed within the first few Gb of the hard disk. Fat32 partition also has a limitation in that no single file can be larger than 4Gb.
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15-Dec-2007, 07:52 AM #5
His screenshot shows free space.
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15-Dec-2007, 08:22 AM #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by steven1350
why would you want to partition an external hard drive?
Well, if you could read, I did say "so it can be written to from a Mac".

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobLinux
Your screen shot shows NTFS, not FAT.
Thanks for stating the OBVIOUS! What you gonna say next, water is wet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saikee
namenotfound,

Look you can't partition a Fat partition unless you have unallocated empty space in the hard disk.

You need to first "resize" the existing partition to a smaller size by moving its end boudary back. Get this done first, reboot to check the system and then use the empty space for whatever partition type you after. Gparted can be used to resize ntfs partitions reliably but check its version with the latest one available now as Live CD. A Fat32 partition should be readable and writable by any system. Fat16 has a limitation that it can only be addressed within the first few Gb of the hard disk. Fat32 partition also has a limitation in that no single file can be larger than 4Gb.
yay, someone with something useful to say I tried resizing it to make room for the new partition before posting this thread, that's what I need help on doing. Can you give me detailed instructions on how to resize it?
I don't have a current version of the Live CD, the one I have is probably the same version of GParted that I'm using in the screen shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobLinux
His screenshot shows free space.
True, I have close to 30GBs of free space. I only want to make 25GB into FAT32 and leave the rest NTFS.
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15-Dec-2007, 09:40 AM #7
Free space inside a partition is not the same as unllocated hard disk space.

The former is already formatted and must be used as per existing filing format.

The latter is hard disk space not partitioned freely available for creating of additional partitions, installation of new operating systems and can store boot loaders too.

I am kind of thinko here as I could not find unallocated space suitable for creation of another partition from the OP screen shot. The information shows there is only one sdb1 using up the entire 55.87Gb space in the device sdb. May be RobLinux can enlighten me, presumably he may have crafty way to make a partition out of an existing partition.

Haven't used Gparted for a while yet but it is pretty standard that if one highlights the partition, which is sdb1 in this case, right-click it with the mouse then the functions that can be operated on the partition should be displayed.


You will find "unmount partition" and "resize/move partition" are parts of the functions if you right click the partition you want to operate on.

To resize a partition you need to unmount it first. This is because if you are using it the revised partition layout the changed size can compromise the integrity of the operating system which starts everything in good faith using the partition information from the Bios calls. As a rule you cannot resize a partition while running a current operating system inside it. Therefore you need a Live CD unless the partition is not system-related.

It should make sense to you if you think about it.

Last edited by saikee; 15-Dec-2007 at 09:50 AM..
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21-Dec-2007, 08:58 PM #8
I don't think that you can resize NTFS using Gparted. If you go to 'Gparted' at the top left, then click features in that drop down menu, almost all the boxes for NTFS have stop like symbols in them.
However you could back up all the information on the drive to DVDs, then unmount it format it to FAT or FAT32 then copy the data from the DVD's back on to the drive

(P.S this will only work if you don't have any apps running from the drive.)
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22-Dec-2007, 08:23 AM #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mickyt1992 View Post
I don't think that you can resize NTFS using Gparted.
This may be true for the oder gerneration of Gparted, say 2 to 3 years old.

I have resized the system ntfs partition for XP and Win2k many times. I recommend the use of the latest Gaprted or Parted Magic LIve CD downloaded from their sites.

For Vista I suggest using Vista internal resizer in disk management program.

The resized partitions always boot as the originals.
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22-Dec-2007, 10:55 AM #10
Really, because I have the version that comes with Gutsy Gibbon and it shows up as being non-able to resize NTFS. Or does it come with old version. I've only been on Ubuntu for a while.

Anyway, you could use a Partition Magic Live CD. Its what I used to repartition my drive for Dual Booting into Ubuntu. I only realized that the live CD for Ubuntu came with GParted when I was messing about with it one night.
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22-Dec-2007, 12:16 PM #11
mickyt1992,

You are confused with the principle of resizing a system partition while at the same time operating it.

An operating system is booted by a boot loader loading the required modules, kernels and files at previously recorded hard disk addresses. Thus if an operating system is resized the hard disk addresses are no longer valid and Linux typically may require a restoration of its boot loader to take account of the changes.

Thus no operating system cam allow its size changed while in an operating state, unless the system is systematically rebooted possibly several times. Boot up a Live CD and you will find the inoperational Gutsy Gibbon is waiting for your resizing instructions.

Think about it and you will understand why it has to be this way.
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22-Dec-2007, 01:39 PM #12
Saikee, not to be rude, no one said that there OS was non-operational. I also assume that since it is an external drive that namenotfound has, that he doesnt have his OS installed on it. Therefore he should be able to repartition it if what you say is true, and Gparted can resize NTFS. However, even when I update my copy of Gparted, it still says it is unable to resize NTFS partitions.

So i would say that your best bet is to get a partition magic live cd or even install it on windows and edit the drive that way if you ave a dual boot machine.

Anyway, I hope that you can get this done namenotfound.

Michael
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22-Dec-2007, 03:12 PM #13
mickyt1992,

I was referring to your case not the OP.

I repeat my message to you again and that is you can't resize a partition containing a Linux that you are using it currently because it compromises the operating system.

The Linux can be resized if it is offline. That is the way to use Gaprted. Updating Gparted while still using Ubuntu, that contains Gaprted, to resize its own partition does not work.

You don't have to believe what I said. Just stick a Live CD in and all is revealed.

Last edited by saikee; 23-Dec-2007 at 08:41 AM..
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22-Dec-2007, 04:34 PM #14
I've resized Vista's partition to less than the minimum that it would shrink to, with the OpenSuSE partitioner tool in YaST which most likely is just another wrapper around the fs resizer code gparted/qparted.

So even if Ubuntu discourage you from resizing NTFS partitions for some reason, but how would the installer manager on single disk systems? Then success is an OpenSuSE Live CD away.
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24-Dec-2007, 09:16 PM #15
OK, I don't know where you got the idea that I had a problem. But, i knew that i would need to have a swap drive and a drive to install to, but i never knew that the Ubuntu live CD came with one. So i borrowed, not stole, my friend's dad's copy
of partition magic to do the resizing and such.

I found out about GParted being on the live CD one night when my laptop was flat and i had left the power cable at my Gran's. I needed on the internet to do some research for school, and o i used the Ubuntu live CD on my old desktop. (Didn't want to use XP, that computer has more viruses than a Soviet era biowarfare lab. )

Anyway, Gparted still doesn't let me resize the partitions on anything, (ext drive, or my hard drive, even with the live CD. But... meh.
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