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Rendezvous with Parted

Manik Chand Patnaik
Thu Dec 19 18:36:40 2006

This is a sequel of my 'how I did this' type of article, some informative and a sort of past time reading.

The Laptop

Mine is a HP Pavilion Entertainment Pc (Lappy). Today I was in no mood to install Linux over it but I don't know the reason why I partitioned my hard drive; or may be I was dragged with the idea of getting Linux over my system. 

It was quite a hectic day and I was sitting in front of my Lappy and suddenly I remembered that I have finished downloading GParted Live. My system was designed for windows and have all the bells and whistles for it. I had tested out Knoppix on it to be sure that Linux is supported too. As my software came pre-installed (Licensed versions from HP) so I was in no mood to get rid of the junk I have got on my machine by fully paid genuine money. Well! I have the MSFT Genuine Advantage for the credits.

How it started

I had already burnt the iso image onto a CDRW so I popped it in hesitatingly. Pressed reboot on my machine and GParted loaded up. As with any Knoppix clonies it recognised my mouse, touch pad and HDD. A note here: I have a Fujitsu SATA HDD but I did not have to load up extra SATA driver. It was taken as a SCSI HDD. Though I cancelled the extra driver page I was not that sure. As long as I have access to my HDD, I don't worry for any drivers. The application GParted automatically started up. I was in root mode right from start. 

Where is my hard disk? I wondered. Then I saw hda selected and I changed to sda. Now I saw the partitions on my Fujitsu. There were 3 primary ones! Surprise, Surprise. The first one is the system drive. Second one is the recovery partition, the third one is the HP Media partition with QDvd.

I was in a mood to experiment so I selected the first NTFS partition which was my system drive. Selected resize and pulled the slider halfway through the empty area. Then clicked on the blank area and created a partition of type ext3 leaving some space for swap. It was okey but the next step did not work as GParted refused to create a fifth primary partition.

Oops! how I could forget this! There are special tools needed to create more than four primary partitions and this is also not advised. So I promptly deleted the partition created just now and created an extended partition with 100 percent of the free space. Inside it I created a logical partition leaving some space for swap. Then I created the swap too.

Till now nothing has actually being done. Just at the conceptual level I was playing with GParted. Should I commit my changes? A total of Four jobs?

The Acid Test

This was the acid test for my patience, ability to take risk, reliability of parted and of course future of Linux on my Lappy. First I pressed cancel and thought for a while about the important data that I have on my system and what can I do if I happen to loose the partition altogether? I remember I have the HP rescue disk set. Well, apart from that I had nothing. OpenOffice, Scribus, The NVU which I am using currently to type in the blog, Gimp, almost everything else was in risk. I thought of my good god, prayed for a moment and pressed the button.


Approximately one and half minute passed and it showed up the new partitions. I hoped for the best and rebooted. My fingers were crossed when Windows XP booed and complained of HDD integrity and did a chkdsk. Again it rebooted. I was perplexed, probably something went wrong I thought. Anyways, Window is booting again. If it complains about integrity, I will cancel it, I decided. It didnot complain and after logging in It showed that it needs to reboot again as it has completed installing hardware which requires booting again. I allowed it to reboot. The next time everything was fine. I opened the LVM manager of windows and it showed my beautiful 12.38GB Healthy Unknown partition alongwith a 510 MB Healthy Unknown partition inside an extended partition.


Good Work parted! I exclaimed. Now it seems that Linux surely have a future on my Lappy.Though my approach was highly unprofessional and fraught with danger, parted pulled it off successfully wthout loosing any valuable data. NOTE: Never attempt this without proper backups.

All is well that ends well! Don't you agree? But one question remains. Will I purchase Windows Vista? Well! I am not very sure. Probably yes or may be no. As long as It supports my Scanner, Mobile and of course printer, probably I will. Otherwise I am quite happy with the default nastyBlue looking XP. Probably I will patch the uxtheme.dll and load up some theme to be on the trend. Anyways my Lappy is Windows Vista capable but I seriously doubt its capability to support the added frills of the tinted glass Aero.

- - - - - This Article is under GNU FDL with title as FC text. The text in this document is provided with good faith that it would be useful. There is no expressed or implied liability associated for any consequences resulting from use of the methods described in the article. 

The Author is not affiliated or associated any way with parted, Qtparted or Gparted and other groups handling NTFS. The method adopted by him is not professional to say the least and so it is not advised. A word of caution: Always take proper backups of your data and take it twice sincerely before editing your partition table.

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