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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
How to partition my (UEFI) HDD?
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tigersong


Joined: 24 Jun 2015
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 14:06    Post subject:  How to partition my (UEFI) HDD?  

I've seen some warnings that partitioning a hard drive can be hazardous, but so far no actual guides on how to do it safely. Could someone point me to such a guide?
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Semme

Joined: 07 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 14:46    Post subject:  

Folks, he's UEFI equipped.
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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Location: Charleston S.C. USA

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 16:26    Post subject:  

Quote:
partitioning a hard drive can be hazardous,

Good chance you will loose whatever is on the hard drive.

Adding a new partition to the end of the hard drive is usually safe, because you are usually using a section of the hard drive that has nothing on it.
However, you do need to make some other partition smaller, to
make room for the new partition.

If this is a computer with UEFI, Windows 8, and a name brand computer.
Only the manufacture knows for sure, what is on the hard drive.
Usually, it will have a hidden partition, that is used to store recovery data files for the manufactures recovery program.

UEFI and Windows 8 required partitioning is not something to play with unless you really know what you are doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What exactly are you wanting to do????

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tigersong


Joined: 24 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 16:42    Post subject:  

I'm hoping to install Linux (either Fatdog64 or Ubuntu) on my computer. Not sure what you mean by "the end of the hard drive," but it's running Windows 7. I have a Satellite L755 that I got used.
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Ted Dog


Joined: 13 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 18:26    Post subject:  

windows 7 with UEFI ? its possible and should be safer to shrink and re partion verses windows8. use windows tools to
resize
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gcmartin


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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 20:02    Post subject:  

Hey guys, I have a question: Doesn't Ubuntu take care to partition a MS drive under the user's control?

If so, he is better off using Ubuntu and the Ubuntu forums. I know of no PUP that is setup to do an HDD install with the smarts to lead the user thru the partitioning steps.

And, some of us are aware of FD7 and others with GPT issues.

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tigersong


Joined: 24 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 21:11    Post subject:  

Which format is best for Linux?
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Flash
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 23:21    Post subject:  

Do you ask because you figured out how to format the hard disk?
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tigersong


Joined: 24 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul 2015, 23:56    Post subject:  

Not really. I'm probably going to end up taking a Computing 101 class before all's said and done.
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jamesbond

Joined: 26 Feb 2007
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Location: The Blue Marble

PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul 2015, 12:49    Post subject:  

Please read this post in full before doing anything.

Two things you have to realise and do VERY EARLY ON:
-----------
1. Be prepared to lose data. To mitigate: get a portable disk, and backup stuff that matters.
2. Be prepared to lose the original OS. To mitigate: make sure you have original OS install DVD/recovery DVD which can be used to re-install the original OS in case things go belly up. If you don't have it, make sure you *make* one, don't rely on "built-in recovery options" because these are stored in ... (gasp!) the same harddisk you're about to clobber.

That being said, safe partitioning (=no data loss and no OS loss) is possible. It requires the following knowledge:
a) Conditioning the other OS to accept that its disk format is about to change outside its control. In particular, disable fastboot/hybrid boot/hibernation.
b) Knowing the original layout of the partitions and knowing which existing partitions you should *NOT* touch. For Win7, there are at least 1. For Win8, there are at least 2. Add one more for "recovery" partition, and add one more for "oem" partition if any.
- Win7 reserved partition: the boot partition
- Win8 reserved partitions: the boot partition and OS-recovery partition (WinRE)
- "recovery partition" is the partition that allows you to do "factory reset" without DVD.
- "oem" partition is whatever partition needed by your UEFI stuff to work, it is different from machine to machine. Some machine may not have it.
- and then there may be some other unknown "magic" partitions.
The key to success is to *NOT* touch any of these (don't resize, don't change flags, don't move). Work on your main C:\ partition. Usually, that would be the partition with the largest size.

Operations:
---
0. IMPORTANT: Make sure you disable fastboot/hybrid boot/hibernation.
1. From Windows, defrag your C:\ drive. Don't use your computer while you're doing this. It may take a while. When done, shutdown. Make sure it is really shutdown, not just "sleeping" or "hibernating" or "hybrid-sleeping".
2. Boot to Fatdog64 701, start gparted.
3. Resize (=shrink) your C:\ partition. How much space you want to keep for the other OS is up to you. If you will primarily boot Linux, it makes sense to give as little as possible to the other OS (e.g. 2x currently used space). If the other OS is important, then only take a small chunk for Linux. It's up to you, and don't sweat over it - you can always re-partition later if needed. IMPORTANT: Resize by modifying its end boundary. Do *NOT* touch the starting boundary (see afternotes for the reason why).
4. Create Linux partition(s). The size is up to you. The number of partitions is up to you. The filesystem type (what you call as "format" of the partition) - the best bet is ext4, which is the native filesystem. As you become more adept you can use other filesystem types.

That's it! Easy isn't it! Getting the machine to boot your Linux OS, however, is can be a real challenge. See http://www.lightofdawn.org/wiki/wiki.cgi/SonyLinuxUefiBoot of what I had to do to get it to work.

Afternotes
---
1. Some people swear by using the other OS filesystem shrinking tool. For me the tool is next to useless. I found gparted to be much superior. But some people have bad experience with gparted (=data loss), probably because of using old versions and/or changing the starting boundary instead of its ending boundary. That's why backup is important. If you are scared, feel free to use the other OS resizing tool instead of gparted in step 3 above.

2. Some notes about gparted operation:
a) operations that changes the ending boundary is *a lot faster* that the ones that changes the starting boundary.
b) expanding a partition from its end is fast, shrinking a partition, from its end is also fast (though not as fast as expanding).
c) moving a partition, is *very slow*
d) expanding/shrinking a partition from its starting boundary, is *very very slow* (because the operation internally is "move" then "shrink").
Thus, if you need to do either c) or d), it is more worthwhile to copy the data off to a portable disk, remove the partition, and re-create, then copy back. As a bonus for doing so your new partition will be free of fragmentation also.

3. I have actually done all that I said above personally, on a Win8 laptop, successfully. But my success does not guarantee yours, and I will not responsible for any data loss nor can I help you with any sort of data recovery in case you really lose it. Backup first.

4. Since you're booting Win7 UEFI, I am assuming your harddisk already uses GPT partition table, which means you can add unlimited number of partitions. If you're still using MBR partition table (highly unlikely), some additional steps are needed, which is not included in this post (to reduce confusion).

5. Links: http://distro.ibiblio.org/fatdog/web/faqs/uefi-harddrive.html. A bit outdated (it was meant for Fatdog64 600) but the principle still applies (refind is no longer part of the base OS, it is available as package in the repo). You may also want to check this: http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=97141 from Ted Dog.

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tigersong


Joined: 24 Jun 2015
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul 2015, 15:16    Post subject:  

Thank you, Jamesbond. Now that I've read all that I realize I should clarify my first post. I'd like a guide to using the partition software itself- either Gparted in Linux or Windows Disk Management.
As for backup- I tried using my new flash drive for that. Windows told me that it wasn't formatted correctly. I'll go back and see what format it wants now. It's NTFS.
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Flash
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Joined: 04 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul 2015, 16:32    Post subject:  

NTFS is fine. I've reformatted several flash drives to NTFS with no problem. Both Puppy and Windows can read it.
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tigersong


Joined: 24 Jun 2015
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul 2015, 16:37    Post subject:  

Thanks, Flash. Now how would I reformat it?
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Flash
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul 2015, 16:40    Post subject:  

I used Gparted in Puppy. Your Windows may have a tool that could format the flash drive.
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6502coder

Joined: 23 Mar 2009
Posts: 156
Location: Western United States

PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul 2015, 18:12    Post subject:  

gcmartin wrote:
Hey guys, I have a question: Doesn't Ubuntu take care to partition a MS drive under the user's control?

If so, he is better off using Ubuntu and the Ubuntu forums. I know of no PUP that is setup to do an HDD install with the smarts to lead the user thru the partitioning steps.


I'm using LXLE, which is a Lubuntu spin-off, and yeah, when I installed it dual-boot with WinXP, the installer took care of all the partitioning steps for me. Dead simple. But this was on a Dell desktop circa 2003 so no UEFI nonsense was involved. Still, the suggestion to try Ubuntu seems like good advice to me.
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