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GParted FAQ

1: What does GPARTED stand for?

Gnome PARTition EDitor. You can also think of GParted as Graphical Partition Editor.

2: What is the difference between partition editing software and partition management software?

There is no difference. GParted was originally conceived as partition editing software but there are many other names that encompass the same or similar functionality including: Partition Management, Partition Manager, Partition Editing, Partition Editors, and Partitioning Software.

3: Is GParted really free?

Yes. You do not have to pay money to use GParted. You have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve GParted. GParted is free software.

4: What is the difference between GParted and GParted Live?

GParted is the partition editor application.
GParted Live is a small bootable GNU/Linux distribution that contains the partition editor application.

5: What are the dependencies of GParted?

You will need Parted >= 1.7.1 and Gtkmm >= 2.8.x
Get Parted from http://www.gnu.org/software/parted/
and Gtkmm from http://gtkmm.org/

Also, several file systems are supported through their native tools. See the features page for more information on these tools.

For a more detailed list of package dependencies, see the "Building from Source" section of the README file.

6: Is it safe?

Short answer: Yes, it is safe :)
By using the official tools for each file system and performing extensive checks before any actual operation I think GParted is as safe as it can/should be.

Of course you have to realize I cannot give any guarantees, so you should probably make a backup of important data before toying with your partitions.

NOTE: If you move a partition that is used in the operating system boot process (for example the C: drive in Windows), then the operating system might fail to boot.
To fix this problem you will need to repair the boot configuration.
See FAQ #13 for Linux/GRUB.
See FAQs #14, #15, and #16 for Windows.
See FAQ #21 for Mac OS X.

7: Is there a maximum to the amount of operations in the list?

Nope, that is, not one an ordinary human being will ever reach.
I myself tested it with up to 150 operations and it went smoothly.

HOWEVER, I think it's wise to keep the amount of succesive operations limited. After all it's your data which is at risk.
Especially when doing complex operations (copy,resize) I advise you to take it one step at a time.

When resizing boot NTFS partitions, it is advisable to perform this as a single operation only. After resizing, boot into Windows twice to allow Windows to perform its checking operations.

8: What is the maximum amount of logical partitions an extended partition can hold?

Well, in theory you could go on and create logical partitions infinitely; however, all operating systems impose some limit. For Linux it is the device number allocation that limits support.

For IDE devices 64 minor numbers are reserved for each disk. For instance /dev/hda is major 3 minor 0, /dev/hda1 is major 3, minor 1, etc up till /dev/hda63.

For SCSI devices only 16 minor numbers are allocated for each disk, so there Linux only supports 15 partitions. Devices that use the SCSI driver have names like /dev/sda.

NOTE: When GParted is linked with libparted 3.1+, the limit of 15 partitions is removed.

9: Why are some menu items disabled?

1. The partition is mounted and modifying a mounted partition is DANGEROUS. Just unmount the partition or in case of swap, disable it (use swapoff).

2. At startup gparted decides which operations on which file systems are supported. For instance, to create an ext3 file system gparted needs mkfs.ext3. If this cannot be found on your system, the creation of an ext3 file system is not possible and therefore disabled in gparted. The same goes for copy, resize etc....

3. Check that you are running the latest version of GParted (menu entry Help -> About). The features page shows which operations are supported for the most recently released version of GParted.

10: Why do I need kernel support to resize certain filesystems (e.g. xfs) ?

That's because those file systems can only be resized when they are mounted and you can only mount a file system if the kernel has support for it.

11: Why does "Scanning all devices..." or "Searching /dev/sda partitions" take exceedingly long on some computers?

1. Check the BIOS settings. This problem can be caused when the BIOS indicates that a floppy drive is present, but no physical floppy drive is installed.

A work around is to start gparted from the command line and pass the name of the device(s) you wish to partition.
E.g., gparted /dev/sda

2. A hard disk device contains a fragmented NTFS or FAT16/32 file system. See Bug 569921 - dosfsck -n delays device scan.

Two work arounds are available.

a) Defragment the NTFS or FAT16/32 file system from Windows.

b) After GParted starts and begins scanning, open a terminal window and use the "ps -ef | egrep 'ntfsresize|dosfsck'" command to locate the process ID, and kill this process ID. If the process is killed then there will be no used and unused space statistics for the file system and some features, such as resizing, will be disabled.

12: Why has Gnome automounting of devices stopped working?

GParted version 0.3.6 (and many earlier versions) created a file to prevent problems that occur if a device is automounted while gparted is working on the device. This file is removed when GParted exits normally. However, if GParted terminated abnormally it could leave this file on the computer.

Newer GParted versions (0.3.7 and greater) do not use this file, and instead rely on hal-lock to acquire device locks.

To fix the problem you can do one of the following:

1. Remove the file /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/gparted-disable-automount.fdi
    or,
2. Start and then exit gparted. This will also remove the file.

13: GRUB fails to boot. How can I fix this?

For information on how to restore the ability to boot with GRUB 2 or GRUB Legacy, see the following link:
Fixing GRUB Boot Problem

14: After resizing my Windows 7 or Vista partition, my computer won't boot. How can I fix this?

The following article by the How-To Geek contains useful information regarding resizing your Windows 7 or Vista partition, and getting it to boot again.
Using GParted to Resize Your Windows 7 or Vista Partition

If your PC did not come with a complete Vista installation CD, you can download a Vista Recovery Disc at the following link:
Windows Vista Recovery Disc

If your PC did not come with a complete Windows 7 installation CD, you can download a Windows 7 System Recovery Disc at the following link:
Windows 7 System Recovery Disc

15: What are the commands for repairing Windows Vista or Windows 7 boot problems?

The following commands are entered at the command line when using the Recovery Console from the Windows Vista or Windows 7 installation disk.

To repair the Master Boot Record of the boot disk:
    bootrec /fixmbr

To write a new partition boot sector to the system partition:
    bootrec /fixboot

To rebuild the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store:
    bootrec /rebuildbcd

For more details refer to the following link:
How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows

16: What are the commands for repairing Windows XP boot problems?

The following commands are entered at the command line when using the Recovery Console from the Windows XP installation disk.

To repair the Master Boot Record of the boot disk:
    fixmbr

To write a new partition boot sector to the system partition:
    fixboot

To rebuild the boot.ini configuration file:
    bootcfg /rebuild

For more details refer to the following links:
Fixmbr, Fixboot, Bootcfg

17: How can I improve my ability to shrink an NTFS partition?

Tips on how to improve the ability to shrink NTFS partitions can be found in the GParted Manual here.

Forum member cmdr wrote some detailed instructions on resizing NTFS partitions that can be found at the following link:
Forum Post - Resize-Windows

18: How do I restore my Windows drive letters?

Sometimes after a disk configuration change, Windows will change the drive letter assignment (e.g., from C: to D:).

If this occurs for the boot drive letter, then see:
How to restore the system/boot drive letter in Windows

If this occurs for a non-boot drive letter, then see one of the following links:
How to change drive letter assignments in Windows XP
How to change, add, or remove a drive letter in Windows Vista

19: "ERROR: Current NTFS volume size is bigger than the device size!"

If you encounter an error message similar to the above, then please refer to the following link:
Problems Resizing File Systems with GParted

20: Are you experiencing trouble booting the GParted Live CD / USB image?

Please refer to the GParted live manual Tips on Booting GParted Live.

21: How can I fix missing or lost partitions on Intel-based Mac OS X?

Intel-based Mac OS X uses a combination of GPT and MBR for partition tables. When editing partitions with GParted, the GUID partition table will be updated, and the MSDOS partition table will be set to a single protective entry.

You can re-sync the GPT partition entries to the MSDOS partition table with the following command:

      sudo gptsync /path-to-disk-device

Where /path-to-disk-device is something like /dev/sdb

This problem can also be repaired with the rEFIt application.

22: GParted shows entire disk device unallocated, but I know the device has data. How can I fix this?
23: What does the error message "Unable to satisfy all constraints on the partition" mean?
24: What are the basic partition rules for an msdsos partition table?
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