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Backing Up and Resizing Partitions in Linux

I just finished reorganizing my partition scheme and it was surprisingly painless. Originally, I had two 75GB, 10K Raptors. I installed Ubuntu on the first and Windows XP on the second. I was careful to keep the Windows drive pristine and use Grub to handle the dual booting. That way, I could always simply change my drive boot order in BIOS to boot into Windows if something happened to my Ubuntu drive or Grub.

That was two years ago. In that time, I booted into Windows only once or twice. So, I decided to take better advantage of the other drive. The original setup was something like this:
/dev/sda1 -> /boot
/dev/sda2 -> swap
/dev/sda3 -> /
/dev/sda4 -> /home

/dev/sdb1 -> Windows XP
First, I backed up the Windows drive using dd just in case I wanted to recreate it sometime down the road.
$ dd if=/dev/sdb1 | gzip -c | split -b 2000m - /media/backup/wxp.img.gz.
Now it's easy to restore it later.
$ cat /media/backup/wxp.img.gz.* | gzip -dc | dd of=/dev/sdb1
I also backed up my home directory. I did not backup the root directory since, although annoying, it could be restored by reinstalling.

Then, using the Ubuntu Hardy Live CD, I loaded up gparted and moved everything around.

Tip: to delete/resize a swap partition, first right click the partition and choose "Swapoff." You'll have to "Swapon" your newly created swap partition once gparted has finished creating it.

It worked beautifully on the first try. Of course, the only reason it worked is that I spent a good bit of time backing everything up first. The result looks like this:
/dev/sda1 -> /boot
/dev/sda2 -> /

/dev/sdb1 -> swap
/dev/sdb2 -> /home
The final step is to update /etc/fstab. Since Ubuntu uses UUIDs to identify harddrives, you'll need to refresh those first. You can either reboot back into the live CD, or sudo udevtrigger will do the trick. After that, ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid to find the drive UUIDs. Simply update any entries in /etc/fstab that have changed. Only the swap UUID changed for me.

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