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31901Re: [LINUX_Newbies] Delete some partitions from hard drive

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  • Linux Canuck
    May 29, 2014
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      I am not sure that I totally understand your situation, but I am assuming that you want to remove the distros that you do not want and reuse the space. There are a few of ways to do this.

      If you have only two partitions then it is easy. Just install 14.04 and replace the distro that you want to remove by installing it to the same partition. 

      If you have three partitions, XP and two distros, then you can install 14.04 across two partitions using one for home and one for / (root). That is advantageous because a separate home means that if you ever have to re-install you can keep your data and settings without having to back up. If you have more than three then you want to edit the partitions and re-size. 

      Another option is to keep a partition open and format it as NTFS to use for backups or data from both Linux and Windows. That has its advantages too since Windows cannot read Linux file systems. That way you get to share data easily from both, say your photos or music.

      You may also want to remove partitions to simplify things. The 14.04 disk has a partition editor on it so you can fix the partitions and re-size as needed. Work from the disk and not from the hard drive or you can mess things up. The partition editor will show you the partitions and the size and file format of each. You can remove a partition but you will not get the space back unless you use the editor to resize and adjoining partition to make it larger. You can also shrink a partition to create space rather than destroy it completely. Removing partitions will change the relative order and mess up grub, BTW. That will not affect Windows, but it may affect Linux since it uses ordinals to keep track of partitions in grub. The fix for that it to re-write grub using the installation disk. Google it if you need to do this. A word to the wise. Keep XP as the first partition. Linux does not care, but it will mess up your Windows C: drive numbering and Windows may be be prompting you to format what it sees as empty partitions where Linux is. Not a good idea.

      If you want a separate home you need to choose a custom installation (the last option in the list, sometimes called manual -- the wording changes & I can't keep up). Choose the smaller partition as root or /. It should be anywhere from 4 to 10 GBs depending on how much you install and video edit. The large one should be reserved for home or /home. It can be as large as you like. Format home only the first time you set it up. Never re-format on subsequent installations and always choose custom installation in the future. as long as you check and double check before you hit the install button then you are okay. I have had the same /home since I bought this computer and have re-installed dozens of times. I have multiple distros installed and have a different home for each on the same partition. I just use a different user name such as roy-suse and roy-fedora.

      Not much can go wrong as long as you do not touch the XP partition and there are no interruptions in the installation process. If there is an interruption then you may not get grub installed and may not be able to get into any operating system. In that case you will have to use the Live CD to re-install grub.

      This is a rather long explanation, but it covers many possibilities and not all may apply. It is not as hard as it sounds.


      On Tuesday, May 27, 2014 2:20:18 PM, "'Gene Henley' mhenley2@... [LINUX_Newbies]" <LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      I`ve done what a green horn Newbie might do. I`d like to correct it.
      Some of my computers have more than one distro along with XP.
      I have put only 14.04 and XP from get/go on some other computers.
      I`d like to make all my shared boot computers to only have XP and
      14.04 until I dump XP. I have a good 14.04 disk I burned. How can I
       eliminate distros I do not want and replace with 14.04?
                                                 Gene Henley 

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