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How can I create another partition (to e.g. parallel install a different ubuntu version) with this current partitioning table (gparted within Ubuntu install)? After shrinking /dev/sda4 there is only this 'unusable' space?! My current partitions are as per gparted:

   /dev/sda1 ntfs                (Windows)
   /dev/sda2 ntfs                (Windows)
   /dev/sda5 ext4                (Ubuntu /home)
   /dev/sda7 ntfs                (joint data partition)
   /dev/sda6 swap
   /dev/sda4 ext4   50028 MB     (Ubuntu 11.10)
   unusable         67000 MB  

Any advice? Could I create /dev/sdb, and if so, how?


Actually using gparted (but not within the Ubuntu installation) shows this as


i.e. there are already 4 primary partitions. Therefore: Is there a way of making /dev/sda4 into an extended partition to create the logical /dev/sda8 and /dev/sda9 within? Or could I squeeze a /dev/sda8 after /dev/sda6 if I shrink /dev/sda6?


I reexpanded sda4 to its previous size, shrunk sda5, and was able to create an sda8 as part of sda3.

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I'm having a very similar problem but I don't really understand your solution. I have two windows install (7/8 -- NTFS) and am installing Ubuntu (12.04) as well. When I make a /boot partition for Ubuntu the rest of the space is left unusable. Any chance you remember more specifics? Current solution is a bit vague and tied to the partition numbers which I can't seem to follow. thanks. – bnjmn Dec 13 '12 at 17:29
up vote 1 down vote accepted

see question update and solved part. (ultimately more an issue with the gparted display within the ubuntu installation, which made it difficult to realise the 4 partition layout.)

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You can obviously try to create the new partition using gparted, but it is not possible to be /dev/sdb. All those sda meant that they are on a same physical hard drive. The number behind shows their partition. Usually gparted will automatically assign a name for your device based on the position of your partition within the hard drive, such as /dev/sda3.

UPDATE: There can only be only one extended partition in one physical hard disk. As you already have /dev/sda3 as an extended partition, it is not possible to convert /dev/sda4 into an extended partition. The position of your unallocated data does not allow you to create any new partition unless you reduce the primary partition into 3.

I have read about cases where you can merge your '/dev/sda4' into the /dev/sda3 as a logical partition inside the extended partition and make your total number of primary partitions into 3 but I do not know how to do that myself.

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