I can't extend my Windows 10 partition (using GParted from my Ubuntu install, Partition Manager on Windows, or EaseUS Partition Master on Windows), most likely because there's no free space directly beside the partition (there is unallocated space, just not adjacent to my Windows partition)

Since the disk looks like this:

EFI system partition - Win10 - Ubuntu - unallocated - a linux distro ....

I tried extending into the unallocated space so I could then shrink it from the right, creating unallocated space to the left of Win10. But GParted warned me that I shouldn't do that because moving the starts of file systems is dangerous...

Is it possible to move entire partitions around so that I may move my Windows partition right beside the unallocated space in order to extend it?


GParted warned me that I shouldn't do that because moving the starts of file systems is dangerous...

This particular warning only applies to certain bootloaders which don't use the partition table but just store the "first sector" number of the partition, or of a specific file in that partition. (For example, the old LILO bootloader.)

In UEFI, however, that is never done – the firmware understands the partition table and loads files out of the "EFI system partition", and most bootloaders are capable of the same.

(Though even on 'legacy' BIOS systems, Ubuntu usually boots using GRUB2, which has its own drivers for partitions and filesystems. The Windows BOOTMGR can find the necessary files on its own, too. Changing the boot partition's number can cause problems, but merely moving it shouldn't.)

So in that regard it should be safe to:

  1. move the Ubuntu partition towards the right, creating unallocated space after Windows;
  2. extend the Windows partition towards the right.

(Really the main safety issue is that moving a partition takes a long time – several hours – and the computer must not lose power during the move, otherwise the entire partition would be practically lost.)

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  • Thanks so much! It's really interesting to hear the logic behind it, I also didn't really know what the EFI system partition did until now. Thank you! – James Ronald May 8 '19 at 21:18

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