I'm using the Disk Management utility in Windows 7 to extend one of my partitions. But I got this warning saying that I won't be able to start other installed operating systems from any volume on the disk. What will I do with this? If I want to install some OS on the space that will be left after extending the partition.

Warning Box


I plan to install Ubuntu 10.04, Linux Mint, and XP on the external drive, which I'm referring to at the top. It has 160 GB unallocated space. And I want to use only 60 GB for the installation of those three operating systems. So I'm going to extend the one of the partitions in the external drive by 100 GB. But then I get the warning above. There's currently no other OS on the external drive. And I plan to multi-boot the three OSs mentioned above using the external drive.


I think you may have clicked the wrong button as this is the dialog you get when you use the convert option for the hard drive.

Try right clicking on the actual partition (right hand side) then selecting the Extend option.

Providing you have free space ahead of the current partition, you should get a dialog that lets you select how much of the free space to use.

The Windows disk manager is very good for doing most basic tasks - however, if you are having problems or want to do something more advanced, I recommend you use Gparted which will allow you to have more control over the drive.

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  • Why is that when I try to install an os on an unallocated space. some of the partitions in the external drive is affected, and it gets deleted? – soul Jul 25 '10 at 0:54
  • It shouldn't and if it is, then this is a weakness/bug in the installer of the operating system you are trying to install. – William Hilsum Jul 25 '10 at 1:36
  • is that so?thanks, it happened while I was installing osx86. – soul Jul 25 '10 at 2:33
  • +1 for GParted. Pretty much the OS standard for disk stuff – TheLQ Jul 25 '10 at 6:14

I would use systemrescuecd to boot into linux and use gparted to do all your partition operations. Works far better than anything on windows. Download the iso, burn to disk, boot from your cd-rom drive into linux. Once it's done booting and gives you a command prompt, type "startx". Once you're in the x windows desktop environment, open gparted and do your operations from there.

And don't be scared. It's a lot easier than it sounds :)

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    GParted comes as a live CD, so download an entire rescue CD is unnecessary. Still a good way to do things though – TheLQ Jul 25 '10 at 6:15
  • Good point and certainly that would solve his problem more succinctly. As a side note however, instead of having both iso's, I just keep systemrescuecd around since it's only another 100MB or so, and it contains other tools that make it worth having in an emergency. – Robert S Ciaccio Jul 25 '10 at 6:33

Are you trying to extend a partition that the current OS is on? Are you planning on dual booting the machine with another OS? Is there another OS already installed on the machine on that physical disk?

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  • please see the updated version of my question above – soul Jul 25 '10 at 0:35
  • Can you just remove all the data from the disk and remove all the partitions. You can probably use the DISKPART command line tool to go this as it has more functionally that the Windows Computer Management console, but it is much harder to use. – mrdenny Jul 30 '10 at 20:05

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