Downsizing a disk

I have an old laptop which I do not use often. I had installed a 512GB SSD on it, but decided to replace it with a 256GB SSD so I could use the larger drive on a more modern system. Once again, I planned to used Macrium Reflect Free to clone the drive. This is a lot harder when you want to clone a larger drive to a smaller one. I had to delete my Linux partitions and shrink the Windows one with gparted on my Linux boot repair disk. My total space in use was well under 256GB but Macrium still objected. Examination revealed that I had forgotten to shrink the extended partition in which my Linux partitions had resided. So I fixed that. Still no joy. There was a big (>256GB) gap between the end of the extended partition and the last Windows partition. So I moved that partition inward to leave all the free space at the end. This finally satisfied Macrium Reflect Free and it was able to clone the drive.

Afterwards I shut down the laptop and physically swapped in the new drive. This was not a problem; by now I have had some practice at this. I booted the machine once to verify that I could boot it, then rebooted it with my Linux boot repair disk. This time I wanted to created new, if smaller, Linux partitions to replace those I had erased on the old drive. Once again with gparted. This was a little trickier than I had planned. Twice gparted refused to create the partions after I clicked on “apply.” There seemed to be two issues:

  1. When you create a partition in a large block of unused space, gparted seems to prefer having the extra space after the new partition than before. You can deal with this by adding the new partition with the extra space after it, then applying the change to create the partition, and then moving it to your preferred location.
  2. Gparted sometimes chokes when you create a new partition with no space between it and the adjacent partition. If you give it a few megabytes in space between partitions it will be happy. Having started with PC’s when 10MB was a big deal I have a negative gut reaction to this, but I am able to get over it.

Of course, I could have simply left the 512GB drive in place and bought a new SSD for the new system. But

  1. I am a little short of cash right now.
  2. I wanted to make some use of that 256GB drive that was just sitting around.
  3. I don’t need all that much storage space anyway.

1 thought on “Downsizing a disk

  1. Pingback: Adding a second internal SSD drive to a system | From Hilbert Space to Dilbert Space, and beyond

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