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Old 10-21-2011, 12:12 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2011
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Can I move around partitions with data on them?

Hello everyone. I have installed Linux before and have made a mess of things. I would like to start a fresh install of Arch linux and I have a crowded hard drive with FAT32 and another linux distro. I used Gparted to visualize the drive /dev/sdb. Debian is in the front, FAT32 filled with movies is in the middle, and Arch linux is in the back. I would like to consolidate the non-FAT32 partition space and install Arch again as 64bit. Front or back doesn't matter. Can I move the FAT32 partition without losing the data? I've already been advised to back up when re-sizing partitions, but that 600GB worth of space sorta is my backup.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:20 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2011
Location: UK
Distribution: Kubuntu 11.10
Posts: 562

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Yes, you can do it with gparted.

But, it will take a very long time (600GB? Hours, if not days.)

And, very big chance of losing data.

It might well be quicker to drive to a store, buy an external drive, and copy the data onto that. This would also give you a slightly better backup, because backups on the same drive are not really backups at all.

Last edited by SecretCode; 10-21-2011 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:27 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2011
Distribution: Debian
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First of all, I highly recommend that you use a different disk for your backup. Though I can't talk about it to much because I usually don't. :P And yes I have lost data before.

Anyway, you should be able to use gparted to move a partition containing data. Though be warned it will take a LONG time, especially if you have lots of data.

What I would do is delete the partition with Debian installed. Move the partition that is fat32 to the end and then install Arch with your swap at the beginning of the drive.

Perhaps this link can help you:
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:37 PM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2011
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Thank you guys for the help.
I get it though. Bottom line is don't try it if I want to keep the data. I'll go ahead and backup my false backup! I'll take your advice about the partition plan.

Thanks again


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