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Old 03-24-2012, 04:25 PM   #1
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How to identify and delete correct partitions in a linux/linux dual boot

Hello, linux newbie here. I have a dual boot of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and Mepis 11.0 (I think?). Not going to be using that laptop anymore and want to put the drive into an external usb shell. Want to keep the Ubuntu, but delete the Mepis partitions to make room for use as a backup storage external drive. In gparted or any of the other partitioning programs, how do I figure out which partitions belong to which OS, so on and so forth. I don't want to guess and delete the wrong partition, naturally. Thanks for the help in advance.
Old 03-24-2012, 04:50 PM   #2
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The naming convention starts at the motherboard. The port it is connected to determines the letter ( Port 1 -> A , Port 2 --> B and so on.)

The partitions then work outward from there. /dev/sda1 (First Drive , First Partition) /dev/sda2 ( first drive , second partition ) /dev/sdb1 ( Second Drive , first partition )

With that said it sounds like all is on one physical disk. So your next step would be to go to the terminal and -->

 findmnt -k
TARGET              SOURCE           FSTYPE   OPTIONS
/                   /dev/sda3        ext4     rw,relatime,user_xattr,acl,barrier
├─/proc             proc             proc     rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime
├─/sys              /sys             sysfs    rw,nosuid,nodev,noexec,relatime
├─/dev              /dev             devtmpfs rw,nosuid,relatime,size=1024272k,n
│ ├─/dev/pts        devpts           devpts   rw,nosuid,noexec,relatime,gid=5,mo
│ └─/dev/shm        shm              tmpfs    rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime
├─/run              /run             tmpfs    rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime,mode=755
├─/tmp              tmpfs            tmpfs    rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime
├─/home             /dev/sda4        ext4     rw,relatime,user_xattr,acl,barrier
│ └─/home/amy/.gvfs gvfs-fuse-daemon fuse.gvf rw,nosuid,nodev,relatime,user_id=1
└─/boot             /dev/sda1        ext2     rw,relatime,user_xattr,acl,barrier

Take note of the mount points and FSTYPE. The OS drives are probably on EXT4 and mount point is / . The source column tells you the drive which you can manipulate with gparted or whatever program you decide to use. You may also see a Boot drive and a swap drive. You want to leave those alone.

Hope this helps.
Old 03-24-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
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Here's another way, in case your distro does not have findmnt (I looked for it and my Debian box does not include it and it doesn't seem to be in the repos):

When you boot into Ubuntu, run cat /etc/mtab. That will tell you what partitions are mounted.

Unless you have configured your Ubuntu /etc/fstab to mount the Mepis parititions, they are likely by default not mounted.

This could give you a hint identifying which partitions are which.

To be thorough, you could boot into Mepis and repeat the test and compare the results.
Old 03-24-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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The bootinfoscript does a pretty good job of identifying installs - get it here if you don't have it already.


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