Unused disk space with four primary partitions

This document (7004417) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9


Attempts to add a new partition in unpartitioned space fails.  Errors vary depending on the utility.  A check of the partition table shows that you have unpartitioned space available, but already have four primary partitions defined.


Backup the server and all data, then repartition the disk to use all available free space.

1. You can repartition the last partition, or the partition just before the free space to consume the remaining space. This is done as follows:

For SLE10, insert CD1 and boot from CD, then select Installation > Other Options > Repair Installed System > Expert Tools > Start Partitioning Tool

For SLE11, insert CD1 and boot from CD, then select Repair Installed System > Expert Tools > Start Partitioning Tool
Use the partitioning tool to resize the last partition.

2. If you do not want the last partition resized, but some other partition, you will need to completely re-partition the disk and restore the server from backup, or simply reinstall the server.

Additional Information

The MSDOS partition table allows for a maximum of 4 primary partitions.  Since the sum of the space of all 4 primary partitions is less than the total possible disk space, the remainder of the unpartitioned space is unusable in this configuration.

GPT Partition tables do not have this limitation, but they are new and may not have the support of all hardware.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7004417
  • Creation Date: 09-Sep-2009
  • Modified Date:16-Mar-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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