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I'm running OS X 10.9, and I had a linux partition when I updated from 10.8. Since I updated I can't boot on linux, which is no big deal for me. However, I would like to delete the partition that is left (Linux swap) and merge the free space that was created during the update with my mac partition.

But Disk Utility won't let me delete the Linux Swap and it won't let me change the number of partitions. I'm stuck with this configuration:

Disk Utility

I haven't found a solution for this issue browsing the web and I don't want to "break" my disk, so thanks for your help!

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11 Answers 11

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i would try this:

first boot up you mac with a linux live cd. then use gparted to remove those un needed partitions. (without resizing just delete what you don't need anymore).

now reboot into os x and now you schould be able to resize the os x partition case there is only free space no other partition formats wich os x can't handle.

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  1. Use the recovery disk assistant to create a bootable USB
  2. Restart holding down the option key
  3. Boot from the USB
  4. Choose Disk Utility
  5. Delete the 04 partition then re-size your main partition

Disk Utility does not work if you do not boot from USB as the computer is then still using your 04 partition

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  • This answer "should" work, but for me it does not. Booting in recovery mode, Internet recovery mode, or from the Mavericks installation USB drive do not work. Jan 8 '14 at 20:38
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    Recovery is basically OSX in a limited environment, so even recovery does not understand Linux partitions like ext4
    – Manchineel
    Apr 5 '16 at 12:15
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I had the same problem on a Mac Book Pro from 2009 with Mac OS X 10.6.8. What I did to erase the partition was simply the following two steps:

  1. I reformatted and renamed the swap partition to be a Mac OS X filesystem

  2. I deleted the partition

Everything with the Disk utility provided by OS X. No need for reboots, backups, install CDs or anything of the like :)

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  • 1
    Note: this doesn't work with OS 10.11 "El Capitan".
    – jvriesem
    Dec 19 '15 at 4:02
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I fixed this problem from the command line:

diskutil eraseVolume JHFS+ Test /dev/diskname

The disk then unmounted and I was able to remove it in disk utility

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Go into Disk Utility click on the partition of the Swap Space. Go to the "Erase" tab and erase it with the format Mac OS Extended. Then click on the hard drive and erase the partition.

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I tried the same above and it worked finally! Just select the disk (the partition) you want to get rid of > Erase as MSDOS and that's it!

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This solved my problem: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4071769?tstart=0

good luck!

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  • Welcome to Ask Different! While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 30 '16 at 20:55
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As Jash Jacob said, use diskutil - list the partitions, identify the troublesome ones, erase them (diskutil eraseVolume JHFS+ Test /dev/diskname) changing "diskname" to your disk id which will look like "disk#s#".

Then, you can get back into the standard disk utility application and erase and remove the partitions.

Thanks Jash - you helped save me.

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In Disk Utility, Just select the first partition and select the erase option.

You will then be able to re-create partitions

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  • 1
    Booted to the 1st partition (disk0s2/Macintosh HD) you can't unerase it! Additionally i miss any hint that all the data would be lost without a proper backup.
    – klanomath
    Mar 14 '15 at 6:59
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"erase" the disk as MSDOS then you can delete it.

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  • More info needed? I'm an advanced user and I don't understand what you mean by this.
    – jvriesem
    Dec 19 '15 at 4:04
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it is very easy to solve, do not need to boot or restar. I had same problem before. remember everything can be done with terminal. you can use a command in terminal to reformat the partition to the default format to MAC os.I am sorry I cannot remember it. Then you can do anything with this new generated partition using disk utility.

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    We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 11 '15 at 22:50
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    Please add the details about the Terminal commands needed. "I am sorry I cannot remember it" isn't an excuse. We like specific, thorough answers here, not "an answer exists, all you have to do is find it!" answers.
    – user24601
    Jul 12 '15 at 0:59

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