So you have a nice big SD card with tonnes of space, but you need it partitioned to help keep linux files and windows files on it. Or perhaps you just want to be able to say you partitioned your SD card. Let me show you how to do it.

First things first, if you have ANY worthwhile data on your card, BACK IT UP. I can not stress this enough, because what we are about to do, could wipe out any and all data on the card. SO step one is: BACK UP YOUR SD CARD. You do this by plugging it into your favorite card reader attached to your computer, and copying all the files to a safe location on your hard drive. Just make sure to remember where you put them.

Another option for backing up your files is to get yourself a loadingdock account and send them to yourself (This is what I do, as it works great) www.loadingdock.ca

Secondly, if your using windows, and you refuse to use linux in any way shape or form, it will cost you money to do this. I have yet to find a free disk partitioning tool for windows that will work on SD cards. Unfortunately SD cards are not seen the same way as hard drives by windows and the drive management utility does not allow you to split it into separate volumes. The only partitioning software that I've tried that works is Arconis Disk Director. (found here www.arconis.com).
I tried the demo version and it defiantly allows you to partition an SD card, however the demo does not allow you to apply any large changes. Partition Magic 8.0 does not allow you to delete and re-partition SD cards so that one is out.

If you don't feel like spending any money, there is another method that isn't too terribly difficult, and if you are planning on partitioning an SD card, you should be savvy enough to pull it off.
What you will need to do is get yourself a copy of the Ubuntu live cd. Which can be found here:
www.ubuntu.com

Once the download is complete (Might take awhile depending on how fast your internet connection is) you will need to burn the ISO (the file you just downloaded) to CD. Probably my favorite free software for this is imgburn. Available here.

Now that you have Ubuntu on CD just pop it into your CD drive and reboot your computer. (Make sure that your computer is set to boot from CD before Hard-Drive -- You may need to go into your BIOS to do this, unfortunately since each bios is different I can't explain exactly how to do it on your machine, but once in BIOS you will be looking for the boot order and you will want to set the CD/DVD drive to a higher priority then the Hard-Drive)

Once you boot from the LIVE cd, make sure your SD card is in your card reader and attached to your computer, and you should be able to login with no username and no password necessary. After it has finished loading up you will want to click on SYSTEM > ADMINISTRATION > Partition Editor. (Found along the top of your screen)

At this point it may ask you for an administrative password, which, in the case of the LIVE cd is blank and you just need to click OK.

Now in the top right corner you will want to make sure you select your SD card, use the size of the card for reference.


Next right click on the partition and select "Unmount"


Then right click again and select "Delete"


Next right click once more and select "Add"


Finally set your size for your new partition in MB. Make sure to set your filesystem to fit your needs.


After you've made all your changes, make sure to click the checkmark icon that says "Apply" and let it do its magic.

And thats it, you can add as many as you have room for or need. Once done, make sure to shut down and remove the CD and you will be good to go.

One thing to note however: Windows will only assign a drive letter to the first partition on the SD card, I'm not sure why as Ubuntu seems to pick up the others fine.

Have fun and happy hacking!

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Tags: Digital, SD, Secure, card, partition, partitioning, partitions

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Comment by mike on November 3, 2010 at 7:54pm
i think i found an easier way to do this on windows. apearantly microsoft is using kid gloves again. i found that the disk utility works fine for partitioning usb drives and sd cards. all you need to do is forceably ungrey the menus using somthing like windows enabler which uses a clever little dll hack to enable form fields that arent normally available. of course this sometimes crashes applications.
Comment by Robert P Roehm on June 19, 2010 at 3:17pm
this will be helpful to mask off a bad section of a memory-hacked SD card bought off eBay. One little problem, how do I exactly measure where to make the splice? What's a good program that will let me determine this value so I have lots of room, losing very little into the start of the bad section?
Comment by Dafz Thomas on August 17, 2009 at 10:17am
This as well would be great for the new Macbook Pros
Comment by monzongo on December 13, 2008 at 2:54pm
Great! I'm just starting to use Ubuntu and this was very helpful for my new SD card that I got for my PPC.
Comment by Mark on December 2, 2008 at 2:37pm
If you have any problems or need any extra pointers let me know, I have found information on this subject to be lacking when using google.
Comment by Daniel Osborne on December 2, 2008 at 2:28pm
Nice walkthrough. I will be needing this very soon :)

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