Dell Inspiron Mini 9 ships with partition error, limits available disk space

If you’ve ordered a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook with Ubuntu Linux and an 8GB or 16GB solid state disk, you might want to check the amount of available disk space. It appears that early units only made use of 4GB even if the computer had a larger SSD. The problem is apparently that Dell was using the same disc image to format each and every unit shipping with Ubuntu, no matter what size disk it shipped with.

You can check to see the size of your partition by opening a terminal and typing “sudo fdisk -l” (without the quotes) and entering your password. You should see a figure that tells you the overall capacity of your disk, followed by the size of your partitions.

Dell has addressed the issue and is now shipping machines that take full advantage of the available disk space. But if you’re one of the unlucky few who got one of the messed up early units, there are a few solutions. If you have a USB DVD drive, you can use the system restore disc to reinstall Dell’s custom version of Ubuntu. It will reformat the entire drive. 

Or you can attempt to resize your partitions. The easiest way to do this is probably to download and install Parted Magic to a USB flash drive and then boot from that drive. Run the gParted partition manager and you should see the 4GB partition that Ubuntu is installed on and 8 or 12GB of unused space. Just grab the edge of the 4GB partition and drag it resize the partition, save your changes and reboot. 

Keep in mind, if you make a mistake while adjusting your partitions, there’s a chance you could make it difficult to boot your computer, erase your operating system, or perform other damage. So I’d advise only going the Parted Magic route if you’re fairly confident you know what you’re doing. Otherwise, I’d recommend trying the system restore DVD or calling Dell customer service for assistance (although that doesn’t always go well).

via Ubuntu Mini