Sunday, March 11, 2012

Repartitioning the N9


I have a black N9 64GB, Made in Finland, UAE version and I am using it in India! Nokia is trying its best to push, rub and force LUMIA on us in India but I went for the N9! Saturday morning, I woke up with the Firmware Update news that flashed on my N9. While many of you have already received the update, UAE versions got the PR1.2 only on 10th March!

Okay, so I was ready to go until I saw the dreadful message that the Memory is Full!! I thought this was gone with the E72, but the Legacy lives on... Seriously Nokia, when are you going to start thinking about Memory limits properly? I dont know how they come up with these figures for Memory. 4GB? For Apps? And Lo! I have a 64GB Phone and it says Memory Full! Just imagine, there are less apps for the Meego OS in store now, what if there were many? This is a deliberate Suicide by Nokia... Anyways, God only can save Nokia from the Dictators!

So I hit the net and saw very less information about the partition resize for Nokia N9. I got two sources for this and using those hints I resized the Partitions on the N9. I did not want to take the pain of uninstalling apps and maintain a list of those apps and install em again.... Also I did understand that I can only re-install paid apps for 5 times in the Nokia Store... So I did not want to uninstall the apps. I thank the people at these two sources for helping me out.

Source 1)

Though the instructions are for installing Nemo, this site was very handy for me to learn and use the tool "parted". Also It was very helpful to get the files used to load the N9 partitions.

Source 2)

The user "kuzmichov" gives a clear explanation of how this is done except for the loading partition part!

I would like to summarize my experience on this. Be careful in doing this...

1) You will need a Linux system with parted and/or partitionmanager installed.
2) You will need the following files as mentioned in Source1, except for the Nemo files.


N950 MeeGo kernel:
N950 MeeGo rescue initrd:
N950 MeeGo kernel package:

3) You can follow the first 8 steps as on source1.

Please open terminal and "cd" to the directory where you downloaded the above files.
Please note that the 7 and 8 steps are required only if the second partition does not appear (happened to me too)

== Device Installation ==

1. Unplug the usb cable from your phone.
2. Turn your phone off.
3. Load the N950 MeeGo kernel and N950 MeeGo rescue initrd using flasher:
$ sudo flasher --load -k vmlinuz- -n initrd.img-rescue- --boot
4. Insert the usb cable.
5. Wait about minute until a new USB mass storage decice appears on the host.
You should now have three partitions: /dev/sdX1 with is MyDocs, /dev/sdX2
which is MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan rootfs, and /dev/sdX3 which is the MeeGo 1.2
Harmattan home directory.
6. Please verify that the three partions above are the same as on my phone,
as the following steps WILL brick your phone if they aren't...
7. Start parted and verify that it finds all three partitions:
$ sudo parted /dev/sdX
(parted) unit s
(parted) print
8. On my phone, parted didn't recognize the second partition. If you have the
same problem, recreate it between (end of "1" + 1) and (start of "3" - 1):
(parted) mkpart
Partition type? primary/extended? primary
File system type? [ext2]? ext4
Start? 112672768s
End? 121061375s

4) After this, you can use either parted or partitionmanager to do the job. Make sure you unmount the partitions first!
The little lock shown on the partition manager shows its already mount, you can right click and unlock it there itself.

5) Source 2 gives a good idea on how PartitionManager works.
I personally think parted may be better if you know how to use it. But PartitionManager does the job.
For me Partition Manager had left some free space after partitioning(very minor) which I tried to resize again and include using parted.
The whole job of resizing took around 2 hrs.

7) Just to give you an idea of how my space now looks like, please find the screenshots below.

8) And yes, after doing this I was able to update my N9 to PR1.2. Now My Applications Partition size is around 10.8 GB which is great!

Using parted, this is how my FS on the N9 looks like in sectors

Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
1 1024s 99522674s 99521651s primary fat32 lba
2 99522675s 121049774s 21527100s primary ext4
3 121061376s 125255679s 4194304s primary ext4

Notice the sectors between the end of (2) and start of (3). Thanks to PartitionManager some minor space there is lost.
I am not able to resize using parted because of some feature... I dont know this...

Before the change:

After the Change(Refer the parted tools print for the sectors)

Yes- The Screenshot from ma N9 after the change and after the PR 1.2 update! :)

I Hope this is of help to anyone who needs to repartition his N9.


James (Jeffrey) T Wang said...

Thanks for sharing this!
I've added it to the N9 universal guide called:
"N9/x0: share how-to/workaround/mod/app/other"

It's under the Mods/Tweaks section.
Just search for "partition"...
One of the threads that was your inspiration is already referenced there.

Here's the URL to the Google doc


Jobin Jacob said...

Is this real? can i really do this on my nokia n9?

will i lose my files after this?

Ajit said...

Hi Jobin,

Sorry for the delayed response.

Yes its very much true and its possible, but however it does have some issues.

For me, I faced a security issue - My phone no longer asked for the security code whenever I unlocked the phone. Initially I dint think it was because of this, but eventually found it out. I reverted back to the original partitions but did not lose any data, just had to reinstall the apps.

strategist said...


BHARAT here.
I lost my N9 64gb and would request if you couls sell me urs or arrange one for me.

maybe u might reply late, but pls reply back on my mail, or contact me on 9972723033.

anyone else also having a Nokia N9 for sale 64gb one may contact me.



Ajit said...

Sorry to hear about your loss, Bharat. I'm still using my N9, it's not for sale.

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