I just got a raspberry pi. It came with an 8GB SD card (actually an SD adapter + microsd card) with the RPi logo on it.

The sd card came pre-installed with NOOBS so I just ran the default raspbian install and started setting it up. Now I have a couple of questions about the file system.

*Q1.* If I plug the SD Card into the sd card reader on my Dell/Windows laptop, it only shows up part of the SD Card. Presumably, there's another partition hidden away that actually has the raspbian os install on it? Is that the case ? Is there anyway to see the OS Partition

Once I'd gotten the stuff I wanted installed, I backed up the card using Win32DiskImager.exe. I then reimaged it onto a blank 32 GB SDHC card I had lying around, but I don't think it's using the full 32GB available.

*Q2.* How do I expand the raspbian install to use the full 32GB available. I tried running the "Expand FS" option in raspi-config but says that it can't do that (Dave) because it's not supported by NOOBS.

Alternatively, I'd be happy to just create another partition on the SD Card for dumping files into.

The end goal is to set it up as a headless, wifi-access point, running ssh & gphoto2 for capturing and downloading images from a canon dslr for timelapses.

2 Answers 2


Q1 You won't see anything on Windows (or OS X) because they don't have support for ext4, although this can be installed. The easiest way to see what you have is with a Linux system (or live disk).

On the Pi type sudo parted then print to see your partitions. You can create or resize too, but you should do a little study before trying this.

Q2. I don't know about NOOBS, but this has many distribution images, which it can copy to the SD card. A fresh install of raspbian should let you resize the partition.

  • Thanks @Milliways. Think I might just bite the bullet and do a fresh/clean raspbian install on the SD card. Will suss out Live disk for managing stuff on the laptop as I don't have another *nix box lying around. Cheers Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 20:02

It is fairly complicated to resize partitions on a NOOBS install, you need to resize the partitions themselves and then update one file or another in the data files for NOOBS.

The easiest way to take advantage of the full 32GB of your micro-sd is to reinstall the operating system using NOOBS, or to avoid further hassle, image the card with Raspbian directly and then use the Expand-FS option in raspi-config.

I can try and find the method for resizing the partition but, in my opinion, it's not worth it.

Hope this helps!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.