Thursday, 20 December 2012

Partition Manager: C Drive Extension Tutorial

Thanks to the latest version of the NokiaCooker by Marco Bellino aka Il.Socio, changing partition size of Symbian devices became very easy.

The new partition manager feature, will give you the possibility to assign unused space from Z:\ to your C:\ drive.
This can dramatically increase the free space on C:\!

I am going to show you how to do it in the following tutorial.

Make sure you read the whole post!
There are many important information's and should also know about the risks and limitation.


what is this exactly
Your Symbian phone's main drive is split into two partitions, Z:\ and C:\.
Z:\ is a ROM, it contains the firmware itself. The files in there can only be changed via flashing (CORE, ROFS2 & ROFS3).
C:\ is the main drive you are working on (UDA).

The idea of the partition manager is to change the partition sizes, to increase the free space of C:\ (UDA).
This is done by reducing the size of Z:\. Since Z:\ is read-only, you only need the minimum amount of space in there to store the firmware.

compatible devices
I successfully test the partition manager myself on the Nokia 808 and the Nokia E7.
According to many user reports on Daily Mobile the latest Symbian^3/Nokia Belle devices should all be compatible (from what I read, it was successfully tested on the N8, X7, C7, C6-01, 701, 700 & 603).


I used my own custom firmware "The One Reloaded v3.3" for the Nokia 808 in this tutorial, but you can use the instruction for every firmware you want (including OFW).

prepare the firmware
So the first step is to extract/move all firmware files you need into the same folder.
Only the files you want to flash to your phone should be in that folder.

custom files & translations
If you use my CFW, you may also want  to use the translations by freaxs_r_us or maybe you have a "private" rofs3 or UDA where you store additional mods, etc.

In that case it is important that you use those custom files for the partitioning.

file names
Phoenix doesn't have a problem with custom file names, the name of the files doesn't matter in there.
For the NokiaCooker, they do matter!
Use the original names for the files, or else they won't be recognised by the partition manager.

prepare the UDA
During this process the NokiaCooker will delete all content in your UDA.
You don't want to flash an empty UDA...

Open the UDA you are going to use for flashing later and extract all content into a folder.
We will restore those data later...

step by step
Now you are ready to follow this simple step by step instruction ;)

Open the NokiaCooker and hit the icon to run the partition manager
run the partition manager
 A dialog will appear and ask you for your firmwares *.vpl file... guess what to do now!
select your *.vpl file
If you did everything right so far, the NokiaCooker will recognise your firmware correctly.
The partition manager shows you your current partition sizes.
original 808 UDA size = 629MB
Use the arrows to change the partition sizes!
In this example, I reduced all ROFS files to their minimum size. The minimum size depends on your phone/firmware files.
new UDA size = 800MB
As mentioned before, this process will delete your UDA's content.
If you want to proceed, you have to agree...
UDA will be erased!
restore your UDA
The files are basically ready now.
But you don't want to flash with the empty UDA!

Use the NokiaCooker again to open your new UDA (on the lower right corner, you can see the new size of your UDA, if you need a confirmation).

Drag and drop the UDA files we backed up earlier into the right window.
Save the new UDA and you're done restoring it ;)
restore your UDA data

flashing via Phoenix

The edited files you have now, can be used for flashing like any other firmwares via Phoenix.
The important part here is, you have to use "refurbish".

You can find a full tutorial about how to flash your phone here:
How to flash your phone

So here is a little prove to show it is working. I took this screen shot after fully setting up my phone, so there was even more free space directly after flashing...
my C:\ drive after flashing

Risk & Compatibility

Once the repartitioning process is done, your files are not compatible to other firmware files anymore.
That means you can not simply replace e.g. the ROFS3 or UDA with some other files.

If you wanna replace one of your files, you need to go through the whole partitioning process all over again!
Else the partition tables are messed up and your phone will brick during flashing.

In case you do mess up for some reason, you should still be able to bring your phone back to life via "dead phone USB flashing" mode in Phoenix (which is my recommended way to flash anyway, see tutorial).

firmware updates
If you prefer "update" instead of "refurbish" in Phoenix, this could be a deal breaker for you!

If a new OFW/CFW update gets released, there may be new features, widgets, mods, etc. stored in ROFS (Z:\).

Imagine the new partition Z:\ needs 5MB more space.
That means your C:\ can use 5MB less... in the example above, that would make a new UDA size of 795MB.
All changes made to the partitions, need to be applied to your phone via "refurbish"!

A possible workaround would be to assign larger sizes, instead of reducing the free space in Z:\ to a minimum. (If you don't get the point how that helps here, this workaround is not for you!)


I hope this tutorial can help you to get the most out of your Symbian device.
N8 users should appreciate this the most, since that device comes with the least amount of free space on C:\.

Let me know if something is not clear or if I forgot to mention something important.
If you have any questions ask via comment below ;)

Remember you are doing stuff like this on your own risk!


  1. excellent tutorial. works perfect with the one 5.5 for nokia n8. i now have 241 mbytes free on c: after flashing. so i gained about 30 mbyte. many thanks for your fantastic work.

    1. great to hear it worked for you ;)
      i tried to keep the tutorial as clear as possible, without becoming to boring/technical :p

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. deleted because it was spam...
      just to let you know, no censorship going on here ;)

  3. Has worked, great. :-)
    One question: is it possible to go backwards: to make a UDA from the actual phone state? Or what is the way to make my own UDA?

    1. you can use the stock uda or the uda from my cfw and use the nokia cooker to add/remove the features you want...

      if you need details, please ask specific questions

  4. Is this implemented in your CFW?

    I checked the summarized changelog for N8-00 and besides "rearragend files", it doesn't seem like it is.

    1. we decided not to put this in, because as we released it, this was fairly new and we thought that if somebody would try to flash it with other parts of other firmwares, then you will get a very expensive paperweight. If you use a re-partitionised cfw and a non re-partitionised together and flash, and the actual size is exceeded, then you can buy a new phone. And because of this danger we decided not to do it back then

    2. rearrangend files is not the same as resizing partitions...

      i decided against implementing it, because the files stay more flexible without this. following the tutorial is an easy way to do it yourself ;)

  5. It's nice to be able to do this, but why would you? If you select the 16GB internal memory of the N808 when installing programs, there will be enough free memory on the C drive for ever.

    1. true for the nokia 808... but quite usefull on other devices ;)

  6. Regarding Hobbit13 comments, many Nokia/"system applicatons" install on the C: drive by default. My N8 started with some 235MB but after updating by phone and installing some apps, the c: memory has decreased to an alarming 22MB. Ovi Store, Whatsapp,Antivirus, Adobe Reader, Quick Office, Skydrive - all install on the C: drive wthout prompt to choose "drive to install to". I have SPBShell also installed on C: drive. I wll have to move it to E: drive just to make space!!!

  7. do i have to unlock the core(2B-2C) before flashing? Thanks

    1. if you are modifying the original firmware, yes.

      if you are doing this for one of my cfw's, then no (its already done by myself)