Ok thanks ... But I think I have two problems with that method
1; my server is a vim in a data centre so I can't boot off another distro and I'm pretty sure they don't have a rescue service distro to boot off, but I will ask - so I'd have to extend the parition whilst still mounted which I understand is ok on my kernel version.
2; I think I'm going to run into the same problem as when using cfdisk. I think I realise now that I couldn't create a larger partition than before is because the spare space is not directly after the file system partition. There is a swap paritition right after it,.. Like this
Linux .com 2.6.26-2-amd64 #1 SMP Wed Sep 21 03:36:44 UTC 2011 x86_64
The programs included with the Debian GNU/Linux....
:~# fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 21.4 GB, 21485322240 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2612 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00007eb9
* *Device Boot * * *Start * * * * End * * *Blocks * Id *System
/dev/sda1 * * * * * *1245 * * * *1306 * * *498015 * 82 *Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda2 * * * * * * * 1 * * * *1244 * * 9992398+ *83 *Linux
Partition table entries are not in disk order
Is that a fair assumption?