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Old 04-24-2004, 01:52 PM   #1
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Moving from extended partition to primary partition


I am currently running Mandrake 9.2.
I have a dual boot configuration in which XP is stored on a primary partition
and Linux is stored in an Extended Partition. I use the XP bootloader to dual
boot into either environment.

Below is a copy of the current partition table:

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 892 7164958+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 893 3589 21663652+ f Win95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda3 3590 4864 10241437+ 1c Hidden Win95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/hda5 893 1784 7164958+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda6 1785 1848 514048+ 82 Linux swap
/dev/hda7 1849 2740 7164958+ b Win95 FAT32
/dev/hda8 2741 3589 6819561 7 HPFS/NTFS
#Ignore /dev/hda8 for now. I have future plans for it.

What I would like to find out is a simple, non-destructive way of
moving the Linux partition to a primary partition.

I tried using Partition Magic to designate the Linux partition (currently hda5) as a
primary partition. What's not clear to me is the device id assigned to the primary
partition. I assumed it to be hda2, but I am not certain of this. Assuming the new
partition was hda2, I modified lilo.conf, indicating the new device to be hda2
rather than hda5, and wrote the resulting information to a bootsect.lnx file
that I then mounted in the root directory of drive C, where my current working
boot file resides.

Unfortunately, when I choose Linux from the XP boot loader, all I get is gibberish
on the display. Other variations I have tried (ie. boot floppy) have gotten started
with the boot process, but always result in a kernel panic indicating that the
file systems cannot be found.

Is there a simple way to do what I am trying to do, or must I reinstall the OS from
scratch on the clean primary partition.

Thanks very much,
Joel Budgor
Old 04-24-2004, 02:45 PM   #2
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You can only have 4 primary partitions, and if you want more than 4 partition on you HDD then one of them needs to be the extended partition, which holds the logical partitions.

From your listing I assume that /dev/hda4 is the extended partition which holds logical partitions /dev/hda5 - /dev/hda8

If you really want linux on a primary partition you need to delete one of them first to make room....probably not what you want since I assume hda2 and hda3 hold your windows file.

I think you are getting gibberish because, if I understand you correctly, you told lilo to boot linux from hda2, where obviously linux is not installed.

So: if you free up a primary partition you can try PM again...I have never used it so I can't say whether it will do the trick.
Old 05-05-2004, 12:44 PM   #3
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It was the wrong drive

Thanks for the reply.

After further experimentation I discovered that you were correct;
the drive in question was hda4 and not hda2. After some tinkering
I finally got things to work the way I wanted.

Thanks again,
Old 05-05-2004, 09:47 PM   #4
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Even though you figured it out I wanted to add some additional info.

/dev/hda2 893 3589 21663652+ f Win95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 893 1784 7164958+ 83 Linux
hda2 is your extended partition, note the ext'd. 1-4 are your primary partitions. Anything >= 5 is a logical partition. In a nutshell an extended partition is a container for logicals. I take it you created a hda4 since that was the last primary partition ID available.

You see how hda2 and hda5 have the same starting block number. Also all of your logicals will have a start and end blocks within the start and end blocks of hda2.
Old 05-06-2004, 05:59 AM   #5
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Good call michaelk, I totally missed that...
Old 05-26-2004, 06:08 PM   #6
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Hey Joel it is Frank!
Remember your old Java Student?
You have time for a question?

Oh and I will tell you the answer soon.



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