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Old 07-30-2007, 05:22 AM   #16
jlliagre
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This 4 partition limitation (and others worse like 16 bit real-mode boot loader and VGA requirements) will be dropped one day where the old BIOS standard will be widely replaced by something smarter.

Perhaps OpenBIOS or EFI label/GUID partition table.

x86 based Macs and some other mainboards are already supporting EFI.
 
Old 07-30-2007, 08:34 AM   #17
saikee
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There have been various developments to overhaul the Bios system, among them is one to combine the Bios with a kernel, making it a provision by the hardware vendors.

I am sure there are many smarter systems under development or already available now but the PC compatiable standard could only be dropped if there is something better and accepted by the majority of the operating systems. Macs can do what it likes for example moved itself to the PC platform. The PC standard is principally driven by the MS systems and it does appear that MS is in a hurry to follow the Mac standard.

I am not saying we should stick with the 4-primary hard disk system for ever but many OSs like BSD and Solaris have managed to work with it in their own way without even involving any logical partition by using their BSD-subparts or sub-slices etc. I doubt if a BSD or a Solaris can be installed in a hard disk managed with 255 primary partitions but they have no problem to be installed in a "normal" hard disk.

The PC hardware development has gone to Sata disks in recent years and the number of disks supported has almost doubled that provided by the standard Pata/IDE controller. In other word there has been a big increase of primary partition available but I doubt if there are matched by the users who have a need to use them.

A primary partition is only needed by an operating system for the booting purpose and there aren't many OS, if we take Linux out of the equation, that can occupy the primary partitions available in the 7 Sata ports provided by a modern mobo (7*4=28 primaries).

I am not against changes but feel a user can do better to understand a little bit about what we have got now than to change just because it is fashionable to do so.
 
Old 07-30-2007, 09:58 AM   #18
jlliagre
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I don't think the issue is with Operating Systems.
Aren't under certain conditions some releases of Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, MacOS and Windows already able to access or even boot an EFI/GPT labeled disk ?
 
Old 07-30-2007, 11:52 AM   #19
saikee
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The information seems to originate from Mac machines. The EFI has its booting services requiring a EFI-compatible boot loader, like elilo, to be loaded first before an OS can be booted. Therefore this would suggest if the EFI has been introduced into the PC then the existing bios must read the MBR the usual way and hand over the control to an EFI-compatible boot loader which has implanted part of it in the MBR. The whole thing becomes just another management layer between the existing Bios and the new partition table.

I know BSD systems have their boot loaders for the installation but can't confirm if they could read a EFI-label disk. On the Linux side all the CD or DVD iso have either syslinux or Grub and they are pc-compatible boot loaders. I always try to avoid burning the CD/DVD by booting the Linux iso off directly from the hard disk and hence have to convert the isolinux into Grub. Isolinux is the defacto boot loader for CD/DVD writen by Peter Alvin specially for iso9600 filing system. There is an increased movement in Linux iso to use Grub because it is simple and involves only one file called stage2_eltorito. Personally I have not come across any EFI-type boot loader yet in publicly released-Linux for PC.

The EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) label/GUID partition table is apparently a HP sponsor open source project pretty much in a server martket because there aren't many serious takers of its codes except Mac and machine using Itanium Processors.
 
Old 07-30-2007, 02:10 PM   #20
Junior Hacker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlliagre
This 4 partition limitation (and others worse like 16 bit real-mode boot loader and VGA requirements) will be dropped one day where the old BIOS standard will be widely replaced by something smarter.
I fully concur, the 512 byte sector also. The trend will move towards removing restrictions to allow the user to better customize their computing environment as I point out one small example above. Current hard drives are largely mechanical, there will be major changes/improvements in this area sooner than later. And the trickery I use is not trickery, it's ingenuity, the application re-writes the MBR with every selection a user makes and only the 4 or less primaries per hard drive applicable to the OS are written to the MBR, all other primaries appear as free space to the OS. Which allows a user, not M$, to select which OS will be the front runner in their environment with the current hard drive/bios design.

Due to the laws of probability, I never! say never!.
Oooops!

Last edited by Junior Hacker; 07-30-2007 at 02:11 PM.
 
  


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