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Old 12-22-2006, 03:47 PM   #1
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extending fedora unkown partition

Hi, I'm trying to extend my linux partition with some recently unallocated space. But whenever I use any application, it shows that fedora had installed linux in a partition within an extended partition. The partition itself (/dev/hda5) is of an "unknown" file type, so it wont let me modify it.

I can't create a new partition and just mount it because I'm using the max number of partitions that I'm allowed.

Anyone know what to do? Maybe I should just format it to ext3 and reinstall? Thanks for any help.
Old 12-22-2006, 03:52 PM   #2
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Red hat supports 4 primary and upto 16 logical partitions (logical partitions fall under extended partition)

you should have loaded fedora on a primary partition or should have choosen "force to be a primary partition" in disk druid.

can you tell us what your /dev/hda1-4 are ?
Old 12-22-2006, 04:01 PM   #3
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Hm yeah, I installed it I just chose the automatic setup where it took unallocated space and made the "proper" partitions.

hda1 is ntfs; windows
hda2 is ext3 swap
hda3 is the extended drive that contains hda5 which is the 'unknown' linux file system
hda4 is fat32 partition
Old 12-22-2006, 05:22 PM   #4
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Actually the max number of partitions on a drive depends on its type. An IDE can have a total of 63 partitions, SCSI and SATA since it uses the SCSI subsystem can only have a max of 16 partitions. We need to know exactly how your drive is partitioned. Post the output of the command.
fdisk -l /dev/hda (that is a small L and you must be root)

Typically Fedora automatic install creates 2 partitions. /boot and LVM. BTW swap is not an ext3 partition so I assume that hda2 is the /boot. The LVM contains swap and / filesystems. Where is this recently unallocated space located? If you resized hda1 or hda4 then you can not create another partition since you are already have 4 primary partitions. The simplest would be to delete hda2,3&4. Hopefully you can save the fat32 data to some other medium. Create an extended partition (say hda2) that uses all the remaining disk space not used by windows. Create a logical partition hda5 for your fat32 of the desired size. FC6 will automatically be installed in the remaining unused space in your extended partition.

When hard drives first came on the PC scene one could on create 4 partitions. This soon became a limitation so the extended/logical partitions were developed. A primary partition is designated as an extended and then logical partitions can be created. Anything >4 is a logical partition.
Old 12-22-2006, 05:36 PM   #5
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You need to read up how hard disk partitions work and this is a good start because lot of explanation is needed here.

The 4 primary partitions is PC standard.

In Linux the maximum partition number that can be reached is 63 for Pata disk and 15 for Sata disk. Old distro like Red Hat only support up to 15 or 16. I have Fedora C3 installed in hda59 and Fedora C5 in hdc56.

If you can't make empty space join up with a partition it is mostly due to the empty area is not immediately adjacent to the parttition. Also logical partition must work as a continuous chain with one logical partition carries the address for the next one down or up the chain. All logical partitions must be surround by a border called the extended partition, which itself has no storage space. Only one extended partition is allowed in PC standard and it must come at the expense of giving up one of the 4 primary partitions. In Linux hda1 to hda4 are reserved names for primary partitions. Logical partitions always starts from the 5th position. If you want to increase the size of hda5 you need to destroy its border first (the extended partition) and shift the logical partitions to aborb the empty space which must join either at the begining or at the end.

Hope the above isn't too complicated.
Old 12-23-2006, 05:31 PM   #6
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Hey everybody, thanks for your replies! With them I was able to properly rearrange my partitions now and understand it better.


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