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Old 12-03-2004, 06:48 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Bradford UK
Distribution: Ubuntu Dapper Drake k7-kernel
Posts: 49

Rep: Reputation: 15
How many partitions on one disk?

I have been given a PC with a 120Gb HD. Unfortunately it was formatted as a single NTFS partition. I have used qtparted from the systemrescuecd bootable CD. I shrank the NTFS partion to 30Gb and created a 16Gb FAT32 partion and then used half the remainder as an ext3 partition. The problem came when I tried to partition and format the remaining space, qtparted would not allow me to do so. The disk now has the following partitions:
1. a small unusable one created during the original XP install
2. the shrunk NTSF partition
3. a new FAT32 partition
4. a new ext3 partition
5. a large empty space that I cannot do anything with
6. a small unusable bit created during the original XP install
Can anyone help please.
Old 12-03-2004, 07:07 PM   #2
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Slackware 10.2
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i bet there all primary an you have no extended and logical partitions

go here
Old 12-04-2004, 09:40 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Bradford UK
Distribution: Ubuntu Dapper Drake k7-kernel
Posts: 49

Original Poster
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Thanks. Yes, I did make them all primary partitions. My old computer had multiple small HDs so this was not a problem. The link is very helpful but rather Microsoft orientated. I am however left with a new question.

The text refers to an Extended DOS Partition. This would of course contain my FAT32 partition. Can I put any Linux partitions in it as well? If I install a boot manager (GRUB or LILO) will this occupy a primary partition of its own and do XP and LINUX have to be in their own primary partitions?
Old 12-04-2004, 10:04 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2002
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An extended partition in an nutshell is a container for logical partitions. linux can be installed to either a primary or logical paritition and is seperate from XP.. The boot loader is usually installed on the Master Boot Record which is not associated with a partition.

primary partitions have an ID 1-4
logical partitions have an ID >=5

A simple scheme
/dev/hda1 - c: (primary) NTFS for windows
/dev/hda2 - extended, size should be rest of disk
/dev/hda5 - d: FAT32 (logical)
/dev/hda6 - swap (512MB) logical
/dev/hda7 - /boot (100MB) logical
/dev/hda8 - / (remaining disk space)

And BTW an IDE drive can have 64 partitions.

Last edited by michaelk; 12-04-2004 at 10:05 AM.


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