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Old 08-08-2004, 04:45 AM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: Slackware 10 - Mandrake 10
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Partition Number Ambiguity

Hello members;
I have installed slackware 9.1 on my computer a bit ago. At that time I was realy new to linux, thus I left all things to installer. I have 4 partitions on my first IDE harddisk:

1. a primary NTFS
2. logical FAT32
3. a Linux partition
4. a Linux Swap partition

Their names under Linux are:


I want to know what is the rule of naming partitions? Why hda2, hda3 and hda4 are not used? FYI I have a floppy drive and 2 CDROMs on secondary IDE as master and slave drives. My IDE primary slave is free.
Old 08-08-2004, 04:51 AM   #2
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Distribution: Debian
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From what limited knowledge I have, every logical (or non-primary) partition starts with hdx5 whether you have used the previous numbers or not. Meh I'm sure someone else can give a better explanation than that.
Old 08-08-2004, 05:42 AM   #3
Registered: Jul 2004
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Yeah, the partitions 1-4 are reserved for primary partitions. See "man sfdisk" for the difference.
Old 08-08-2004, 11:10 AM   #4
Registered: May 2004
Location: /dev/bed
Distribution: Mandriva 2009.0 Powerpack
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Re: Partition Number Ambiguity

You can only have 4 primary partitions on a hard disk. To use more than that, msdos/windows fdisk create an extended partition when then gets carved up into smaller partitions.
When you installed windows, it made your primary NTFS in the first available primary partition slot (which linux sees as hda1). When the Fat32 drive was created, dos/windows makes an extended partition by default which covers the rest of your hard disk, and takes part of it as the fat32 (linux sees this as hda5), the next partitions then are created as hda6 hda7 hda8 and so on.

Hope that helps :-)


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