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Old 05-25-2006, 08:05 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2006
Location: upstate NY
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partitioning- pmagic + linux install help


my neighbor across the hall wants to dual boot with linux.

he has partition magic but part of the problem is he already has 4 primary partitions used before he even starts.

on my own pc i have
c: primary
d: primary (a windows recovery partition)
extended - primary
unallocated space - primary

the rest of the partitions are logical grouped under extension.

i couldnt get his to have a similar setup as mine.

so my first question is what if he just leaves the 4 primary partitions alone he has now and creates logical partitions for linux without using extended. do you really need extended. i am not quite sure what it is used for. the reason i got stuck is because i thought the extended had to be primary and he alread has 4 other primary. i have seen in the partition magic help where they have primary and logical but no extended.

i chose discard all changes and told him he was at square one and left it with a warning. now of course curiosity got the best of him and there it sits broken (but fixable).

thanks for any tips,
Old 05-25-2006, 08:14 PM   #2
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Read this, from the Linux System Administrators Guide:

It's a discussion of the whys and wherefores of primary and extended partitions.
Old 05-25-2006, 08:25 PM   #3
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I'm no expert but I've deleted so many partitions and got them back that I think I can do this in my sleep. I have 2 hd's. One is 20 gig partitioned as 1 primary and logical, both have operation systems on them. My 2nd hd is 200 gig and has 1 primary and 1 extended (which has 5 logical partitions on it. 3 logical partitions have operating systems on them. It just seems easier to make more partitions to organize and store data. Besides, I get nervous with more than 1 primary bootable partition on one drive. If you convert a primary to a logical, you can still install an operating system on it and you virtually won't have any limits to creating more logical partitions. With primaries, 4 is it.
Linux bootloader (usually GRUB) will ask which OS you want to run or once all OS are installed, install System Commander and you can do so much more at boot up.

Last edited by topherus; 05-25-2006 at 08:29 PM.
Old 05-25-2006, 09:50 PM   #4
Registered: Dec 2005
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install System Commander and you can do so much more at boot up.
I just read the system commander website and it sounds like it does the same things the gparted/GRUB mini boot cd I made for free does.....and its only 70 bucks!

(sorry I could'nt resist giving a fellow Mandy user a good ribbing )
Old 05-25-2006, 10:32 PM   #5
Registered: Mar 2006
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i decided to take a wait and see approach. i will definitely be reviewing the information you provided plus a tutorial for partition magic. if i come across what i need in the next couple of days, i will try again. basically somehow my neighbors computer is already assigned primary partitions by itself (too many) with no extended primary. if i caught this earlier in the process, it would have been easier and it wouldnt have to be redone or reversed.
thanks for the help --- jim
Old 05-25-2006, 10:43 PM   #6
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below is the partition scheme of my rig.Maybe seeing will help,it does me.

The first 4 partitions of a hd are reserved exclusively for primary partitions.
If you want to have more than 4 partitions per disk you must use one of your 4 slots(in my case it is partition #2 on both disks)as an extended(divided primary) partition to mount all of your logical partitions on(5 thru 10 and 5 thru 12 in my case).
Notice that partition hdc2 and hdd2's size is actually the sum of partitions number 5 thru 10 on hdc and 5 thru 12 on hdd.
Partition #2 cannot actually contain any info and therefore is not bootable.
The #1 Partition on my disks are primary also.Notice I have no #3 or #4 partitions listed thats because I only made 1 primary and 1 extended on both disks.

I just bothered to read the link bigrigdriver posted and I think it does a better job of explaining than I do actually.Sorry

Disk /dev/hdc: 82.3 GB, 82348277760 bytes
240 heads, 63 sectors/track, 10637 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 15120 * 512 = 7741440 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hdc1 * 1 2709 20480008+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hdc2 2710 9477 51166080 5 Extended
/dev/hdc5 2710 5417 20472448+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdc6 5418 6229 6138688+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdc7 6230 7041 6138688+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdc8 8666 9477 6138688+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdc9 7042 7853 6138688+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdc10 7854 8665 6138688+ 83 Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order

Disk /dev/hdd: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hdd1 * 1 1019 8185086 83 Linux
/dev/hdd2 1020 9426 67529227+ 5 Extended
/dev/hdd5 1020 2038 8185086 83 Linux
/dev/hdd6 2039 3057 8185086 83 Linux
/dev/hdd7 3058 4076 8185086 83 Linux
/dev/hdd8 4077 5095 8185086 83 Linux
/dev/hdd9 5096 6114 8185086 83 Linux
/dev/hdd10 6115 7133 8185086 83 Linux
/dev/hdd11 7134 9171 16370203+ 83 Linux
/dev/hdd12 9172 9426 2048256 82 Linux swap / Solaris
Old 05-25-2006, 10:48 PM   #7
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mtdew3q, hard drives can only have four primary partitions. An extended partition is also a primary partition and it is container or a bucket partition that holds logcial partitions. I suggest backing up the data and delete the fourth partition to add an extended partition that will contain Linux partitions and the data that was on the fourth primary partition. I do not recommend using Partition Magic to make Linux partitions because it sometimes screws up Linux. Because of this leave an unused non-partition space for Linux. Partition Magic states extended partitions as blue and green for logical partitions, but it has been so long since I used Partition Magic. Probably you are mistaken the last three partitions as logical partitions.

The partitions can be changed several times with out losing data, but only if you do not adjust the filesystem to fill the partition. Partition Magic adjusts the supported filesystems after it changes the partition, so data recovery tools need to be used to retrieve the lost data.

I strongly recommend making and testing backups before using any disk utility.

I suggest hidding your D: drive so it does not show in the drive list in Windows.

topherus, It seems to me you are hijacking this thread more than providing advise.
Old 05-25-2006, 11:32 PM   #8
Registered: Mar 2006
Location: upstate NY
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thanks for the great advice.
now i have a plan.
i need to identify what is i am going to delete also.
one is a dell utility partition. maybe i can ask dell more
about that before i trash it. another is some label i never
heard of. i may not really need 2 of these primary partitions
and then yes i can definitely delete them and create my
extended one (after backing up).
thanks for helping! i will write in a week or so and give
a brief report on what happened.


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