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Primary partitions

 
 
John John - MVP
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      12-02-2009
Dave Warren wrote:
> In message <(E-Mail Removed)> Bobby Johnson
> <(E-Mail Removed)> was claimed to have wrote:
>
>> With Microsoft's partitioning that's correct. There are other utilities
>> that will let you do more than four primary partitions.

>
> With all due respect, four is a hard limit here.
>
> You can create an extended partition (which is actually a primary
> partition itself) and multiple logical partitions within that,


Well, in the interest of accuracy the extended partition is not a
primary partition because it cannot be flagged active. By definition an
active partition is one that can be marked active.

> but the
> limitation of four primary partitions has nothing to do with Windows,
> it's a holdover from the original IBM BIOS implementation of ages past.


It's not a BIOS limitation, the BIOS' role in all of this stops after it
finds the first sector on the boot device and then hands over the boot
process to the Master Boot Record. This is an MBR limitations on basic
discs, or to be more precise (as posted by R. C. White) this is a
limitation of the partition table.

John
 
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Bobby Johnson
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      12-02-2009
Results of a Google for "more than 4 primary partitions" found @
http://superuser.com/questions/59593...sing-1-primary

There are more alos.


You can use more than 4 primary partitions, if you hide the extra
partitions.

For this game of hiding and unhiding partitions, you need a boot manager.
Some Linux distributions replace the Windows boot manager with another
that doesn't suffer from that limitation, although this should be
undertaken with great precaution.

The other way to go is to use a product that takes care of the whole
thing. Some such products are :

BootIt NG ($34.95)
Support of over 200 primary partitions (if desired). I've used it and
it's one of the best.

GAG (initials, in spanish, of Graphical Boot Manager) (open-source)
Allows boot of up to 9 different operating systems installed in primary
and extended partitions. Never used it.

Partition Commander 11 ($49.95)
No info on maximum partitions number. I've used it a long time ago and
it worked then pretty well.

Norton PartitionMagic 8.0 ($69.95)
Otherwise called BootMagic, no info on maximum partitions number, and
seems to only support partitions up to 300GB. Never used it, and I
usually stay away from Norton products.

Warning: Before playing with partitions, take great care with your backups.


Richard Urban wrote:
> Please enlighten me on this! Other software that allows more than 4
> primary partitions on a single hard drive.
>

 
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John John - MVP
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-02-2009
Bobby Johnson wrote:
> Results of a Google for "more than 4 primary partitions" found @
> http://superuser.com/questions/59593...sing-1-primary
>
>
> There are more alos.
>
>
> You can use more than 4 primary partitions, if you hide the extra
> partitions.


That is not correct, a hidden partition still holds one of the four
entries in the partition table, the only difference is that the
"partition type" bit in its entry is changed to hide the partition. A
basic MBR disk *cannot* have more than four partitions, one of which can
be an extended partition holding logical drives. You must resort to
third party boot managers if you want to create more than 4 primary
partitions.

John
 
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R. C. White
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      12-02-2009
Hi, Tom.

You got me! ;^{ Thanks for the catch.

In the WinXP RK (pp. 1210-1216), there is a good bit of detail about "Disk
Sectors on MBR Disks". It includes a picture of a Partition Table (Figure
27.5) and its Fields (27.6) and System ID Values (27.7).

The first byte of the table is the Boot Indicator and can be only 80
(bootable) or 00 (not bootable). The 5th byte is the System ID, which can
have one of 16 different values; 0x05 means Extended partition.

The same information is online at
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l.../bb457122.aspx , but it has been
re-organized. You'll have to scroll way down on that page to Table 28-7,
Partition Table Fields, and thereabouts. In the 2nd edition of the WinXP RK
it starts on p. 1189 (Chapter 26). Recent (post WinXP) Resource Kits seem
to have LESS detail about these topics and more about exotic topics (GPT
disks, etc.) that don't interest me (yet).

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP
Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8089.0726) in Win7 Ultimate x64

"Tom Orle" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "R. C. White" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> ... and a single bit that indicates
>>whether this is an extended partition OR if this is the currently Active
>>(bootable) partition on that HDD.

>
> RC,
>
> How can this single bit specify 3 types of partitions?
> Bootable primary (active)
> Non-bootable primary (is such a partition possible?)
> Extended
>
> Is there another bit signifying an active partition ... or do all
> primary partitions have to be active?
>
> Just curious ...
>
> -=tom=-


 
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Bill
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-05-2009
"Norton PartitionMagic 8.0 ($69.95)
Otherwise called BootMagic, no info on maximum partitions number, and
seems to only support partitions up to 300GB. Never used it, and I
usually stay away from Norton products."

Supports 4 primary partitions. I have created partitions greater than 300GB
with Partition Magic, but have done no further manipulation with them after
creation. Was developed by PowerQuest, not Norton. Symantec bought out
PowerQuest and discontinued any further development of Partition/Boot Magic
other than rebranding, therefore I do not consider it a Symantec product. I
believe (memory is fuzzy here) Symantec bought PowerQuest solely to stop
PowerQuests Drive Image competition with Ghost and to obtain PowerQuest
patents. The technology used in Drive Image, which was far superior in my
opinion, was later brought into Ghost. However, it appears Symantec had no
interest in further development of Partition Magic/Boot Magic.

I continue to use (PowerQuest version 8.01) to create partitions and as my
boot manager. After partitions are created, I then format the partition
with the OS installation disk being installed, especially with Vista and
Win7. My BootMagic resides on a MSDOS 6.22 first primary partition.
Advanced partition hiding is enabled to isolate OS partitions from each
other.
--
______________
BullDawg
Associate Expert
In God We Trust
______________

"Bobby Johnson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Results of a Google for "more than 4 primary partitions" found @
> http://superuser.com/questions/59593...sing-1-primary
>
> There are more alos.
>
>
> You can use more than 4 primary partitions, if you hide the extra
> partitions.
>
> For this game of hiding and unhiding partitions, you need a boot manager.
> Some Linux distributions replace the Windows boot manager with another
> that doesn't suffer from that limitation, although this should be
> undertaken with great precaution.
>
> The other way to go is to use a product that takes care of the whole
> thing. Some such products are :
>
> BootIt NG ($34.95)
> Support of over 200 primary partitions (if desired). I've used it and it's
> one of the best.
>
> GAG (initials, in spanish, of Graphical Boot Manager) (open-source)
> Allows boot of up to 9 different operating systems installed in primary
> and extended partitions. Never used it.
>
> Partition Commander 11 ($49.95)
> No info on maximum partitions number. I've used it a long time ago and it
> worked then pretty well.
>
> Norton PartitionMagic 8.0 ($69.95)
> Otherwise called BootMagic, no info on maximum partitions number, and
> seems to only support partitions up to 300GB. Never used it, and I usually
> stay away from Norton products.
>
> Warning: Before playing with partitions, take great care with your
> backups.
>
>
> Richard Urban wrote:
>> Please enlighten me on this! Other software that allows more than 4
>> primary partitions on a single hard drive.
>>



 
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