Shouldn't I be able to create 4 primary partitions?

By LookinAround ยท 14 replies
Jun 1, 2010
  1. I want to create another bootable partition on my HD (which means it needs to be a primary partition since one can only boot into primary partitions)

    You'll see n the pic below i currently have 3 primary partitions
    > C: boots to XP
    > E: boots to Win 7
    > And there's an unlabeled primary partition

    I also have a chunk of unallocated space in a logical partition

    EASUS Disk Manager
    > Will let me copy E: to the unallocated space but it won't let me change the partition type (the option is dimmed)
    > Likewise if i simply Create a new partition in the unallocated space it won;t let me change partition type

    I also tried using Acronis to backup E: then restore it to the space, but when done it was still a logical partition.

    Any ideas what the problem is?


    Attached Files:

  2. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,426   +112

    What's the size HDD is that?
    On PCI, PCI-E, PCI-X or other?
    Why do you have FAT16 as your Primary?
    The drive letters assignments for HDD are not C, D, E, F, G etc.?
    Allocation in size? Are you just going by what the size left in GB?

    Acronis will only restore the to the same logical drives. So whatever you had prior will be recovered. Something is wrong though you can delete those partitions you are not using. Are you using FAT16 though?
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +184

    It's an internal 150GB drive that connects PCI
    ==> Does PCI vs PCI-?, etc. make a difference on the number of primary partitions??? just curious as didn't think it mattered
    Disk details below
    Description	Disk drive
    Manufacturer	(Standard disk drives)
    Model	Hitachi HDT721016SLA380 ATA Device
    Bytes/Sector	512
    Media Loaded	Yes
    Media Type	Fixed hard disk
    Partitions	4
    SCSI Bus	0
    SCSI Logical Unit	0
    SCSI Port	0
    SCSI Target ID	0
    Sectors/Track	63
    Size	149.01 GB (159,998,146,560 bytes)
    Total Cylinders	19,452
    Total Sectors	312,496,380
    Total Tracks	4,960,260
    Tracks/Cylinder	255
    Partition	Disk #0, Partition #0
    Partition Size	39.19 MB (41,094,144 bytes)
    Partition Starting Offset	32,256 bytes
    Partition	Disk #0, Partition #1
    Partition Size	35.31 GB (37,909,498,880 bytes)
    Partition Starting Offset	41,943,040 bytes
    Partition	Disk #0, Partition #2
    Partition Size	35.59 GB (38,214,650,880 bytes)
    Partition Starting Offset	37,951,441,920 bytes
    Partition	Disk #0, Partition #3
    Partition Size	37.38 GB (40,139,366,400 bytes)
    Partition Starting Offset	119,858,780,160 bytes
    My guess it's either for Dell diagnostics or for Acronis bootable recovery. It's one of three primary partitions on my drive. Having a small, FAT primary partition is fairly common
    No, they're not. Why?? It shouldn't make a difference. As far as i know, and have always done, I can assign them whatever I want. (tho fyi... D happens to be DVD drive. i chose to assign I:\ for Media)
    Not sure what you're asking. But that is the size of the unallocated partition.. just as is shown in the snapshot
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,840   +896

    you are correct; you should be able get four primaries

    see partition
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +184


    I was too lazy to look for my Gparted boot CD and use it but seems that's the next step... (Too bad if it's an EASUS problem cause till now i've really liked their freeware tool!)
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,840   +896

    Logical or Extended Parts reside inside a PRIMARY. Blow out the Logicals and you can get
    another primary into which an extended or Logical can be placed.

    If you need a Primary for BOOTing, then migrate data into a logical and reformat that primary for the Boot system
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Partitioning software has always been very temperamental to me. Every single one of them. I think I just suck and cry at rebooting.
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Thank you for the tip! :grinthumb

    Once I deleted the I:\Media partition and had a single, contigous block of disk space, EASUS let me create another primary partition in it :)

    However, EASUS doesn't allow me to Label the remaining unallocated partition space as you see in the snapshot below (but not a big deal now that I have a new bootable primary for another Win 7 install). I'll just make a larger primary and create a Media folder for now


    Attached Files:

  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +184

    LOL.. i know that feeling tho so far, overall, i've had pretty good luck. Check out EASUS (if you haven't already). It works well and they provide a fairly intuitive user interface.. Now, if only they'd include jobeard in their Help file :D
  10. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,426   +112

    Oh this isn't a system you had built. So you're on a DELL so that needs to have partition for firmware So that FAT16 and unallocated are one of the same. Windows 7 is that 32-bit? I hope so? You need more space for 64-bit also I see you have Sandbox for 7. I guess you have your reason for that virtual drive. XP really doesn't need all that space.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,840   +896

    Personally, I use a B I G hammer and chisel for 'partitioning' - - - :big stupid grin:
  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +184

    For firmware? No, I think that's simply where Dell saves their diagnostic utilities which you can boot into at power up.
    The FAT16 is allocated space. It's just not labeled cuz Dell doesn't want simple users to access it. The little bit of unallocated space you saw at the end of my disk map is something i had created myself for my own testing once upon a time
    Yes, it's 32 bit
    My "sandbox" isn't a virtual drive. It's going to be a second Win 7 installation i can "play" with without screwing up/impact the Win 7 installation on the other partition i actually use
    Agreed. XP doesn't need it but I do for all the test data and stuff i need to store and for now I can't create a new logical partition for shared data but isn't critical vs. creating that new primary that i really wanteed
  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +184


    btw and fyi: Other then avoiding drive letters A, B and C you're free to allocate drive letters as you please. I find there's two good reasons for doing so
    1. Just like assigning static IP addresses at the high end of the DHCP address range to avoid IP assignment conflicts, you also want to assign your permanent USB drives, network mounts etc. a high drive letter to avoid drive letter conflicts
    2. Sometimes Windows might change a drive letter under you no matter how careful you are. I find that picking a unique letter that i can constantly associate with a specific device lets me spot exactly when those times happen and i spend much less time figuring out why something's not working
  14. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Sorry, for the double post, but to clarify what i think is an important point for anyone reading this thread in future....

    When i said
    What i should have said "....Windows might change or reassign a drive letter from under you". e.g. if you might turn off or unplug your USB device and plug in something else Windows may re-assign the letter to the different device. This sometimes confuses Windows to the point of it associating properties of the unplugged device with the different device you plugged in. (e.g. That's one reason one might see weird "Wrong Volume" inserted messages when you simply plug in a flash drive!)
  15. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,426   +112

    Well I like to keep it sync C, D, E, F, G, an etc. Optical drives don't have to be on D. The way I build a system:

    C: OS/Programs
    D: Data/Storage

    In your case C: OS-XP, D: OS-7, E: OS-VTM-7

    Still if it was me I would do it another way, but this is me. You could have VTM or RT-OS 7 on different boxes. I guess you want to test out software, an etc.

    I use to do what you do in the past, but I find it just simple to keep one OS on one system. Have a second HDD for backup of the first drive just in case of disaster, so you could recover from that disaster.

    Or use HDD per OS instead of dumping everything on one HDD. If that drives goes so does everything, sure you could create a backup image TIB in your case.

    How much RAM you got but since you're working with 32-bit OS-W7 then 4GB right?
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