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Fedora 14 xfce

I have the following partition setup. I would like to know how can I convert the logical partition sda6 to a primary partition.

Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders, total 625142448 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x1707a8a5

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048     1026047      512000   83  Linux
/dev/sda2         1026048   205844479   102409216   83  Linux
/dev/sda3       205844480   214228991     4192256   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda4       214228992   625141759   205456384    5  Extended
/dev/sda5       214231040   573562879   179665920   83  Linux
/dev/sda6       573564928   625141759    25788416    7  HPFS/NTFS

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2              97G  5.0G   91G   6% /
tmpfs                 494M  176K  494M   1% /dev/shm
/dev/sda1             485M   68M  392M  15% /boot
/dev/sda5             169G   26G  135G  16% /home

# partition table of /dev/sda
unit: sectors
/dev/sda1 : start=     2048, size=  1024000, Id=83
/dev/sda2 : start=  1026048, size=204818432, Id=83
/dev/sda3 : start=205844480, size=  8384512, Id=82
/dev/sda4 : start=214228992, size=410912768, Id= 5
/dev/sda5 : start=214231040, size=359331840, Id=83
/dev/sda6 : start=573564928, size= 51576832, Id= 7

I would like to convert sda6 to a primary partition, the reason for this it to install windows 7 starter.

Many thanks for any suggestions,

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

With that partition layout you will not be able to change sda6 to a primary partition without first deleting both sda5 and sda4 (the extended partition itself) as you can only have a maximum of 4 primary partitions on a drive. This is a limitation of how drives are partitioned and is why you end up with extended (logical) partitions in the first place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_partitioning

The total data storage space of a PC hard disk can be divided into at most four primary partitions, or alternatively three primary partitions and an "extended partition". These partitions are described by 16-byte entries that constitute the Partition Table, located in the master boot record.

The best you can do is delete sda4, sda5 and sda6 and create the primary partition in the emptied space.

Alternatively you could just buy a new drive to install Win7 on.

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You can't. There are already 3 primary partitions plus one extended partition on the disk. In any case, there's no reason why Windows 7 (or any >NT version of Windows) won't/can't install on a logical partition.

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I have tried many times to install windows 7 starter on this partition. Even in the setup of windows 7 starter, I have tried to delete and create a new partition. But windows 7 starter needs to be a primary partition. Thanks. –  ant2009 Dec 30 '10 at 17:45

Windows does not need to be installed onto a primary partition. It does however need to have a primary partition onto which it can put its boot stuff.

If you can live without the separate Linux boot partition, I would suggest moving the Linux boot stuff from its own partition (/dev/sda1) to / (/dev/sda2), formatting sda1 as ntfs (and mark it as being active), and then installing Windows onto /dev/sda6: the Windows installer should be quite happy to do it.

(As an example I've just created a Virtual machine, and, on the hard disk made a primary 512MB partition (marked active and formatted as ntfs) and an extended partition containing one logical partition formatted as ntfs. Windows XP installed quite happily on the logical partition.)

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