Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I installed Windows 7 on a Logical Drive (I have Vista installed on my Primary Partition). Is it possible for me to make the Win 7 drive the Primary, Active, System partition? Or would I have to reinstall Win7 all over again?

share|improve this question
    
Your goal is (was) to make computer boot from Win7 first? –  Jet May 13 at 21:12
    
Yes, to boot from Win7 first. –  RHPT May 20 at 16:07
    
It's just one-two clicks to do with EasyBCD (go to site, scroll-down a little and select free version). Just change boot-loader settings to load Windows 7. No need to reinstall Windows. –  Jet May 20 at 17:18

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Some commercial products are able to accomplish this, such as Paragon Partition Manager Pro.

However, if you've just started, this isn't worth the expense : Just reinstall Win7.

share|improve this answer

There is actually another possibly faster solution that also works if you are for some reason unable or reluctant to erase the data of the previous installation, and want a free solution (as was my case). As long as you're willing to get your hands dirty, this might save your rear as it saved mine.

  1. Create a live cd/usb/hd of any linux distribution (I used gparted live usb with the Damn Small Linux iso, since it also comes with this handy tool).
  2. Boot into the usb drive and run the terminal.
  3. Run "fdisk -u -l" (without quotation marks) to find the start and stop points of all of your partitions.
  4. Copy the whole table exactly as shown (double check to be sure you haven't made any mistakes, this is crucial).
  5. Open 'fdisk -u /dev/sda' (or try hda if that doesn't work) and delete all of your partitions (this keeps your data safe since you're just deleting the record of where the partition is located and not the data contained in the partition. Also, none of the changes you make will be written until you run the w command. If you think you made a mistake, you can run the q command or press CTRL+C to quit the program.
  6. You now create the partitions you need, using the values saved from step 4. In my case, for example, I needed to create only two primary partitions (one of which contained my operating system: Windows Vista; the other only contained files). The information was as follows:

    Device      Start      End         Blocks      Id   System
    /dev/sda2   63         488375999   244187968   f    W95 Extended (LBA)
    /dev/sda5   126        209712509   104856192   7    HPFS/NTFS 
    /dev/sda6   209712573  488375999   139331713   7    HPFS/NTFS
    

    I needed to get the rid of the extended partition wrapper (sda2) and turn the contained logical partitions into primary ones (sda5 and sda6). Thus, the new start and end for sda5 ended up being 126 and 209712509, respectively; and for sda6 ended up being 209712573 and 488375999 respectively. Yes I lost some sectors but so few that they are negligible.

  7. Choose w to write the changes to disk.
  8. Boot into the windows CD and choose the automatic repair tool which should solve the job in a couple of runs (mine took two passes). In case the tool doesn't repair, then you may have made a mistake, in which case you could erase the partitions again and use the previously saved data from step 4 to create them again and leave it as it was in the beginning.

For a different case and some background, check this post.

share|improve this answer
1  
This thread[1][2] on ubuntuforums.org uses the same technique, but saves the original partition table to a text file, so that if anything goes wrong, it can easily be restored. [1]: ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=6351125&postcount=5 [2]: ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=6351907&postcount=6 –  kaapstorm Jun 18 '12 at 22:35

Conversion of logical partition to direct primary partition is not properly explore yet, so for that you have to convert logical partition into dynamic first and then convert dynamic to primary. To convert logical to dynamic use cmd commands as follow:

  1. Back up all volumes on the disk you want to convert from dynamic to basic.
  2. Open a command prompt and type diskpart.
  3. At the DISKPART prompt, type list disk. Make note of the disk number you want to convert to basic.
  4. At the DISKPART prompt, type select disk .
  5. At the DISKPART prompt, type detail disk .
  6. For each volume on the disk, at the DISKPART prompt, type select volume= and then type delete volume.
  7. At the DISKPART prompt, type select disk . Specify the disk number of the disk that you want to convert to a basic disk.
  8. At the DISKPART prompt, type convert dynamic.

To convert dynamic to primary repeat above from 1 to 7 and then at 8th step use following command: • At the DISKPART prompt, type convert basic.

share|improve this answer

Previous answers involve either non-free software or a more technical solution. I had this issue and asked about it on WindowsSeven forums. I will recap my version of that solution here.

  1. Use Rufus to install Partition Wizard's Home bootable CD to a flash drive
  2. Have your Windows installation CD, or use Rufus to make a bootable flash drive (hereafter I will refer to Windows installation media)
  3. Boot your computer to that flash drive (probably F12 in start screen to select)
  4. Use the Partition Wizard program to set your drive to primary, and then set as active
  5. Boot to your Windows installation media and use the repair option, agree to changes and restart
  6. Again, boot your your Windows installation media. It should identify your OS. Continue into "Startup repair". Let it do its thing, commit the changes, and shut down.
  7. Remove your Windows installation media and start your computer, while it is starting, hit F8 every half second and do not stop until you get a menu. Click "Repair Your Computer". Do "Startup repair", let it complete and restart again.

This should solve the problem, and everything involved consists of menus that ordinary users should be able to navigate. Steps 5-7 are possibly overkill, depending on the situation, but will make sure the Master Boot Record is correctly configured.

If you only had a logical partition and wanted to convert it to primary it would be much more simple. However, when the OS is installed on that partition, these other details come into play.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.