I want to install Windows 10 and I want to keep Windows 7 since it'll take time to get used to W10. I also have Linux Mint. The problem is that my computer is 5+ years old Dell laptop, from what I learned here, my HDD doesn't support more than 4 primary sections.

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Please help me figure out a solution. Can I delete 3,81 Linux swap partition without damaging any of the systems and create another partition for W10? Should I delete the recovery partition? Which one is less risky?

In short, what are my options to install 3rd OS on this HDD?

  • 2
    You conclusion you can't have more then 4 partitions makes no sense, because you currently have, 7 partitions. So your HDD is already using GPT, which means, you can and do have more then 4 partitions. Your installing Windows with legacy mode enabled, that is the problem, don't enable legacy mode
    – Ramhound
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


my HDD doesn't support more than 4 primary sections.

To be strict, it's not HDD's fault, but MBR's

Problem is: you cannot have more than three primary partitions, when you have extended partition;
you need another primary partition to install bootable system.

There are multiple solutions; the easiest and simplest I can think about is:

  1. Tell your Linux not to use swap partition by commenting out one line enabling it out of your /etc/fstab,

  2. Remove the swap.

  3. Create new primary partition and install Windows 10 on it,

  4. (Optional) Re-create the swap as logical partition (which you can jave much more than primary ones, don't know the exact limit) and re-enable it by formatting it properly and including it in your /etc/fstab.

  • I was hoping for such an easy solution, without formatting the whole drive. It won't take more than 10 minutes. Thanks very much! Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 16:29

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