I was trying to install Linux on the unallocated space on my disk and ran into some problems. After examining the disk, it appears that there are 5 primary partitions and a chunk of unallocated space.

In windows disk manager, they are all tagged as "Primary" (inluding the 1st 100MB "system reserved" parition), except for the "Unallocated space".

It seems to be a "basic" MBR disk, as evidenced by Properties->Volume in Windows. In fdisk, the disk type is listed as "dos" which also means MBR.

I know that MBR disks are limited to 4 primary partitions. So how is this possible?


  • There isn't a bug in the partition manager, you only have 4 partitions, 2 are on a extended partition – Ramhound Apr 12 '17 at 22:58
  • The output from Disk Management for Disk 0 is correct. Use the command line tool diskpart to confirm GUI output whenever you are confused by the GUI output. – fpmurphy Apr 13 '17 at 2:17
  • @Ramhound bug, limitation, "feature", bad design - call it as you wish. The output is misleading and problematic, or lacking information, at the very least. Can we agree on that? – Rolf Apr 13 '17 at 3:00
  • With all due respect, we cannot, because I suspect the NTFS partitions were not created by Windows – Ramhound Apr 13 '17 at 3:06
  • Still the same bug on Windows 10. I can count 5 primary partitions on my main disk. – Rolf Apr 15 '18 at 19:22

I have found mention of a bug in the Windows Partition Manager (sorry, the "Windows Disk Management snap-in"), so it might be that, I'll have to investigate more using another tool.

So anyway I booted in Ubuntu and ran gparted and it does indeed seem to be "nothing but a bug" in the Windows Disk Management tool.

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  • 1
    Never heard of "Windows Partition Manager". The Windows Disk Management snap-in has been notoriously buggy since the Vista version. The Windows XP version shows/ed partitions correctly. – kreemoweet Apr 12 '17 at 23:34
  • 1
    I can't give kreemoweet enough upticks on the above comment. The Windows disk partitioning GUI is a bug-fest. I strongly advise against using it for anything, especially on MBR disks. – Rod Smith Apr 13 '17 at 18:45

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