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I have a system dual booting Windows 7 and Windows 8. Windows 7 is on the primary partition (E in this screenshot):

Partition manager shot

I was hoping to remove my Windows 7 installation and extend the partition that my Windows 8 installation is on, but I'm not 100% sure how to do this. How do I make the 'logical' partition that Windows 8 is on into a primary partition (and is this necessary)?

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I do not know how to turn a logical partition into a primary partition in Windows. Google is replete with instructions to do the reverse, i.e., primary into logical, but I ignore any instance of the reverse.

If you are willing to embrace Linux for about an hour, there is an instrument to do so in Linux, called fixparts. Its manpage states, among other things:

FIXPARTS(8)

NAME fixparts - MBR partition table repair utility

SYNOPSIS fixparts device

DESCRIPTION FixParts (aka fixparts) is a text-mode menu-driven program for repairing certain types of problems with Master Boot Record (MBR) partition tables. The program has three design goals, although a few additional features are sup‐ ported, as well:

.....

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* You can change primary partitions into logical partitions or vice-versa, within constraints imposed by the MBR data structures.

The last sentence (within constraints imposed by the MBR data structures) means that, if you already have three primary partitions you cannot do it, because all disks with an MS-DOS-type partition table can only host 3 primary and one extended partitions (the latter to be sliced into logical partitions).

You can thus proceed as follows:

  1. Back up all of your data on the disk. If you do not own an external disk, invest some money and effort into this, you will find this to be an excellent investment.
  2. Go to the Ubuntu Web site, download an installation image, and burn it onto a USB stick by means of the free utility Unetbootin.
  3. Now boot your system from the USB stick (you may have to alter your BIOS settings, to make this possible), and when a screen appears asking you to choose between Install Ubuntu and Try Ubuntu without installing, pick the latter.
  4. Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and issue these command: sudo apt-get install gparted gdisk
  5. Now open gparted (sudo gparted) and erase the partition containing Windows 7. First of all, make sure you are looking at the disk, not at the USB stick: this should be reasonably clear from the partitions size. Also, be careful to choose the right partition, you can identify it from its size, 65.4 GB. Leave the space thus vacated empty, i.e., do not create a new partition in its stead. Execute this operation, close gparted.
  6. Now, from the terminal, issue this command: sudo fixparts /dev/sda which will make a text-only menu appear. You will have to choose the partition with Windows 8 (again, its size it quite distinctive), and convert it into a primary partition by means of the command r. When you are done, implement the changes which so far you have only decribed to the program by means of the command w, which writes them out to disk, and closes the program fixparts.

For any doubt, Linux has manpages for these programs accessible with the simple commands

 man fixparts
 man gparted
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    Actually, there is a Windows build of FixParts. That said, it shouldn't really be necessary to convert from logical to primary. The real risk is that moving the partition will render it unbootable because of the change in its start point. The Windows partitioning tool can usually do the job OK, but to be safe, make a backup of everything and be prepared to re-install Windows and restore your documents in case of a disaster. – Rod Smith Nov 23 '13 at 19:02
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For converting a logical partition to a primary one, you don't actually need any Linux disk (though I'm a fan of Linux). You can easily do it with the EaseUS Partition Master: just select the partition > right click > convert to primary.

And you can use the same app for merging your partitions as well (after converting the logical partition to primary), again: right click on the partition > merge partitions.

The latest version of the app at the moment is 9.5.

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  • This is a pretty reliable app, it's been known as a modern replacement for the legacy Partition Magic. – Javad Sadeqzadeh Mar 29 '14 at 1:49

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