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My problem is that I want to partition my disk so there is no conflict between debian & win 7 AND that they can both access my files. I have a 1 TB hard disk. I installed Windows first, it created automatically 3 partitions :

  • SYSTEM, about 100 MB
  • A disk Image for recovery purposes, 15 GB
  • The main C: partition with the rest

I then reduced the size of C: to 100 GB and started the installation of Debian (I'm not a pro user). I reached the partitioning part and now I have a problem : It writes that the 3 partitions created by Windows are primary partitions, but I searched the internet & tried : there can be only 4 primary partitions... and Windows can't read "logical partitions" (LVM).

I wanted to add 3 partitions in the free space :

  • One for the linux root, 20 GB
  • One for the swap (18 GB)
  • And all the rest (more than 800 GB) for the shared NTFS partition

Now I'm wondering how to achieve this. Is it possible to merge some partitions without troubles ? I just want to be able to write or read in a directory, no matter which OS I use.

The best I had looked like this :

  • Primary, 105 MB, NTFS (SYSTEM created by Windows)
  • Primary, 107.4 GB, NTFS ( resized C: partition )
  • Logical, 20 GB, EXT4, mount for /
  • Logical, 18 GB, swap
  • Logical, 850 GB, EXT4 (Shared space, but logical & EXT4)
  • Primary, 15 GB, NTFS (Recovery Image)

Thanks for all help.

  • Windows won't be able to access EXT4 natively, and Linux can't access NTFS natively (you describe it as NTFS first, then EXT4 later). Your shared partition should likely be FAT for convenience, but you'll give up many advantages of modern file systems . . . . – ernie Aug 19 '14 at 18:05
  • And what if i create a partition of 800 GB bu do not specify what to use, then download the "ntfs drivers" and asign it to this empty partition ? – Demurgos Aug 19 '14 at 18:19
  • By the way, I found that it's possible to delete the Windows'SYSTEM partition, I'm trying it too. – Demurgos Aug 19 '14 at 18:20
  • I'm pretty sure your system won't boot if you delete the system partition . . . if you want to try to use the Linux drivers for NTFS, then just let Windows create the NTFS partition, and then when you mount the drive in Linux, use the NTFS driver . . . – ernie Aug 19 '14 at 18:21
  • i won't "remove" the SYSTEM partition, just add it to the C: partition. Now if I create an NTFS partition with windows, where do I install Linux : on this NTFS partition ? – Demurgos Aug 19 '14 at 18:27
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You can put rest of the free space into a extended partition and then create ligical paritions inside it. This is a "hack" that was added to workaround the MSDOS partition table limits of 4 primary partitions. Linux does not care if it is installed on a logical partitions or primary ones. You can do this with fdisk or gparted.

Merging of partitions is not recommended since write support to NTFS is not considered as save and MS does not support ext3/4.

  • The installation screen does just offer the "primary" or "logical" options for a new partition. Which should I use to make an extended partition ? – Demurgos Aug 19 '14 at 18:21
  • try logical. The installer will most likely ask you for the data concerning the logical partition and just add a extended partition without telling you anything. Infact the extended partition is just a pointer in the mbr partition table that points to a other, larger partition table somewhere else on the disk, where the logical partitions are listed. As I said... its more or less a hack :P – paradoxon Aug 19 '14 at 18:29
  • And Windows can access this sort of partitions ? – Demurgos Aug 19 '14 at 18:33
  • this depends on the file system you you put on them. You can create a smal (aprox 30 GB) system paritition for your linux and then create a data partition with VFAT format or NTFS (not recommended). Just be sure you do not use LVM or software raid or something fancy like that. However be aware that both system do not support the others permission management methods. You will run into a serious mess there. This can be a security issue on systems with multiple users. – paradoxon Aug 19 '14 at 18:39
  • I will first try to free one primary partition (the System one), then i'll try your solution and valid if it works. But already, here is an upvote. =) – Demurgos Aug 19 '14 at 18:42
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Finally I was able to remove the System partition and merge it to the windows ( C: ) partition during a clean installation. The system primary partition do not have to be appart from the Windows partition, be it's set like this by default.

To achieve it, there should be a partition already created before the windows install. (If there's no partition, the installator creates one for System, one for Windows ; if there is already a partition, both go on that partition). I can't link to a particular article, but I searched for "remove System partition" and it can be helpfull.

The next part was simple because i had one new primary slot : everything was primary (except the logical swap & debian)

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