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This is my current partition setup...

enter image description here

I want to create a primary partition in the unallocated space (for a second windows 7 install) but I need to reduce the number of partitions to do this (as I already have 4).

So I think what I need to do is convert the 'E:data' partition into an extended partition (which, as I understand things, will contain one logical partition) and then move this logical partition into the extended partition that already contains the 'ubuntu' and 'linux-swap' partitions). Is there a way to do this without destroying the contents of the partitions?

Or please let me know if I have miss-understood how partitioning works.

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Please have a look at this for general info about number of allowed primary partitions: superuser: how many primary partitions... Usually (up until UEFI / Windows 8), you have 1-3 primary volumes on the drive and then an extended volume that can house a large amount or logical volumes*.

*GParted, the open source partitioning software, visualizes this nicely. See e.g. GParted Screenshot. Mind the turquoise extended volume container - it acts like a separate drive that has to be moved around and changed in size, before the children / logical volumes can change size. You can't write to the extended volume itself though; it's just a container.

For the formatting: Yes, there seem to be apps that can transfer a primary partition into a logical one: superuser: how to convert a primary.... But I never tested this. It might be necessary that you first have to make some space (e.g. by deleting the current Ubuntu partition).

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