Partition Issue (Adding Vista x64 to Vista x32 1TB Drive)

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Installation' started by AricCougar, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. AricCougar

    AricCougar Guest

    Partition Issue (Adding Vista x64 to Vista x32 1TB Drive)

    My 1TB drive is set up as follows:

    C: Vista x32 IE7 + VMwares 300GB (Primary)
    D: Vista x32 IE8 50GB (Primary)
    E: XP IE6 50GB (Primary)
    F: XP IE7 50GB (Extended)
    G: XP IE8 50GB (Extended)
    H: Win7 IE8 50GB (Extended)
    Unallocated 60GB

    I need to put a new Vista x64 in 50GB of the remaining Unallocated
    space but keep getting this error when trying to partition/format it:
    "Disk Management: You cannot create a volume in this unallocated space
    because the disk already contains the maximum number of partitions."

    I understand that we only get 4 primary partitions. How can i add this
    unallocated space to the Extended Partition, and thereby make a
    partition within it to load Vista x64 to boot up like all the others?

    Appreciate any quick ideas. Thanks.
    AricCougar, Jun 2, 2009
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  2. The Vista setup tries to create a primary partition for itself to install
    upon. You can only have four - you already have four. The extended partition
    IS a primary partition.
    Richard Urban, Jun 2, 2009
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  3. AricCougar

    Jdr Guest

    What's the reason for creating such tiny partitions as 50GB?

    For handling an unallocated space you'd have to use
    Third party application such as Acronis.
    Structure your hard disk drive and protect your data
    Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0 is there to offer you the most
    comprehensive disk management utilities in one set. A boot manager,
    partition and disk editor as well as partition recovery tool,
    it is indispensable for those who care about their data integrity
    and opt for cutting-edge solutions. Download Free Trial now

    For information about the Windows Server version of Disk Director,
    please follow this link
    Jdr, Jun 3, 2009
  4. AricCougar

    AricCougar Guest

    Understood. Okay. I just acquired Disk Director suite 10. I hope it
    will solve the problem. And in the future, ill be sure to include all
    remaining disk space in the extended partition when im going to be
    having 3+1 primary partitions used up. That way i can continue to
    partition within it.

    To answer your question, 50GB partitions are required for fitting in
    all the OS/Browser combinations that we require, while leaving 300GB for
    VMWare images of each in the main/first partition. I mistyped, these
    are actually 1/2 Terabyte drives not full. That is why there is only
    about 60GB left unallocated after the list i submitted above.
    AricCougar, Jun 3, 2009
  5. AricCougar

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, AricCougar.

    No, you don't have 3 Extended Partitions. You have 3 Primary Partitions and
    ONE Extended Partition holding 3 Logical Drives. You have the maximum
    allowable 4 partitions; the 4th is the Extended Partition. You cannot
    create another partition of any kind (because the 64-byte Partition Table in
    the MBR is now full with the four 16-byte entries for the four existing
    partitions. An Extended Partition cannot be assigned a Drive Letter - or
    formatted. But each Logical Drive within it can be assigned a letter and
    separately formatted.

    How big is your Extended Partition? In Disk Management, does the color bar
    extend past your Drive H:? You should see a blue bar over each volume, plus
    a green bar running from the last volume to the end of the Extended
    Partition. If so, then you should be able to create another simple volume
    there; this new simple volume would be created as another Logical Drive in
    the same Extended Partition. If there is no green bar following Drive H:,
    you have a bigger problem; see below.

    How may Logical Drives can an Extended Partition hold? That is limited only
    by the space available in the Extended Partition and the sizes of the
    Logical Drives - and the 26 letters of the English alphabet, reduced by the
    number of letters assigned to optical drives, USB flash drives, cameras and
    card readers, network drives, etc. On my 1 TB HDD, I have a single Primary
    Partition and a 900 GB Extended Partition currently holding 9 logical
    drives, with 400 GB of Free space left in the Extended Partition. I'm
    running out of drive letters. because volumes on other HDDs use up another 8

    Your numbers don't add up: 5 x 50 = 250 + 300 = 550; this should leave
    about 450 of your 1,000 GB unallocated, not just 60.

    But, assuming that DM shows you 60 GB of Free Space after Drive H:,
    right-click in that Free Space box and choose New Simple Volume. Post back
    with what you see when you try that.

    If that free space is outside the Extended Partition, you'll have to first
    Extend the Extended Partition to include that space - and I'm not sure Disk
    Management can do that. You may have to use the DiskPart.exe shell to do
    this. DiskPart is a very powerful tool - and therefore very dangerous in
    inexperienced hands. If you need to use this, post back and we'll try to
    walk you through it.

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8064.0206) in Win7 Ultimate x64 RC 7100
    R. C. White, Jul 2, 2009
  6. AricCougar

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Richard.

    The semantics here get tricky, don't they? :^{

    My understanding is that the extended partition IS a "partition", but not a
    "primary partition". It can't be assigned a "drive" letter nor formatted.
    But one or more logical drives may be created within the extended partition
    and each of them can be assigned a letter and formatted. So AricCougar's
    drives F, G and H are actually logical drives within the one extended

    And for even trickier semantics, I've suggested to AricCougar that he may
    need to "extend his extended partition" to make room for still another
    logical drive inside it.

    Methinks all this hard drive terminology just "growed like Topsy" and today
    we are faced with multiple ambiguous definitions for "drive" and "boot" and
    "extend"...and plenty of other words. :^{

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8064.0206) in Win7 Ultimate x64 RC 7100
    R. C. White, Jul 2, 2009
  7. The best write up I have ever seen on partitioning came with Partition Magic
    5 (I believe it was). Everything you always wanted to know (or maybe didn't)
    about drives and partitioning. The theory has not changed in many years. You
    can still have only 4 primary partitions and yes, an extended partition
    reduces that by one. An extended partition is a special type of primary
    partition that allows logical partitions to be created within.

    If you would like Mr. White, I will email you a .pdf of the manual. It is
    loaded with tons of useful information that is still relevant today.
    Richard Urban, Jul 3, 2009
  8. AricCougar

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Richard.

    Most of my basic education in hard drives started with floppies on the
    TRS-80. I started out knowing nothing about them, but that was in 1978, and
    nobody else in town knew anything about them, either, so there was nobody to
    ask. Trial and (mostly) error taught me a lot. The old SuperZap and such
    utilities help me learn how to read a FAT and directory, byte by byte - even
    bit by bit. I've spent days painfully editing corrupted floppy and hard
    drives. Lightning from thunderstorms often scrambled boot tracks and
    directories. I learned to mark the last several tracks on the HD disk as
    Used or Bad so that the file system would not try to put any files there,
    and then use Norton's DiskEdit or such to just bit-copy the first few tracks
    there; after the disk's critical tracks got scrambled and it wouldn't boot,
    I'd copy those tracks back to the front of the drive, and this often had it
    running again in minutes.

    When I switched to MS-DOS in the 1980s, I used the original Norton
    Utilities, especially DiskEdit, and read the excellent user's manuals
    thoroughly. The original (pre-Symantec) manuals for Partition Magic were
    also quite instructive; I may still have some of those. Nowadays, I get the
    Resource Kit for each successive Windows version. They have usually
    included at least a detailed copy of the boot sector and the MBR, including
    the partition table, with a bit-by-bit explanation of what the various flags
    mean. But I've not found a good disk editor to work with the new file
    system (NTFS and later), so my knowledge of the byte-level structure is not
    keeping up with the new stuff. Other good references are the Inside Out
    books by Ed Bott and others, but they don't show actual pictures of these
    critical disk sectors. I've never been able to find and read an EBR
    (Extended Boot Record) on my hard disk. The books say that these are
    daisy-chained, so that each logical drive has an EBR that, among other
    things, points to the next EBR - but I've not been able to find the start of
    the daisy chain to start following the chain. Some day, when I get a round
    tuit, I'll try again

    The basic partition table has to be very simple because it's only big enough
    for 4 entries and each entry is only 16 bytes. I've been using extended
    partitions for over a decade. My standard arrangement for a HDD is a single
    small primary partition to hold nothing but the startup files, with an
    extended partition covering the rest of the drive, with multiple logical
    drives. Those logical drives get created and deleted as my needs change. A
    few volumes are reserved for my data (photos, finances, etc.). Most of the
    logical drives hold Windows installations, mostly beta builds, of WinXP,
    Vista and Win7, both x64 and x86 versions. When a new beta build arrives, I
    just delete the volume holding the former build or reformat it to install
    the new build. Since that volume doesn't hold either the system startup
    files or my data, there is minimal disruption to my other volumes.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to run on so, but I often do that. ;^{

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8064.0206) in Win7 Ultimate x64 RC 7100
    R. C. White, Jul 3, 2009
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