XP on extended partition

Discussion in 'Windows 64 Bit' started by TMA, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. TMA

    TMA Guest

    I've installed XP Pro x64 on an extended partition with no problems, even
    though it said it had to use a primary partition to keep the NT*.* files and
    boot.ini. No problem with that.

    When installing Windows 7, I happened to delete the exact partition
    mentioned above to install win7 on it. Well, Windows 7 boot menu doesn't
    even popup and all the boot settings for XP is gone even though XP's
    partition is still there and I can even access it from windows 7.

    I am assuming I cannot run XP's fixmbr/fixboot because the best chances are
    it will NOT recognize win7 boot systems and will change the mbr to point it
    to XP only. On the other hand, I cannot run win7's fix either because it
    won't even recognize my current XP's partition as a bootable.

    Ok, now things start to get interesting ... I also happen to have linux
    ubuntu installed here on the same HD and grub is my primary boot loader. So,
    is there any way on earth I could get XP's boot files put in a place where
    at last Windows7 will read from it and automaticly add it to its boot menu?
    I think grub is pretty flexible and it can boot windows 7 like a charm, but
    I cannot get it to boot into XP's extended partition because apparently
    NTLDR won't be happy to be placed in it.

    By the way, I also tried to put NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM and BOOT.INI in win7's
    primary partition's root and point grub to this NTLDR file, but no success.
    So, is there any other file that I should put in there? Does it have to be
    placed in some sort of boot sector of the partition or something?

    Just a tip ... Windows XP was running happily from this extended partition
    before I messed up and deleted the primary partition it had its boot files

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks in advance.
    TMA, Jul 4, 2009
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  2. TMA

    Carlos Guest

    Carlos, Jul 4, 2009
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  3. TMA

    Jerry Guest

    I have a 1Tb drive partitioned into four pieces. WinXP Pro is on the active,
    primary partition; in the extended partition I have Win7 32-bit, Win7
    64-bit, and Win XP Pro x64. So, where did you hear about XP Pro x64 only
    going on a primary partiton? Somebody, obviously ahs no idea.
    Jerry, Jul 5, 2009
  4. TMA

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, TMA.
    It has been YEARS - pre-WinXP - since I installed Windows into a primary
    partition. I've been using logical drive in extended partitions for a
    decade or so.

    But, remember, Windows always installs as TWO pieces. The large piece can
    go into any volume - primary partition or logical drive - on any internal
    HDD in your computer. But the small piece MUST go into the System
    Partition, which MUST be a primary partition and marked Active (bootable) -
    and it must be on the HDD currently designated in the BIOS as the boot
    device. The "small piece" consists only of the few startup files: NTLDR,
    NTDETECT.COM and Boot.ini for Win2K/XP; bootmgr and the \Boot folder for
    Vista/Win7. Note that the \Boot folder is NOT the "boot folder". :>{

    Note the significant difference between "boot volume", which is whichever
    primary partition or logical drive holds the currently-running "boot
    folder" - which is named \Windows by default and must be in the Root of the
    boot volume. The "boot device" is whichever HDD is set in the BIOS as the
    one to be used to start the computer.

    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 6, 2009
  5. TMA

    TMA Guest

    Sorry for the long time to answer, Jerry. I actually had to re-install my
    whole system after my main partition got corrupted with so many tries to
    restore my boot sectors ;)

    OK. I never said XP wouldn't go from an extended partition. In fact, I had
    it here. The problem was that when I was installing XP on an extended
    partition. It asked me for a valid NTFS/FAT primary partition in order to
    install its boot files and further on I deleted this primary NTFS to install
    Windows 7. After that XP wouldn't boot anymore. I tried, as a last resource,
    running XP install from CD and did "fixboot" and that screwed my partition
    with Windows 7 because XP boot sectors wasn't there anymore.

    Anyway, it's been years I don't use XP as my primary OS anymore, but I like
    to have it installed for emergency times. I managed to reinstall it on my
    second drive in a primary partition now. I believe it's safer this way
    because if one my drives fail, I'll be able to boot XP from the other one.
    TMA, Jul 8, 2009
  6. TMA

    TMA Guest

    Thanks for the detailed info, R.C.
    In fact I was suspicious XP worked that way when it asked me for a primary
    partition when I got it installed. The thing is .... the NTFS primary I
    assigned for its boot files was deleted afterwards and not even the fixboot
    would get it back together.
    If there was a way to fix that from XP install CD I think I missed it.
    Anyway, I spent sometime rebuilding my system and now everything seems to be
    working fine. Just fine tuning my OSes now. ;)
    TMA, Jul 8, 2009
  7. TMA

    TMA Guest

    I'll give it a try, mite come in handy someday.
    Thx for the tip.
    TMA, Jul 8, 2009
  8. TMA

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, TMA.

    I'm glad you got it worked out. ;<)

    The inconsistent, ambiguous, and counterintuitive uses of the word "boot"
    has probably caused more confusion and angst among dual-booters (there's
    that word again) than almost anything else. Except the equally-confusing
    uses of the words "system" and "drive". :>(

    Probably the next-most confusion is caused by failure to clearly spell out
    the two-part installation. Few users understand that, even if they
    "install" Vista on Drive D: on their second HDD, that small but critical
    part will still be installed on Drive C:, the first partition on their first

    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 8, 2009
  9. yes there is but it is tricky and confusing to get at: windows repair but
    not the first windows repair option
    MSDN newsgroup, Jul 9, 2009
  10. TMA

    TMA Guest


    TMA, Jul 9, 2009
  11. TMA

    TMA Guest

    You must be talking about the MBR. This is where the BIOS pass on the
    "power" after checking all the devices. It has to be the very first portion
    of whatever drive is set to be the first one. After that, it can forward
    start up commands to whatever partition in the disk.

    In my case, I'm using open source GRUB, but it could be any other boot
    loader in the market. It can actually boot XP in an extended partition
    without the need to occupy both the MBR AND another primary NTFS partition.

    And here goes my piece of advice: built-in fixboot command in XP install CD
    may corrupt other partitions. Specially if this other partition has a newer
    OS. That's exactly what I believe happened to me.
    TMA, Jul 9, 2009
  12. TMA

    tsperling Guest

    Yes, but since you are relying on GRUB, I would be cautious about this. I
    have done a lot of dual-booting with Linux in my day, but I stopped when
    Vista arrived. There are a few confusing aspects between them that I am not
    so sure wouldn't bring up major discussions with my bone marrow, which has a
    tendency to win in the end and makes me do something mindlessly stupid.

    Previously, I have attempted to do rescue operations as seen from the GRUB
    viewpoint, but after Vista I am not so sure any longer about the
    implications of doing it that way.

    If you feel you have the Vista boot process in clear view and mind, I think
    you might use Windows tools for information and something, like perhaps
    GPARTED, or SystemRescueCD for doing the actual work. But tread with care! I
    have tried to keep my dual-boot partitions at distinct and varying sizes,
    such that I could easily identify which was what.

    When first you boot the Windows Install disk the first mention of 'repair'
    brings you to the repair or Rescue Console, the one where you have FIXBOOT
    and FIXMBR, but if you go on and - as if attempting to install - the routine
    will find an installation in place already, and will ask you if you want to
    repair that one or make a clean installation. The repair option will
    re-install the OS without touching your personal files or any data, BUT it
    will also wipe out the GRUB boot configuration, so as always, be careful and
    keep informed and know what it is you are trying to do.

    Today I am dual-booting between Windows OS's and keep my Linux(s) on
    separate machinery.

    Tony. . .
    tsperling, Jul 9, 2009
  13. No, he means that the files needed to start loading the operating system
    have to reside on a primary active partition.

    For Windows XP the files NTDETECT.COM, ntldr and boot.ini *must* reside
    in the root folder of a primary active partition. For Vista the bootmgr
    file *must* reside in the root folder of the active partition.

    John John - MVP, Jul 9, 2009
  14. TMA

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, John.

    Yes, that's exactly what I meant!

    I've never tried Linux or any other version of Unix, so I know nothing of
    things like GRUB, which TMA mentions. But I've been multi-booting many
    versions of Win9x/2K/XP/Vista/7 for a decade or more and have had many
    "opportunities" to dig into how the Microsoft dual-boot system works.

    In brief, the startup progression begins with the BIOS, then the MBR, then
    the boot sector, and then - depending on what is in the boot sector - either
    NTLDR or bootmgr. (And, maybe, boot sector to bootmgr to NTLDR.)

    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 9, 2009
  15. I haven't played too much with GRUB/LILO multi-boot with Windows.

    It goes like this:

    The BIOS passes the boot process to the Master Boot Record which in turn
    passes it to the boot sector of the active partition which in turn
    passes it to the operating system loader. The partition boot sector has
    code that identifies to boot loader and its location on the partition,
    in the case of NT operating system it passes it to ntldr or bootmgr
    depending on the Windows version being used. When using third party
    boot managers the boot sector passes the boot process to the appropriate
    boot loader. Quite possibly Grub/Lilo or other third party boot
    managers might be able to invoke the NT loader in a logical drive but
    I'm not sure how well (or not) the NT loader would work if it isn't on
    the active partition.

    John John - MVP, Jul 9, 2009
  16. TMA

    tsperling Guest

    - - -
    - - -
    Personally, I am very much impressed by GRUB - its design, stability,
    configurability and functionality.

    Here's for the curious:


    Tony. . .
    tsperling, Jul 10, 2009
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