Changing partition type without loss of data?

Discussion in 'Linux' started by Motoko.A150L, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. Motoko.A150L

    Motoko.A150L

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    Currently, I have managed to install XP after Linpus was already installed on my AA1. It didn't take too much effort but definitely more effort than if I had XP installed first and then put Linpus on it afterwards.

    Anyway, today I wanted to add Win7 beta to the mix and make it a triple boot setup. I get to the part in Win7 setup where I choose a partition/drive to install it on. Turns out that I already have two primary partitions, one for Linpus and one for XP. Win7 apparently needs its own primary partition and so it won't let me install since I've already hit the limit.

    After I did some searching I find that Linux (regardless of flavour) can be installed and booted from a non-primary partition.

    My question then is this. Can the primary partition where I currently have Linpus installed be changed, without losing data and/or having to reformat, to a logical one and still have the current install working?

    I will reiterate that I do not wish to wipe my current install of either XP or Linpus as I have put in quite a lot of effort into tweaking things how I want it. I realise that the solution, if any, will be more complicated than a complete wipe but I would be willing to do that compared to a full reinstall of all 3 operating systems.
     
    Motoko.A150L, Jan 18, 2009
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  2. Motoko.A150L

    rbil

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    As far as I know a hard drive can contain up to 4 primary partitions. So what "limit" have you apparently reached and where is that limit coming from?

    Cheers.
     
    rbil, Jan 18, 2009
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  3. Motoko.A150L

    Motoko.A150L

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    The limit I had assumed the Windows 7 setup was telling me I had hit was the primary partition count. I had directed it to 20Gb of unallocated and, obviously, unformatted space and it came up with the following error message:

    "Windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space. The selected disk has the maximum number of partitions of this type."

    However, since my initial post I went back into XP, loaded up a disk paritioning program and created a logical NTFS drive in the remaining 20Gb mentioned above. I then retried Windows 7 setup, chose the newly formatted 20Gb NTFS partition and this time it worked with no error messages. There was a similar bug with an early RC version of Vista three years ago, at least under virtualisation software, which wouldn't install unless you already had an NTFS partition ready for it to use. It was as if there was a bug in the partitioning code in the setup program that would prevent it from working under certain circumstances. I should have remembered it sooner I guess. Oh well, Windows 7 Beta is all installed now. All I got to do now is go back and get GRUB setup so I can get access to Linpus again :)
     
    Motoko.A150L, Jan 18, 2009
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