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E-66

Drive letters shifted when I add a 2nd HD w/1 logical partition. Why?

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So the mistake was to change the logical drives to primary partitions.
You are correct. That ended up being a very short experiment on my part. I've since switched back to a primary and 2 logicals on the first HD.
Without this, the order would be:

disk1-primary, disk1-logical, disk1-logical, disk2-logical

exactly as needed.

I need a bit of clarification here, and I'll also clarify something I said in my first post. I originally said that I added a 2nd HD with one logical partition. I did that, but only as part of the experiment. What I think I need is to have a primary partition on the 2nd HD to install XP on (Win9x is on the first HD). Now if I do indeed need a primary partition for XP on HD #2, then that's the reason for my interest in the drive letter assigning program, because I'd like to keep the partitions on HD #1 named C, D, & E and then have the primary partition for XP on HD #2 be named F. I actually have the system set up that way right now and everything is working fine.

However, last night I believe I read on here or another forum that in a dual boot setup you don't have to have both OS's on primary partitions, just the first OS, and that as long as the bootloader program is located on the primary partition of HD #1 you can install the 2nd OS on a logical partition on HD #2 and still successfully boot to it. Unfortunately I forgot to bookmark that information when I read it last night and I don't have it handy right now. If that's true, then I guess I could dispense with the drive letter assigner program and just make a logical partition on HD #2 for XP.

So my question is, is it true that I don't need a primary partition on HD #2 for XP? If I don't, am I able to create an extended & logical partition during XP setup? I've only installed XP a couple times and I don't remember if I saw the option to create extended/logical partitions.

Edited by E-66

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I think it is correct, Windows XP can be installed on logical drive in extended partition. I'm not sure if Windows XP setup is able to create the partition or not, I always partitioned the disk before installing Windows. Even Windows 98 can reside in extended partition but it is necessary to install it to primary partition and then move it to extended partition using Ghost or similar tool - if I remember correctly.

Several years ago I had a setup with 4x Windows 98 SE, 4x Windows XP, Windows 2000, 2x Red Hat Linux but I used XOSL as boot manager and hiding of unwanted partitions.

Petr

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I think it is correct, Windows XP can be installed on logical drive in extended partition. I'm not sure if Windows XP setup is able to create the partition or not, I always partitioned the disk before installing Windows.
If you partitioned the disk first does that mean you installed XP on a FAT 32 partition? I'm certainly no expert but from what I've read it seems that NTFS is wholeheartedly recommended for XP. Or are there partition utilities out there that can create NTFS partitions? Edited by E-66

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I think it is correct, Windows XP can be installed on logical drive in extended partition. I'm not sure if Windows XP setup is able to create the partition or not, I always partitioned the disk before installing Windows.
If you partitioned the disk first does that mean you installed XP on a FAT 32 partition? I'm certainly no expert but from what I've read it seems that NTFS is wholeheartedly recommended for XP. Or are there partition utilities out there that can create NTFS partitions?

Good luck recovering your data from DOS with a disk editor when your NTFS partition messes up...

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"Power Quest Partition Magic" will create NTFS partitions and even convert FAT32 to NTFS or NTFS to FAT32 (sorry, it's not freeware).

Sure NTFS is "better" for XP than FAT32 but then you won't be able to access this partition from Win98...

FAT32 works fine under 98 AND XP.

On the other hand, using NTFS will have the effect to hide this partition to Win98...and that might be the result you want !

This way you could put XP on a primary partition without shifting your drive letters under Win98.

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So here is the resulting rule for disk ordering:

- the first primary partition on every disk

- logical drives in the first extended partition on every disk

- the second primary partition on every disk

- logical drives in the second extended partition on every disk

With all due respect to Petr :) and all others, the topic has already been "talked to death" in the threads I referenced in my previous post, in which you can find links to the MS knowledge article for DOS lettering:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/51978/en-us

that remains the same also for DOS 7.1 (Win98)

The idea of having multiple primary partitions did not even "touch" the minds of MS programmers at the time, and this is why the original fdisk won't allow the making of any primary partitions besides first one.

Starting from NT, the possibility of having multiple primary partitions was taken into account, and lettering works as detailed here:

http://www.jsifaq.com:80/SF/Tips/Tip.aspx?id=0288

http://www.dewassoc.com/support/win2000/driveletters.htm

Due to the different way letters are assigned, the possibility of creating a "tower of babel" in drive lettering when dual-booting between DOS/WIN98 and NT/2K/XP is concrete if you have multiple primary partitions with filesystems recognized by DOS/WIN98.

Finally, with XP there is also this possible (though not really common) problem:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;307079

I completely fail to see the reason of the need of having TWO extended partitions on the same disk, and thus increasing the complexity of the problem. :blink:

Can someone explain WHY one should want such a setup?

jaclaz

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I completely fail to see the reason of the need of having TWO extended partitions on the same disk, and thus increasing the complexity of the problem. :blink:

Can someone explain WHY one should want such a setup?

I prefer to verify everything myself. Thank you for the MSKB article, it is good to see that in reality is everything like described in it. And two extended partitions - it was just test and proved that it does not work well. You never know what will creative users do on their HDDs. :-)

Petr

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You never know what will creative users do on their HDDs. :-)

Yep :) , as Douglas Adams put it:

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Douglas Adams

but on the other hand, curiosity is what keeps people alive:
"Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life."

-- Eleanor Roosevelt

and as mr. De La Palice

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_de_la_Palice

A quarter hour before his death,

he was still quite alive.

death must found one alive! ;)

:thumbup

jaclaz

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I've read thru the thread again including the links Jaclaz posted, and it all makes sense now. My mistake was creating multiple primary partitions on HD #1.

One question still remains however. After re-reading Jaclaz's post in the other thread: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showto...mp;#entry463153 I see that it was his post where I read I could put XP on a logical partition and boot to it as long as the boot files are on a primary partition elsewhere.

Currently I have my system set up this way by using the drive letter assigning program shown in post #2:

Drive 1:

C: Primary, Win 9x

D: Logical

E: Logical

Drive 2:

F: Primary, XP (NTFS)

Since XP can be put on a logical drive, I guess I could also set my system up this way:

Drive 1:

C: Primary, Win 9x

D: Logical

E: Logical

Drive 2:

F: Logical, XP (NTFS)

Either way, the F partition isn't seen by Win9x since it's NTFS. My question is, which way is "better" ? On the one hand, putting XP on a logical partition means I wouldn't have to use the drive letter assigning program, but if I ever had a problem with HD #1 I wouldn't be able to boot to XP on HD #2 because it's on a logical drive, correct?

On the other hand, the drive letter assigning program seems to be working just fine, and by having XP on a primary partition I could still boot to it if I had a problem with HD #1. Again, correct?

Just trying to figure out which way is the best way to set things up.

Edited by E-66

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Drive 1:

C: Primary, Win 9x

D: Logical

E: Logical

Drive 2:

F: Primary, XP (NTFS)

Does it mean that Windows 98 SE assigns drive letter to NTFS partition? I supposed it is completely invisible? What is the result without the letter assigning program?

Petr

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From Win98's point of view it doesn't assign a drive letter to the NTFS partition because it doesn't see it.

From XP's point of view, and without using the drive letter assigning program, XP would assign D: to the primary partition on HD #2 and I'd end up with this:

Drive 1:

C: Primary, Win 9x

E: Logical

F: Logical

Drive 2:

D: Primary, XP (NTFS)

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From Win98's point of view it doesn't assign a drive letter to the NTFS partition because it doesn't see it.

From XP's point of view, and without using the drive letter assigning program, XP would assign D: to the primary partition on HD #2 and I'd end up with this:

Drive 1:

C: Primary, Win 9x

E: Logical

F: Logical

Drive 2:

D: Primary, XP (NTFS)

OK, but XP is able to assign drive letters itself. I'm only not sure what will be the result of changing the drive letter of system disk. Do you think that the drive letter assinging program is able to tell to Windows XP installer what drive letter is primary partition on drive 2?

Petr

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Do you think that the drive letter assinging program is able to tell to Windows XP installer what drive letter is primary partition on drive 2?
This is how I did it: With only HD #1 connected I used the drive letter assigner program to "lock in" the names of the 3 partitions as C, D, & E. Then I connected HD #2 and installed XP. Early in the install process you come to the screen where you can check the option "I want to choose the installation drive letter and partition during setup." I checked that, and then later when I was presented with choices it showed C, D, & E as already being used so F was the first drive letter available to use for XP.

I'm not sure if that answers your question or not. It seems that the XP installer is able to "see" what the drive letter installer program did, and acts accordingly.

Edited by E-66

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@All

FYI,

what I have ALWAYS done since the times of dual booting MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows NT4 is to follow the (good) advice from Gilles Vollant, the author of Winimage and Bootpart, i.e. to always make a SMALL FAT16 Primary partition at the beginning of each drive, this partition can be as small as a few Megabytes, all you need to have in it is:

NTLDR

NTDETECT.COM

BOOT.INI

IO.SYS

MSDOS.SYS

COMMAND.COM

AUTOEXEC.BAT

CONFIG.SYS

and all the DOS utilities one might need.

Of course the DOS files can be of the release that better suite you, nowadays 7.1 (Win98) or 8.0 (ME/XP).

With today's large hard disks, space taken is not really a problem, so lately I typically make this partition a little less than 1 Gbyte, as to have still a sufficiently efficient FAT16 filesystem and with enough space to install if needed a copy of Win2K or "reduced" XP for emergency purposes.

I do that on ALL drives, regardless if they will be first or second hard disks.

Then ALL operating systems go into their own Logical Volume inside extended partition, as said installing NT based systems into logical volumes is "normal", as well as any kind of Linux (yes, though a bit tricky Win98 CAN be installed on a Logical partition).

On drives that go as 2nd or 3rd, I simply hide the first (and only) Primary partition by setting it's identity in the Partition Table as 16 (Hidden DOS 16-bit FAT >=32M) instead of 06 (DOS 3.31+ 16-bit FAT >=32M).

If I have the need to use a hard disk that was set as 2nd or 3rd, as the 1st one, I simply unhide the Primary Partition wgen booted from the other system or from a floppy and it is already bootable to DOS.

As said here:

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showto...mp;#entry233078

using Logical Volumes is in my opinion also a bit safer.

Since I found out about Grub4Dos, that can hide and unhide partitions at boot time and that can boot most operating systems by directly chainloading bootfiles rather than bootsectors, I don't even need any external program ike XFDISK.

@Petr

FYI, it is also possible to actually BOOT from a logical volume inside Extended partition, if you correct the "hidden sectors" value in first sector (boot record) of the volume.

More info here:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?sho...=17144&st=0

Depending on OS, your mileage may vary.

jaclaz

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@Petr

FYI, it is also possible to actually BOOT from a logical volume inside Extended partition, if you correct the "hidden sectors" value in first sector (boot record) of the volume.

More info here:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?sho...=17144&st=0

Depending on OS, your mileage may vary.

Yes, I've described this more than 4 years ago here: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/xosl/message/2864

Petr

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