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Re: Only 4 partitions available after resizing drive with XP on it

On Saturday 14 July 2007 18:45, Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
> Nigel Henry wrote:
> > As it's quite this afternoon, I thought I'd ask this question, as it's a
> > bit puzzling to me.
> >
> > A while back as I'd run out of available harddrive space for new FC
> > versions, I resized the original harddrive from this machine that had XP
> > preinstalled on it, using the gparted live cd, and it went like
> > clockwork. XP with 12GB, and the rest was now free space.
> >
> > Next I install Kubuntu on the drive, giving it a /, and a /home
> > partition, let it have half of the freespace, as I also wanted somewhere
> > for another instance of FC5. For some reason custom partitioning named
> > the partitions as hda5, and hda6 for / , and /home respectively, and
> > Kubuntu didn't ask, and I couldn't find a way to make a swap partition.
> > No problem as there is 1GB of RAM on the machine. So far so good. Grub's
> > in the MBR, and both Kubuntu, and that other OS bootup ok.
> >
> > Now it gets confusing.
> >
> > I go to install FC5, again with custom partitioning as I always do, and
> > create a / partition of 9GB. No problem. Next create a /home partition of
> > 4GB, and again no problem. Now I try to create a swap partition, and get
> > a complaint about not enough partitioning space, or something like that,
> > even though there is just on 1GB of harddrive space available.
> >
> > Now I remove the 4GB home partition, and try to create the swap partition
> > again. This time no problem, and I have an 800MB swap partition. Now I
> > try to recreate the /home partition (4GB, and enough space), but again a
> > no-go, and a complaint about not enough partitioning space/no partitions
> > available.
> >
> > Ok. I'm not too bothered about the swap, so I remove the swap partition,
> > and use all the available free space to recreate the /home partition, put
> > Grub in the / partition for FC5, and some time later after editing
> > Kubuntu's /boot/grub/grub.conf, adding a chainloader to FC5's root
> > partition, all 3 OS's boot ok.
> >
> > The confusing bit is the available partitions. XP has got hda1, Kubuntu
> > has got hda5, and hda6, and FC5 has got hda3, and hda4. Quite why Kubuntu
> > was given hda5, and 6 when it was installed 1st, and FC5 was given hda3,
> > and hda4 I don't know, but either way it would appear (leaving out XP
> > from the equation) that there are only 4 available partitions left on
> > this drive for Linux.
> >
> > I've probably done something wrong somewhere, but can anyone shed any
> > light on this confusing problem.
> >
> >
> > Nigel.
> You need to understand the way the partition table works. With a DOS
> partition table, you only have 4 primary partitions. One of more of
> these can be extended partitions. This is partition 1 through 4. If
> you have extended partitions, you can have 1 or more logical
> partitions in the extended partition. The logical partitions
> numbering starts at 5.
> Kubuntu created an extended partition, and then created logical
> drives inside the partition. This is why is is using hda5 and hda6.
> Fedora create two primary partitions. We are now out of primary
> partition "slots".
> hda1 - primary - XP
> hda2 - extended
> hda3 - primary - Fedora
> hda4 - primary - Fedora
> hda5 - logical - Kubuntu
> hda6 - logical - Kubuntu
> What you probably want is something like:
> hda1 - primary - XP
> hda2 - extended
> hda5 - logical - Kubuntu
> hda6 - logical - Kubuntu
> hda7 - logical - Fedora
> hda8 - logical - Fedora
> hda7 - logical - swap
> I am not sure, but you may be able to use gparted to delete the hda3
> and hda4 partitions, and extend the hda2 extended partition. You can
> then ether create the extended partitions for Fedora, or let the
> installer do it for you.
> Mikkel

Thanks for all the replies. In the past I've used Windows fdisk which is on an 
ME boot floppy to partition new drives prior to installing any distro's on 
the drives. So I would create the 1st partition as a primary, next create an 
extended partition (which uses up all available space to the end of the 
drive). I've then created as many logical drives as I need in the extended 
partition, but It probably would be better to just leave the newly 
partitioned drive with just a primary, and the extended partition, then save, 
and quit fdisk.

Now I'd install the first distro. / on hda1 (primary). hda2 is extended, /home 
would take hda3 (logical drive), swap hda4 (logical drive). Job done, and 
subsequent distros installed on the drive would all be logical drives, using 
whatever space was still available in the extended partition.

As I said it was the first time I'd resized an NTFS drive using the Gparted 
live cd, and was just left with a bunch of freespace to work with.

What you show above is verified by fdisk -l output below for that disk.

Disk /dev/hda: 41.1 GB, 41174138880 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 5005 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *           1        1530    12289693+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2            1531        3232    13671315    5  Extended
/dev/hda3            3233        4316     8707230   83  Linux
/dev/hda4            4317        5004     5526360   83  Linux
/dev/hda5            1531        2624     8787523+  83  Linux
/dev/hda6            2625        3232     4883728+  83  Linux

When I started to custom partition for Kubuntu, I probably should have 
specified the / partition to be a primary (hda2), and the /home partition 
also a primary (hda3), then the remaining primary would have been used as the 
extended (hda4), and would have had no problems adding up to 12 logical 
drives, starting with (hda5).

I think it comes down to me being too used to the way that the Windows fdisk 
gives you 1 primary, then an extended partition with up to 23 logical drives, 
whereas the Linux fdisk gives you 4 primaries, and if you've got your act 
together, and use the first 3 primaries first, the 4th one can be used as an 
extended one, with up to 12 logical drives.

Just for the sake of it, I've put Webmins output below. IDE device A is the 
one we've been discussing above, and at the bottom asks if I want to add a 
logical partition. Of course I can't, because apart from the drive being 
full, The logical partition hda6 ends at 3232, and is followed by the primary 
at hda3, which starts at 3233, and there's nowhere to create another logical 
partition. I suppose if I'd been more clued up, I could have created a start 
point for FC5's / partition (hda3) further on in the drive, perhaps starting 
at 4000, which would have left enough space to create another logical 
partition between 3233 and 3999, and could have put a bit of swap there.

Out of interest, further down on Webmins output is the setup for IDE device B. 
This is the fixed drive in the machine. Originally partitioned using XP, and 
as NTFS. I've since used Webmin to change the partitions to FAT32, so that I 
can save and retrieve data for whichever distro is up and running at the 
time.  What's interesting is that XP shows the partitions sequentially, but 
Webmin misses out hdb3, and 4, which would be primaries on a Linux fdisk 
partitioned drive. Hdb2 is there, and Webmin is recognising it as a primary, 
but being used as an extended partition.

It's interesting that at the bottom of the list of partitions for IDE device B 
that Webmin not only asks if you want to add a logical partition, but also if 
you want to add a primary partition (which would be hda3, and possibly hda4). 
In reality if you had the harddrive space available, you could simply add 
more logical partitions with no problems, and leaving the missing hdb3, and 
hdb4 primaries out of the equation. If though you decided to add a primary 
(hdb3), this would have a start point immediately following the end point for 
the extended partition (hdb2), and it would no longer be possible to add 
logical partitions as hdb6's end point is 5005, and hdb's start point would 
be 5006, that is unless you gave hdb3 a start point much later on, say for 
example a start point of 7000 for hdb3, then you would have from 5007 to 6999 
to add logical partitions.

Location  IDE device A
  Cylinders  5005
  Size  38.34 GB
  Model  ExcelStor Technology J240
  Edit IDE parameters. | Show SMART status.
  No.  Type  Extent  Start  End  Use  Free
  1  NTFS  1  1530
  2  Extended  1531  3232
  3  Linux  3233  4316  /    38 % 
  4  Linux  4317  5004  /home    85 % 
  5  Linux  1531  2624
  6  Linux  2625  3232
  Add logical partition.
  Location  IDE device B
  Cylinders  5005
  Size  38.34 GB
  Model  HDS722540VLAT20
  Edit IDE parameters. | Show SMART status.
  No.  Type  Extent  Start  End  Use  Free
  1  Win95 FAT32  1  1275  /mnt/hdb1    23 % 
  2  Extended  1276  5005
  5  Win95 FAT32  1276  2678  /mnt/hdb5    22 % 
  6  Win95 FAT32  4592  5005  /mnt/hdb6    15 % 
  7  Win95 FAT32  2679  4591  /mnt/hdb7    15 % 
  Add primary partition. | Add logical partition.

Forgive what may appear to be ramblings, but I have learned a lot about 
Linux's fdisk from all your replies. As usual, any comments welcome.


Weather in Northern France, if I've got the C to F right is 77°F, bit of 
thunder and rain first thing this morning, and currently a bit humid, and 
cloudy. UTC+2.

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