[INVALID] Primary Partition verification bug

#1
When trying to run Install BCD command on one of my flash drives I get the following error message:
Operation Not Allowed! The boot partition must be a primary partition.
EasyBCD Primary Partition error.PNG
The flash drive I am using has only one primary partition and is formatted as NTFS with default settings
Disk Manager.PNG
I have done this operation successfully many times on other flash drives, so there must be something particular about this one.
My theories on possible bug points
  • Drive size (32GB)
  • USB mis-communication (USB 3.0 drive on USB 2.0 port)
  • Hardware-specific issue with the flash drive
Technical details
  • EasyBCD version: 2.1 (build 146 stable)
  • OS: Windows 7 Enterprise x86
  • Flash Drive: SuperTalent USB 3.0 Express Duo 2-CH 32GB
  • USB controller: Intel(R) 82801FB/FBM USB2 Enhanced Host Controller
Do you experience similar issue?
Were you able to run Install BCD command on a 32GB+ flash drive? (please provide technical details)
 
Last edited:
#2
Another related bug - crash while repairing BCD.

  • Successfully run Install BCD command on another flash drive.
  • Copy all BCD files for my problematic 32GB drive.
  • Open EasyBCD.
  • Select BCD store from 32GB drive.
  • Try to run Re-create/repair boot files command
EasyBCD completely destroys my 32GB drive at this step, so that the system does not even recognize it as formatted and then it hangs so badly, that it can only be terminated from Task Manager.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3
Hi,

Can you please do EasyBCD | Useful Utilities | Power Console
bootgrabber.exe /tlist

This is what I use to determine if it's a primary partition or not.
 
#4
BootGrabber results

Hi,Can you please do EasyBCD | Useful Utilities | Power Consolebootgrabber.exe /tlistThis is what I use to determine if it's a primary partition or not.
Here's what I get for my drive:
D1,1,0,1,31457280000,-1
P1,F:\,4,31457280000,31347142656,No,,No,NTFS
Not sure what this all means, so please interpret.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
Well, it seems that your partition table is [strike]corrupted[/strike] malformed on the USB stick, as a result of which bootgrabber.exe does not realize it is a primary partition.

Bootgrabber scans the MBR and searches for partition's starting at the sector it was told this partition exists on. If it finds a match, this is a primary partition.
 
#6
Problem solved.

Well, it seems that your partition table is [strike]corrupted[/strike] malformed on the USB stick, as a result of which bootgrabber.exe does not realize it is a primary partition.Bootgrabber scans the MBR and searches for partition's starting at the sector it was told this partition exists on. If it finds a match, this is a primary partition.
I re-created the partition from scratch with DiskPart and tried again. Looks like you were correct about the malformed partition. Originally I re-used the factory partition that this drive shipped with. Even though it was perfectly fine to DiskPart and Disk Management tool in Windows, BootGrabber did not like it (for a good reason).
Lesson learned: start from scratch with a raw un-partitioned drive and do everything yourself.
Thanks for very fast and knowledgeable troubleshooting, Mahmoud.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
No problem. Glad we could help, and it's great to find out that BG wasn't wrong on this occasion. Wasn't particularly looking forward to debugging BG again :wink:
 
#8
I found that this problem can also occur when BootGrabber encounters a primary partition on a GPT disk. The remedy is to delete the partition, change to an MBR disk, and then recreate the partition.

HTH,
Jeff Bowman
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
Yes, BG is not GPT ready.