Numer of primary partitions

Juist a theoretical question.

I heard about booting systems from VHD files.
But how about then maximum numbers of primary partitions?
My system:

part 1 primary win 7
part 2 primary win 8 (hidden)
part 3 /sda3 primary Linux
then an extended partition with several logic partition and then
again a primary /sda10 Linux swap file. Strange or an error of Windows displaying this?:??
The maximum should be 3 primary and one extended parttion?

If trying to boot an other primary partition from a VHD file/image, does this collide with the maximum number of primay partitons?
Does it nevertheless work?
If not, I can save work.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Windows Disk Management does not properly display the status of partitions when non-Windows file systems are involved.
The restriction of 4 primaries, later updated to 3 + 1 Extended, dates from the early IBM PC architecture of the 1980's when HDDs were a massive 10Mb and is due to the limitations of space in the MBR partition table.
A VHD is a Virtual (not-real) HDD and is a file pretending to be a HDD. As such it has its own virtual MBR and virtual partition table and has no place in the real MBR PT.