Triple booting XP/Vista/Win7 - shared partition disappeared :(

I have 3 primary partitions, all NTFS. XP, Vista, Win7
Also have an extended parition with a logical partition inside for Data, again NTFS

I have been using a third party boot manager to handle stuff called OSL2000. However, since that site was taken over with malware I have started to use EasyBCD.

Finally all OSes will now boot, but only Win 7 and Vista can see the shared data partition. Win XP reports it as raw with no free space. Real size is 240Gb with 100Gb free.

Each time XP boots it wants to check the partition. Most times it does not find any errors, although sometimes there are a few minor things. Each time I try to boot back into Win7 it finds no errors and everything works.

I really am at a loss as to what has happened here :frowning:

Edited to add that while in XP I have loaded Acronis Disk director. This sees the shared partition as it should be, NTFS with the correct amount of free space. Error checking it here is fine too.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi Threepe, welcome to NST.
Is your XP fully up-to-date ?
Large disk support (> 137 Gb) wasn't included until SP1.
Hi, thanks for you welcome :smile:

I am running XP Pro SP3. Its been so long since I have had to deal with an OS that could not handle large drives I did not even consider that. Being SP3 that should solve that issue.

I have today created a FAT32 partition and copied over all the data from the NTFS data partition using Vista. That so far seems to have solved the issue for now.

I would like to go back to using NTFS as it has large file support that is of benefit to me. It would be nice to have some idea why the above happened as it makes no sense to me. Always nice to know why something has happened for when it occurs again :smile:


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
There's no reason why you shouldn't do what you want. My system shows that it's OK. The data and backup partitions are accessible from all 4 OSs.
Did you format the disk with Vista disk management ?
Wow, that looks like a nicely complicated setup :smile:

The fact that you are managing to do it, should mean that there will be no issue once I get the partition made correctly.

My disks structure was originally created by Acronis Disk Director. However, I have migrated to a two new harddrives over the last few months, so all partitions have been moved about. In addition, I was using a third party boot loader (OSL2000) and had inadvertently hibnerated more than 2 OS at the same time, which caused data corruption on the data partition.

I did think that chkdsk had sorted the corruption out, Win7 was not reporting any errors. However, after getting XP OS up and running it reported an "uppercase" error in the partition. According to MS this is not an issue was its just due to a small difference in how Vista and XP create partitions. For some reason though each and every reboot results in the partition being checked and never seen in XP *shrug*

I'll convert this partition to NTFS shortly and see how it goes :smile:

P.S. - totally unrealated but since you seem to be a bit of a HDD guru, have you ever come across a "log" partition on a Windows Sever 2003 box? I am just starting to get into servers and have found a 100GB log partition on an old server I am playing with. :smile:
EDIT:- worked out what the "log" partition was. It was an encrypted partition using TrueCrypt :wink:
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I faced a similar problem recently when My windows XP couldn't read NTFS partition and reported it as RAW, but Windows 7 could read the same partition with all the data. Please check that the file ntfs.sys exists in your Windows XP installation drive at following path: \Windows\System32\drivers If the file is missing or corrupt, ntfs partition shows as raw, pasting the ntfs.sys file from the XP installation CD at the above location solved my problem and I was able to access the NTFS partition with all the data. You can refer the following link for more information: Think Security: NTFS Partition Showing Raw / Inaccessible - Solved


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Thanks for the tip Sam, and welcome to the forum.
Thanks for the tip. I will look into that after the bank holiday weekend when I have more time.

I would have thought I had the correct file given that I could see other NTFS partitions, but it is windows and we all know what that means :booyah:

Thanks again, will experiment shortly.