Windows XP Partition: Does it have to be Primary?

lack

New Member
#1
Hi, right now i'm dual booting my laptop with vista and opensuse 10.3 with Grub as bootloader. but i'm switching back to xp but to not lose some functionality (well some hardware driver i still can't find both for linux and xp) i intend to keep vista. the problem is, my hdd's already partitioned like this:

1st prim: recovery (for vista, factory installed)
2nd prim: vista, ntfs
3rd prim: linux, ext3, root partition
4th ext:
4th logical: linux, swap​
5th logical: <-- this is where i intend to install xp​
6th logical: data, ntfs​
7th logical: data, fat32​

this where i found your software
and according to the FAQ:
Prepping the Machine for an XP Installation
.........
Use the partition manager to shrink the partition with Windows Vista to make enough room at the end of the drive for Windows XP.
.........
Add a new primary partition located after the Windows Vista partition you just shrunk. Make sure it is a primary partition and formatted as NTFS.
Reboot
this is where i got confused. Does it have to be primary?
i can't have more primary partition in my disk. it's a laptop so adding another disk is not an option.

and if it really must so, any suggestions so that i can still install xp?
thanks before for helping..
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#2
Yes XP and all Windows partitions that you install Windows onto MUST be Primary. Only Linux can be installed to a logical partition as far as i know. But Windows must be Primary.

Addendum:

As for your request on how to do it. the only thing you could do would be 1.) move the recovery partition to the Ext. or 2.) install Linux where you plan to install XP and install XP where you have Linux.
 
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lack

New Member
#3
thx makaveli213

windows must be primary? really? i think i've installed xp in logical somehow before... ah well.

if i do 3) delete recovery, install xp in it?

coz i found out that after i install linux the F11 key that supposed to boot right to recovery does not work anymore. Nor the path to recovery partition is seen by Grub. And for recovery i still have the dvds..

how bout it?

the FAQ also said "after the vista partition"....
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#4
IF you isntalled it as logical you probably had problems with it. Cause i know that it has to be a active, primary partition.

You can move the recovery partition stuff to where you were gonna install XP and install XP where the recovery partition.

Move the stuff on #1 to #5 and then install XP on #1

GRUB wont see the recovery partition. It will only see the Vista bootlaoder. The F11 key was something put in for the recovery partition and GRUB doesnt account for it. So after you select Windows from the GRUB menu hitting F11 there should bring up the Recovery partition.

I ahve XP isntall on a partition BEFORE the Vista isntall. It doesnt affect me none. What FAQ did you read that said XP had to be AFTER? Cause that is just plain wrong. I mean if you go dual boot from a XP system then of course XP will be installed Before Vista. It is only on the new systems where Vsita comes pre-isntalled would Vsita be the first partition.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
Actually, versions of Windows XP post-SP2 can be installed to logical partitions, but you might have some problems getting it there.

But, for instance, you can change a primary partition to logical and still get the XP on it to boot if you update boot.ini as well.

The only requirement is that all the bootloader files be on a Primary, Active NTFS or FAT32 partition.

As you can see in this KB article, the ARC naming path supports logical partitions.

The problem is that Windows setup doesn't support the creation of logical partitions - so you'd have to format/partition your drive first with a tool that does (Acronis Disk Director, GParted) then install XP to the logical partition.

You may have to manually set up boot.ini to point to the correct location as well, though.