(Solved) - Can I install an O/S in a logical partition?(16 posts)
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Matt, is there anything on that E: drive that you want to keep? If not, then just delete the volume in Disk Management until it is unallocated space. Boot from the Win7 DVD and point to the unallocated space on Disk 1 as the place to install. Win7 will take care of partitioning and formatting it.
EDIT: I just noticed something strange on your Disk Management screen. Partition D: for "Music and Film" is marked as Active. That means it is a bootable partition. You can only have one active partition per disk and you want it to be Win7. Before you attempt to install, see if you can make that D: partition NOT active. Even if you can't, try the Win7 install anyway. It should warn you about needing to be the only active partition and hopefully give you the choice to mark D: as not active.
Cheers for that Scott. No, the drives empty after moving over 100 gigs over to my D: partition!! So installing in unallocated space will automatically make the partition into a primary partition then?
EDIT: How would I go about making D: not active? Strange, I´ve never had an O/S on there. Could it be something to do with me setting WMP11 to add music files automatically from certain folders within D:?
I have know idea how that partition would be marked active if it wasn't done by a person or an OS installer. Maybe an OS was installed on it in a previous life? A quickie google suggests that the way to mark a partition inactive is with DiskPart. I still think the easiest way should be from the Win7 install DVD. It must have a way to resolve this kind of issue.
BTW, you can't mark a logical volume or extended partition as active, so for anyone interested in the original question the answer is no, you can't install an OS directly on a logical volume.
Okay, took the advice from you Scott. Win7 took care of the problem (partially!!) It is now installed on the E: drive (in Vista) but this drive shows up as C: drive in Win7!! And my Vista C: drive (in Vista!!) show up in Win7 but without a path letter!! LOL.
I´ll post pic of how it looks in Win7 in the morning, my router´s playing up again and not letting me connect to LAN, and my usb WLAN adapter won´t install in Win7!! Fun, fun, fun!!!
To answer the question, Windows XP SP2 and up will install to a logical partition as long as there is an active primary partition available to install a boot loader to.
For example, if you have Windows Vista installed on the first primary partition then it has a Windows Vista boot loader. The Windows 7 setup can and will replace that with one that can load Vista from the primary partition and 7 from a logical partition.
You could also have an empty primary partition and the setup will just install the boot loader to it.
The primary partition does need a Windows readable file system though so for example the ext3 file system (used by many Linux distros) wouldn't work.
jd2066, thanks for the clarification. I noticed in Matt's "after" picture that Win7 didn't change the active partition on Disk 1. That made me think that the bootloader was probably on that D: partition. Now you have confirmed that. I didn't know that you could install to a logical drive, but it makes sense if the bootloader can be elsewhere.
@InDiSent: Probably. You can assign a drive letter to any partition with a supported file system in Windows at any time.
In fact you would always have to do so except that Windows automaticly assigns drive letters 99.99%* of the time. It's just .01%* of the time Windows cannot do so.
* I just made up these percentages based on how much of the time I encountered this issue. I could be far away from the actual percent it is but for drive letter assignment it just isn't worth the time to get the real figures.
Yes, better we have dogfights: http://www.history.com/minisites/dogfights/
IMO, an excellent series.
BTT: I think that it's a good idea to have other boot partitions offline or inaccessible. It prevents users from getting in trouble running a scan in XP, for example, that sees system files on the Vista partition that it doesn't recognize. These might be considered corrupt or a heuristic might decide it's potential malware. In my idea of an ideal setup, each boot partition should only contain system files and other OS-specific files. Then there would be no issue with only one being active at a time and the others being offline. In the real world, that's not always practical.
If you must, yes you can assign a letter to the other boot partition. It works, I've tried it. In the last post above from madmacs, the Vista partition has no volume letter assigned when Win7 is booted. That Vista partition can be assigned a letter and accessed, if need be.
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