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OK, so I am trying to install FC6 on an unallocated 13 GB partition. Right now, my set-up is: /dev/hda1 NTFS which is my MBR /dev/hda2 NTFS which is my ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Engineer Thrillhouse's Avatar
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    Too many primary partitions?


    OK, so I am trying to install FC6 on an unallocated 13 GB partition. Right now, my set-up is:

    • /dev/hda1 NTFS which is my MBR
    • /dev/hda2 NTFS which is my WinXP
    • /dev/hda3 ext3 FC5
    • /dev/hda4 linux-swap for FC5

    I've created the new 13 GB unallocated partition in between hda2 and hda3 to place FC6. I'd rather not do a simple upgrade of FC5 yet because I want to get to know FC6 first. But, when I booted the FC6 install CD and chose to install it on free space, it told me I had too many primary partitions on my hard drive. So, I went in to the configuration menu to try and be more explicit but any time I tried to place / or /boot or /home on the unallocated partition I got the same error. Can I change one of my primary partitions to not be primary? I understand that 4 is the maximum on most drives but how can I get FC6 going without completely blowing away the setup I have now. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
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    Looks like you've hit the limit on primary partitions!

    You should make an extended partition in the new space. Then, inside this, you can start making as many new partitions as you need. These are known as logical partitions (I think).

    This is a very common solution to this problem, and I have done it numerous times myself. I normally have a swap partition, an XP partition, and then an extended partition containing (at one stage) enough logical partitions for three linux distributions!
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  3. #3
    Linux Engineer Thrillhouse's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. How would I go about making that unallocated space into an extended partition then? I've done some googling around but haven't found a solution that matches my problem. When I click on the unallocated space in GParted and try to create a new partition it gives me the same error about there being too many primary partitions and that I should try making an extended partition first but I'm not sure how to go about doing that. The only partitioning software I have available to me at the moment is GParted. Again, thanks for your help.

  4. #4
    Linux Engineer Thrillhouse's Avatar
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    Would it be safe to merge the unallocated space back into my FC5 and then make FC5 into an extended partition? Without losing the system or any of my data and dual-boot capabilities?

  5. #5
    Linux Guru Juan Pablo's Avatar
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    I would delete the swap and create an extended partition there, and create as many partition as you want including a new swap. Just dont forget to update fstab
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  6. #6
    Linux Guru smolloy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Pablo
    I would delete the swap and create an extended partition there, and create as many partition as you want including a new swap. Just dont forget to update fstab
    I agree with this. This is probably the best solution.

    The problem is that the extended partition you want to put all the logical partitions into is also counted as a primary partition, and therefore you won't be able to make it. You have to reduce the number of partitions, make the new extended partition, and then fill it with as many new partitions as you like.

    Deleting the old swap as JuanPablo suggests is the best idea, as it means you don't have to delete any data.
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