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XP and partition limit?

By chipw ·
I recently set up a laptop with Linux RedHat 9, leaving about half the drive empty for use for XP. After the install I started the XP install and got the to partition choice window. It showed the 3 Linux partitions (root, swap, home) and the free space. I chose the free space to install XP into, but it gave me an error - couldn't install XP because the limit of partitions had been reached. What's up with that? I've never come across that before. Since I had to get the machine up and running as soon as possible I wiped the drive and started over, this time with XP first, then Linux (the way I usually set up dual-boot boxes). But what's the deal with the partition limit, especially since there were only 3 partitions?

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by mrafrohead In reply to XP and partition limit?

As far as I remember, the only way you can really setup a DB Windoze/*nix box is with Windoze installed first and then you can install the real OS.

Otherwise, Windoze gets confused and doesnt' know what to do.

I know there are plenty of *nix wizards in here that may be able to further explain for you, i'm just a *nix Novice... But I do know Win first, then the rest after....


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by timwalsh In reply to XP and partition limit?

There are partition limitations in XP (in fact these are DOS limitations). You are limited to 4 Primary partitions, or three Primary partitions and 1 Extended partition (which may be further subdivided into multiple logical drives.)

BTW, even the Redhat documentation recommends installing Windows before installing Linux, so there must be some reason for that. I suspect that it may have something to do with how Linux creates the MBR, and Windows not reading it properly.

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by chipw In reply to Limitations

The laptop had already been setup as a dual boot system, it had a messed up partition table. I ran fdisk /mbr and was able to get back in to XP but of course, not Linux. I thought I could just reinstall Linux, but that didn't work, so I wiped the whole thing and started over with Linux first. I thought, well, it's going now, so I'll see what happens. Well, you now know what happened - I had to wipe it again and install XP first. It's all back up and running again. I was just curious about the partition limits that XP seemed to have.

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