Monday, July 21, 2014

Breakthrough – Converting your Partition from Primary to Logical

In the technological race of Computers, People and Programmers are obsessed with OS (Operating System). At the same time we are unable to loosen the love for our regular OS; since we are so much habitual to it, and we have a solution called DUAL-BOOTING. That’s where your partitioning comes into concern.

Most of the Desktops and Laptops now-a-days that you buy are partitioned as Primary. The Primary partition is mostly seen when you have bought a Windows OS installed machine. But in the craze for other OS you tend to take a risk, but that may be fatal to your system, since your data is on stake. The important part is when you have to dual-boot, that is you want to install another OS, you “should not install” it on “primary partition”, since it is just a partition visible to end user (you), internally it’s your whole Monolithic HDD!

By now you might have a question, why logical? The answer is simple and complicated, yes it sounds ironic. Let me explain in brief, unlike the primary Partition, Logical partitions are the actual dividing your Entire HDD to multiple drives internally (not by allocating separate platter but track & sector limit). Logical partitions are made by marking of a sector, offset address and NoERR factor; all this is fed into a file system, and does not allow mixing up of data; which user stores. The Primary partitions are all connected internally; the data is stored in continuous form. It’s always good to have Logical partition than the Primary partition.

Initially if there isn’t any OS in your system then there is no harm in installing an OS in Primary partition, but challenge comes when you have to install a second OS. Traditionally your 1st OS might be a Windows OS and your 2nd OS may be a Linux distribution or any other. The axiom is The Windows OS is limited as it supports only few File systems (viz. NTFS, FAT32) whereas Linux distribution supports NTFS, FAT32, xFAT,EXT and many more. The bitter truth is Linux OS can reside only on EXT series of File system. Installing 2nd OS on any primary partition will create an ambiguity for Linux to differentiate NTFS and EXT Files system, and that will certainly corrupt the OS, and won’t boot any of the OS, putting your entire data on the risk.

After shedding lot many Gigabytes of data, I successfully found a safe and easy way to convert Primary partition into Logical partition. Here it is; how to do.

1. How to use Disk Management (in Windows xp, 7, and 8).
2. Download the EPM 10.0 (EasyUS Partition Manager), a trial version is available on official site or click link.
1) Start up into your windows OS, and press +R to start run dialog box.
2) Type in “DISKMGMT.MSC” (Without quotes).
3) Inside Disk management you can see your HDD graph and partitions and also the type of partition in status column.
4) Choose a drive which has maximum space empty by right clicking on it, and select “shrink volume”.
5) Wait till it Queries for shrink space, after that you will need to give the size you want within the limit of free space available; enter it and let it process.
6) Once created, in the graph you will see the partition in BLACK color with a label as unallocated. Now run the “EMP.exe”.
7) Complete the setup (make sure you don’t select any other freeware download during installation), select the partition manager once it starts.
8) Close all other applications that use your disk or save your work and then close.
9) Now, you can see all your partitions and the unallocated partition too. Right click on it and choose “Create partition”.
10) A new dialog box will open. Check the criteria of “File system: NTFS” and “Partition type: Logical (radio button)” and confirm it.
11) It will return to the Partition menu again and you will see your unallocated space to be in NTFS formatted, but still it’s not applied actually.
12) To apply the changes, on the top left you will see a TICK Button, click to apply it. Close the EPM.
13) To confirm the partition is logical, check it in DISK MANAGEMENT (It is more reliable).
14) Once you see it is Logical you may proceed with your new OS installation on your NEW LOGICAL DRIVE.

For sure there are many other ways to create the partition using DISK PART, Gpart, Fdisk etc. I’ve also used DISK PART and it’s also possible to do using it, but it’s completely Command based hence, some may find it hard. Thank you.

For any other issues regarding partitioning and OS installation you may mail me at -