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Windows 7: Win7, XP Dual boot- Install OS's to logical or primary partition? Pro


15 Nov 2010   #1

XP Pro 32, Win7 Pro 64, Windows 7 Ultimate 32/64
 
 
Win7, XP Dual boot- Install OS's to logical or primary partition? Pro

Windows 7, XP Dual boot- Install OS's to logical or primary partition? Pros and Cons


As many of you know here some versions of Windows 7 create a "100 /200mb System Reserved" partition which the Windows 7 installer installs the boot files to.
(Because of this Windows 7, XP don't "have to" be on a primary partition but instead can be installed to logical partitions.)


Q: What are the PRO's and CON's of installing to logical partitions, instead of primary - as it applies to these (2) OS's?

My concerns are reliability, accessibility to partition (OS) which may need manual editing to restore to working condition, being able to image, restore from images without issues via Acronis True Image mostly.

My other main concern is I'm looking to HIDE the "system reserved" partition in XP as is done by the Windows 7 OS so XP is on "C" instead of "D" as some programs freak out if they don't see "C", but D instead.

Currently I have:

System Reserved 200mb (System, Active-Primary)
Windows 7 on first logical (Boot, page,crash)
XP PRO SP2/3 on 2nd logical
DATA on Primary.

Win7, XP Dual boot-  Install OS's to logical or primary partition? Pro-system200mb-win7-xp-logical-xp-drive-letter-d.png


Was thinking about deleting all partitions (again) and getting rid of the 200mb system reserved partition as "some" programs in XP might not like being on "D:\"

(XP unlike Windows 7 "sees" the System reserved partition as "C:")

Scenario#2 - re-install as below:
XP PRO SP2/3 (1st Primary)- Windows 7, XP boot files
Windows 7 (2nd Primary)
DATA on Primary (or logical).
4th primary could be used to create a on-the-hard-disc "recovery" partition via something like Acronis Secure Zone.


I figured above would give XP it's "C", and Windows 7 and it's newer apps wouldn't complain about being on D..

Q: If boot files are on C (XP) partition is Windows 7 smart enough to "hide" the XP partition (EG not give it a drive letter) as it does with the "System Reserved partition?


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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Nov 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Read the guide! Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP

When XP is installed onto the first primary followed by 7 afterwards on a second the 7 boot files taking over as the default OS in the process are found at the root of the XP primary being already present. When booted in 7 you simply select the drive letter to be used for XP when going into the Disk Management tool to make that partition available.

Typically D is best reserved for the optical drive leaving E, F, G, as the suitable alternatives for a second OS's drive letter. Having two dvd burner here any secondary install on a second drive is bumped upto G while flash drives may be seen as F since D and E are reserved for the two opticals.

IF 7 is installed before XP as detailed in Method #2 you can opt to prepare the primary prior to the 7 install using the drive tools on the 7 dvd, Disk Part, or some 3rd party drive partitioning program. If the 7 dvd's drive tools are used to create the primary you will then likely see the 100mb reserved if proceeding right into the fresh install.

To avoid seeing the 100mb as a separate partition you either cancel the install once the primary is made to reboot and reload the installer to use the custom install option or prepare the primary ahead of time with another option for 7 install to that alone and no 100mb reserved is seen.

The option for not seeing XP available of course would be installing XP after 7 but then need to repair the 7 startup but need to add XP into the 7 BCD. As for not making the 100mb available in XP you simply forget to assign a drive letter during the "Add New Volume" wizard that would appear when right clicking on the DM item for it. Then it won't be mounted and initialized as a new logical drive.

If XP is installed first on it's own primary there won't be any worries about the 100mb regardless since the 7 installer only creates that on a drive found "raw" lacking any partitions for Windows to install onto already present and wouldn't be able to anyways with XP already installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2010   #3

XP Pro 32, Win7 Pro 64, Windows 7 Ultimate 32/64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Pretty sure I read thru that guide, I don't think the guide addressed the Pro's and Con's of installing to a logical vs primary partition, nor any advanced info.

Quote:
When XP is installed onto the first primary followed by 7 afterwards on a second the 7 boot files taking over as the default OS in the process are found at the root of the XP primary being already present. When booted in 7 you simply select the drive letter to be used for XP when going into the Disk Management tool to make that partition available.
Are you saying that if XP is installed first (Partition#1) and Windows 7 is installed on partition#2, both as primaries the Windows 7 boot files are on Windows 7 partition #2, instead of the XP partition?

Quote:
Typically D is best reserved for the optical drive leaving E, F, G, as the suitable alternatives for a second OS's drive letter. Having two dvd burner here any secondary install on a second drive is bumped upto G while flash drives may be seen as F since D and E are reserved for the two opticals.
I've always put optical drive, etc on Z and upper drive letters, as that way drive assignments never change after a partitioning, addition (or subtraction) of a OS. Some programs freak out if the drive letter changes later on.

Quote:
IF 7 is installed before XP as detailed in Method #2 you can opt to prepare the primary prior to the 7 install using the drive tools on the 7 dvd, Disk Part, or some 3rd party drive partitioning program. If the 7 dvd's drive tools are used to create the primary you will then likely see the 100mb reserved if proceeding right into the fresh install.

To avoid seeing the 100mb as a separate partition you either cancel the install once the primary is made to reboot and reload the installer to use the custom install option or prepare the primary ahead of time with another option for 7 install to that alone and no 100mb reserved is seen.
True, info is appreciated, but not the reason I created this thread. I would prefer to use the Windows 7 bootloader with it being on the 200mb "System Reserved" partition but that throws off the (XP) drive letter assignments. (XP on D, not C)
Quote:
The option for not seeing XP available of course would be installing XP after 7 but then need to repair the 7 startup but need to add XP into the 7 BCD. As for not making the 100mb available in XP you simply forget to assign a drive letter during the "Add New Volume" wizard that would appear when right clicking on the DM item for it. Then it won't be mounted and initialized as a new logical drive.
?? RE:not making the 100/200mb system reserved partition available in XP.

Installed XP after Windows 7, repaired with Windows 7 disc Windows 7 so it would boot again and ran EasyBCD to add XP to the boot menu. After rebooting, booted into Windows 7 and "hid" the Xp partition. Shut-down and booted into XP. In XP Disk-Managment (DM) there is NO OPTION to HIDE the 100/200mb system reserved partition- Hence one of the reasons for creating this thread.


Quote:
If XP is installed first on it's own primary there won't be any worries about the 100mb regardless since the 7 installer only creates that on a drive found "raw" lacking any partitions for Windows to install onto already present and wouldn't be able to anyways with XP already installed.
Yep, the win installer won't create the system reserved partition if there is a active partition on the disc.

******************************

So, is there a way to retain the 100/200mb system reserved partition scheme, with it containing the boot files for Windows 7 and XP and force XP not to see that partition? From my research the answer is no.

Secondarily: If the system partiton is done away with as in scenario #2 above- (XP installed to first primary partition, Windows 7 to 2nd) and Windows 7 boot info is on the XP partition- is there a way from within Windows 7 to hide that partition as it contains the boot files? XP currently won't allow the system reserved partition to be "hidden" as it contains system files.

What are the Pro's and Con's of installing to a logical partiton? What are the downsides? I'm trying to weigh these pros and cons vs the possible future problems of a D drive assignment in XP vs the strengths of installing to a logical vs primary partition. (From my research installing additional OS's is a plus- which does not apply to me and this machine will be XP, Windows 7 only)

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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Nov 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

There is no benefit of installing an OS to a Logical partition. Much better to create a fourth Primary if necessary using free Partition Wizard bootable CD.

You can't install the Windows 7 boot files onto a Logical anyway. You'd need another OS already installed on Primary for Windows 7 to place its boot files while configuring a Dual Boot, or to construct a Primary boot partition by marking it active before install.

Creating a Prmary Active boot partition for Windows 7 installer to place its boot files during install to a Logical partition does have one benefit, however: As with the 100mb System Reserved boot partition created during install when using the installer to format a HD, the Repair Console will also be placed on the F8 Advanced Boot Tools menu so you don't have to use the DVD or Repair CD. You can repair your computer in a coffee shop. But still not necesary to install to a Logical drive - they are for data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2010   #5

XP Pro 32, Win7 Pro 64, Windows 7 Ultimate 32/64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
There is no benefit of installing an OS to a Logical partition. Much better to create a fourth Primary if necessary using free Partition Wizard bootable CD.

You can't install the Windows 7 boot files onto a Logical anyway. You'd need another OS already installed on Primary for Windows 7 to place its boot files while configuring a Dual Boot, or to construct a Primary boot partition by marking it active before install.
I noticed in another thread you had XP already installed on first primary, then installed Windows 7 (originally it installed to a logical partition-then you converted it to a primary)

Q: While running XP- drive letter assigned is C to XP. All boot files are on Xp partition.(Correct?)
Q: While running Windows 7- were you able to "hide" the XP partition so when booted into Windows 7 it showed as "C" also?

Quote:
Creating a Primary Active boot partition for Windows 7 installer to place its boot files during install to a Logical partition does have one benefit, however: As with the 100mb System Reserved boot partition created during install when using the installer to format a HD, the Repair Console will also be placed on the F8 Advanced Boot Tools menu so you don't have to use the DVD or Repair CD. You can repair your computer in a coffee shop. But still not necessary to install to a Logical drive - they are for data.
Running list:

System Reserved 100mb
PRO:

#1=Repair console, Press F8 Advanced tools menu availble without disc.
Q: (All tools installed in System reserved?)
#2=When removing a installed OS- allows the other OS's to continue booting.
#3= If a OS is removed- repair of the bootloader is a simple affair as the system reserved partition itself is still intact
#4=System Reserved partition is hidden (In Windows 7) so boot files cannot accidentally be deleted.


CON:

#1=Takes up (1) primary
#2=100mb is too small, increase to 200mb
#3=Having a "System Reserved" partition causes older MS OS's to incorrectly assign drive letters. Unlike Windows 7 which "hides" the partition older OS's "see" the partition as "C" which may freak out certain apps, or cause install problems. This is likely to cause operator error and or confusion.
#4= "System Reserved" partition shows in XP, right clicking on partition in Windows file Explorer gives option to FORMAT.!!! Disk Manger says I can't remove drive letter- and does not show option to format...


PRO of Logical vs Primary

#1=Allows for other Win OS's to be installed to logical partitions EG: Windows 7 and XP for example only taking up (1) of the primaries instead of (2).
#2=
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2010   #6

Windows 7
 
 

Two reasons using the system reserve partition as active primary and logical drives for OSs can be a good thing:
1. If you want to multiboot a lot of OSs, you're not limited to 4, and
2. It's simpler later on to replace an OS on a drive without having to deal with the boot files being there.

I actually prefer to use Partition Wizard to create my own system reserve partition first, make it active primary, and then set up any XP partitions, then Windows 7 partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

The repair tools are not placed on the 100mb system reserved only the BCD store and boot files in general along with the memtest executable. The image below has been posted previously for an extended lookover of the 100mb itself.

Now as far as installing 7 after XP on the same drive and onto a second primary the 7 boot files are what replace XP's own as far as which then becomes the default OS and which boot loader will be used. During the installation XP will automatically be added into the 7 BCD store as "previous version of Windows" when the boot options screens come up afterwards.

As far as the startup repair or "Last configuration known to work" options those come up if the system sees a crash or hard boot without shutting properly. The startup repair option is not an F8 boot option with or without the 100mb present. The image here shows what is actually on the 100mb itself.

For seeing the startup repair as a general F8 option you would need a reg edit similar to how the recover console was installed as a boot option on the two previous versions. You would need something like that to see it made a regular choice.

As far as Partition Wizard hope you don't have any Sata III drives installed! The PW program is too outdated even with the latest release to even see the pair installed here. Any other partitioning option however indicates the two drives are present. Pity anyone with one of the new Sata III only boards now seen.(Sata III ports only on those)

The 7 drive tools, Disk Part, Paragon, GParted, and others however were not found having any problems with Sata IIIs present. PW is another older however open source partitioning program with it's limitations.


Attached Thumbnails
Win7, XP Dual boot-  Install OS's to logical or primary partition? Pro-system-reserved-4-100mb-extended-view.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by debugged View Post
Two reasons using the system reserve partition as active primary and logical drives for OSs can be a good thing:
1. If you want to multiboot a lot of OSs, you're not limited to 4, and
2. It's simpler later on to replace an OS on a drive without having to deal with the boot files being there.

I actually prefer to use Partition Wizard to create my own system reserve partition first, make it active primary, and then set up any XP partitions, then Windows 7 partitions.
If you mark the XP partition "Active" before the XP install, when installed second in a dual boot it will create it's self as C: on a Primary partition; then the "System Reserved" drive letter can be removed in XP; and the "System Reserved" can be marked active and startup repairs can be done to make the "System Reserved" the "System" volume.
click to enlarge
Win7, XP Dual boot-  Install OS's to logical or primary partition? Pro-pos7.jpg
For anyone interested and since it wasn't mentioned earlier; there is a tutorial on this subject, at this link below; and no, it doesn't mention "pros and cons" it's just an idea/guide.

System Reserved : Multi Boot from Logical Partitions


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

Answers in bold:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by WeAreNotAlone View Post
Q: While running XP- drive letter assigned is C to XP. All boot files are on Xp partition.(Correct?) Correct
Q: While running Windows 7- were you able to "hide" the XP partition so when booted into Windows 7 it showed as "C" also? Nothing is hidden. This is the way Windows 7 works by default when installed from boot to a Dual Boot.


System Reserved 100mb
PRO:

#1=Repair console, Press F8 Advanced tools menu availble without disc.
Q: (All tools installed in System reserved?) It is not clear they are installed in SysReserved, only that they appear on F8 menu when SysReserved is present.
#2=When removing a installed OS- allows the other OS's to continue booting.
#3= If a OS is removed- repair of the bootloader is a simple affair as the system reserved partition itself is still intact
#4=System Reserved partition is hidden (In Windows 7) so boot files cannot accidentally be deleted. It is not easy to delete boot files in any case.

CON:

#1=Takes up (1) primary
#2=100mb is too small, increase to 200mb Recommended in case something gets written there, as free space is required to create SysVol file for imaging.
#3=Having a "System Reserved" partition causes older MS OS's to incorrectly assign drive letters. Unlike Windows 7 which "hides" the partition older OS's "see" the partition as "C" which may freak out certain apps, or cause install problems. This is likely to cause operator error and or confusion. I have not seen an example of this.
#4= "System Reserved" partition shows in XP, right clicking on partition in Windows file Explorer gives option to FORMAT.!!! Disk Manger says I can't remove drive letter- and does not show option to format... Not an issue unless you get fidgety.

PRO of Logical vs Primary

#1=Allows for other Win OS's to be installed to logical partitions EG: Windows 7 and XP for example only taking up (1) of the primaries instead of (2). You can have up to 4 primary partitions for OS's so keep data partitions logical and you shouldn't need to worry about this. Use free Partition Wizard to create Logical data partitions, to convert Prmary data partitions to Logical, or to create a 4th Primary partition: Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD
#2=
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2010   #10
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post

#3=Having a "System Reserved" partition causes older MS OS's to incorrectly assign drive letters. Unlike Windows 7 which "hides" the partition older OS's "see" the partition as "C" which may freak out certain apps, or cause install problems. This is likely to cause operator error and or confusion. I have not seen an example of this.


Here's an example of that.
Win7, XP Dual boot-  Install OS's to logical or primary partition? Pro-xpboot.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win7, XP Dual boot- Install OS's to logical or primary partition? Pro




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