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Windows 7: Booting directly from logical partition causes strange problem


25 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Booting directly from logical partition causes strange problem

I have a quad boot PC which has a very strange problem – when I boot directly into a logical partition, the other two logical partitions are recognised by windows as being primary. Let me explain. I didn’t want to use the MS boot manager, so I am using a 3rd party boot manager (OSL200), and what I did was to orignally make 3 primary partitions and an extended volume that contained 3 logical partitions.


I hid two of the 3 primary partitions, made the unhidden one active, and installed Windows on the active one. After installation, I unhid the next partition and did the same thing, so that each time I was installing windows into an active primary partition whereby the other two partitions were hidden. I installed XP into partition 1, and Windows7 Ultimate 64 bit into partitions 2 and 3. This worked absolutely fine. I set OSL2000 to hid the other primary partitions so when I booted into an OS I saw my boot drive as C: and three other drives, two of which were used for storing common data.


I then wanted to install a fourth OS, so I unhid partition 3, made it active and installed the fourth OS into partition 4 (a logical drive). However, the problem here was that to get into partition 4, I had to use the OSL2000 to boot into partition 3, and then use the MS boot manager to boot into partition 4. Even though I had OSL2000 hide the primary partitions, when booting into partition 4 partition 3 (the active partition) was still visible. (Other than this, there was no problem and when in partition 4 I still had access to the other two logical partitions.) As I didn’t want to see partition3, I copied over the boot files to partition 4 and modified them, so that I could boot directly into partition 4 using the boot manager. This worked, but something very strange happened. When I boot directly into partition 4, windows recognises the other two logical partitions as primary (!) and because of this, they are not visible as OSL2000 hides the primary partitions! If I use partition wizard to unhide these logical partitions, then windows correctly identifies them as logical.

Below is a screen shot of disk management when I boot directly into partition 4.

The main question is - why is this happening and how can I change it so that the logical partitions show as logical partitions when I boot directly from partition 4?



Attached Thumbnails
Booting directly from logical partition causes strange problem-screenshot.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 May 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

The problem is that the System partition must be marked Active to point to the paritition intended to boot Windows 7. Only a Primary partition can be marked Active.

I would Mark Partition Active your main Windows 7 install on a Primary partition, uninstall the unknown boot manager we've never heard of here at the home of Windows 7, run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times to move the System flag to it until it starts, then install EasyBCD (click Download - no Name or Email required) to add the other OS's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks a lot for your response Greg. The reason why I didn't want to use the MS Booot manager was because I wanted a multiboot system which, when booted, only showed the primary partition it was booted from (as C: each time) and then showed the logical partitions. AFAIK, that can only be achieved using a 3rd party boot manger as with the MS one, all the primary partitions are shown. I therefore think that what I am trying to achieve is not possible - I will just stick with a triple boot system instead, and install any extra OSs as virtual machines.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 May 2014   #4
BJB

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Stedma42 View Post
The reason why I didn't want to use the MS Booot manager was because I wanted a multiboot system which, when booted, only showed the primary partition it was booted from (as C: each time) and then showed the logical partitions. AFAIK, that can only be achieved using a 3rd party boot manger as with the MS one, all the primary partitions are shown. I therefore think that what I am trying to achieve is not possible
It is not only possible, I have been doing precisely that for years using Grub4DOS as boot manager. Grub4DOS uses a simple text based configuration file with which you can hide and unhide partitions, set partitions as Active, and boot any OS you want from both primary and logical partitions. And for good measure it can also boot most bootable ISOs. If you are interested have a read here - Using Grub4DOS to Create a Bootable Drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks a lot for this advice. I am at work at the moment (sucks having to work on a Bank Holiday) but when I get home I will have a look at that. Sounds like just what I was looking for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Booting directly from logical partition causes strange problem




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