In a recent Terry’s Computer Tips on-line newsletter, I wrote about a reader who had a problem on his dual-boot computer. He had previously been running Windows XP and also the Windows 7 Release Candidate (which is the same thing I was doing until Windows 7 was released in October).
He had some problems with his Windows XP system and decided to reinstall XP. When he finished, he found that he had lost his Windows 7 RC installation, too! I walked him though the repairs necessary to get it back.
That article had some timely help for one of my long-time readers and fellow computer newsletter writer — Clif of the Clif Notes on-line newsletter.
Clif wrote to say:
Thanks for the tip about the install order on XP/Win7. Getting ready to install Win7 soon on my laptop. Checked with Vista Ready utility and it seems up to the job.
Now I need to make full partition backup and I’ll be set to install.
Plan to triple boot XP/Win7/Ubuntu
I wrote back to Clif to tell him to remember that Windows versions require primary partitions. Linux can be installed in Extended/Logical partitions.
Clif wrote back to say:
I guess that means you can have more than one primary partition? Seems counter-intuitive doesn’t it?
I’ll look into that, but feel free to offer more advice if you have it handy.
Right now I have one primary and two secondaries with XP, gOS and Ubuntu on them.
Thanks for bring this up.
I emailed Clif to tell him about my experience when installing Windows 7 Release Candidate in a dual boot, dual partition installation on my notebook.
You can have a total of 4 partitions.
I used to have three primary partitions and one extended partition — all on the one hard drive in my notebook. The extended partition was then split into multiple logical partitions.
I had a different setup on my notebook when I wanted to install Windows 7 (I had a hard drive die, and I set it up differently after that.)
I had one primary and two Extended partitions on my notebook when I decided to install Windows 7 RC &mdash and had to blow away both of the Extendeds to install a second primary (and an extended) so I could install Win7RC in the second primary partition.
Fortunately, I had the data backed up with Acronis to an external hard drive.
Clif wrote back to say:
I just did a little research and I think I’ve got a handle of the way primaries, extended and logical work together. This is the first time I’ve had two Windows OS partitions.
I’m using CloneZilla to back up my XP partition on a USB drive. I’ll kill the first Linux partition and recreate it as a primary.
I’ll let you know how it goes. If I run into problems, I’ll feed you details. You never know where the next article will come from do you? LOL