Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

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webtarget
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Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby webtarget » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:43 am

I bought a new laptop that has Windows 7 Pro on it.

I tried installing LMDE2 and when it finally loaded and I input my settings, I just had to edit the partitions and let it finish.

Unfortunately, my laptop had all 4 primary partitions used up.

sda1 - System - 1GB / 738 MB used
sda2 - Windows 7 Pro - 448 GB / 50 GB used
sda3 - HP_Recovery - 15 GB / 13 GB used
sda4 - HP_Tools - 2 GB / 50 MB used

I'm afraid to move HP_Tools because I know some tools are used during the login and it has directories called BIOS, BIOS UPDATE, and other important directories.

But, I'm sure someone must have a dual-boot HP laptop. I've got the ProBook G2. Can someone give me some suggestions how I can make this dual boot?

Thanks.
Last edited by webtarget on Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Cobber
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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby Cobber » Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:46 am

You can remove the sda3 Recovery partition. BUT, first you have to back it up. Do NOT remove any of the other partitions.

You should find an option in either Windows or HP Assistant to create system recovery DVD's. You may also be able to save it on a portable hard drive. Once you have created the backup, HP Assistant will remove the Recovery partition.

Note, you can only do this ONCE. Make sure your backup was successful before you proceed with the deletion.

You will lose the ability to do a factory reset, because the partition is gone. If you need to reinstall Windows, you do it from the DVD's you made or the portable hard drive.

I have a HP dv7 laptop and had to do this just so I could make an extended partition for Windows D: and E: volumes. I suggest you invest in some imaging software such as Acronis to make regular backups of your laptop. Acronis will backup both Windows and Linux.

Using Acronis, I have always kept regular system images, and restored from earlier backups when things broke. I have never needed to use the recovery DVD's.

Edit: Just saw your posts number. Assumed you were a newbie. So I guess you already know how to do system images. But the info on the Recovery partition will help other HP users.
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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby Pjotr » Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:31 pm

Delete HP_TOOLS (sda4). That particular partition just contains some useless HP tools which you won't miss. Don't delete HP_Recovery (sda3): you might need that at some point (for example when selling your laptop to a Windows user).

I've owned several HP laptops in the (recent) past, and that's what I always did. :)
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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby jimallyn » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:04 pm

I recently had this problem when I installed Mint on my brother's laptop. I used Clonezilla to back up all 4 partitions, then partitioned the drive the way I wanted it with gparted. I made the 4th partition an extended partition, and put the HPTools and Mint in the extended partition. Don't know if this is the easiest way, but it worked.
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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby srs5694 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:11 pm

I'm not familiar with what HP does and has done historically, but it's conceivable that this is an EFI-mode installation to a GPT disk. If so, you can create as many partitions as you like (up to 128 by default, but this limit can be raised if necessary). Under GPT, there's no such thing as "primary" vs. "extended" vs. "logical" partitions; this distinction is entirely an MBR construct. (Some tools identify all GPT partitions as being "primary" because they were written with MBR in mind and then extended to support GPT.)

You can check the disk type from a Linux "live disk" by using parted, as in:

Code: Select all

$ sudo parted /dev/sda print | grep Table
Partition Table: gpt


This example shows a GPT disk. If the response line read "msdos," that would indicate an MBR disk.

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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby webtarget » Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:13 pm

srs5694 wrote:I'm not familiar with what HP does and has done historically, but it's conceivable that this is an EFI-mode installation to a GPT disk. If so, you can create as many partitions as you like (up to 128 by default, but this limit can be raised if necessary). Under GPT, there's no such thing as "primary" vs. "extended" vs. "logical" partitions; this distinction is entirely an MBR construct. (Some tools identify all GPT partitions as being "primary" because they were written with MBR in mind and then extended to support GPT.)

You can check the disk type from a Linux "live disk" by using parted, as in:

Code: Select all

$ sudo parted /dev/sda print | grep Table
Partition Table: gpt


This example shows a GPT disk. If the response line read "msdos," that would indicate an MBR disk.


Thanks, didn't try your suggestion yet, but, I doubt it's GPT, the installer (GParted at that point in time) said I can't create a new partition. But, you got me thinking of converting this laptop to GPT. The only thing is that it seems like a lot of work because I'll have to make 4 images and I only use Windows on my laptop for 2 applications: My scanning software, and tax software, which only happens once a year.

I'm thinking the easiest and most efficient suggestion is removing the HP_Tools and putting linux there.

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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby Cobber » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:43 am

Pjotr wrote:Don't delete HP_Recovery (sda3): you might need that at some point (for example when selling your laptop to a Windows user).


Good point. I have no intention of selling my laptop, so opted for removing the huge recovery partition instead.

Interesting you said the Tools partition is not needed. Gives me another one I can delete if I ever needed to. My laptop can hold two HDD's, so Mint is on one and Windows on the original.
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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby Bolle1961 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:47 am

webtarget wrote:I only use Windows on my laptop for 2 applications: My scanning software, and tax software, which only happens once a year.

In that case, forget dualboot, install windows in VirtualBox.
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Pierre
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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby Pierre » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:18 am

can you update the first post,
to include partition sizes, as well ?.

actually did help another user to dual_boot, after deleting that recovery partition - sda3.
- use the inbuilt tool to make some recovery disks, first.
it's usually a win boot disk & three system disks, for a total of four dvd's.
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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby srs5694 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:29 am

webtarget wrote:you got me thinking of converting this laptop to GPT.


Converting to GPT is possible, but also requires installing the EFI-mode Windows boot loader. This procedure is a little obscure, but is documented at various sites, such as this one. It's probably not worth the hassle in your case, unless you want to investigate EFI-mode booting or have a compelling reason to boot in that way.

Bolle1961 wrote:
webtarget wrote:I only use Windows on my laptop for 2 applications: My scanning software, and tax software, which only happens once a year.

In that case, forget dualboot, install windows in VirtualBox.


This suggestion is well worth considering. Using VirtualBox to run Windows enables you to run it side-by-side with Linux and avoids all manner of dual-boot complications. The main drawback to this approach is that you'll need to re-install Windows, and possibly deal with licensing hassles. Depending on the software, you might be able to run it under WINE, which is another method of running Windows programs under Linux.

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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby webtarget » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:31 pm

Regarding Virtualbox, if I install it and install Windows in there, can Windows be saved on a separate drive or partition?

The reason I ask is that in case I want to re-install Linux, I don't want it to blow away my Windows too, which takes way longer to install.

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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby srs5694 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 6:59 pm

webtarget wrote:Regarding Virtualbox, if I install it and install Windows in there, can Windows be saved on a separate drive or partition?

The reason I ask is that in case I want to re-install Linux, I don't want it to blow away my Windows too, which takes way longer to install.


The normal configuration for VirtualBox is to use files as virtual disks for the virtual machines. Thus, you can back up Windows just by copying one file. (The machine configuration is elsewhere, so you'd need to copy a directory tree to back up the machine configuration as well as the Windows installation.) If you like, you could devote a separate partition to VirtualBox to help separate it from Linux; or use a separate /home partition and keep the VirtualBox files there, which will also keep VirtualBox separate from the OS. If you really want to do so, you can set up VirtualBox to use dedicated partitions directly, but that's a more advanced configuration. I've seen documentation for doing this, but I haven't saved any URLs. I'm sure a Web search will turn it up.

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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby webtarget » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:57 am

Pierre wrote:can you update the first post,
to include partition sizes, as well ?.

actually did help another user to dual_boot, after deleting that recovery partition - sda3.
- use the inbuilt tool to make some recovery disks, first.
it's usually a win boot disk & three system disks, for a total of four dvd's.



Sorry for the delay. I've updated the first post with the partition sizes, if you're still interested. If I can just eliminate 1 partition, I'll be able to resize sda2 and create a new one for LMDE. I'm thinking sda3 is the best bet without having any effect on Windows. I'll just offload it to an old usb 2.0 stick I don't need anymore.

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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby Pierre » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:53 pm

even if you remove both sda3 & sda4 - that will be for a total of ~17Gb,
which is is a bit small - but this depend on what you intend to do with the Mint system.
- you may have to shrink the C: drive - sda2 - back a bit as well.

if you did place the recovery partition - sda3 - back, but in a logical partition,
then the linux installer will detect that & place it into the linux boot menu.
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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby hzclpc » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:32 am

Hi , i'm using a HP laptop , and have been trying to work with linux thru a USB stick . however , each time ( are at least very often ) when i shut down , to local settings should be written to the stick. yet for some reason it overwrites something , or write something bad , it shouldn't , i'm not sure. This causes next boot to fail , and get a panic core dump... then i have to reinstall the USB stick from scratch again ...

For that reason i wanted to install the linux on a partition on the harddisk, next to my WINDOWS7. But .. my pc has already the 4 partitions in use.
In your post below , one stated i can remove the recovery partition , someone else says just the opposite , to absolutely NOT destroy the recover partition , but rather use the HP tools partition , to kill , which the first person stated to make sure you DO NOT kill this , since as it has a bios file on it ...
So i'm a bit lost...
Anyone has any idea why my USB stick seem to fail me very often ?? Would already resolve my worries.

And has someone the correct answer which partition i can delete safely ? Would not want to kill my complete Windows 7..
Thx

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Re: Windows has taken up 4 primary partitions

Postby Linny » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:54 am

I have an HP Mini 110 with Windows 7 Starter 32 bit, and all 4 primary partitions were used. After a bit of scouring the web, I found that the partition that the Windows OS is in does not actually need to be a primary partition. I used Partition Wizard (I think - it was about 2 years ago) to change that partition to an extended partition. My Windows 7 Starter works perfectly fine (for Windows) and I am dual booting to Mint Mate 17.3. I don't know if this will work with Windows 7 Pro. The info that I read did state that this will not work with XP.


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