Windows 7 disk partitioning annoyance

Today I made an attempt to dual-boot Windows 7 and BackTrack 5 R3 on a single hard disk drive (HDD), but on a computer with two internal HDDs. From the BIOS setup utility, the first drive is a 200 GB Maxtor HDD, while the second is a 250 GB Samsung HDD.

The HDDs did not contain any data I wanted to keep, but the goal was to install both operating systems on the first disk /dev/sda, with Windows 7 installed first and BackTrack 5 R3 alongside it. I’ve done this a zillion times, so this was nothing new.

However, the manner that the Windows 7 installer created its partitions was both new and annoying at the same time. Normally, when the installer is assigned a disk or disk partition to use, it creates two partitions. The first is typically a 100 MB System Reserved partition, while the second is the data partition, also known as the C drive. In all the Windows 7 installation that I have done, the System Reserved partition has always been the first partition, followed by the C drive.

In the installation attempt that provided material for this article, the installer did something completely different: It created the data partition on one drive, then the System Reserved on the second drive, In the screen shot below, which was taken from inside Windows after the installation, you can see the location of the C and System Reserved partitions. The C is on the first disk, while the System Reserved partition is on the second.
Windows 7 Partitions

Just to make sure that I was not seeing things upside down, I looked at the disks from BackTrack’s installer. The picture is not clear from this screen shot, but you can see the System Reserved partition smack in the middle of sda, in the green bar.
Linux Partition Methods

The situation is a bit clearer from BackTrack’s Advanced Partitioning Tool’s window. The System Reserved Partition is sda3 on the first HDD, while the data partition is the first one on the second HDD. Now, why would Windows be doing stuff like this? To not have to face this again, at least on this machine, my only choice is to disconnect the SATA cable from one HDD.
Linux Partition Manual

Related Posts

Qt + Box2D is easy! Box2D is an Open Source rigid body 2D physics engine for C++. It’s currently (2.0.1) released under the MIT license, which is quite permissive. Box2D ...
2 cool reasons to use the K Desktop Environment You can always find a reason or two to like or not like something, and frequently, the reason you like one thing is exactly why the next guy does not....
Configure LVM in Foresight Linux Foresight is a Linux distribution built around the Conary package management system, with Gnome as the default desktop environment. Like most Linux di...
How to make Fedora 17 more user-friendly with easyLife Because of the philosophical stance of the Fedora project's team, a default installation of Fedora 17 requires a lot more tweaking than other distribu...
Mandriva Linux 2009 Titbits Mandriva Linux 2009 was recently released to the public. Here we provide some titbits from Mandriva One, one of the free editions of Mandriva Linux 20...
Multiboot Linux distributions from one USB key Running a Linux distribution from a USB flash drive or USB key is now a common practice, but running more than one on the same USB key would be really...

We Recommend These Vendors

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *