Easus Partion Manager & The XP Four Partition Limit.

10:22 AM

Used Easus Partition Manager Home last night. Was unable to employ “Create New Partiton”, so I figured maybe the key was to resize old partion, then do a “Create” on the resulting un-allocated (leftover) space. But, for some strange reason, in both Easus and in Windows “Disk Management” utility, the unallocated space shows, but won’t let me create a new partition out of it! What gives?

10:29 AM

According to this article: Can’t create new partition in unallocated space, Acronis Disk Director (which I am not using) can only have four PARTITIONS. Here is excerpt:

The thing is that you can have only four partitions (primary or extended) on your hard hisk drive. Then you can create logical disks on your extended partition.

Now you have four primary partitions. You should delete one of them and then create an extended partition and create logical disks on it.

So, maybe the solution I am looking for is similar with Easus, as in: maybe it is a “partions per disk” limit that I need to be aware of?

10:41 AM

Create Rescue Boot disks and run partitioner from there. That is some advice I found for problems with “can’t lock C: drive” in Norton Partition Magic 8.

Assuming the problem is partition limits, I searched for “create more than four partitions”. I found the following info for Windows 7, though I feel it may be relevant to my issue with XP:

The “rules” are:

1. Four partitions maximum, period.

2. You can have ‘Primary” and “Extended” type of partitions.

3. An Extended partition can “hold” other partitions. Primary cannot.

4. You have to have “free space” or unused space to create a partition.

(A ‘typical’ configuration could be: 3 Primaries and 1 Extended (holding others)).

The reason for this is because the Master Boot Record on your HDD only has 4 entries in the Partition table, like everybody else.

Each of the 4 entries has the capability to “point” to an executable Boot sector.

The ‘lucky’ entry that gets booted is the one with the ‘Active’ bit set.
Only 1 of the 4 can have an Active bit set.

11:10 AM

So, it appears that the cause of this problem is a limitation built into Windows that only allows creation of 4 partions per physical hard disk. A solution would be to buy another external hard drive and partition it as necessary. Another solution, (not mutually exclusive) is to try to add unallocated space back to partions and simply partition a different hard disk.

When partitioning a large hard drive, it seems wise to make extended partitions as large as possible, because you can partiton the EP into multiple logical drives. 🙂


Date Published: 2009-10-12
Date Updated: 2022-09-04

Eric Hepperle

Eric loves to write code, play guitar, and help businesses solve challenges with code and design.
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