I have a Toshiba laptop, running Vista Home Premium SP2 with AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor, 1 gb ram & 150 gb HDD. I just shrunk the c: drive down to 92 gb to free up 43.5 gb so as to load the Fedora Linux OS into this free space & have a dual-boot configur'n.

My problem is the partition table in the MBR. It shows 4 partitions there, so the fedora Live CD which I use to install the OS cannot find a free spot in the partition table.

I have the Ultimate Boot CD so I took a look at the MBR. Here are the 4 partitions that occupies its table:

1. (no drive letter) - file system: blank - EISA config'n - 1.46 gb - partition type code: x27
2. C: - fs: ntfs - system, boot, active, primary partition - 92.01 gb - code: x07
3. D: - fs: ntfs - primary - 5.98 gb - code: x07
4. (no drive letter) - fs: blank - primary - 5.64 gb - code: x17

c: is 17% free, d: is 99% free, the other two are 100% free

Can you explain what is the purpose of D: ? How about the other two (with no drive letter)? I read somewhere that 'x17' code means 'hidden IFS (ex: HPFS)' & 'x27' means a rescue partition... true?

Would I be safe in replacing the partition table entry for #1, 3 or 4 with an entry for my Linux? (I have an editor that could modify the MBR). Or would it be better to leave MBR alone, put a boot program on a CD or USB stick, which boots Linux from the unallocated 'partition'? (have to somehow manually install Linux to the 43.5 gb area that I freed up).

I would like vista to be the default & main OS that boots up.

well ...
i just started using linux, and i installed Red-Hat, but i dnt think that there and big difference between fedora and Red-Hat in the set up (but they give you the same functionality).

when installing a linux OS, u need 3 things when it comes to the HDD
1. /boot
2. swap
3. /

swap is normally the amount of your RAM or double it.

and '/' (no. 3) should take up the rest of the HDD partition space.

linux doesnt use the ntfs file system, it uses ext4/ext3/ext2 (normally ext3).

you should make a partition with the ext partition then within that partition do the 3 steps above....after that, you can specify which OS is the default OS to be booted.

im not sure if this is what you were asking for, if it wasnt then please explain in more detail...
hope i solved ur problem (if so, mark as solved)

Thanks for the reply. I will use those 3 linux part'ns u mentioned.

The problem I still have is that I have the 4 part'ns I listed (which windows tells me are all primary - sorry, forgot to mention all 4 are primary)... & since only 4 are allowed, I need to make one of them an extended part'n, so as to fit linux. (I have 43.5 gb of 'unallocated' space, which I plan to use for linux).

I was wondering what those 4 part'ns are for? (#2 - C: drive - I know, is for windows & my programs & data, #3 - D: drive - is likely for system recovery?, but what about the other 2?). Can I change one of them to code x05 (extended part'n) without messing things up?

what you could do is open disk management and assign letters to the drive.

the EISA drive is used for a diagnostics tool at boot-up (but usually its small in size and used with dell) but i suppose toshiba have some other purpose for it.

if i had that, i'd delete that partition, since as long as the problem is got to do with software, it can be fixed. and if you know how to fix it, then delete that partition, other wise, leave it.
but if its 100% free, then delete it, and make it unallocated

the other no-lettered drive is useless. since all it says is 'blank, primary'
so u can delete that too.
and join it with the 1st non-lettered drive + the 45.3 GB u freed.

make the partitions when installing linux
(and make sure all linux partitions, the 3 steps above, are all within the same extended drive.)

whats important is the C: since it has the system files. i dnt think it'll get messed up since the win OS loader is in the bootstrap loader. so deleting any other partitions shouldnt effect the win OS.

hope i helped this time ...

ok, i understand.

as long as i know those partitions are useless, i will delete them & merge them with the 43.5 gb unalloc. space (& allow linux to set up its new part'ns).

thanks for your help.


remember to mark as solved!