number of primary partitions allowed in Win2k3?

number of primary partitions allowed in Win2k3?

Post by rroat » Sun, 02 Nov 2003 11:25:37


Much to my dismay, I found that I already had 4 primary
partitions installed on my Win2k3 Server, with 73 gbs. of
unallocated free space. Nevertheless, I decided to see
what error message I would receive when I created a 5th
primary partition out of the remaining free space. Much
to my surprise, no error occurred. Has something changed-
can I have more than 4 basic primary partitions in
Win2k3? Thanks for your help!
 
 
 

number of primary partitions allowed in Win2k3?

Post by Matthew Mu » Sun, 02 Nov 2003 22:18:42

You must be using dynamic disks.

The 4 primary partition limit is a result of the structure of the master
boot record (MBR) that was developed back when the IBM PC was brand new.
It's not specific to any operating system, it's inherent in the x86
architecture.

Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 have the ability to use Dynamic Disks, where
partition (we call them "volumes" now) information is stored not in the MBR,
but in a special database at the end of the disk. The operating system puts
a "bogus entry" in the MBR to fool the BIOS into booting the computer, but
actually uses the LDM database to manage volumes.

I'm not aware of any limitation on the number of volumes supported by a
dynamic disk.

-Matt