Understanding MultiBooting
and Booting Windows from an Extended Partition

by Dan Goodell
Introduction Partitions The MBR Principles Tools Imaging Restoring Partition Table Win98 LBA Boot.ini Partition Sigs Boot Mgr Appendix
Putting Everything in Its Place

We left DOS in a primary partition at the front of the disk and we have DriveImage backups of Win98, Win2000, and WinXP on one of the logical partitions. It's time to restore the backups to where we want them.

Use PartitionMagic to remove the hidden placeholder partition we had in the middle, then reallocate and resize the hard drive space to our desired final sizes. The example shown here makes liberal use of PartitionMagic's abilities to delete, create, and resize both primary and logical partitions--even stretching the extended partition. The file system formats of the new partitions are unimportant, so choose any format and concentrate just on the partition sizes. DriveImage will actually have to destroy each partition later in order to restore one of the images in its place, so we're only creating the partitions now to serve as interim placeholders to fix the partition sizes we eventually want to end up with.

Next use DriveImage to restore the images to their final destinations. Delete each interim placeholder partition one at a time, replacing each with one of the OS images. DriveImage will notice that the originals were of a primary partition and not necessarily the same size as the target space, but let DriveImage convert primary to extended-logical or expand to fill the target space, as necessary.

Note the file system formats are restored with the images--that's why it didn't matter what file system we chose for the interim placeholders. Once all the interim partitions have been replaced with restored images, we're ready for the boot manager. Since the boot manager will control which partitions are hidden, it doesn't really matter at this point whether we adjust hidden/visible status with PartitionMagic.

Although we can proceed to installing the boot manager now, we may need to make a few tweaks to some of the OS's to make sure they'll boot properly.

author: Dan Goodell, ©2003