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Best Partition Magic Option to Partition Drive

Posted on 2004-04-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I'm running XP Pro on a Compaq Evo laptop. There is one hard drive, C: (28.6 GB, all NTFS), with 5.75 GB used.  The rest is unused space with no logical partitions. Also, there's a DVD/CD-RW (D:) and two mapped drives: E: maps to my desktop over a network and I: maps to a network drive. My purpose is to describe what I plan to do and to get some expert input before I screw things up. (I'm a statistician, not an IT pro.)

I plan to use Partition Magic Pro 7.0 to install multiple operating systems, managed by BootMagic.  I expect the first primary drive to be a 1 GB FAT partition (C:), for running some legacy programs in DOS 6.2.  Next, a 4 GB FAT32 partition (D:), for running W98 and some older programs.  Next, an extended NTFS partition, including a 13.6 GB primary partition for the current XP Pro and a 10 GB logical partition for data and backup.  That configuration would satisfy the following requirements:
(1) DOS 6.2 within the first 2 GB.
(2) W98 within the first 8 GB and completely within the 1024 cylinder limit.
(3) With DOS and W98 occupying the first 5 GB, the core XP files would be installed at the beginning of the third partition.  So, files needed to boot XP would be within the 8 GB boot limit even though the XP primary partition would extend beyond 1024 cylinders (as it does now).

My sequence is as follows:
(1) Resize my current C: to allow 1 GB free space before (In Partition Magic: Resize>Free Space Before>1000 MB)
(2) Create the 1 GB FAT partition and set it active.
(3) Reboot from the DOS installation diskette and install 6.2.
(4) From DOS, install BootMagic on the FAT partition from the Partition Magic CD (D:\ENGLISH\BTMAGIC\DOS\INSTALL.EXE).

Follow the same sequence for the W98 install.

I'm assuming DOS 6.2 needs to be installed before BootMagic on the FAT partition.  So, at that point, I have two operating systems (DOS 6.2 and XP Pro, but no boot management system. Therefore, I need to boot from a diskette with CD Rom support to install BootMagic from the CD.

Does any of that make sense? I would appreciate any tips that would prevent me from making this more difficult than it needs to be. To the extent that you can speak in operational terms (ie, go to the menu, click on this, then that) rather than broad terms, it would be helpful. My technical expertise is quite limited. Thanks.


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Question by:DocPit
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Callandor earned 500 total points
ID: 10805282
I haven't used Boot Magic, so I can't say how well it works, but I have Partition Magic 8.0, and can say it works well.  However, some have had bad experiences, and in a product this widespread, it would not be surprising that some combinations result in trouble.

You should approach any repartitioning as if something were going to go wrong, just in case something does go wrong, so back up any critical data before you start.  An ounce of prevention here is worth a pound of cure.  Your should save yourself a few steps and create both the DOS and Win98 partitions at the same time, that is, move the XP partition 5GB to start with and then divide that 5GB into the 1GB DOS partition and the 4GB Win98 partition.  Set the 1GB as Active and install DOS 6.2, then set the 4GB as Active and install Win98, and then install BootMagic to control which OS to boot to.
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