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Raw partition being viewed as raw disk

Posted on 2009-06-30
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I've a IDE disk with 2 NTFS partitions (type 7) and 1 Unformatted created by Linux fdisk (type 83), physically located between them. On VMware Workstation 6.5.2 for windows I want to use that partition in raw mode. But the guest OS installers (windows and linux) say the disk is my whole IDE disk in size, with all my partitions, as if I've selected the whole disk. But the properties window displays only the Linux partition checked.

Could it be possible that the original disk MBR was copied at the beginning of the partition? If I restore the MBR in the guest will I corrupt the original MBR, or that will correct the problem?
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Question by:ranit8
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by:ryder0707
ryder0707 earned 30 total points
ID: 24752118
Before doing anything i suggest to backup your valuable data
but the answer to your question is yes, it could corrupt your mbr and partition table will be lost
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by:dnilson
dnilson earned 70 total points
ID: 24768745
need more info on the underlying hardware syste.
Is the disk a SATA in ATA or AHCI mode?
Are we talking about the physical host machine (IDE) or a virtual guest (restore the MBR in the guest)?
What virtualization software are you using and identify the "guest installers).

It sounds like a driver issue if we are discusing the host, and possibley a conversion issue if its a guest.
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by:ranit8
ID: 24775197
I've tried Windows XP and later GParted LiveCD. The host and guest interfaces are IDE. Here is the VMDK file. How does that extent description section with lines starting RW work?

# Disk DescriptorFile
version=1
encoding="windows-1252"
CID=12588458
parentCID=ffffffff
createType="partitionedDevice"
 
# Extent description
RW 63 FLAT "MS-DOS (XPsp3 boot disc)-0-pt.vmdk" 0
RW 33554433 ZERO 
RW 17606095 FLAT "\\.\PhysicalDrive0" 33554496
RW 183308084 ZERO 
RW 24381 ZERO 
 
# The Disk Data Base 
#DDB
 
ddb.virtualHWVersion = "7"
ddb.uuid = "60 00 C2 92 2c eb 84 04-02 b3 ed dc 30 e4 1c ca"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "16383"
ddb.geometry.heads = "16"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.geometry.biosCylinders = "1024"
ddb.geometry.biosHeads = "255"
ddb.geometry.biosSectors = "63"
ddb.adapterType = "ide"

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ranit8 earned 0 total points
ID: 24823348
I found it is working as it's supposed to do. I couldnt understand that both modes (entire device, selected partitions) show the whole disk to the guest. The partitions mode just prevent guest access to non-selected partitions.
I was trying to use a partition the same way one uses a preallocated virtual disk file. That is impossible.
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