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RE: Trouble booting from a large USB hard drive

From: Daniel Richard G.
Subject: RE: Trouble booting from a large USB hard drive
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 21:10:03 -0500

Grégoire Sutre wrote:
> > Knowing that Windows would only mount the
> > first partition when the drive was plugged in
> Does this only apply to external hard drives?

Windows treats removable and fixed drives (as distinguished by what is called 
the "removable media bit") differently, the difference being that it will 
mount all the partitions of a fixed disk (presuming they are of a compatible 
partition type and filesystem), whereas for a removable disk, it will mount 
only the first one and ignore all the others. I've seen Windows tools out 
there that can flip the removable-media bit on a USB drive, with the raison 
d'etre of allowing users to work with multiple partitions on same.

(Note: For the purposes of this discussion, Windows "mounting a partition" 
means "an icon for it appears in My Computer when I plug the disk in")

> I've always put Linux as
> my first partition on my single hard drive without any
> problem (now it's
> with XP, but AFAIR also with 98SE before).  I mean
> first partition both
> ``logically'' and ``physically'', e.g. what I have now
> is:

That's a different scenario, that of Windows "skipping over" partitions that 
it doesn't know about to get to those that it does. I don't know anything 
about that---I thought Windows just gave up at the first non-Windows partition 
it encounters, because that would be such a Windows-y thing for it to do :-]


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