Partition Problems

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Thread Starter
Oct 25, 2007
Hi all, thanks to the owner for supplying a nice free tech support site.

Under normal circumstances, I'd never have to ask a question like this but today, I'm having a horrible day as it is, and now this is just making things worse. For once with a computer, I am baffled.

My problem:

I am using a 320GB SATA hard drive, partitioned for use in a Dual-Boot environment. I have installed XP to the first partition (primary) and Vista Ultimate to the second partition (also primary.) During the setup process, I did not allocate the rest of the hard drive, because I was intending to use Norton Parititon Magic 8.0 as always.

I successfully installed both operating systems, and they both work flawlessly and are currently updated. (That made me happy, I tried multiple times with boot issues.)

I went into XP, installed Partition Magic, and went to create two more partitions on the remaining unallocated space, one for x86 XP and one for x64 Vista, so I could install the same programs for both O/S's, yet have them on seperate partitions. (I refrain from installing programs, etc, to the same partition for performances sake, even though Microsoft claims otherwise).

Norton Partition Magic claims that the entire SATA drive is "BAD", and supplies me with no information, nor does it show the two partitions + the remaining allocated space. I have never had this problem before, and never heard of it elsewhere.

Since my intentions of using Partition Magic have failed, the last straw is to use XP Disk Management (In the management console, obviously in XP.)

This shows the the correct information, two primary partitions, and the remainder of the drive as uncallocated space. I want to create two partitions on this unallocated space, however it will not allow me to do so. I can create a third primary partition, and one extended, however it will not let me create two logical drives. There is 220 GB (approximate) that I want on two seperate partitions. It won't let me do this.

My questions are as follows.

1.) May be more appropriate for Norton Partition Magic/Software related, but I am posting here since it's all in one group anyways. Why, in the name of God is it showing that my partition is BAD when it is perfectly normal in MMC? On installation of PM8.0, it said that the Partition Table is bad, and gave me the option to correct the problem. I clicked fix, and it said successful. However there was no change in PM8.0, it still showed that entire drive as "BAD". Is this a hardware or software specific issue? Any ideas on how to fix this (so I can use partition magic instead of MMC to manage my partitions) would be greatly appreciated.

2.) The bootsectors on both primary partitions (for XP and Vista) load fine at boot, and have not detected any problems thus far. Are there any concerns I should be made aware of when using Vista & XP on the SAME HARD DRIVE? Are partitions acceptable? If not, would be be wise of me to install Vista to completely different hard drive, and will this show up at boot, so I could decide which OS to boot into?

3.) Vista's MMC also shows the exact same data. But neither XP or Vista's management console supplies me with the tools I need to resize (yet maintain data) for any partitions. Is there something I am missing in XP (preferred operating system for doing this sort of thing, because I'm used to it) management console, that would allow me to resize my partitions?

I am sorry if this is posted in the incorrect forum, but granted what forums are available, I thought that this would be the most appropriate one to post this in, as I am intending to manage all partitions using XP (And Norton Partition Magic), and will refrain from doing this work through Vista. However, I am very open to solutions here.

My main goal is to restore functionality to Norton Partition Magic. It's the program I have always used, and would prefer not to use another program as I know this one works perfectly fine for what I want to do.

On a side note, I previously installed both operating systems, but it would not supply me with the loader to choose which Operating System. I had XP installed, and then created a partition using Norton, and installed Vista just fine. There was a problem however, I could not choose to boot into Vista, unless I had the Vista DVD in the drive (but did NOT boot from it), where it would give me the option, and both OS's booted perfectly fine. I ended up messing something up, and had to completely reformat the entire drive, and delete all partitions. I created the XP partition in XP setup, obviously, and when installing Vista, I installed vista on a second partition, made using Vista's GUI during install. I did not create any other partitions, hence why the unallocated space is present.

A thought? Could I use Vista's version of FDISK/partition manager by booting from Vista's DVD, and create two more partitions there?

CHKDSK reports NO errors of any kind on either of the partitions.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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