pantz.org banner
WinXP will not mount multiple partitions on a removable disk
Posted on 02-27-2009 03:02:03 UTC | Updated on 02-27-2009 17:22:02 UTC
Section: /software/windows/ | Permanent Link

I have a 32 Gig Corsair flash drive that I just got. I figured I would make 2 partitions. One for a bootable SystemRescueCD install and the rest of the flash drive for storage. The first partition will be for SystemRescueCD and will be fat32. The second partition will be NTFS. I Partitioned it with fdisk and made both filesystems with mkfs.vfat and mkfs.ntfs. No problems. I put SystemRescueCD on the first partition and it booted fine.

I mount the NTFS partition in linux and write some files to so I can take them to a friends house. She puts it in her windows machine and it mounts the SystemRescueCD partiton. That's it. So I look in disk manager and I can see the second partition and it says "Healthy". I right click and try to assign a drive letter to the partition. Windows XP errors out and says the partition is not "activated" and I have to reboot to activate it. Rebooting does not help. So I have to boot into SystemRescueCD (now I'm glad I had it) and mount up her C drive and my NTFS flash partition so I could copy over the files.

I thought it was me but I find out this is a limitation with Windows XP (not sure about Vista). On the Corsair forum I found a this post by someone with the same problem. People tell him that Windows XP has a limitation with removable disks. It will only recognize the first partition on a removable disk. WHAT KIND OF CRAPPY M$ MOVE IS THAT!! So the "fix" is to flip a bit in the flash drives firmware so it reports to Windows as a fixed disk. Then you can magically assign all partitions drive letters. Problem is Corsair will not give out the software to flip this bit. I will not fault Corsair for Windows XP's shortcomings but a little help would be a nice customer friendly move.

There is a way to hack the windows drive to make it recognize the removable disk as a fixed disk but you would have to do this for every windows machine you visit. That's a bit of a pain. Screwed over my M$ again. This limitation might be old news to most people but for us Linux guys who don't get into the Windows world much it's just something we assume will work with Linux and it does.

The best workaround I have found is to just put the NTFS partition as the first partition and the SystemRescueCD partition as the second partition. Then just install syslinux to the second partition and make sure you set the partition with the bootable flag. See my entry on SystemRescueCD to check out how to do this.

Del.icio.us! | Digg Me! | Reddit!

Related stories


RSS Feed RSS feed logo
About


3com
3ware
alsa
alsactl
alsamixer
amd
android
apache
areca
arm
ati
auditd
awk
badblocks
bash
bind
bios
bonnie
cable
carp
cat5
cdrom
cellphone
centos
chart
chrome
cifs
cisco
cloudera
comcast
commands
comodo
compiz-fusion
corsair
cpufreq
cpufrequtils
cpuspeed
cron
crontab
crossover
cu
cups
cvs
database
dbus
dd
dd_rescue
ddclient
debian
decimal
dhclient
dhcp
diagnostic
diskexplorer
disks
dkim
dns
dos
dovecot
drac
dsniff
dvdauthor
e-mail
echo
editor
emerald
ethernet
expect
ext3
ext4
fat32
fedora
fetchmail
fiber
filesystems
firefox
firewall
flac
flexlm
floppy
flowtools
fonts
format
freebsd
ftp
gdm
gmail
gnome
greasemonkey
greylisting
growisofs
grub
hacking
hadoop
harddrive
hba
hex
hfsc
html
html5
http
https
idl
ie
ilo
intel
ios
iperf
ipmi
iptables
ipv6
irix
javascript
kde
kernel
kickstart
kmail
kprinter
krecord
kubuntu
kvm
lame
ldap
linux
logfile
lp
lpq
lpr
maradns
matlab
memory
mencoder
mhdd
mkinitrd
mkisofs
moinmoin
motherboard
mouse
movemail
mplayer
multitail
mutt
myodbc
mysql
mythtv
nagios
nameserver
netflix
netflow
nginx
nic
ntfs
ntp
nvidia
odbc
openbsd
openntpd
openoffice
openssh
openssl
openvpn
opteron
parted
partimage
patch
perl
pf
pfflowd
pfsync
photorec
php
pop3
pop3s
ports
postfix
power
procmail
proftpd
proxy
pulseaudio
putty
pxe
python
qemu
r-studio
raid
recovery
redhat
router
rpc
rsync
ruby
saltstack
samba
schedule
screen
scsi
seagate
seatools
sed
sendmail
sgi
shell
siw
smtp
snort
solaris
soundcard
sox
spam
spamd
spf
sql
sqlite
squid
srs
ssh
ssh.com
ssl
su
subnet
subversion
sudo
sun
supermicro
switches
symbols
syslinux
syslog
systemrescuecd
t1
tcpip
tcpwrappers
telnet
terminal
testdisk
tftp
thttpd
thunderbird
timezone
ting
tls
tools
tr
trac
tuning
tunnel
ubuntu
unbound
vi
vpn
wget
wiki
windows
windowsxp
wireless
wpa_supplicant
x
xauth
xfree86
xfs
xinearama
xmms
youtube
zdump
zeromq
zic
zlib