Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have 3 Primary/Basic partitions: sda1. Ubuntu 11.10 root drive (40G) sda2. FreeBSD root (20G) sda3. Windows XP root drive(4G)

I have a Logical/Extended Partition sda4 of 234GB, divided into 5 disks (sda6~9).

The Primary Partition#3 [sda3] has only 4G space, which is quite insufficient (I need Windows only for MS Office, and a few odd engineering software; so I wish to use the least possible, but efficient, space for it).

My query is, can I install Windows XP to one of the disks (sda6~9) on the Logical/Extended partition without damaging the Partition table structure and the in ANY of the Primary & Logical partitions/disks?

Partitions Structure: /dev/sda
/dev/sda1   ext4   /       Oneiric-Ocelot       40G`
/dev/sda2   ufs            FreeBSD              20G
/dev/sda3   ntfs           WinXP Pro            4G      #This will be formatted 'ext4' & contents of '/Mix' will come here
/dev/sda4   extended                            234G
    /dev/sda5   ext4    /Docs        Docs              34G
    /dev/sda6   ext4    /Multimedia  Multimedia        186G
    /dev/sda7   unallocated                            2MB
    /dev/sda8   ext4    /Mix         Mix               10G   #XP is to be installed here
    /dev/sda9   linux-swap                             04G`
share|improve this question
I think you might need a professional tool to make it done!, because I have made a big mistake by doing these things by using small apps. I recommend you to install EASEUS Partition Manager on windows and make changes safely . Gparted will do the same, but i haven't tried it.Remember that you are going to convert a logical partition to a primary one! make backups first – Prasad RD Apr 15 '12 at 13:31

Windows can be installed not only on a primary partition but also on a logical partition.Yes windows wont boot if you install it on logical partition.But you have to make it boot through the primary partion which has another version of windows Os.

It is applicable for the users who wants to install windows os on a logical partition with a preinstalled another version of windows os on primary partition.It was done through the software easyBCD.

share|improve this answer

Windows can only be installed on a Primary partition or it won't boot.

share|improve this answer
Yes it can but only if the boot files (MBR) reside on a Primary partition. – Peachy Jul 17 '12 at 1:30
@msPeachy the OS boot record sector and the boot files can be in a primary partition while the rest of Windows is somewhere else? – John S Gruber Aug 12 '12 at 22:19
Yes, according to this, also a friend of mine tried and it did work. – Peachy Aug 13 '12 at 10:26
Sorin, I've done it. An OS can be installed on logical partitions too. Btw, it a very old issue; I later decided to dump Windows completely... And I used 11.10 (later 1.04, 12.10) happily! I use the reqd Windows s/w like Office via PlayOnLinux. – user55050 Nov 18 '12 at 14:04

You can install windows on an extended/logical partition if you already have a spare NTFS primary partition on the same hard disk. The windows installer will install the OS on the chosen extended partition but it needs the NTFS primary partition to install the boot loader.

Once Windows has been installed you can delete the spare NTFS primary partition if you want. But then you will have to install the BCD boot loader to the logical partition on which you installed windows. Use bcdboot after booting into the windows recovery command prompt (using the windows installation CD). Substitute the drive letter as appropriate to your situation and then run the following command...

bcdboot i:\windows /s i:

Where i: is the drive letter assigned by the boot CD to the partition where windows has been installed. Use the windows diskpart command to find out which drive letter is assigned to which volume.

You will now have to configure GRUB2 to boot directly from this partition. Boot into Ubuntu and run the following command...

sudo update-grub

The GRUB2 menu should now list windows as an option.

Note: If you have multiple versions of windows installed on the machine then you should consider using the GRUB2 parttool command in your grub.cfg file to hide the partitions for other OSes during boot time.

parttool (hd0,2) hidden- #Unhide the partition for current OS
parttool (hd0,3) hidden+ #hide the partition for the other OS
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.