Q. Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
I originally set up my hard drive with Boot Manager as the second
(Partitions 1 and 3, plus Boot Manager, are primary partitions; the 4th
partition is an Extended partition, and I do have some logical partitions
I put OS/2 on the first primary partition.)
Recently I was "playing", and I used Partition Magic to delete Boot
Manager, then move the first primary partition up a little bit, and recreate
Boot Manager so it was first on the drive.
However, and here's the scary part, even though Partition Magic
continues to show me that the first partition is Boot Manager and the second
partition is my OS/2 partition, when I run FDISK I am shown a list of
partitions with my OS/2 partition still first and my Boot Manager partition
Have I scrambled something on my hard drive?
Nothing is scrambled.
Both programs are correctly reporting what's on your hard drive.
That's because they're showing you two different things.
Partition Magic is showing you how the partitions are physically laid out on
Their graphic display of your partition layout is correct.
FDISK, however, doesn't show you how your partitions are physically
laid out on the drive.
Instead, it shows you the "partition table" that is at the beginning of
your hard drive.
Two of the partition table entries are simply reversed.
That's why, when you first start FDISK, you don't see the logical
partitions inside the extended partition as you do with Partition Magic.
The partition table at the beginning of the drive is what FDISK first shows,
and that table only has four entries.
Your extended partition is one of those four, but the extended
partition's logical partitions are in a separate table elsewhere on the
drive (in, quite logically, the very beginning of the extended partition).
What happened on your drive is this: Originally, the partition table had
your OS/2 partition information in the first of the four entries and your
Boot Manager partition information in the second entry.
When you used Partition Magic to delete Boot Manager (the second partition),
the second table entry was zeroed out but the first entry remained.
You then used Partition Magic to move the OS/2 partition so space was freed at
the very beginning of the drive, and after the move was completed the first
table entry was automatically updated to point to the new location.
At this point the OS/2 partition was still in the first entry and the
second entry was still zero.
Next you recreated the Boot Manager partition in the free space at the very
beginning of the drive and, since the first entry in the partition table was
already taken, the second table entry was set to point to the Boot Manager
Thus, the first table entry was then pointing to the second partition and the
second table entry was pointing to the first partition.
If either FDISK or Partition Magic had sorted and rewritten the four-entry
partition table, what you saw in FDISK would match what you saw in Partition
Since neither of them can do so, the table isn't in the same sequence as
The entries don't have to be in sequence, however, so your system is
Curious or in doubt, ask Mr. Know-It-All.
He gets email at MrKIA@SCOUG.COM.
Mr. Know-It-All lives in Southern California.
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