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WIN 8 doesn't recognize second, third...etc. partitions

69Rixter

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2018
12
1
16
I "installed" (not live) a Linux O.S. to the second partition of a pendrive. I've since found out WINdows does not recognize second or third partitions on a pendrive. By now, is there some way to work-around this obvious failure of WINdows? The second partition did not have a partition designation, nor could I assign it one. [WIN8--SanDisk 256GB 3.0--1st partition // 200Gb (126 Gb used) primary and active 2nd partition // 33.56Gb (8Gb used -the O.S.) primary, active with flag set to boot.]

Appreciated:

Rick
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
45,459
4,030
126
Please show a screenshot of Disk Management with that drive showing.

Also, what bootloader are you using? Windows (10) bootloader, GRUB or GRUB2, or something else?
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,412
1,370
126
This is isn't an answer to the question, but I tend to use the machine's own ability to select between boot devices to boot different OSes instead of bootloaders, this keeps them segregated and sanitary, and problems with one are much less likely to affect the other(s). Of course this requires a device for each OS, which may not always be possible, but pen drives in particular are pretty cheap.
 

vailr

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,340
48
91
Double-check that each partition in question is assigned a drive letter by Windows. Right-click "This PC" and pick "Manage", then "Disk Management". The Linux partitions may also need to be formatted in a Windows-compatible format, such as exFAT. An exFAT data partition is read/write compatible with Windows, macOS, & Linux. However, Windows cannot boot from an exFAT partition, AFAIK.
 

69Rixter

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2018
12
1
16
Please show a screenshot of Disk Management with that drive showing.

Also, what bootloader are you using? Windows (10) bootloader, GRUB or GRUB2, or something else?
Afternoon VirtualLarry:

It's no longer possible for me to show you(screenshot) the pendrive's structure. I literally gave up and deleted that partition. Such, I cannot answer what bootlloader it was using. The problem persisted to such an extent that I just couldn't get it to boot...even after many/much "help" to do so. I would like to use that drive to install and operate the Linux O.S. for #1. There's plenty of available space to mount the O.S. and #2. the drive is 3.0. I'm not convinced it's necessary to have a 3.0 speed to run the O.S., but doing so just might eliminate other potential problems(?) What I've found is that WIN 8 (subsequently all MSWin O.S.'s do not recognize a second, third ..etc. partition on a pendrive) which was the first and foremost issue. Second was I couldn't assign that second partition a drive designation letter (E,F, G..etc. in MSWin, sdb, sdc in Linux) Folks tried to offer some solutions, but none I tried affected any results. So, what I did next was to "install" (not live) onto a 32Gb 2.0 pendrive. The results of that were disasterous. After the third session (boot up) the entire program crashed beyond repair. So, I did a re-install, and that resulted in extreme lag and freezes ??? Thus why I gave up. I know that what I want to accomplish is possible. Some others have even stated they are doing the very same thing, but for whatever it is, I'm not able to do so. Awhile ago, I used to run LinuxMint 17.3X from a pendrive and it performed well...thus WHY I feel I can do the same w/ LM 19.1x. Some have suggest running Knoppix, as it is supposed to be better suited for a pendrive(??) As with all "issues" concerning Linux, the answer will be simple..it's finding that answer that drives one crazy.
Thank You for responding!!

RE: vailr


"The Linux partitions may also need to be formatted in a Windows-compatible format, such as exFAT. An exFAT data partition is read/write compatible with Windows, macOS, & Linux. However, Windows cannot boot from an exFAT partition, AFAIK." That is completely contradictory. I'm sure you didn't mean that!!

RE: crashtech

I mean no offense, but just what is it your trying to say?
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,412
1,370
126
Well, maybe I ought to seek clarification from you first on why Linux was installed on the secondary partition of a USB stick in the first place, and why that data would need to be accessed from Windows.

After a closer reading of your most recent post, I suppose I'll need to install Mint 19 to a USB stick to see if the installation GUI gives the option to manually partition the drive or not. It seems to me that this part might be automated now, but there should be a way to intervene at the right point. Installing the OS on the first partition and making that partition exFAT should give you what you want.
 

69Rixter

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2018
12
1
16
RE: crashtech

Your response led me to the realization of glaring omissions in my initial thread. Let's back up and start from the beginning. To start: I intend to install (not live) LinuxMint 19.1XFCE onto the second partition of a 256Gb 3.0 pendrive. Reason for the second partition; - 1st partition is/has aprox. 126Gb of files already on it. Using the 3.0 drive, I've been told, would "optimize" the O.S's performance.(?) --not so sure about that)??? The first partition is file sys. NTFS, primary and active. Second partition was .ext4, active and primary w/ flag set to "boot". Obviously, but not most important(IMO) is, MSWin 8(main O.S. on HDD) or any MSWin O.S. does not recognize a second. third, .etc. partition of a pendrive. The second, and IMO, the foremost was, the second partition did not have a drive letter designation, nor could I assign it one. I do have a few folks seeking a work-around for the "MSWin does not recognize second partition". Third: MSWin does not recognize an .ext format! Now, what I've done...and subsequently failed at; Getting that second partition to boot up. There must be some way to get it to boot, irregardless of and independent of MSWin(?) Some have suggested I do the install to the first partition, YES, that makes sense, but would require my "moving" 126Gb's of data to another storage, re-partitioning the drive, then putting the files back on the second partition, and to which I'd have the same problem...MSWin recognizing a second partition. So, I think you can see why I don't feel "moving" the 126Gb's is the correct procedure. To answer this; "I suppose I'll need to install Mint 19 to a USB stick to see if the installation GUI gives the option to manually partition the drive or not" --the answer is YES, in the process of the install, there is an option for "something else" within which the ability to manipulate the partition(or pendrive) is presented. And you are correct, it is automated and converts the file system to .ext4(Unix/Linux). Forgive me if I'm wrong...but I don't believe linux/unix will operate from a exFat file sys. Oh, and just to "cut-you-off-at-the-pass" so to speak...full install is not the same as an install from say Rufus, Pendrivelinux, Multibootin...etc; those programs can only perform a "live" install. A full install is running the O.S. to it's full potential, just as if it were on an HDD/SSD. A live install makes a bootable image of an .iso and the O.S. is restricted from it's full potential... a "live" version is for "testing" the O.S. I hope I explained that to your understanding.(?)
Well, I've read this over a few x's and I believe I've said what I want to and what info I believe you need to understand what I'm trying to accomplish.(???) I would appreciate any advice/help/direction you may be able to offer.

THANX
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
45,459
4,030
126
There must be some way to get it to boot, irregardless of and independent of MSWin(?)
That's why I asked which boot-loader that you were using. Setting a partition "active" and "boot" are just flags to a boot-loader, those flags themselves DO NOT BOOT a partitiion.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
45,459
4,030
126
I never insinuated they did
Well, you seem to be very confused. First of all, if you create a multi-partite pendrive, with a NTFS primary partition, and an EXT2/3/4 second primary partition, and plug it into a Windows 7/8/10 PC, it will only "see" the first partition, because Windows doesn't understand and interpret Linux filesystems. Not anything to do with your partitioning.

Secondly, if you want to boot Linux, in a secondary primary partition, most BIOS/UEFI implementations, will only boot the first primary partition on a pendrive. So you'll need to load a Linux-compatible bootloader into the first primary partition's first sector, (such as GRUB/GRUB2), and then it can boot the second primarily partition, when properly configured.

I admit, this stuff is NOT simple, and some of it is a bit anachronistic, from the beginning of the PC era. I wouldn't expect most users to know this stuff.

I actually had forgotten that Linux could be installed to an ExFAT partition, that gives me some ideas. Just format the whole thing ExFat, and install GRUB, and boot Linux off of the primary partition, and you could, in theory, still use it to store files on when plugged into a Windows OS PC.
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,412
1,370
126
@69Rixter , Now that you've explained yourself more fully, I don't think I know how to help you off the top of my head. If it was my problem to solve, I'd probably just get another smaller USB drive to act as the OS drive. That would entail some expense, but simplify things drastically.
 

69Rixter

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2018
12
1
16
RE: crashtech OK... NP and I apologize for omitting some of that pertinent info. Tried the smaller pendrive...MAJOR problems w/ it. Maybe(?) because it was 2.0...but I recall running LM 17.2, long ago, off a 2.0 and it worked well. (???) So, what's to be said there....IDK???

RE: VirtualLarry: Not confused at all. I never stated nor insinuated the parameters of booting were just to set flags! I stated the flag was set to "boot" because someone asked me if the flag was set to boot and I thought that would defer some needless questions. Now, trying to use exFat might/could be a solution if only I could get the "installer" to leave the partition file system alone. When a Linux "installer" performs, the "installer" formats the file system to ext4. Seems I'd have to put GRUB in a partition of it's own? And wouldn't that take me right back to square 1? And again, this presents some more questions about how the first partition would "defer" the boot parameters on to the second partition. And when I accomplish that, then how am I to access the first partition? This dilemma needs to be thought through. I had others state that they are doing what I want to (I just wonder if the O.S.. is, like mine, on the second partition) but none-the-less...what I need to accomplish is (or so I think) directly involving GRUB (not sure which). It is agreed that most all my problems would be solved were the O.S. on the first partition. To do that, I'd have to move an awful lot of data, re-partition the pendrive, install O.S. on #1, then put data back on #2 and then, right back to square one, "how would I access that second partition?" The links below are a little clarification as to what MSWin does concerning a "second" partition on a pendrive. There is also some thought on getting that second partition to accept a "drive" letter designation...think that's rather paramount...wouldn't you agree? So many 'disk manipulators" "claim" to be able to do this....if I thought it was worth $35 or more...which it's NOT. As when working w/ Linux, I've always found "solutions" to be very simple....it's just finding those solutions that tend to drive one crazy(er).

https://superuser.com/questions/400560/windows-7-doesnt-recognize-second-partition-on-removable-disk
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/cant-access-2nd-partition-on-external-usb-drive.1089867/
 

vailr

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,340
48
91
A much speedier solution: instead of booting from a USB 3 thumb drive, use a normal 2.5" SATA SSD connected via a USB 3 adapter cable.
The SATA-to-USB 3 adapter cable can be found on Amazon or eBay: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HJZJI84
Windows can be made bootable (using a free 3rd-party software such as Rufus or Aomei Partition Assistant) from such an external drive, as a "Windows to Go" installation.
A bootable Linux partition could also work in a similar way, but ideally you'd want to have only one operating system per physical SSD.
 

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