I have just bought a new laptop (Packard Bell EasyNote TM 87) which has Windows 7 preinstalled. There are already two partitions labelled PQSERVICE, SYSTEM RESERVED and Packard Bell C:. I cannot remove this Windows installation because I don't have a copy of the Windows-only recovery DVDs.

I want to tri-boot Windows, Ubuntu, and SUSE. First, I created an extended partition using gparted with two partitions and was left with some unallocated space. I installed Ubuntu in the extended partition by creating / and /home logical partitions. Now I want to install SUSE in the unallocated space. The SUSE 11.3 live CD does not list that unallocated space. What should I do?


You can have a maximum of four non-logical partitions (non-logical meaning primary or extended). Also most tools only support one extended partition.

Linux doesn't care if it's on logical or primary partitions. I think your best bet is to resize that extended partition so that it covers everything except the Windows partition and the PQSERVICE partition. Gparted can do this without affecting the logical partitions that are already there.

If my answer doesn't help, boot a Linux live CD and report the output of fdisk -l (type this command in a terminal, and if at all possible copy-paste the output).

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  • Ok, I want to try your suggestion. So that would imply I will end up with two /home the extended partition because I already have a /home for ubuntu and i will need another one for suse. Is this possible? – Vaolter Jan 10 '11 at 21:32
  • @Vaolter: You can have separate homes, or share them. You just have to tell the installation program what you want (create a home partition for Ubuntu, or mount an existing partition). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jan 10 '11 at 21:42
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    Note that these partition types and limits only apply to MBR (traditional PC/MSDOS) partitioning. Newer systems (like Windows 7 and all Linux distros) should be able to use GPT partitioning just fine. NTLDR, LILO, Grub Legacy (0.9x) may be problematic, but winload and Grub 2 (1.9x) should be okay. – ephemient Jan 10 '11 at 23:56

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