Partitioning

I have learned more about Windows 7 than I expected. I saw posts saying that it would only install on a GPT (GUID) partition table, not MBR as previous versions. That turns out to be wrong. There are two cases:

  1. If a computer has a BIOS, Windows 7 will only work with an MBR partition table.
  2. If a computer has EFI (like an Intel Mac and many MSI products), Windows 7 will only work with GPT.

If I had known the above, I would have bought an MSI motherboard and not an Asus for my Core i7 computer. It would have saved me a lot of time formatting and installing and reinstalling. For troubleshooting reasons, it would be best if I could have both partition tables at once on the drive at the same time, especially since my new computer will only boot from MBR.

It is actually very unfortunate – MBR only supports drives up to 2TB in size. My newest drive is already 1.3 something TB (advertised as 1.5), so pretty soon I will not be able to take advantage of all the space on new drives.

Anyhow, I saw posts online saying that if you had a Mac, it would install both partition tables on the drive. I hooked up the 1.5TB drive to a SATA-to-USB adapter, then hooked that up to my Mac Mini. Disk Utility did not create such a dual partition table. Those people wrongly assumed that just because an internal Mac drive with Boot Camp installed will have a dual partition table, all Mac formatted drives will.

Eventually, I was able to overcome this problem. On the Mac, as a superuser, I can run fdisk –e /dev/rdiskX (X being the number of the drive in question). By setting one of the partitions as bootable, it forces fdisk to mirror what is already in the GPT table.

With that, I can finally install the software I want on my computer!

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