Ranish Partition Manager
Version 2.40.00
February 08, 2001

revised Dennis G German 3/5/05 DGerman@Real-World-Systems.com

ranish akd partman is a stand-alone disk partition editor.
Booted from a floppy or CD partman provides both command line and dynamic screen modes.

After booting an operating system like DOS to a command line prompt use:

After booting from a floppy created by part or a CD like SystemRescueCD, you will be presented with the dynamic screen.

All changes are in memory and will not be written to the disk until you press [F2]. or ar prompted to save and you say yes

 Ranish Partition Manager   Version 2.4.00            February 08,2001

Hard Disk    1   6,173 Mbytes  [      787 cylinders  x 255 heads   x 63 sectors ]
Using LBA
               File                Starting        Ending           Partition
# type Row  System Type         Cyl Head Sect    Cyl Head Sect      Size [KB]

0 MBR   Master Boot Record        0     0    1     0     0     1            0
1 Pri   Unused                    0     0    2   
2 Pri  >Windows FAT-32            0     0    2   
3 Pri   Unused                    0     0    2   
4 Pri   Unused                    0     0    2   
5 Pri   Unused                    0     0    2   
6 Pri   Unused                    0     0    2   
7 Pri   Unused                    0     0    2   
     B - Boot flag on/off      
     Enter - Start wizard   INS - select file system  DEL - clear record
# Parition  Size| Volume label:             Starting:
1 FAT-32   2,852|    System id:            Drive Num:           0
2 Unused       0|  File system:         Minimun size:
3 Unused       0| Cluster Size:       Partition Size:
4 Unused       0|     Fat Size:         Maximun size:
 ==F1 Help ========F2 Save = F3 Undo = F4 Mode = F5 Disk ========= ESC Quit ==== 
arrow keys, [End], [Home], [PgUp], [PgDn], and [Tab] move around the table.
[INS] Set file system type. Displays the list of known partitions .
Use first characters of file system name for quick search or
press[INS] again to enter hexadecimal code.
B toggles Boot flag, i.e active partition (marked with >)
[DEL] Clears record in the table
[F3] Undo. Rereads all partition information from the disk.
[F2] Saves partition table to the disk.
(CAUTION: point of no return)
If some of the records are invalid a popup will warn you.
Press [ESC] and fix all errors before saving.
[ENTER] invokes specific functions for each file system.
[F4] Change display modes between
Cylinder Head Sector (CHS) mode and
Logical Block Addressing (LBA) mode.
[F5] next disk.
[F1] additional options:
V Verifies partition or unused space for bad (unreadable) sectors.
Lists location of the first nine bad sectors and exits.

If you verified entire disk and there are no bad sectors, use Quick Format option to format partitions.

F Formats FAT-16 and FAT-32 partitions. see version 2.44
S / L Save / Load MBR - See version 2.44
C Copy partition to another partition or disk
D Duplicate entire disk to another disk
E ERASE partition
A Install Partition Manager to floppy, A:
Boot it without any operating system and go directly into Partition Manager.
Otherwise, you could have DOS/Windows installed on a floppy and boot it and load Partition Manager (bypassing OS) only if [Ctrl] key is pressed.

Put Partition Manager on the first NT 4.0 setup floppy.
By default it boots NT Setup, press and hold [Ctrl] while booting goes directly to Partition Manager screen.

X toggles Primary/Logical
H Hide / Unhide - changes file system type for FAT partitions and NTFS. ??
(toggles the x'1000' in the file system type,
ex: 0B is FAT-32, 1B is hidded-FAT-32)

Create a new partition

  1. move the cursor to the unused slot,
  2. press [INS]
  3. select partition type (i.e. FAT-32).
  4. change ending or (careful) starting cylinders.
  5. save partition table ([F2]),
  6. Verify and Format the partition or use the Operating System utilities.

Write a Master Boot Record

IPL (Initial Program Loader - executable code in the MBR) is what the system executes after the POST (Power On Self Test) or after RESET.

Position the cursor on the MBR type and press [enter]
Press [space] to choose the IPL you'd like.

To use "Text 25x80" or "GUI" boot menu, create a small (couple of megs) partition for the Boot Manager (type 0xF0), located anywhere on the disk. It can be primary partition or a logical disk inside the extended partition. The boot manager will be written to this partition.

Options for Compact Boot Manager

when system is reset and compact boot manager was installed it displays:

"Booting HD1/3 ..."

If an error is detected loading boot sector, i.e. not a bootable partition [ERROR !]

Choosing a specific HD/Partion causes boot manager to save your selection to MBR, changing the defult for subsequent boots.
(If your BIOS has boot sector write protection it will give you warning)

After installing boot manager's IPL, change boot sequence in BIOS start to boot from hard disk first, NOT the floppy. This prevents accidental booting from an infected floppy.
To boot from floppy press A, at the boot manager's prompt.

All other keys will cause boot manager to load OS and let that OS interpret that key. For example, you can press [F8] or [F4] when booting Windows 95 to have it display its boot menu [F8] or load previous version of MS-DOS [F4]). Default boot choice - this option lets you specify the partition that you want boot manager to boot by default no matter what the user have selected last time. For example, if your kids play on your computer you may set it to Windows 95, then if you are not home it will always boot Windows 95, even though last time you chose to boot from the Linux partition. Boot Manager's timeout - specifies how much time boot manager will wait before it gives control to the operating system on the displayed partition.

Text 25x80 boot manager interface

|                                       |
|  Boot Menu                            |
|                                       |
|  1  Disk 1 / Windows FAT-32           |
|                                       |
|  ESC - Boot .....*****************    |

Check for boot viruses

Check interrupt vectors 00 to 1C (Keyboard, Timer, Disk, ... ) and 4A and 70 (Alarm and Real-Time Clock) for the valid adddress pointing to BIOS. If any of them point below BIOS memory to the conventional RAM the IPL will show warning

" Virus! _"

and waits.
This gives you a chance to run an antivirus program from a clean floppy or CD. (Some old SCSI adapters place their code on top of conventional memory and point disk interrupt vector to it which is incorrectly detected as a virus. )

FAT file systems

Installing NT to partitions above 2G from the beginning of disk.
  1. Prepare empty space or primary FAT-16 partition for NT.
  2. Hide any other primary FAT-12 / FAT-16 partitions.
  3. Boot from the NT Setup Floppy Disk #1
  4. When NT asks whether you want FAT or NTFS file system choose FAT.
  5. Let NT copy all the files from the CD-ROM.
  6. Upon the reboot run Partition Manager and install special patch for Windows NT into FAT-16's boot sector. To do that first select NT's partition and press Enter, then press F6 to install patch, then, in the dialog box choose "Windows NT" and finally press F2 to save changes to the boot sector.
  7. For the first time reboot from NT partition while holding down [Ctrl]. (This will load alternative NT loader "$LDR$"). Let NT finish the setup procedure and ask you to reboot.
  8. Reboot computer. Everything should work now.
If you need to install NT 4.0 above 4G then you must either have SP5 or get at least files "NTDETECT.COM" and "NTLDR" from SP5 and update them on the hard drive after the first reboot.

To RESIZE (shrink) FAT partition :

  1. From DOS/Windows, Defragment the partition. This will bring all the files to the beginning of partition. If you use DEFRAG.EXE under Windows 95 select option "Advanced / Consolidate free space." Under Windows 98 uncheck "Settings / Rearrange files ... "
  2. Boot RPM Change partition size in TWO places:
    1. in the partition table on top section and
    2. in the boot sector on the bottom section.
    Total space occupied by files in the partition.
    Minumum size calculated from the location of the last cluster on the disk
    Maximum partition size. Calculated from the size of FAT tables
  3. Press [F2] to save the changes and boot. Then run a diagnistic utility, such as SCANDISK or NDD to check that everything is ok.
    (On FAT-32 it will always report incorrect amount of free space, this is normal)

Beta version 2.44 (RPM)
combines Ranish Partition Manager GUI and command line. June 09, 2002

see part240 for IPL options.

part.exe [disk-no] [/command|/BATCH:file [/QUIET|/VERBOSE] [/DEBUG] [/SURE]]

disk-no - hard disk number, valid values are 1..8
(note that first cylinder is numbered from zero)

if no command is specified GUI will run


Examples: Note: disk-no and /sure from the command line are applied to all batch commands


Frequently Asked Questions

up to 1.99 TiB - UNTESTED binary Gigabyte (GiB) := 1024 x 1024 x 1024 bytes

Max. of 31 primary partitions

The actual number is 32, but only 31 are usable;
the MBR takes one row in Partition Manager.
Leaving one for RPM partition, maximum of 30 primary partitions.

Each row represents one primary partition.
An extended partition can have multiple logical partitions inside in which case each logical partition normally needs 2 rows
(one for the logical and the other for the extended logical partition).
So it is NOT possible to have 30 primary & 1 extended partition.
You cannot have primary partitions in rows occupied by the extended partition .

To restore RPM's MBR if it was overwritten by some other program (e.g.: fdisk /mbr) or after a new OS installation
(thereby re-establishing the link to the "lost" RPM partition table).

  1. Make a copy of the current partition table on paper. to get the RPM partition table into a file.
    Print this file & store it in a safe place where you can find it!
  2. use the last COMPLETE cylinder for the RPM partition otherwise linux installation would not create its partitions properly.
  3. keep RPM in the MBR (master boot record) .

  • Restoring RPM MBR

    "I pressed [F2] by mistake"


    "I don't know where my RPM partition was"

    You require the paper now. If you have pressed [F2], You need to create entire RPM partition table by entering the data from the paper. If you don't know the location of RPM partition, get this information from the paper and follow the steps in c.
  • Check for overlap If a new partition is found in MBR/EMBR but not part of RPM partition table, the new partition info is checked for overlapping with the existing partitions. If it is found to be overlapping, the new partition will not be inserted.
  • "MBR row numbering" in partition manager
  • If you have a partition with a number representing its MBR row and you give another partition the same number, the previous partition's number will be reset unless the previous partition is a bootable (active) one.
  • If you have an active partition, another partition cannot have the same number attempting to assign the same number displays: Red (MBR row in use by an active partition)
  • If you make an unnumbered partition active ('B'), in addition to becoming active, this partition will also become the 1st row in MBR (but you will get a message telling you to change if you wish). If there was an active partition earlier, that partition's number as well as the active status will be reset.
  • Boot Manager can support up to 32 partitions previous limitation of 16 and no more than 4 primary partitions.
  • If you already have more than one OS on your system and you don't want to disturb the setup, record the order in which the OS'es appear in MBR when you first install RPM. You don't want to make the OS (you want to boot) always the first partition in this case. If you make it the first partition, the OS may not boot properly
  • In RPM, the first cylinder is numbered from zero. But in linux fdisk, the first cylinder is numbered from one!
  • If you are installing any OS above 8GB, check whether the OS can boot.
    Solaris 8 can boot from above 8GB, previous solaris versions cannot.

    I have no problems installing linux above 8 GB.

    It might still be a problem as in the case of FreeBSD. which can boot from > 8GB, but when I installed it together with RPM, it cannot boot. (This was the same case when FreeBSD was activated thru fdisk also).

    Regards, Muthu

    Mikhail Ranish, P.O.Box 140404, Brooklyn, NY 11214 USA

    Send me a postcard of your town (or even better - your college, if you are a student).

    groups.yahoo.com/groups/partman www.ranish.com/part/