I have a 2TB HDD. Bought yesterday. I have to install both Windows 8 and mandriva 2011 in this HDD. The problem is. Windows 8 will create 2 primary partition, system reserved which is primary partition and another primary partition for the setup. and mandriva will create 3 primary parttion. As per I know a HDD can have 4 primary partition max. I was installing but 1st time GRUB was not opening so deleted all partitions, then 2nd time after installing both, I was unable to create partition on the 1TB approx unallocated space so again deleted partitions. like this I have tried 5times and created and deleted partitions 5times atleast. So now i'm worrying that my HDD will damage. So please anyone help me how to install both win 8 and mandriva 2011,.
and another question. Is multiple time creation and deletion of all partitions will damage the HDD? I have already deleted all the 4 partitions 5 times and created 5 times atleast.
You can have 4 primary partitions, or 3 primary partitions and one extended partition containing any number of logical partitions. While you can assign a drive letter to a partition, you can also map it as a folder in modern versions of windows, allowing more partitions, or use subst to mount it to a number.
In linux since everything is on mountpoints, partitions are a non issue - you just need to make sure you have enough device letters (sda-sdz) and any arbitrary number of partitions on it.
The EFI specification mandates that a GUID Partition Table (GPT), which all modern operating systems support, be capable of containing a minimum of 128 partitions of any size. This partitioning scheme is starting to get widespread adoption with UEFI being natively supported by modern computers and the need to boot from HDDs larger than 2TB.
As for creating/deleting partitions - it won't have any negative effects on the drive.