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Windows 7: Images are more important than ever

19 Mar 2011   #41

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

I will make a decision in the next few days.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2011   #42
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Kado, if you take an image before you start the work, you can always bail yourself out in case things go sour. This is the most important step.
I suggest you image absolutely everything.
The operation is so simple in principle - I'd like to know if you go ahead and it works (ie. logical conversion).

It will work flawlessly, I've done it a couple dozen times without issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2011   #43

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

I will add to the confusion here for you Kado. LOL

If it were me, I would free up a partition slot by making the win7 partition system .

Then get rid of the 100mb thing to free up a partition slot.

You might prefer to do something different.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Mar 2011   #44
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Yes SIW has another point.

You could use this information to mark the Windows 7 partition Active and do the 3 separate startup repairs to make the Windows partition the "System" partition.

Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

Then use Windows disk management to shrink the Windows 7 partition to the right to create unallocated space that you could create as a Primary partition using Option One of this tutorial.

Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD

Or you could use disk management to create the default Extended partition and then you could create as many Logical drives within the Extended as there are available drive letters.

Is your head exploding yet?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2011   #45

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I not totally new to this stuff but maybe I made a silly mistake.
Original (& current) partition structure for ACER desktop:
Images are more important than ever-main-disk.jpg
Used PW 5.2 Bootable
(1) Made C: logical (modify>logical>apply....)
(2) Rebooted
(3) Wouldn't boot! (some time ago & can't remember the error but something to do with authentication.
(4) No repair would fix it.

Reimaged (even had to reimage the recovery partition).

Simple enough - where's the mistake?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2011   #46
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Hey guys, now you are really starting to put poor Kado into a tizzy. Yes, getting rid of one or 2 partitions would be nicer, but not easier. And apart from the boot partition, which one would you suggest to eliminate. Tools may come in handy and the recovery partition too - although not necessary with early images and burnt DVDs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2011   #47
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Yes, 4 primaries is the maximum. But that is easy to fix. We'll make C a logical partition. You can do that since you have the 100MB active boot partition. (check in disk management whether that is true).

Then you take the bootable CD of this program and change C: from primary to logical. The control is in the Partition tab > Modify. But you can only do it with the CD of PW because the C partition must be inactive in order to do that.

Now you can create a new Extended partition (best with Disk Management after you shrunk some space off C and then as many logical partitions as you have letters. Just right click on the unallocated space after you shrunk and you will see. Very easy.
Have a look at Method Two of this tutorial at the link below.

Partition / Extended : Logical Drives

We're just having fun!

TBH, this is the safest and easiest way to add additional storage space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2011   #48
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Kado, SIW may have a point. Since you are not sure whether you want to go thru all the steps, you could do this:

1. Burn the DVDs from the recovery partition. They are probably not of much use because you cannot do a Repair/Install with them after SP1. But for a complete reinstallation the are OK.

2. Make an image of your current system - better even 2 with 2 different imaging programs and to 2 different external disks.

3. Delete the recovery partition - that you can do with Disk Management. Shrink C some and throw the freespace of the recovery partition and the shrunk space of C together.

4. Now you have the space for the data partition. And you can do it without running into the 4 primaries limit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2011   #49

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I'm not sure what "all the steps" is meant to mean. It's a few minutes converting C: from primary to logical isn't it?
I'd be interested in feedback from anyone who has actually done this on a real store bought HP, Acer etc that came loaded with the OS.

Again Macrium does a good job of imaging the recovery partition if you are thinking of deleting it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Mar 2011   #50

Win 7 Ult + Starter, XP Pro +Home, 2kAS, Linux Mint 8, SuperOS

The first hidden 17GB Acer recovery partition contains the factory set installation files. It can be made accessible by giving it a drive letter, but you possibly will need to use a 3rd party partition manager - I use the free Easeus Partition Master utility. The Windows Disk Management Console diskmgmt.msc may not be able to do this.

The 17GB volume (PQSERVICE on Acer, usually) can usually safely be shrunk to about 11GB, and the volume can be backed up elsewhere. Following this, the drive letter can be set to none, hiding the drive again.

You can explore the backup of the volume using the 7-Zip file manager, which will open windows image (.wim) and split image files (.swm), and compressed microsoft installer (.msi) executables too.

The 100MB SYSTEM RESERVED volume can be useful, and best left alone. I usually dual (multi) boot with XP, so I put CMDCONS, the XP recovery console on there. There is no benefit in shrinking it.

Your C:\ drive Acer volume is much bigger than you really need to keep your Windows folder and basic Windows structure files on. It could be reasonably be shrunk to 100GB.

I find that there are three main sorts of data files nowadays - Small if less than 50MB, Medium, 50 - 500MB, and large if greater than 500MB.

The large files, are often fragmented and slow down defragmentation and should never reside on your active C:\ drive.

These include the pagefile, hibernation file and memory crash dumps, any system images. I never use hibernation, so it is disabled, and there is no hiberfil.sys in the root of C:\. I create a small logical SWAP partition for pagefile.sys, about 2x installed RAM in size, turning off restore point and recycle bin there.

If there is sufficient space, create a logical partition for large files - disk images, virtual machine VHDs, ISO files, Movies, compressed backups, databases >500MB etc.

I'd also keep small files and mid-size files separate - they are much easier to keep defragmented that way.

Here's my Packard Bell dot s (basically, an Acer Machine) netbook partition map:
Images are more important than ever-disks.png

It has a Linux Mint installation in the primary 43.71 GB hidden volume, Linux swap primary 1.92 GB, PQSERVICE recovery partition 10.23 GB, Windows 7 Packard Bell primary C:\ 71.54 GB, XP logical D:\ drive 19.53 GB, and a swap logical E:\ drive of 2.01 GB. The SYSTEM RESERVED Primary drive I assigned B:\ since i am never likely to have a floppy drive, let alone two attached.

XP and Windows 7 share the swap partition, each overwriting the last pagefile.sys without problem. XP and swap are logical partitions in an extended partition.

Because I dual boot the Windows systems, the System Restore setup for each OS excludes the other Windows OS volume so that restore points are not overwritten by the other OS. I have yet to test this.

The Linux system can read and modify all the Windows drives and files, including the "hidden" drives.

Here's the view from XP:
Images are more important than ever-xpdisk.png

And just for fun from Gparted in Mint:
Images are more important than ever-screenshot-dev-sda-gparted.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Images are more important than ever

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