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Windows 7: Reducing to boot partition to enable smaller image files

10 Sep 2011   #1

DELL Win 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Shrinking size of boot partition to enable smaller image files

Okay, now that I finally got my 500 GB drives and partitions setup and working, I want to create a backup image file of my active boot partition.

Easily done but problem is my boot partition is huge, as it contains my 200++ GB worth of user files ( and only 35GB worth of windows\program files). And the typical image backup programs (Win 7 backup, EaseUS, Macrium, Acronis WD 2009, Paragon, etc ) dont allow you to exxlude folders from an image. I wont go near the ultra buggy newer Acronis ones that do allow for exlusions.

So it occurs to me life would be much easier if I do what many do and have a smaller active partition for windows etc, and a larger one for data.

In that way I can create smaller image backups of the active partition, and do so much faster.

QUESTION - I can use something like Partiion Wizard (or Disk Management) to resize the partions on my main drive, but what size should I make the active C drive?? I dont want to run out of space by making too small, or end up with large image files if is too big. Would it make sense to say keep the active partitons at say 100GB?? Too big?? Too small?? Currently i have about 35 GB worth
of Windows and Program files.

Attached Thumbnails
Reducing to boot partition to enable smaller image files-resizing.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Sep 2011   #2

DELL Win 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Ok , decided one the 100 Gb size, and I am half way there, but ran in to a challenge - naturally. Lots of roadblocks on the path to try to create a backup image- very ironic.

I resized the back-up drive first, with partition wizard. All good.

But when I try to resize the active partion, it tells me it cannot, as that partition is active, and it asks if I would like to have it continue as part of a re-boot. When it rebooted, it started fine, but then said " Partitioon Wizrd has detected the disk configuration ahs changed/ Partition Wizard cannot continue. It took be back to a normal boot up and luckily no damage was done).

Hmm, so how do I resize the active partition??

If I try shrinking via Disk Management , it wouldnt take me down to 100GB, only to 270 GB. Its complaint is that " You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point where any unmovable files are located" . I did not attempt to shrink it to 270 GB even though the button was not greyed out- just left it as is for now.

My C drive currently has 75 GB on it ( moved data files elsewhere) and is 0% fragmented.

I want to tread carefully as I don have an image back up - I am trying to create one!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2011   #3

DELL Win 7 Home Premium 64 Bit


What I ended up doing was this:
  1. used EaseUs to perform an image backup, of the main partition, to an external hard disk.
  2. followed all the "prep for shrink" steps outlined here , which suggests a number to temp system setting changes and use of PefectDisk
  3. Re-ran Partition Wizard - it was much happier this time and resized as I specfied.
The system came back beautifilly. The final drive mapping is as attached and reflects what I was after, ie
  • C: small active/system/boot partition, easily imaged and stored on internal/external drives
  • D: large data partition, backed up to a internal/external backup drive
  • P: backup area for C: (time-staggered images and files)
  • Q: backup areas for D:
Next - will follow the steps here to make my D: partition the default \users folder..

Attached Thumbnails
Reducing to boot partition to enable smaller image files-finalmapping.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Reducing to boot partition to enable smaller image files

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