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Windows 7: Bootup Problem after merging partitions

14 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Bootup Problem after merging partitions

I've got Windows 7 on my laptop, and I've just merged a seperate partition of about 15GB to my main partition. I've done it correctly (I've not wiped the main partition before you suggest that's what I did), but as soon as it finished, when it restarted, a message came up about no OS being detected or something.

I put the windows 7 installation disk in and tried startup repair, but this did nothing. I clicked "load drivers" which allowed me to browse my hdd, which shows that the computer is still "there", but i have no idea what these drivers are.

Quite urgent I get this sorted asap, any help you can offer would be great.

Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

14 Sep 2010   #2

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tz742 View Post
I've got Windows 7 on my laptop, and I've just merged a seperate partition of about 15GB to my main partition. I've done it correctly (I've not wiped the main partition before you suggest that's what I did), but as soon as it finished, when it restarted, a message came up about no OS being detected or something.

I put the windows 7 installation disk in and tried startup repair, but this did nothing. I clicked "load drivers" which allowed me to browse my hdd, which shows that the computer is still "there", but i have no idea what these drivers are.

Quite urgent I get this sorted asap, any help you can offer would be great.

Thanks.
Hello tz742, and welcome to Windows Seven Forums.

You situation creates some difficulty in assisting you. As your computer is a laptop with one hard drive and is not booting, we cannot "see" the configuration of the partitions on your hard drive. You would need to describe in detail (as much as you can remember) what you have.

For example, did Dell put the 100 MB "System Reserved" partition on the hard drive? Is it still there?

What were your reasons for removing the 15 GB partition? What were its contents? Would removing it have changed the partition drive letters of the other partitions?

Any details you can offer would be of help.

As for actually making repairs, you have a couple of choices. You can use the "DiskPart" command line utility, after booting to the Windows 7 DVD (or repair CD) to make any needed changes:

DiskPart

A second option is to download a copy of the free Partition Wizard and burn it to a bootable CD. Then you can boot to the CD and make changes to your partitions.

Partition Wizard Home Edition - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com

If you have access to a "Live Linux" CD (the Ubuntu 9.04 Install CD is a good choice), you can boot to the CD and run Linux directly from the CD. You can take a screen shot of your hard drive map, and login to Windows Seven Forums from the CD and post the screen shot. This would allow us to "See" what you have and offer the best advice?

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I was checking my HD and I noticed 3 partitions, the OEM one (39MB if i recall), the main system one, and the recovery partition, which was the 15GB partition I was merging.

I have never required this partition (I've had 3 other computers which have had this partition), and I do have the Windows 7 disk, so with the assurance of an IT guy I know (he said that I wouldn't require it), I got rid of the partition to save space, and I have a lot of files so every GB counts.

I used Acronis Disk Director Suite v11 to merge the 15gb to C:\ (I made sure that i got it the correct way), and after acronis performed the task 100%, the computer is simply unable to boot.


When I run the Startup Repair on the Windows 7 disk, the diagnosis says:

Code:
Root cause found:
---------------------
The partition table does not have a valid System Partition.
The startup repair doesn't fix the problem, but i have been able to browse C:\ (when I select a certain option on the Windows 7 disk, a windows pops up asking to locate some drivers and it displays all teh files on C:\, so I know it's not been wiped).


I know it probably sounds like I made the very basic error of merging my main partition to the 15GB partition, but I triple checked to make sure I hadn't done that, so I am certain I didn't do this.



I've tried command prompt "bootrec.exe /fixboot", but it just returns "Element not found."



P.s.
If there is no alternative I will format and reinstall the OS as there were no important files on it (the laptop is brand new), but obviously I'd rather not do that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


14 Sep 2010   #4

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tz742 View Post
I was checking my HD and I noticed 3 partitions, the OEM one (39MB if i recall), the main system one, and the recovery partition, which was the 15GB partition I was merging.

I have never required this partition (I've had 3 other computers which have had this partition), and I do have the Windows 7 disk, so with the assurance of an IT guy I know (he said that I wouldn't require it), I got rid of the partition to save space, and I have a lot of files so every GB counts.

I used Acronis Disk Director Suite v11 to merge the 15gb to C:\ (I made sure that i got it the correct way), and after acronis performed the task 100%, the computer is simply unable to boot.


When I run the Startup Repair on the Windows 7 disk, the diagnosis says:

Code:
Root cause found:
---------------------
The partition table does not have a valid System Partition.
The startup repair doesn't fix the problem, but i have been able to browse C:\ (when I select a certain option on the Windows 7 disk, a windows pops up asking to locate some drivers and it displays all teh files on C:\, so I know it's not been wiped).


I know it probably sounds like I made the very basic error of merging my main partition to the 15GB partition, but I triple checked to make sure I hadn't done that, so I am certain I didn't do this.
Based on the information you have supplied to this point, My suggestion would be to boot to the "Acronis Disk Director Suite v11" and make sure the partition you described as "the OEM one (39MB if i recall)" is marked "Active". Then see if booting has been restored.

Explanation: The fact that your computer attempts a "Startup Repair" indicates the 100 MB "System Reserved" is there and is functioning correctly. What you recall as 39 MB is most likely the free space in the 100 MB. My guess is when Acronis merged partitions to C: it also marked C: as active. Since the 100 MB "System Reserved" partition is your boot partition, and since the "Active" flag was moved to the C: drive, you computer cannot boot. The boot files are in the 100 MB "System Reserved" partition and it MUST be THE ACTIVE PARTITION.

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Ok, so to clear things up for myself:
The computer should boot from the 100mb partition, but Acronis instead made it so that it is trying to boot from the main system partition, and the cure would be to change it back to the 100MB partition?


What do you mean "boot to the "Acronis Disk Director Suite v11"", how can I do this? I can't turn the computer on.



edit:

ok, i have used diskpart, and i have checked my partitions.

there are now 2 partitions: the 39MB one (the size IS 39MB) which was the OEM, and the main system one.

For some reason, the 39MB one has the drive letter "C" and my main system is now "D", obviously this isn't right.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #6

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tz742 View Post
Ok, so to clear things up for myself:
The computer should boot from the 100mb partition, but Acronis instead made it so that it is trying to boot from the main system partition, and the cure would be to change it back to the 100MB partition?


What do you mean "boot to the "Acronis Disk Director Suite v11"", how can I do this? I can't turn the computer on.
Yes, that would be my best guess since I can not look inside your computer.

Did your Acronis software come on a bootable CD or DVD?

You can use the Windows 7 disk and boot to it. Then navigate to the Command line utility and use "DiskPart" to locate and mark the partition "Active". Here are some screen shots on how to use DiskPart to locate the partitions:

MBR - Restore Windows 7 Master Boot Record

DiskPart

It would be easier to download and use the "Partition Wizard" utility to do this, but it is up to you. It might even be easier to take your laptop to the "so with the assurance of an IT guy I know" and allow him to make the changes, or burn the bootable CDs for you?

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2010   #7

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tz742 View Post
edit:

ok, i have used diskpart, and i have checked my partitions.

there are now 2 partitions: the 39MB one (the size IS 39MB) which was the OEM, and the main system one.

For some reason, the 39MB one has the drive letter "C" and my main system is now "D", obviously this isn't right.
OK, "DiskPart" is not a Windows utility ... meaning it does not need Windows to run. Since Windows has not loaded, you are not looking at the drive letters Windows assigns. DiskPart just assigns letters first come first served, the first partition gets assigned C.

What is important is if the first partition is the boot partition, is it the "Active" partition. DiskPart should indicate the "Active" partition. what does it say?

Partition - Mark as Active
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

OK, I've fixed it.

I set the system partition as active and restorted bootmgr and now it works perfectly again. I don't think that 100MB partition was what you suspected, but nevertheless, with your help it's working again now, thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #9

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tz742 View Post
OK, I've fixed it.

I set the system partition as active and restorted bootmgr and now it works perfectly again. I don't think that 100MB partition was what you suspected, but nevertheless, with your help it's working again now, thanks!
That's great news! Glad you got it booting again.

To be honest, I do not have a clue why there is a 39 MB partition on your system or what its possible function would be. According to MS, the minimum size for a "system" partition is 100 MB.

Understanding Disk Partitions

Now that you have Windows booting, you could take a screen shot of your Hard drive management window and "paper clip" it to a post?

Screenshot and Upload using MWSnap

Screenshot with Paint

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...en-forums.html

Thanks for letting us know your outcome!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

For some reason the 39MB partition now has a letter assigned to i - previously it didn't, and the system called it the OEM partition.

I am now able to browse the partition. I have attached a screenshot of the contents of it.

Attachment 97942
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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