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Windows 7: Merge boot and system partitions


17 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Merge boot and system partitions

Hi all,

I've recently installed a new, 2nd, hard drive on my computer which I'll be using to store data on. All went well, fairly easy installation, but this meant that I ended up playing about with partitions on my 1st HDD (the one where windows is installed).

I managed to allocate my 1st HDD into two final partitions, one being the system partition and the other being the boot partition (the files were allocated in 2 different partitions, I'm assuming when I installed windows, but never really noticed/bothered me). This is where the problem lies. What do I need to do to merge these 2 partitions together?

Seeing as one has the system files and the other has the boot files, I realise that using disk manager is not possible (I do have Acronis Disk Director if it helps), but am comfortable with using command prompt.

I tried doing this myself, by searching for info over the web and mainly this forum, but my best result was to have an unbootable windows (Managed to get it back to normal so no worries there).

I would appreciate it if I could get some help on how to do this. I'm attaching a pic of disk management for further clarification of my system.

P.S. should I be able to get the partitions merged, if I want to repartition them again, this time with the system and boot files on the same partition, is the process easily done via disk manager?

P.P.S. on a slightly different note, should Disk 1 where windows is installed, be actually Disk 0, or it doesn't make a difference? and if so how would I go about doing this?

Thanks for all the help in advance




Attached Thumbnails
Merge boot and system partitions-diskmanagment.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Oct 2010   #2

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Hi Lemur that was a fast reply.

I tried installing Easeus Partition Master Home Edition previously and during setup it said I cannot install it as I was trying to do this on windows 7 x64 and advised me to purchase Easeus Partition Master 6.1.1 Professional Edition.

Also as I stated in my original post I do have Acronis Disk Director which provides the same solutions as Easeus.

The problem here is that the system and boot files are on 2 different partitions and cannot be easily merged, also this is given as an error message on Acronis when one tries to merge partitions of this sort.

Now as stated in this thread by torrentg it seems that some sort of preparative work will be needed.

What I would like to know is what sort of preparative work this is.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Oct 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

What I would do in your case is use free Partition Wizard bootable CD to rightclick C>Modify, set to Active, click OK.,

Then click on the HD to highlight it, from Disk tab select Rebuild MBR, click OK, Apply.

Reboot, if Windows 7 doesn't start then boot into Windows 7 DVD or System Repair CD to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Windows 7 starts and holds the System Active flags.

Now that we know the boot files are moved correctly by the only method which also preserves the F8 Repair options, you can back up your files on D, boot into PW CD to rightclick D> Delete, then rightclick C to Resize, drag it's left border all the way to the left so it's in the best position on the HD. If you want to resize it's right border to the left to make room for a new data partition, you can do it at the same time. Click OK for each, then Apply. You may have to run Repair again when resizing on the boot sector.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Hi Greg,

thanks for the link, feeling a bit stupid now that I spent the day searching for that info and couldn't find it, when it's given as a tutorial.

got it to work and I'll make sure I'll rep BFK, as well as yourself for the help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2012   #6

win 7 64 bit
 
 

Hi All - sorry for bumping this old thread...but I have the same problem with my windows 7 installtion - My D partition is the Primary, Active & Boot and my C partition is Logical and System

I have windows installed on my C partition and I am dying to get rid of "D" in order to have one partition as Boot and System under "C".
I could'nt manage on doing this and keeping my windows installation as is.

I understand from Greg's response to
Quote:
Follow Option Two in this tutorial which deals exactly with your situation: Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD
but "option 2" is WIPING the partition "D" - and I am wondering whether this will impact the installtion and make my PC unbootable at all?
When I tried to run this from Partition Wizard (from windows and not from bootable CD) I got the warning:

Quote:
---------------------------
Warning
---------------------------
This partition is system partition, wiping system partition may cause your computer to be unbootable!
Are you sure that you want to wipe this partition?
---------------------------
&Yes &No
---------------------------
how would you recommend for me to proceed here?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

The tutorial appears to havee been changed since this thread first appeared in 2010, so I have rewritten the steps involved above. This avoids using a Partition manager's Merge function which doesn't always work, instead using the method we've found works best to rewrite the System boot files while preserving other important functions like F8 Repair options.

However in your case if C is indeed on a Logical Partition then a different procedure may be needed since boot files cannot be written to a Logical partition without using PW CD to convert it first. So I'd post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Mgmt Drive map with listings, using Snipping Tool in Start Menu, so we can give you Custom steps. Tell us what's on each drive, and repeat what you want to do exactly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2012   #8

win 7 64 bit
 
 

Thank you for the response

I assumed the post has been changed as it didnt make sense to me for this matter. I would like to have C as primary (is there any reason to have it as logical)?

Once I have C partition as primary on this HDD, I will create another partition on it for storing data (as Logical), but this should already be a simple operation once we get this issue fixed.

Here's the screenshot (taken from another partitiona manager SW) - I also gave the titles to the partitions to understand what I wand to keep and what to delete:



and another from windows



Appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

No, there is no reason in this situation for C to be logical.

For that matter, there is no reason for a third partition for data to be logical, but it's fine for it to be logical if you prefer.

Logicals are typically used when there are at least 4 partitions total.

Looks like you need to convert C to primary and then move system files to C.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2012   #10

win 7 64 bit
 
 

Thanks

I am still waiting to hear on how to do that....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Merge boot and system partitions




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