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Windows 7: Need Help: D Drive missing, pre loaded OS:format & reinstall


11 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
Need Help: D Drive missing, pre loaded OS:format & reinstall

Hi All,

My Laptop Specs:

Lenovo Windows 7 PC
Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU m 460 @ 2.53 GHz
Installed Memory: 4GB (3.8GB usable)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit Operating System


I am neither too technically qualified nor am I a computer illiterate. So please help me accordingly! Here's my issue...

My Laptop has Windows 7 Home Premium pre loaded. When I bought the laptop, there were only two drives (C Drive of 275 GB, on which OS was installed and D drive of 175 GB).

I have a lot of data to be stored and did not want to keep anything in C drive (as I have experienced loss of data during times of OS crash). Hence I wanted to shrink the C drive to about 100 GB and make the remaining as a separate drive.

3 days ago, I read a lot of tech forums and did it on Computer> Manage> Disk Management. I shrinked the C drive volume to 147 GB (which was the maximum I could shrink it to). I tried to make a separate drive of the remaining space. But it
would not allow me to. It gave me an error message "Cannot create a new volume in this unallocated space because the disk already contains maximum number of partitions". I tried to expand the D drive, but the option "Extend Volume" was not highlighted.

After a lot of reading tech forums, I understood that Windows 7 OS allows only 4 partitions.

So I downloaded a third party Partition Manager called Mini Partition Wizard Home edition and installed it on the system. I tried creating another drive using this wizard but was unsuccessful. So what I did was, I used the Extend Volume option and expanded the D drive to cover the unallocated space, it took a while to apply the changes but after i rebooted the system, I was very happy to see that my C drive was 147 GB and my D Drive was 303 GB.

After the next reboot, my D drive was missing!!! I wanted to see what went wrong and when I checked the Disk Management, it said there was 303 GB Unallocated space!

Anyway, I created a simple volume on that unallocated space now and made it D drive. I copied back all my files to it.

It worked fine till today. All of this morning, I worked on the laptop with the files which were on D drive. But after rebooting, I see that the D drive had gone missing again!! The same thing happened!! In the Disk Management, it said Unallocated Space! I have allocated that to a new drive and formatted the drive once again.... But I am scared to save any data on that drive now because I am not sure when it will go missing again!!

Here is how it looks:

(In Disk management, after I re-created the D Drive, this is how it reads:

Volume Layout Type File System Status
_ Simple Basic Healthy (Primary Partition) 14.75GB
_ Simple Basic NTFS Healthy (System,Active,Primary Partition) 200MB
D: Simple Basic NTFS Healthy (Logical Drive)
C: Simple Basic NTFS Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)

Also in My Computer, there is "Microsoft Office Click-to-Run 2010 (Protected) (Q: ) mentioned.


My questions:
1. Why is the D drive going missing time and again? Why is it showing as Unallocated space and why is it that I have to create a new simple volume each time and format it!! Why doesnt it stay like it always did earlier?

2. As I mentioned, my system came with preloaded Windows7 and MS Office 2010. I was not given any CDs for softwares or Drivers at all.
a) If I have to format my entire hard disk, and make partitions according to my convenience, how should I install it? I mean, I know how to install an operating system from a bootable CD. But how on earth am I gonna make a fresh installation on a pre loaded system and how do I go about formatting the disk?
b) Doesnt pre loaded software mean it is stored on the hard disk? How do I know where it is stored?
c) If I format the hard disk completely and make fresh partitions, am I not losing the OS and MS Office softwares? What should I do to keep it but still make the desired changes successfully?
d) I assume that the pre loaded softwares can be taken into DVDs? If yes, how do I do it? And is it possible for me to make it pre-loaded after formatting the disk?
e) I have the product key for my Windows 7 OS mentioned at the bottom of my laptop. I do not have any product keys for MS Office 2010 that also came as a preloaded software on this system! So if I do a fresh installation, where should I find the product key for MS Office 2010? As of now, it says Miscrosoft Office Starter (Q


Thanks in Advance...
Shree

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Apr 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Please post back a screenshot of your maximized full Disk mgmt drive map with listings showing all columns, using Snipping Tool in Start Menu. Attach using paper clip in reply box.

It's likely the 15gb first partition is Lenovo Recovery so visit the Lenovo Support Downloads webpage for your model to browse the Manual for how to factory recover so you know those options.

Here are tips for clean reinstalling Factory OEM to look over: Reinstalling Windows 7

I would also run Disk Check and the HD maker's diagn/repair extended CD scan: Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Yeah I didn't read all of your post but the built in Disk Management feature has a maximum limit of I think 3 partitions per drive. You think you only have 2 but there is a third hidden partition called System Reserve. Making the total 3 partitions. You should see this in disk management.
Yeah I think I remember it is a total of 3 Primary Partitions. Which is more then likely what all those current partitions are.

So you will need a 3rd party partitioning program to create a new partition from that unallocated space.
But then they may also have that limit. It might be a OS/NTFS thing.
The way to get around this is to create a Extended Partition, including your current D drive (all data will be lost on that partition if you do this so BACK IT UP) and the unallocated space and create one Extened partition then Logical drives inside that Extended partition.
You can have up to 128 Logical drives/partitions inside a Extended partition.

Best to use a 3rd party application to do this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


11 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Please post back a screenshot of your maximized full Disk mgmt drive map with listings showing all columns, using Snipping Tool in Start Menu. Attach using paper clip in reply box.

It's likely the 15gb first partition is Lenovo Recovery so visit the Lenovo Support Downloads webpage for your model to browse the Manual for how to factory recover so you know those options.

Here are tips for clean reinstalling Factory OEM to look over: Reinstalling Windows 7

I would also run Disk Check and the HD maker's diagn/repair extended CD scan: Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp

I am not sure which one is my recovery partition. I am actually scared if I formatted and made changes to the recovery partition itself (D Drive)!!?? Can the changes not be undone?

According to the link you posted regarding the reinstalling Windows 7, you mentioned that the system automatically creates a 100MB system reserved boot partition even if i delete all partitions. So is it safe for me to just blindly hit on delete on all the partitions (of course, after creating a back up image of the HD). In this case, will I lose the MSO Starter Kit which came pre installed? (I heard that this is a Starter kit with basic features of MSO 2010 which comes only as a pre-install version and does not require a key!!)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

The 14.75GB partition is the recovery partition. It is a primary partition
The other hidden partition is the Win 7 System Reserve partition. Another Primary partition.
And your C drive yet again another Primary partition.
That makes 3 Primaries.
But the D Drive is already a logical drive and that means it is in a Extended partition.
All you have to do is ADD that unallocated space to the Extended partition and then create another Logical drive out of it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #6

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Shootist View Post
The 14.75GB partition is the recovery partition. It is a primary partition
The other hidden partition is the Win 7 System Reserve partition. Another Primary partition.
And your C drive yet again another Primary partition.
That makes 3 Primaries.
But the D Drive is already a logical drive and that means it is in a Extended partition.
All you have to do is ADD that unallocated space to the Extended partition and then create another Logical drive out of it.
Thats a relief to know that I have not damaged my recovery partition itself!! (I just heaved a sigh of relief! ) May I ask you to help me with adding the unallocated space to this extended partition?

I mean...it is only when my D drive goes missing, that I find unallocated space of 303Gb in Disk Management and everything stored in the D drive is gone!! Otherwise, it shows as D drive with 303Gb capacity!

And when I find unallocated space and I create a new simple volume on that, it shows as D drive, a logical drive.

So is there any way I can sort this out! My main concern is the D drive going missing!! Wud a system restore to a previously saved restore point help ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

You need to post a screen shot of Disk management.

Oh wait wait wait.
You created that D drive?
And in Disk management it is before the C drive?
In other words the unallocated space was in between the 2 hidden partitions and the C drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Please post up the requested screenshot so we aren't blindly advising you.

What I do to test the Recovery Partition is to make the Recovery Disks first (as should have already been done) then cue it up from boot to see that it is still willing to run - you can abort it before final step.

Here is how to make Lenovo Recovery Disks, run Factory Recovery and recover preinstalled programs: http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/si...GR-4VFUDU.html

If it is functional, you get the Recovery Disks as a backup and can decide then if you want to keep the Recovery Partition. If it isn't, you're free to delete all partitions to recover your full HD with your reinstall.

I have never heard of a limited Office preinstall, just the trial version which times out and then hands you a bill for $275 once you have files that Works can't open. Look in the About tab to see if it is awaiting activation and exactly what version it is. Your Lenovo setup literature should be more specific about this, too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2011   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

There is a lot of confusion going on here. Please do as Greg suggested and post a full picture of Disk Management - else we are just guessing.

BTW: the maximum number of primary partitions in NTFS is 4 - not 3. However, if you want to create an extended partition, you can only have 3 primaries else you get dynamics (bad news).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2011   #10

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Hi Again!

There was a delay in posting the screenshot because my laptop was away from me for 2 days... Anyway, here is how the disk management looks after D drive went missing (along with the files and data I stored there), creating unallocated space in Disk Management... (I created a new simple volume on this unallocated space of 303GB)!!


Attached Thumbnails
Need Help: D Drive missing, pre loaded OS:format & reinstall-dskmgmt.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Need Help: D Drive missing, pre loaded OS:format & reinstall




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