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Windows 7: How to extend an Extended Partition; leave logical volumes intact

31 Jan 2012   #11
gregrocker

 

PW shows Logical partitions without showing the extended - empty space within is shown as Free or Unallocated space.

As of version 5.2 it treats Unallocated Space and Free space the same, so you can resize either a Primary or Logical into it.

This may be more free form than the rigid Extended partition structure one is accustomed to, however I don't believe it's a bug. It works perfectly well in my experience.

Thousands of users have used PW CD here for some of the most complicated partitioning operations that can be done, without a single failure. But you must use the Disk.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Feb 2012   #12
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DiracDeBroglie View Post
After shifting or resizing any primary partition not adjacent to the extended partition, the extended partition shrinks to an absolute minimum size, though, still encapsulating the 2 volumes but eliminating the initial free space in the extended partition; see the second screenshot.
Attachment 196075

I find this totally unacceptable what PW is doing with the free space in an extended partition. This must be a bug or something, I cannot imagine that this behavior of PW is intentionally or by design. Has anyone had a similar experience with PW?
I think you are misinterpreting what you are seeing.

The "boundary" around what is called the "extended partition" is simply a conceptual one. It is large enough to surround the outside of all consecutive "logical" partitions and any "logically unallocated" space between them. But the originally green "logically unallocated" space (to the right of your second logical partition, and within what you believe is the physical outer limit of the extended partition at this moment) shown by DISKMGMT in your first screenshot is simply the way things look as last maintained by DISKMGMT.

Partition Wizard doesn't have to see it this way, since that unallocated space is to the right of the final logical partition and to the left of the next primary partition. So this space is simply "unallocated" for PW, and can actually be used either as logical or primary available space. This would allow you to enlarge/extend that primary partition K to the left if you wanted (into that generically "unallocated" space), or you could enlarge/extend the logical partition H to the right if you wanted to (into that same generically "unallocated" space). You could also slide/resize partitions to the left and right all around, and the generically "unallocated" space would be available to meet whatever needs were required per your resize/move of all partitions.

The outer boundary of the "extended partition" is really not critical at all... at least not to Partition Wizard. In fact, when all of your resize/move work is done PW will reset the outer boundary of the "extended partition" to surround the leftmost logical partition and the rightmost logical partition, and any included logical unallocated space in between them. Then the DISKMGMT version will have what it shows as the exterior of the "extended partition" to match the truth, as configured by PW. This is actually what happened to you in this scenario, which you are bothered by. In fact, nothing harmful at all happened, and that exact same unallocated space is still there and is still available for use. The fact that the outer boundary of "extended partition" appears to be "smaller" per DISKMGMT is 100% of ZERO CONSEQUENCE. All of your actual logical partitions and primary partitions look exactly as you want them, and that particular "orphan" unallocated space is actually available for anything you care to use if for right now in terms of extending the partitions to its left or right into that unallocated space... assuming you use Partition Wizard and not DISKMGMT to make use of that unallocated space (which I honestly recommend, because it's just a much more powerful program with a nicer user interface).

You simply need to tell it how you want all of your partitions to look (size, location, order, logical or primary) and PW will do it. Of course by definition all logical partitions must be consecutive, since they are all residing within the one conceptual "extended partition" on the drive. But aside from that, the unallocated space as you have shown happens to be "generic" because of where it is, and can actually be used by PW for either logical or primary partitions around it. This is very convenient and powerful. Had the unallocated space been between J and H (and therefore "logical unallocated" it could not have been used to resize anything but the adjacent logical partitions.. But where it happens to be, at the right-end of the current "extended partition", well it is far more useful and flexible and PW can make use of it any way you want. This is BETTER than DISKMGMT can do.

Definitely required to use standalone boot CD for operations involving your C-partition, and it's probably "safer" to use it for everything. But certainly it's acceptable to use the installed Win7 version to do work on non-C partitions and on second hard drives.

Again... just because it looks like PW has "shrunk" the "extended partition" on your second drive doesn't mean anything. You still have the same logical and primary partitions on that drive as you specified them to be sized and arranged, and you still have exactly the same unallocated space as before. And that particular unallocated space can be used by PW any way you want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #13
DiracDeBroglie

Window 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Context
-------
Windows 7 Home Edition, 64 bit version.

Tech info of those drives under test
------------------------------------
-> 2TB external USB 3.0 data drive under test (4 KiB physical sector drive; Advanced Format).
-> 1TB internal system drive with OS Win7 (512 byte physical sector drive; Standard Format).

Abbreviations
-------------
Disk Managment in Win7 = DM
Partition Wizard Installed on Win7 = PWWin7 (Free version)
Partition Wizard Boot CD = PWBootCD
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi,
I tested the MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable CD 7.1, as was requested. First thing that struck me was that the PWBootCD didn't see my external 2TB drive. A petty maybe, but then again it makes sence as any external drive can be tested with PWWin7. Hence that I tested PWBootCD on my system drive, and the problem is exactly the same as with the PWWin7 when testing it on my 2TB external drive.

So, in all cases when the extended partition is larger then necessary to encapsulate the logical volumes, then that extended partition is being shrunk by PWBootCD, whatever operation PWBootCD performs on the system drive. In my particular case I shifted just a littlebit the most right primary partition, which is not at all adjacent to the extended partition; that action on the drive resulted in a shrunk extended partition. In fact, PW just minimizes the extended partition size without moving or shifting the logical volumes in it.

I have to say I do not like at all the idea PW is doing particular actions on the drive that I have not asked for, like minimizing the extended partition size. Maybe the developers of PW have their reasons for implementing PW like this, but the least thing they could do is leave it up to the user how PW should behave; One could introduce an option in the settings where the user could choose to switch ON or OFF the action of minimizing the extended partition size.
Also the fact that the extended partition shell, encapsulating the logical volumes, is not visualized is really a serious drawback; it leaves the visual representation of the volumes incomplete, somehow. It increases the chance for confusion. In that respect I believe the implementation in DM is better than in PW. Also here the developers of PW could introduce an ON/OFF option in the settings leaving it to the user to visualize or hide the extended partition shell.

I noticed that some unallocated area on the system drive, which was on the level of primary partitions, was marked as *logical* in PW. So it looked like it was free space within an extended partition, but that was clearly not the case. I think I had it with PWBootCD. But you can also see it in the screenshots in my previous post with PWWin7; The primary unallocated space, visible in DM, is market by PWWin7 as logical!!??

Conclusion: I am not at all impressed by Partition Wizard (PWWin7, PWBootCD)

Johan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

02 Feb 2012   #14
gregrocker

 

Please send your concerns to Partition Wizard's developers at support@minitool.ca

Link them also to this thread so they can reply here if they wish since they monitor these threads.

Please let us know what they reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #15
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DiracDeBroglie View Post
Tech info of those drives under test
------------------------------------
-> 2TB external USB 3.0 data drive under test (4 KiB physical sector drive; Advanced Format).
-> 1TB internal system drive with OS Win7 (512 byte physical sector drive; Standard Format).


I tested the MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable CD 7.1, as was requested. First thing that struck me was that the PWBootCD didn't see my external 2TB drive. A petty maybe, but then again it makes sence as any external drive can be tested with PWWin7. Hence that I tested PWBootCD on my system drive, and the problem is exactly the same as with the PWWin7 when testing it on my 2TB external drive.
I would venture to guess that the problem is the need for the USB 3.0 adapter driver on the standalone (Linux) boot CD for PW. I'm guessing it's obviously not there, and that's the reason your external drive is not being seen when using the Linux boot CD.

I had exactly the same type of problem just this week in my own similar situation, involving trying to use Macrium Reflect Free (for "system image"). I, too, have a 2TB external USB drive that is attached through an add-on USB 3.0 adapter (PCIe card). The Win7 driver for the adapter comes from the adapter's manufacturer, not through Microsoft.

The "base" version of the Macrium Free boot CD (WinPE, not Linux) does not therefore include the needed driver. However at boot time it asks you to point to where it can install drivers from, for "unsupported devices". By pointing to the folder (on my hard drive, at the time) of where the manufacturer's driver folder was, the Macrium Free boot CD process was able to pick up those drivers, "install them" into the now-running WinPE, and I was then able to access my external 2TB drive through the USB 3.0 adapter.

I've now upgraded to the non-free version of Macrium Reflect Standard, which includes automatic driver additions to the WinPE boot CD at CD-creation time. This pre-installs those same USB 3.0 drivers from my running Win7 system into the standalone boot CD WinPE environment so that the USB 3.0 device is already a "supported device" when booting to WinPE from the CD. And now my external 2TB drive is immediately visible and usable at boot time, to recover "system image" using Macrium Reflect Standard.


===>> I'm sure this is the same story with your own 2TB drive and your own USB 3.0 adapter, and the need for the right driver (Linux version) on the PW standalone boot CD.

In fact, I'm sure I would now face the same issue as you have if I were to experiment with my own Partition Wizard boot CD, for the same reasons I explained above. My PW boot CD would also be missing a Linux version of the driver required to access the external 2TB drive through the USB 3.0 adapter.

Fortunately I have no need to use PW on my external 2TB drive. Access to it, if needed (and it's not, because I have no immediate partitioning needs on that external 2TB drive) could certainly come from the Win7-installed version, which sees the external drive perfectly... as the drivers for the USB 3.0 adapter are installed into Win7, even if they're not present on the standalone boot CD.

Again, this is not an issue for me as I have no partitioning requirements for the external USB drive. But if I did, the usable installed Win7 version which does support the external 2TB drive would be perfectly acceptable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #16
gregrocker

 

Would you be kind enough to summarize posts which are that epic? I doubt if a single person reads that much unless following a series of linked steps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #17
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DiracDeBroglie View Post
So, in all cases when the extended partition is larger then necessary to encapsulate the logical volumes, then that extended partition is being shrunk by PWBootCD, whatever operation PWBootCD performs on the system drive. In my particular case I shifted just a littlebit the most right primary partition, which is not at all adjacent to the extended partition; that action on the drive resulted in a shrunk extended partition. In fact, PW just minimizes the extended partition size without moving or shifting the logical volumes in it.

I have to say I do not like at all the idea PW is doing particular actions on the drive that I have not asked for, like minimizing the extended partition size. Maybe the developers of PW have their reasons for implementing PW like this, but the least thing they could do is leave it up to the user how PW should behave; One could introduce an option in the settings where the user could choose to switch ON or OFF the action of minimizing the extended partition size.
Your feedback (to the PW author) is certainly appreciated.

But again, I think you're over-emphasizing what you feel to be something "important" which honestly is not. The "extended partition" outer boundary is of no real meaning or value. It is an artificial concept (for visualization only, such as drawing a bold outer border on a graphical picture) defining the lower and upper extents of all consecutive logical partitions along with any imbedded (i.e. between logical partitions) unallocated space within the total lower/upper boundary. What's important here is that the INNER-unallocated space can be used to re-size and move these logical partitions left/right to make use of the "logical unallocated" space.

But otherwise, the current boundaries of the "extended partition" means nothing in terms of everyday use of partitions, logical or primary. It's only for visualization when drawing a picture.

And furthermore, PW treats any type of "outer unallocated space" (i.e. not between two logical partitions) as "generic unallocated space", which you can make use of to move or re-size all partitions, logical or primary. The partitions you want to work on are unlimited, although you may obviously need to perform a sequence of move/re-size operations (like sliding tiles in that kid's puzzle game) to make use of that unallocated space to eventually accomplish the net total move/re-size you want.

In other words, what is thought of as the "extended partition", and inner or outer unallocated space, really is of no consequence in terms of limiting what PW can do for the net total combined move/re-size of ALL partitions to achieve ANYTHING you want to achieve! It may take a sequence of several small discrete steps to get there, but PW understand (a) allocated partitions, and (b) unallocated free space. All its functionality then derives from that knowledge.

And that's all that's really important. The so-called "extended partition" is really an artificial concept used to describe something (although it clearly is one of the four allowed primary partitions on the MBR drive), but other than that is in no way limiting PW in terms of satisfying your partitioning move/re-size objectives.

I know it's subjective, but I think you're just perhaps not used to seeing this particular graphical representation or working with re-partitioning. I do feel you're ascribing much too much significance to "shrinking the extended partition". It has ZERO impact on what you can do or not do in terms of accomplishing your partitioning objectives from that point forward in time. It's just "housekeeping" for PW, and has no consequence to you. You can still continue to do further partitioning work using any unallocated space, and isnt' that what's important?


Quote:
Also the fact that the extended partition shell, encapsulating the logical volumes, is not visualized is really a serious drawback; it leaves the visual representation of the volumes incomplete, somehow. It increases the chance for confusion.
Subjective again. I find there to be no confusion seeing the outer boundary surrounding the consecutive logical partitions, with any outer unallocated space just being "unallocated".


Quote:
In that respect I believe the implementation in DM is better than in PW. Also here the developers of PW could introduce an ON/OFF option in the settings leaving it to the user to visualize or hide the extended partition shell.
Well, again this is personal preference... and probably stems from the fact that PW is a new program you're just betting used to.

What's important for me is the ability to work with partitions, and use PW almost 100% of the time (rather than DM) to accomplish my goals. In fact I really only use DM to change drive letters if I want to, although PW can also do that as well. But for true partition work I use PW 100% of the time.

And for me, it's the partitions and unallocated space which are relevant to move/re-size/create. I have no concern for the large bold outer-boundary which might be drawn around the consecutive logical partitions in a graphical image. I know what that boundary is and means (and it's purely conceptual, really) and also that it does NOT impact what I want to accomplish. Only existing partitions and existing unallocated space impacts what and how many sequential steps I need to go through to accomplish my end re-partitioning objective.


Quote:
I noticed that some unallocated area on the system drive, which was on the level of primary partitions, was marked as *logical* in PW. So it looked like it was free space within an extended partition, but that was clearly not the case.
It's all just "unallocated".

What is important is that "inner unallocated" (logical) space cannot just be given to an outer primary partition without sliding logical partitions around through several re-size/move steps, so that the originally inner unallocated space now arrives at an outer location, so that it can now be used for an adjacent primary partition.

And once any unallocated space is to the left or right of the "extended partition" which surrounds all of the consecutive logical partitions, that unallocated space can now be used for anything you want... to extend the adjacent logical or primary partition.

Whether unallocated space is referred to as "logical" or "primary" isn't really of any consequence. Only its location is relevant, in terms of how you make us of it in one or more steps (sliding the "chicklets" left and right) to accomplish your ultimate overall partitioning goal.


Quote:
Conclusion: I am not at all impressed by Partition Wizard (PWWin7, PWBootCD)
Certainly you're entitled to your opinion. But I do feel it's just a new program that you're not used to yet. And you are over-emphasizing in your own mind the significance and importance of the "extended partition" as drawn in a graphical representation. It actually has almost no consequence, other than to define its limits as one of the four primary partitions allowed on the MBR drive.

I believe if you try other similar products (Easeus, Paragon, etc.) you will find them all to appear virtually identical to PW graphically.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #18
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Well, you asked for it, Greg.

@ Johan,

Other apps. handle things differently - some of them even align to nt6 rules, or let you select.

They are not usually free, tho - or at least the free versions are somewhat limited.

How to extend an Extended Partition; leave logical volumes intact-par-ext-part.jpg

How to extend an Extended Partition; leave logical volumes intact-par-2.jpg

Might have a look and see what I can persuade the free paragon to do - you never know, it may be more capable than it seems at first glance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #19
DiracDeBroglie

Window 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

@ SIW2

What Application is that? Definitely not Partition Wizard (PW). PW does not at all align to Win7 rules, I noticed. Also misaligns on 4KiB physical sector drives, called Advanced Format drives.

Johan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #20
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

That is a Paragon app.

They do free one - I don't think the free one has many functions - and it doesn't come with a boot disc.

If you are able to chuck it into winpe - that is fine.

Otherwise there is not much point bothering with the free paragon.

The paid versions are very good.

That particular one in the photo is backup and recovery 11.

They will be sending me a copy of the next version ( Hard Disk Manager 12 ) in the near future.
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