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Windows 7: Can I assign a letter to the SYSTEM partition?

14 Aug 2012   #11
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

The System partition is more or less similar to the new System Reserved boot partition seen when using the 7 dvd's drive tools to partition a drive when performing a custom install of 7 onto a new drive or one that's been wiped completely of everything.

For creating and storing a full system image backup of the main drive the way it is you only have the one main drive and would need to have either a ton of blank dvds for a multidisk session type backup or an external hard drive plugged into a usb port if not an external enclosure to place a second drive in. Or you would need a network location to store the image made.

As for as custom installing ubuntu to the same drive without help of something like the Wubi boot loader the ubuntu installer will replace the 7 mbr with the Grub loader automatically. Some would prefer running any distro on a VM rather then trashing the Windows boot sector to simply run it as a file on the drive. A VHD(Virtual Hard Disk) is another thought to consider.

Here I simply custom installed Linux Mint Debian a much larger Debian based distro on a 32gb flash drive and can boot it from any machine. Put a 4.5gb root partition as a second partition and the rest formatted to NTFS to make up a live data recovery stick. Grub installed to the flash drive however not the main drive. The second root partition is assigned as the mount point "/".


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Aug 2012   #12
gregrocker

 

For HP owners who wish to keep the Recovery and Diagnostics tools partitions bootable to run Recovery or hardware diagnostics, what we've recommended for years here is to convert C to Logical, shrink it to the desired size, then create a Logical partition in the shrink space for the Dual Boot install.

The tool which works best for this is free Partition Wizard bootable CD which will not fail while all other partitioners other than Disk Mgmt can fail.

Download and burn PW to CD using Windows Image Burner or ImgBurn at 4x speed. Rightclick on C to Modify: Set as Logical: How to set partition as Primary or Logical video

Then rightclick on the C again to Resize, slide right border to the left to the size you want to shrink C: Partition Wizard Move/Resize Partition - Video Help.

Now rightclick in the shrink space to create a Logical NTFS partition, label and letter it: Partition Wizard Create Partition - Video Help

Be aware that having GRUB on the HD can corrupt Win7 beyond repair. This has improved somewhat with GRUB 2 so that these reports are coming less frequently, however I would use these methods: Dual boot Ubuntu-Win7
Dual Boot Ubuntu - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

I shouldn't fail to mention that a much better alternative for Dual Boot is using separate HD's booted via the BIOS, if this is even an option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2012   #13
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

If you had a second internal drive a dual boot across the two drives using the EasyBCD method would be the preferred since you can check off the "Grub isn't installed in bootsector" option there.

On the other thread I would pay attention to the advice Barman58 was providing. Grub isn't installed to the first sector on the drive but to the root partition being made the mount point "/" for the distro. The Wubi option is the best suited for dual booting the two OSs on the same drive for sure.

The VM and flash drive methods are also considerations just making sure you install Grub to the flash drive not the root there however while still seeing the root made the mount point "/". One guide for a creating a live data recovery stick was posted using ubuntu as the distro of choice at the time can be looked over at Using the "Other OS" For a USB Rescue Device?

The larger Linux Mint Debian distro was later selected since it contains install options for some 200 apps while not being ubuntu compatible however. Linux Mint 13 is while not faring so well on VM or a flash drive attempt. With a live stick the advantage of simply selecting the usb hard drive option from the F12 or other F key assigned to bring up the boot device menu avoids any changes to the main 7 drive while still providing a dual boot you can take with you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Aug 2012   #14
Annaa

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bits
 
 

Thanks for the answers! Sorry I've been away for a few days!
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
For HP owners who wish to keep the Recovery and Diagnostics tools partitions bootable to run Recovery or hardware diagnostics, what we've recommended for years here is to convert C to Logical
Yeah... But in the event of a hard disk failure, doesn't that make you much more vulnerable? Since both systems + the data would be in one big extended partition?

That's why I thought I would convert Recovery instead... bearing in mind of course that I might lose the possibility to boot on it if it doesn't work... but I'll still have the DVDs.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure what to do at this point!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2012   #15
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello Annaa, welcome to Seven Forums!


Have a good look through Method Two in this tutorial at the link below for some ideas.


Partition / Extended : Logical Drives

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2012   #16
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Annaa View Post
Thanks for the answers! Sorry I've been away for a few days!
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
For HP owners who wish to keep the Recovery and Diagnostics tools partitions bootable to run Recovery or hardware diagnostics, what we've recommended for years here is to convert C to Logical
Yeah... But in the event of a hard disk failure, doesn't that make you much more vulnerable? Since both systems + the data would be in one big extended partition?

That's why I thought I would convert Recovery instead... bearing in mind of course that I might lose the possibility to boot on it if it doesn't work... but I'll still have the DVDs.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure what to do at this point!
Hello? If there is a HD failure then you'll lose everything on that HD anyway, which is why you should make your HP Recovery DIsks and/or save a System Image, and files should be backed up at all times. Recovery using HP Recovery Disks
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

I thought you wanted to keep Recovery and HP Diagnostics tools bootable, in which case I gave the Best Practice.

If you don't care about keeping those bootable, then you can delete them and create new partitions, resizing as you wish using Partition Wizard bootable CD Resize Partition - Video Help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2012   #17
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Annaa View Post
Thanks for the answers!

Yeah... But in the event of a hard disk failure, doesn't that make you much more vulnerable? Since both systems + the data would be in one big extended partition?

That's why I thought I would convert Recovery instead... bearing in mind of course that I might lose the possibility to boot on it if it doesn't work... but I'll still have the DVDs.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure what to do at this point!
What I did here for an older Vista laptop when the owner wanted a new faster drive was simple. Swap the old 120gb out for the new 500gb model. When the new drive unfortunately did fail the replacement also saw a full clean install put on. They still didn't follow the recommendation to use the larger drive for a storage/backup device since they have and external 2.5" usb enclosure with the old 120gb in it instead since that originally saw a clean install following a malware infection and subsequestion full wipe of C.

There you had mentioned assigning a drive letter to the 200mb boot partition which can be done but not reversed later. If you nuke the D Recovery and E HP_Tools partitions you can easily create a single 24gb storage partition or simply expand C to fill in the gap created to see a single 465gb C primary.

On the other hand if you plan to keep the HP_Tools partition and reuse D for storage 20gb is rather small. You would then shrink C to some extent to expand D first moving it forward to expand out into the additional drive space freed up when C is reduced in size.

The recommendation for a full system image backup before and after provided you have a second drive to store any image on is still the word however in case of any mishap during the changes being planned.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2012   #18
Annaa

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bits
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
There you had mentioned assigning a drive letter to the 200mb boot partition which can be done but not reversed later.
Thanks. That's one of the things I wanted to know. I won't do it then.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Annaa View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
For HP owners who wish to keep the Recovery and Diagnostics tools partitions bootable to run Recovery or hardware diagnostics, what we've recommended for years here is to convert C to Logical
Yeah... But in the event of a hard disk failure, doesn't that make you much more vulnerable? Since both systems + the data would be in one big extended partition?
Hello? If there is a HD failure then you'll lose everything on that HD anyway (...)
I thought you wanted to keep Recovery and HP Diagnostics tools bootable, in which case I gave the Best Practice.
I'm not very well versed in hard disk matters... Ok. Let me rephrase: I was going to follow the entirety of Method Two, but I asked for help on an Ubuntu forum, and those guys said it was a bit risky to put the Seven install, the Ubuntu install and the data all in the same extended partition. Or maybe I misunderstood!

Isn't it possible to have like, a partial hard disk failure that would affect one partition only? Meaning it would be safer not to put everything in an extended?

Basically, my question is:

(I'm not including Recovery and HP_TOOLS here so it's less cluttered, but yes I want to keep them, and bootable if possible... if possible.)

If there's an option a): [primary: SYSTEM][primary: Seven install][extended: Ubuntu + data]
and an option b): [primary: SYSTEM][extended: Seven install + Ubuntu install + data]

Am I more at risk of losing stuff/running into problems with option b), or is it gonna be the exact same?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2012   #19
gregrocker

 

You can add as well as remove a drive letter to System Reserved partition. It is not irreversible as suggested. It is also not advisable.

Anna if you are enough of a tech enthusiast to install Linux then I would consider backing up Recovery Disks and possibly a full-disk image, so that you can delete the REcovery and Tools partitions. This is because they are in service to the worst preinstalled factory crapware and useless duplicate utilities in the industry on an HP install. No tech enthusiast would run such an install.

What I would do is boot the WIn7 installer, delete all partitions during a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 then add a Dual Boot Ubuntu - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki.

Anyway this gives you something else to consider, and better practices as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2012   #20
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

And then watch as the ubuntu installer replaces the 7 mbr with Grub when seeing the distro installed onto the same drive! The Wubi boot loader is the preferred option for a Windows/Linux dual boot on the same drive. Windows installer for Ubuntu Desktop

The EasyBCD wiki works when ubuntu is installed onto a second drive where you then use the NeoGrub option and check off the "Grub isn't installed in bootsector" box to avoid seeing Grub replace 7's own boot information. Unfortunately the NeoGrub wouldn't work for other distros looked at when trying out dual boots across two drives.

As far as the 100mb System Reserved as you would see it with a custom install of 7 I had a drive letter assigned for both host and a second for a test image restored to the second OS drive here. Once each was to see a drive letter assigned in order to view the contents of the BCD store as well as boot files the drive needed a wipe later when performing a clean install with the 100mb. The second drive was simply wiped.


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 Can I assign a letter to the SYSTEM partition?




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