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Windows 7: WIN partition divides my HDD

25 Sep 2014   #1
MajorG

Win 7 64 bit
 
 
WIN partition divides my HDD

Hello,

I bought a new 1TB drive, in addition to my current 1TB one, and installed windows on it.
I still want to keep my old windows bootable on the old drive.
The problem is that the old windows partition on the old drive is located in the middle of the two other partiotion I had.

So my old setup looked like this:
D, C, E.
Now, I deleted both D and E so I could combine them to a single partition. But I realized I can't.
It looks like this:

unallocated space, C, unallocated space.

Is there anything I can do to combine to unallocated spaces?
I tried using Acronis disk director to make a copy partition of the old windows partition.
Didn't work. It doesnt recognize it as a system partition.

Thank you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
25 Sep 2014   #2
dsperber

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MajorG View Post
So my old setup looked like this:
D, C, E.
Now, I deleted both D and E so I could combine them to a single partition. But I realized I can't.
It looks like this:

unallocated space, C, unallocated space.

Is there anything I can do to combine to unallocated spaces?
I tried using Acronis disk director to make a copy partition of the old windows partition.
Didn't work. It doesnt recognize it as a system partition.
Use MiniTool Partition Wizard free. You can install the regular Windows version that runs under booted Windows, and you can also burn the standalone bootable CD ISO to a bootable CD so that you can run from this CD when you need to "safely and conveniently" perform operations directly involving the Windows C-partition itself.

Standalone Bootable CD Partition Wizard can do everything you want, all in one fell swoop. You could have used it to delete your unwanted D and E partitions, but for sure you can now "slide C to the left (aka "move") on that drive. It's got a nice GUI interface that makes the operations you want to perform intuitive graphically, or you can manually specify precise values for the desired locations of the partition(s) you're working with, or the amount of free space before/after the partition(s), etc.

Highly recommended program, and it's free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2014   #3
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Sep 2014   #4
MajorG

Win 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MajorG View Post
So my old setup looked like this:
D, C, E.
Now, I deleted both D and E so I could combine them to a single partition. But I realized I can't.
It looks like this:

unallocated space, C, unallocated space.

Is there anything I can do to combine to unallocated spaces?
I tried using Acronis disk director to make a copy partition of the old windows partition.
Didn't work. It doesnt recognize it as a system partition.
Use MiniTool Partition Wizard free. You can install the regular Windows version that runs under booted Windows, and you can also burn the standalone bootable CD ISO to a bootable CD so that you can run from this CD when you need to "safely and conveniently" perform operations directly involving the Windows C-partition itself.

Standalone Bootable CD Partition Wizard can do everything you want, all in one fell swoop. You could have used it to delete your unwanted D and E partitions, but for sure you can now "slide C to the left (aka "move") on that drive. It's got a nice GUI interface that makes the operations you want to perform intuitive graphically, or you can manually specify precise values for the desired locations of the partition(s) you're working with, or the amount of free space before/after the partition(s), etc.

Highly recommended program, and it's free.
So I can basically move the partition physically on the drive with this software?
Is it safe to do this to an OS partition?

Hope I explained myself properly at the beginning of the thread so you got what I was talking about.

Thanks guys for the quick help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2014   #5
dsperber

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MajorG View Post
So I can basically move the partition physically on the drive with this software?
Absolutely.


Quote:
Is it safe to do this to an OS partition?
Absolutely.

What you didn't describe completely is how you installed the second OS on the second drive, while retaining the first OS on the first drive (and which you now want to slide to the left on the drive itself).

Normally, when installing a second OS, the Windows installer detects the presence of an existing bootable Windows and creates a Boot Manager Menu. This menu then appears when you boot the machine, providing you with a choice of which of the two OS's you want to boot to (one is normally set as the default, which typically is the most recently installed Windows). This Boot Manager Menu approach is very convenient for this exact functionality.

Alternatively, you can get into the BIOS (or SETUP) at boot time and manually pick a drive/OS you want to boot from. This is more clumsy than the easy-to-use Boot Manager Menu method normally used, but it will also work.

So... what did you do? How did you boot to either of your two Windows when you still had those original two partitions (D and E) which you've now deleted? I ask this because the Boot Manager Menu contains a physical partition number on the drive, for the bootable OS partition. So when you still had D and E on that drive (arranged D, C, E) the bootable C partition was partition #2, whereas now that you've deleted D and E it is partition #1. This would cause a problem for Boot Manager Menu, if you were using it.

Yes, you can slide your C partition to the left with Partition Wizard with no problem or consequence. But if you were using Boot Manager Menu, your deletion of D (originally to the left of C) has caused a renumbering of the partition C still on the drive, and this needs to be corrected. I would recommend that you use EasyBCD to "repair" the Boot Manager Menu. You'd boot to your second/latest Windows, install EasyBCD, and then "edit the Boot Manager Menu" to add your now-slid-left C partition on the first drive as a second bootable OS.

EasyBCD is a very easy to use GUI maintenance tool for the Boot Manager Menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2014   #6
MajorG

Win 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MajorG View Post
So I can basically move the partition physically on the drive with this software?
Absolutely.


Quote:
Is it safe to do this to an OS partition?
Absolutely.

What you didn't describe completely is how you installed the second OS on the second drive, while retaining the first OS on the first drive (and which you now want to slide to the left on the drive itself).

Normally, when installing a second OS, the Windows installer detects the presence of an existing bootable Windows and creates a Boot Manager Menu. This menu then appears when you boot the machine, providing you with a choice of which of the two OS's you want to boot to (one is normally set as the default, which typically is the most recently installed Windows). This Boot Manager Menu approach is very convenient for this exact functionality.

Alternatively, you can get into the BIOS (or SETUP) at boot time and manually pick a drive/OS you want to boot from. This is more clumsy than the easy-to-use Boot Manager Menu method normally used, but it will also work.

So... what did you do? How did you boot to either of your two Windows when you still had those original two partitions (D and E) which you've now deleted? I ask this because the Boot Manager Menu contains a physical partition number on the drive, for the bootable OS partition. So when you still had D and E on that drive (arranged D, C, E) the bootable C partition was partition #2, whereas now that you've deleted D and E it is partition #1. This would cause a problem for Boot Manager Menu, if you were using it.

Yes, you can slide your C partition to the left with Partition Wizard with no problem or consequence. But if you were using Boot Manager Menu, your deletion of D (originally to the left of C) has caused a renumbering of the partition C still on the drive, and this needs to be corrected. I would recommend that you use EasyBCD to "repair" the Boot Manager Menu. You'd boot to your second/latest Windows, install EasyBCD, and then "edit the Boot Manager Menu" to add your now-slid-left C partition on the first drive as a second bootable OS.

EasyBCD is a very easy to use GUI maintenance tool for the Boot Manager Menu.
I cant boot anymore to anything. I just made a boot cd for mini tools and booted it. I didnt even touch anything. Just restarted my PC after MiniTools completly booted. After the restart it just gives me this message 'reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key'.
Tried manualy booting from either drive but no luck. Any idea?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2014   #7
dsperber

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MajorG View Post
I cant boot anymore to anything. I just made a boot cd for mini tools and booted it. I didnt even touch anything. Just restarted my PC after MiniTools completly booted. After the restart it just gives me this message 'reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key'.
Tried manualy booting from either drive but no luck. Any idea?
A bootable partition on any drive MUST be marked as "active". The BIOS requires that "active" partition indication to know which partition to go to in order to start the boot process.

And the active partition must normally be on the first drive listed in the boot sequence in the BIOS configuration, but in theory it actually can be on any of the hard drives shown in the BIOS boot sequence configuration.

Normally, this ACTIVE partition would be the "system reserved" partition in which Windows has installed the Boot Manager software itself... which is normally that typical 100MB "system reserved" partition we always see. A from-scratch Windows install on a completely empty drive would in fact install Boot Manager into that 100MB "system reserved" partition it creates and marks ACTIVE, and then Windows itself is installed into a second non-Active partition that typically uses up the rest of the brand new empty drive (unless you step in to change the installation defaults).

So, boot again to Partition Wizard and examine the partitions on your two drives. If you can take a photo of what you see and post it here, that would be very useful. But I want to know if you have a "100MB" system reserved partition on either of your two drives? If so, is it marked "active" (which Partition Wizard will show in its partition status info)?

If not, are any partitions marked "active"?

Again, a picture's worth a thousand words. Showing us what Partition Wizard has found will be extremely helpful.

It may be necessary to run Windows Repair three times to regain a working Boot Manager and associated ACTIVE partition, assuming you have a Win7 installation DVD. You never indicated how you got from Win7 on one drive to a second Win7 on a second drive.

Could one of the partitions (say D, which you've now deleted) on the first drive, actually have been the 100MB "system reserved" ACTIVE partition... and which you've now deleted? I would have guessed in order to install the second Windows that a Boot Manager Menu would have been created, and this would not have been in either C partition but rather would have been in the 100MB "system reserved" Active partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2014   #8
dsperber

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MajorG View Post
I cant boot anymore to anything. I just made a boot cd for mini tools and booted it. I didnt even touch anything. Just restarted my PC after MiniTools completly booted.
Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying.

When you boot Partition Wizard from the standalone bootable CD, you would then be placed in the program itself (running from the CD). It doesn't do anything unless you tell it what operations you want it to perform.

You would now do something (e.g. click on the partition on drive #1 you want to slide left, and then pull it left in the GUI or specify 0 freespace to its left, etc.) to tell it you want to slide that C partition on your first drive to the left, and then push APPLY to complete the operation, and then you would exit the program, remove the CD from the tray, and return to the standard machine boot process.

Is this what happened? Or did you do something different? Unless you tell Partition Wizard the action(s) you'd like it to perform and then push APPLY, nothing is going to happen. So how can you say "I didn't even touch anything. Just restarted my PC after MiniTools completely booted". What does that mean??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2014   #9
MajorG

Win 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MajorG View Post
I cant boot anymore to anything. I just made a boot cd for mini tools and booted it. I didnt even touch anything. Just restarted my PC after MiniTools completly booted. After the restart it just gives me this message 'reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key'.
Tried manualy booting from either drive but no luck. Any idea?
A bootable partition on any drive MUST be marked as "active". The BIOS requires that "active" partition indication to know which partition to go to in order to start the boot process.

And the active partition must be on the first drive listed in the boot sequence in the BIOS configuration. Normally, this would be the partition in which Windows has installed the Boot Manager software itself... which is normally that typical 100MB "system reserved" partition we always see. A from-scratch Windows install on a completely empty drive would create Boot Manager into that 100MB "system reserved" partition it creates and marks ACTIVE, and then Windows itself is installed into a second non-Active partition that typically uses up the rest of the brand new empty drive (unless you step in to change the installation defaults).

So, boot again to Partition Wizard and examine the partitions on your two drives. If you can take a photo of what you see and post it here, that would be very useful. But I want to know if you have a "100MB" system reserved partition on either of your two drives? If so, is it marked "active" (which Partition Wizard will show in its partition status info)?

If not, are any partitions marked "active"?

Again, a picture's worth a thousand words. Showing us what Partition Wizard has found will be extremely helpful.

It may be necessary to run Windows Repair three times to regain a working Boot Manager and associated ACTIVE partition, assuming you have a Win7 installation DVD. You never indicated how you got from Win7 on one drive to a second Win7 on a second drive.

Could one of the partitions (say D, which you've now deleted) on the first drive, actually have been the 100MB "system reserved" ACTIVE partition... and which you've now deleted? I would have guessed in order to install the second Windows that a Boot Manager Menu would have been created, and this would not have been in either C partition but rather would have been in the 100MB "system reserved" Active partition.
Umm.. I just re-installed windows on an unallocated partition just to see everything was fine.
Then I restarted my PC and booted to the WIN DVD. A repair was suggested. I accepted the repair and both my OS'es were recovered.
So.. all fine now.

What I meant earlier is that I didn't do any actions in minitools.
I burned the minitools bootable cd and booted into it. No actions were done inside the software.
Just a simple boot.
After it booted to minitools I restarted my PC because I realized I forgot to backup something.
And... that's pretty much it.. After the restart I couldn't boot into either of my drives..
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MajorG View Post
I cant boot anymore to anything. I just made a boot cd for mini tools and booted it. I didnt even touch anything. Just restarted my PC after MiniTools completly booted.
Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying.

When you boot Partition Wizard from the standalone bootable CD, you would then be placed in the program itself (running from the CD). It doesn't do anything unless you tell it what operations you want it to perform.

You would now do something (e.g. click on the partition on drive #1 you want to slide left, and then pull it left in the GUI or specify 0 freespace to its left, etc.) to tell it you want to slide that C partition on your first drive to the left, and then push APPLY to complete the operation, and then you would exit the program, remove the CD from the tray, and return to the standard machine boot process.

Is this what happened? Or did you do something different? Unless you tell Partition Wizard the action(s) you'd like it to perform and then push APPLY, nothing is going to happen. So how can you say "I didn't even touch anything. Just restarted my PC after MiniTools completely booted". What does that mean??
See above.

Thanks guys for trying to help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2014   #10
dsperber

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

One more option...

From the same people who provide EasyBCD they provide another product named EasyRE. It's not free, but it's very modestly priced.

EasyRE (which I have not used myself, so I can't vouch for it) is like the Windows Repair mechanism in that it's designed to do the repair needed to get your machine bootable again. This would no doubt include recreating the Boot Manager partition as ACTIVE, if you'd lost it, etc.

My guess is that just as GUI-based EasyBCD is FAR simpler to use than the Windows BCD utility to accomplish the same goals, I'd bet EasyRE is much more intuitive and easy to use than the similar Windows Repair mechanism.

Just a thought, if you have to go to this "repair" step to get your machine bootable again (i.e. if your deletion of D on drive #1 was actually the unfortunate and inappropriate deletion of the 100MB ACTIVE "system reserved" partition).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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