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Windows 7: Win 7 Install Has Made A Mess


04 Nov 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP 1, 64-bit
 
 
Win 7 Install Has Made A Mess

I've had to re-install Windows 7. And it naturally did something completely screwy -

  1. Disk 0 used to be Disk 1, and vice versa.
  2. Rearranged my Disk labels, and drive letters in a nonsensical way, but far worse, it has labeled my Documents drive as "System, Active" (in MiniTools Partition Wizard it is labeled as "Boot" status). And no, I didn't ask Windows 7 Install to do anything to Disk 1, I very much wanted it to be left alone.
I want the J: Documents drive to be E: or F: and not bootable (it's only for storing data). And I would like the letters on a particular disk to follow in sequence (makes sense, right?)

And the other "cool" thing is that the J: Documents drive doesn't even appear in File Manager - I assume because it is marked as a boot disk, and I'm not actually booting from that drive. So, can't reach my documents. How can I fix things without losing all my data? Thanks for the help!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium SP 1, 64-bit
 
 

Sorry, I thought my images had uploaded too...


Attached Thumbnails
Win 7 Install Has Made A Mess-hd_mess.png   Win 7 Install Has Made A Mess-hd_mess_2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

You should have unplugged it during the install. Mark it inactive and run a system repair disk up to 3 times.

Make the disc 1st. Does it boot with the data drive unplugged ? Give that a try b4 doing anything.

Make sure it boots by itself b4 you make any changes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

The installer writes the System boot files to the first Active partition or in some cases if no others are marked Active the first partition in order. So either Documents was marked Active or none were.

Unplug the Documents HD and swap its data cable to Windows 7 HD, making sure it remains set first to boot in BIOS setup. Then boot into Windows 7 DVD System Recovery Options or System Repair Disk to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots until Windows 7 partition is labeled System Active.

You can now plug back in the Documents HD to Disk1 cable to Mark as Inactive. If you want you can unhide System files in Control Panel>Folder options>View to delete the boot files from Documents although you will have to give it a drive letter to access it first: Drive Letter - Add, Change, or Remove in Windows 7 - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium SP 1, 64-bit
 
 

Thanks, Greg. I appreciate the detailed steps. What I ended up doing was set the data/documents drive to "inactive" with MiniTool Partition Wizard, then shutting down, disconnecting the data drive, and then booting to the Windows Installer DVD and formatting the c: drive, again, and re-installing Windows 7 a second time. Running off of two drives was causing system freezes, so I wasn't going to continue on until I got a system installation that was stable. So far so good: my data/documents drive was unharmed when I reconnected it to the PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Post back another Disk Mgmt screenshot so we can check it over for you.

I wish you would have reported back your plan because I could have told you before reinstalling that Dell Recovery will no longer run after reinstall so you can delete it's partition too to recreate C.

If you have a reason (eventual resale, etc) you want Recovery to stay occupying prime real estate on the HD then you can try Dell Recovery Partition - restoring F8 link

Otherwise you can delete Recov and resize C into it space using the boot CD for Partition Wizard Resize Partition - Video Help.

Dell's OEM bootable Diagnostics partition may still boot via F12 - you can try that now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium SP 1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Post back another Disk Mgmt screenshot so we can check it over for you.
I'm attaching images of the current partition state. Win 7 seems to think that the RECOVERY partition is too small to work with (I just wanted to put the most basic Windows 7 system image on there, but I received a message that it wouldn't fit (even thought the actual size of the files on C: would have fit the partition).

I'll have to join D: into C:, or use it to save just my User folder data.

Anyway, I have an external drive that I am putting system backup images on for the future...


Attached Thumbnails
Win 7 Install Has Made A Mess-dm_latest_partitions_11-05-12.png   Win 7 Install Has Made A Mess-latest_partitions_11-05-12.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Test if Dell Diagnostics will run by tapping the F12 key at boot and choosing Diagnostics: Dell Diagnostics Utility - How to Run the

If not you can boot PW CD to delete both OEM and Recovery partition, then rightclick C to Resize, slide left border all the way to left, click OK, Apply all steps. I gave you a video demonstrating this earlier so I don't know why you're referring now to "joining" D+C.

Have the Windows 7 DVD ready as resizing on the boot sector can require repair afterward in rare cases.

You are correct to store System Image on another HD since it defeats the purpose of a backup if the same HD with both OS and image fails. Besides you want the prime HD lower address (where disk reader parks so it reads faster) for your OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium SP 1, 64-bit
 
 

Thanks Greg - I wanted to go ahead and keep the D: RECOVERY and store a basic system image on that drive, but it appears that Windows 7 doesn't really want to work with a partition of that size. So now I'm thinking of doing away with it.

RE: the OEM drive (FAT partition). I've been wondering if that isn't something to hang on to - does it help to identify my system regarding any OEM software I'm using? Or is it only used to run Dell Diagnostics?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

The only purpose of Dell's OEM tools partition I've found is to house and run Diagnostics from boot. They are good enough I would keep it if they still run, otherwise I would be rid of it along with Recovery.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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