I decided to play around with the partition layout on my HD - reason being that I anticipate getting my first-ever SSD this Christmas. (Don't worry, I have backups of everything.)
At the moment it look like this:
Question 1.) Is there any partition managing software similar to EASEUS Partition Master or the Partition Wizard CD that can do sector-exact partition moving/resizing?
- C: (15GB), offset 63 - size 31,455,207 sectors
- D: (2GB), offset 31,455,270 - size 4,192,971 sectors
- E: (281GB), offset 35,648,241 - size 589,492,159
- 2048 unused sectors at the end of the disk
The apps I just mentioned won't allow for that kind of finetuning and actually seem to randomly leave tiny gaps between partitions. I'd like to shift the C:
partition to an offset of 1024, but without using the Paragon alignment tool or similar products (call me crazy, but I like doing things manually). Question 2.)
I got to thinking that since all my NTFS partitions are formatted with a 4KB cluster size, the sector size they use is ideally a multiple of 8. Obviously this isn't the case here, so for C:
I determined that the last used
sector relative to the offset is 31,455,200 and figured I could trim the last 7 sectors off.
I did this by manually editing the partition info in the MBR (with a WinPE-based tool from Active) and promptly had a BSOD next time I restarted, saying INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE. I reversed the change to the partition table and everything was fine again.
I'm thinking that Windows 7 keeps records of the partition layout somewhere in its registry so it knows which partitions there should be and which drive letters to assign to them.
Where is this information stored in the registry?
Bonus Question 3.) What is the importance of the last 2048 sectors (1MB) being left unused?
Windows will not extend a partition beyond that last little bit, and there must be some reason for that. Is it OK to grab it anyway and extend the last partition to the very end?
Thanks in advance