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Windows 7: Main drive partition reading as "System Reserved" partition

03 Feb 2012   #21

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HunterjWizzard View Post
Ok, Now we're getting somewhere:

Thats the result of a "quick" scan. It will not allow me to select all 3 partitions, however. I can either select the 2 existing partitions or the 3rd discovered partition, so either way its telling me its going to delete some partitions.

Thanks for the help so far by the way, its progress.
Now wait a minute... you don't really have to lose anything, I don't think.

First, you can double-click on that "lost/deleted" partition to see what's in it. In other words you can Explore it, and confirm that it's usable and contains Windows as you expect it should.

Then, you can use Partition Wizard to COPY a partition in its entirety to another location (free space on some other drive). So you could copy off the (a) "system reserved" partition and (b) "recovery" partition to your MyBook or somewhere, and then you could recover this "lost/deleted" partition. You don't have to fear losing these two now, since you have them copied to another drive.

Then you could then use Partition Wizard to resize/move the recovered lost/deleted Windows partition, to create unallocated space on this drive, and then you could COPY BACK those two previously saved partitions, and you would have reconstructed all three usable partitions on this drive.

Now you still then must mark the "system reserved" as "active", in order to be able to boot from that drive.

This sounds plausible, and PW is the right tool. You just need to copy off the two partitions you currently do have, to ensure you don't lose them when recovering that "lost/deleted" partition.

That's my thought.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #22

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

I've got to run out for a while, but I think you seem to have the situation under control... and also seem to have instantly picked up how PW can be used. It's very very useful, and very very clever, and very very powerful.

Note that you can also boot to the standalone boot CD (burned from the downloaded ISO) and you can do everything you are doing right now from under Win7, but booted to the [Linux] CD. Same exact GUI, except no Windows drive letters of course. So you need to be able to recognize the partitions by their labels or other characteristics.

The standalone boot CD is required when working on your Win7 C-partition, but otherwise the installed Win7 version can be used (as you're doing now) to work on other partitions. Many users just feel more comfortable using the standalone boot CD for everything, but I'm a "no guts, no glory" kind of guy when it comes to PW... especially when I have taken backups (or copied partitions as I suggested above) to ensure no loss of data in the event of an unexpected disaster or surprise.

I'll be back later, to check and see how you've done... and if PW has been your saviour.

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #23

Windows 7 32bit

I have a simular question/problem... Should 'Recovery' (Partition 1) or 'Primary' (Partition 2) be set as 'Active'?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Feb 2012   #24


Well I outta be able to carry out that process, but when I came home to continue working I discovered that PW won't install on my home workstation. Now I'm kicking various things and looking into other options that don't involve tearing my office apart. Why do these things have OS-checks? I never hurt anyone!

Anyway as I search for a way to make PW work under 2k3 or break down and get one of my old XP rigs hooked up I'll keep you posted.

Thanks! At the very least I can data-recover the lost information and do a windows re-install now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #25
Microsoft MVP


You want to always use the PW boot CD so you have rescue-ability.

You'll need to study the sectors recovered to see whether you can afford to give up one of the partitions it says it wants to overwrite.

You can lose the System Reserved partition if necessary, then Modify>Set to Active and run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times on C to write the System boot files to C until it starts on its own.

The deletion then Recovery of C might have damaged System files or the File System. From the DVD or System Repair Disk Command Line run SFC -SCANNOW Run in Command Prompt at Boot and Disk Check if necessary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #26


Well I could easily loose the recovery partition as well, I'm frankly not even sure what its still doing there, except that maybe this was an upgrade-install instead of a fresh one. But the recovery partition is for vista and thus of no value.

I might just loose the other 2 partitions then. I could even expand the main partition, the user has been inkling for a little extra space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #27

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HunterjWizzard View Post
I might just loose the other 2 partitions then. I could even expand the main partition, the user has been inkling for a little extra space.
But as was alluded to, the fact that the third partition on the drive appears to be "lost/delete", and didn't actually even show up as "unallocated space", this strongly suggests some kind of inconsistent or overlapping boundary limits with the two partitions which are supposedly ok.

In other words the reason PW is warning you that something's gotta give in order for the lost/deleted partition to be recovered is that it obviously cannot just bring it back to life and still retain the other two partitions. Something is inconsistent about the three partitions together, and clearly something bad happened to this drive. Honestly no guarantee that the big Win7 partition is still in decent shape, but only some research will determine that.. after you bring it back to life.

Since one or both of these two partitions appear left-justified in PW's graphical representation of the drive, and yet the recovery wizard shows it as residing between the two partitions (which is a very reasonable geometry for how that drive originally looked) there's honestly a possibility that some corruption has occurred on the Win7 partition because of the partition boundary overlap as the other two appear now. Unknown just yet.

That's why I wanted you to double-click on the lost/deleted partition in PW to at least let it see if the file system was hopefully still intact and usable, although I suppose it could appear that way and yet there's still damage to the data area itself.

There certainly was some strange going's on with this disk.

Anyway, if you do want to just take a few minutes and preserve the "system reserved" and "recovery" partitions, just shrink your partition on the MyBook drive to produce some "unallocated" space. Then you can use PW to COPY the two partitions from Disk3 over to the unallocated space on MyBook. Then you've got them there, and don't have to worry at all about letting PW recover the lost/deleted partition and do whatever it wants in order to deliver it to you, including wiping them both out in order to give you back the large Win7 lost/deleted partition.

Once it's recovered, as I suggested earlier you can now move/re-size (if necessary) as you want to free up space for the two preserved partition. You can then recreate the "system reserved" partition and "recovery" partitions on this disk again by just COPY back from MyBook where you preserved them to their original home on Disk3.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #28


Well currently I am having to jump through some frustrating hoops. I was doing all the work with PW on my work computer which runs XP pro, my home workstation runs on Server 2003, which means PW doesn't. I'm not about to shell out $130 just because some software designer decided to add an OS-check to his program.

Anyway after an hour of fiddling around with tweaks attempting to bypass the OS-check on PW I just broke down and got out one of my spare XP boxes and booted it up. Unfortunately this means I first have to install some heavy-duty antivirus software on that machine since the drive I am attempting to salvage first started acting funny as the result of several nasty viruses.

Once I finish the AV install/update I'll try and save the System Reserved partition, the recovery partition can go fly a kite for all I care, its not needed. If I can I will try and retrieve the lost partition and put back the system reserved, mark it all properly, then take it back to work with me tomorrow and try it in the laptop. If I get access to the partition I'm also going to back up all the data. Worst-case scenario I do a fresh win-7 install and we're back in buisness as long as the files survive.

The virus that started all of this was(I believe) Tidserve, and it had infected the Master Boot Record.

I'm going to try and rebuild my data-recovery workstation later(its been in a sad state of disrepair) and this time put XP on it, then I think PW will be a handy tool for my arsenal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #29
Microsoft MVP


Did you read my comment that you must use the PW boot CD to be fail-safe and have rescue-ability in case Windows fails to boot?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #30


I'm working with the drive outside of the computer(plugged in via USB to an entirely different machine on an entirely different operating system).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Main drive partition reading as "System Reserved" partition

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