Backup, shrink, rearrange primary partitions to create extended?

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  1. Posts : 5
    Windows 7 Pro x64

    Backup, shrink, rearrange primary partitions to create extended?

    My new HP Zbook 15 laptop has a 500GB HDD with four primary partitions. Partition 1 is labeled "SYSTEM". Partition 2 is the Windows C: drive. Partition 3 is HP_RECOVERY. Partition 4 is HP_TOOLS. All but the Windows partition are pretty small. The Windows C: drive is 450GB, and the NTFS volume in it was originally the same size.

    I turned off hibernation, system recovery, and the page file, rebooted, then used diskmgmt.msc to shrink the C: drive. That appeared to work only partially. The disk management tool shows that the capacity of the C: volume is now 240 GB, but the primary partition that it resides in is still 450GB. It didn't shrink along with the volume.

    My original thought was to use the space freed from the Windows partition to create another partition for a Linux LVM. However, since the partition didn't shrink, there wasn't any free space to utilize. I realize now that it wouldn't have worked anyway because there are already four primary partitions.

    To get what I want, I think I will have to back up and delete the HP_RECOVERY and HP_TOOLS partitions (#3 and #4), then shrink the Windows partition (the volume inside it is already shrunk), then create a new partition #3 and restore the HP_RECOVERY partition, then create an extended partition #4, create a logical partition in it for HP_TOOLS, then create another logical partition in the extended partition for my LVM volume.

    Does that approach sound like it will work? What can I use to back up and restore partitions #3 and #4? After I delete them, how can I get partition #2 to shrink down to the current shrunk Windows volume size?

    Thanks for your help!
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  2. Posts : 12,012
    Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

    Best thing you can do is post a screen shot of Windows Disk Management so we can better visualize what you described.

    Good tools:

    Macrium for partition backup via an image file.

    Partition Wizard 8.1.1 for creating and configuring partitions.

    Generally, when you shrink a partition, you are left with "unallocated space", which you can then reassign with either Windows Disk Management or Partition Wizard.

    Have you made a set of HP recovery disks? I'd do that before deleting the HP recovery partition unless you are going on record as never having any interest in restoring to "out of the box" state.

    HP may put boot files in some cuckoo location too, so I'd wait for more input on that. On a typical home build, boot files would be in "system reserved", but I'm not sure what HP may have done.
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  3. Posts : 13,576
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    What is the size of the C: Windows partition ?

    Not volume, not drive, the partition ?

    What ignatz said......
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  4. Posts : 5
    Windows 7 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    I have the Win 7 Pro SP 1 operating system recovery and repair DVD supplied by HP, as well as an application and driver recovery DVD, also supplied by HP. I haven't made system recovery discs yet, but I'll do that for sure before I delete any partitions. This is a brand new laptop, minimally customized so far, and I have no data or software that I need to preserve. So as long as I can get back to the HP default installation using the supplied DVD's, I'm good.

    Here are the screenshots. Note the discrepancy between the Windows C: volume size given by diskmgmt.msc (240GB) vs DISKPART (450GB). In both cases, the partition itself shows 450GB.

    Backup, shrink, rearrange primary partitions to create extended?-diskmgmt.png

    Backup, shrink, rearrange primary partitions to create extended?-diskpart.png

    Thank you both for the software recommendations. I going to download them both and see how they work.
    Last edited by aodhlorcan; 04 Jul 2014 at 19:45. Reason: add thanks
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  5.    #5

    We regularly see Disk Mgmt anomalies. If it were't clear what's happened then Partition Wizard boot disk will almost always settle the discrepancy.

    What works best for HP if you want to keep the OS, Recovery and Diagnostics (HP Tools) bootable is to convert C to Logical and then make as many adjacent Logical partitions as you want: How to set partition as Primary or Logical with Partition Wizard

    YOu can then adjust partition sizes using PW"s cool new Extend tool that will shift empty space to/from any partition whether adjacent, Primary or not. How to extend partition easily with Partition Wizard - video help.

    However you are fighting the worst load of any brand of bloatware and duplicate utilities which interfere with better versions built into Win7. You'd be much better off doing a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 following the Special Note for HP Owners at the end. You likely have Minimal Recovery on that newer PC which is nearly the same.
    Last edited by gregrocker; 04 Jul 2014 at 22:08.
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  6. Posts : 13,576
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    That is the craziest thing I`ve ever seen
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  7. Posts : 5
    Windows 7 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    I booted the PartitionWizard CD and tried to convert the HP_RECOVERY and HP_TOOLS partitions to logical. I applied the change in PW, and it seemed like it worked. However, Windows diskmgmt.msc, diskpart, and cfdisk (from a Linux distro) all still show four primary partitions and no logical partitions.

    When I rebooted Windows, I first got an HP screen that asked if I wanted to copy the HDD MBR to the backup MBR, copy the backup MBR to the HDD MBR, or take no action. I took no action, as I don't want to do anything until I understand the current status.

    After the HP screen, Windows started to boot, and I immediately got the CHKDSK screen you get whenever there are disk errors that need to be corrected. CHKDSK thought it was a FAT partition. I let it proceed, and it issued hundreds of "Bad link in lost chain at cluster xxxxxxx" messages. It finished repairing, and the system booted normally.

    diskmgmt.msc and diskpart both look like they did before. It seems that PW didn't really change anything. Or at least, nothing that stuck. (Yes, I did APPLY the changes in PW.)

    Backup, shrink, rearrange primary partitions to create extended?-diskmgmt1.png

    Backup, shrink, rearrange primary partitions to create extended?-diskpart1.png
    Last edited by aodhlorcan; 05 Jul 2014 at 12:18. Reason: add pics
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  8.    #8

    Why would you try to convert Recovery and Tools to Logical when I just explained they need to remain Primary to be bootable, so C is the partition on HP which needs to be converted to keep the OS, Recovery and Diagnostics Tools bootable?
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  9. Posts : 5
    Windows 7 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    I read your post yesterday, but I apparently didn't retain it overnight. I'll blame the evening's liquid festivities. :)

    But in the screen shots I posted, the C: (Windows) volume shows to be bootable. The HP Recovery and Tools partitions are not marked bootable. Doesn't that mean that the Windows volume must be in a primary partition?

    Edit: I just booted PW again and tried to convert the Windows partition to logical. It told me "Cannot convert this primary partition to logical partition". It didn't provide further details. It's an encrypted partition. I wonder if that makes a difference?
    Last edited by aodhlorcan; 05 Jul 2014 at 14:41. Reason: additional info
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  10.    #10

    Need to see what you did. New screenshot please.

    "Boot" label only means its the presently booted partition. "System" is the partition booting the OS. If you want to preserve the bloated HP preinstalled OS then Recov needs to remain Primary to stay Bootable when called, likewise HP tools.

    Posted from Venice Muscle Beach.
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