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Windows 7: Lost partitions!

05 Nov 2013   #11

windows 7 Pro 64 Bit

Also, I decided to image the C OS and system partitions again and noted that Acronis TI 2014 sees 2 drives (although there is only one...):

Lost partitions!-acronis-cap.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2013   #12

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Good you have achieved some satisfactory results. In the other case also we found those mystery boot partitions and I really have no answers. In that case OP's whole drive was RAW. May be he has to take your help in making it UNRAW, seriously :).

It is because of that OP I did my experiments on GPT and learnt one thing positively. If I get a PC with UEFI and a GPT drive, the first thing I will do is backup sectors 0 to 33 and also the first sector of each partition with Bootice. In case of any partition related problem arising later on, I would simply restore those sectors.

( Recenty I made a trial backup of my system drive with AOMEI backupper. Today all of a sudden for some reason my Data Card would not work. ( I use it rarely and only when my ADSL fails.) It would work on other family members' laptops. I couldn't get into the root of the problem. After trying in vain for about half-an-hour, I simply restored my system from that back up and it was back in action.. Otherwise I would be asking for help here.:))

In your case, I would think you should now think of restoring that system to the factory condition ( of course after backing up all data) either from the recovery partition/restore disks or a clean install. Please take help from Windows 8 Forum and explore that suggestion.

EDIT: I stopped using Acronis TIH long back on reports that it meddles with MBR and so I may not be wrong perhaps if I suspect Acronis may be creating all those unknowns.!!!!!!!! ( I always view it with suspicion, from your first post on.:))
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2013   #13

windows 7 Pro 64 Bit

I'm thinking the "mystery boot partitions" may be boot records for the recovery partitions. But the reality is that he will always bring his systems to me, and I keep the baseline backups I make for him. Given that, I'm tempted to give it back to him as is, as it will make no difference to him, and perhaps this will be something I sort out later, as time is at a real premium at the moment. And there is also the reality that I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to GPT partitions and UEFI. I also have to sort out some permission issues with moving the my docs folder to that 'new' D partition.

That said, I have copied and pasted your 'tut' above and saved it to disk. I will be downloading BootIce and perhaps doing some 'practice runs' with it. Learning about this and other aspects are of high interest to me and your posts seem valuable to that end. The last thing I want to do is screw up an HD and data that doesn't belong to me.

As to Acronis, I have vowed not to buy another version. I have been using it since 2004, but have found in recent years that poorly thought out "features" (as Acronis calls them) plague recent versions. I've had no MBR issues.

At any rate, thanks so much for your input and time. It is much appreciated!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Nov 2013   #14

windows 7 Pro 64 Bit

Just popped back in with another thought. My concern over the lost/deleted boot partitions (records?) PW found might just be an issue with PW reading GPT/UEFI volumes. That's speculation on my part, but Disk Management doesn't show any issues and shows all partitions as healthy (incidentally, the latest build of Acronis Disk Director refused to even scan the drives...said it didn't support dynamic partitions even though the partitions were basic). screenshot here:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2013   #15

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Your speculation may well be right. I also had a doubt that Partition Wizard is not well geared to take on GPT drives. So I do not recommend its use on GPT drives. Hence the Bootice way to backup the partition info and restore. But it presupposes that you have a baseline backup of all important sectors including the first sector of all partitions to begin with.

I would also speculate when you restore an image with ATI, is it restoring the first sector of any partition exactly to the same sector? May be not and that is why that partition turned RAW.( My experiment clearly demonstrated that destroy the the first sector of any partition, that partition will turn RAW) On close examination of the boot partitions in PW I find that they are all separated only by a few hundreds of sectors. So each time you attempt a restore you may be getting a different first sector of that partition. Especially with imaging software the user will need to check the particular tool documentation to ensure the software provides support for GPT. Otherwise we are sure to see problems galore of this sort.

In all there is more than what meets the eye. So I would think that in this change over to GPT from MBR period, till everyone of the Partition/Format/backup vendors get their act right and all the confusion clears it is safer to have that baseline sector-specific backup with Bootice.

For creation of GPT drive I used Windows Disk Management only. During the trials I also made an attempt to use AOMEI partition recovery with Partition Master. But even the quick scan seemed to take ages. So I did not pursue.

I have kept my 750GB drive ready for multiple GPT partitions and further trials. But hardly anytime to get on with. :)

I think you have the potential to carry on the experiments. I appreciate your spirit. Get going with it.:)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2013   #16

windows 7 Pro 64 Bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
...when you restore an image with ATI, is it restoring the first sector of any partition exactly to the same sector? May be not and that is why that partition turned RAW.

Maybe not, and I have lost confidence in ATI (prior to this experience), but I've been using it for a decade, and it takes time to find business crucial software, which I don't have at the moment. So I stayed with 'the satan I know'.

But I will say that the image restores I did to the System partition were no issue at all (twice). I did not restore any images to the D: partition (the one that turned RAW). I only saved the images there (in a folder, of course).

I think you are right when you imply an adjustment period is in play. We can only hope that it is short and fruitful.

I hope to have the time to educate myself in this and other of new technologies in the near future. Time is always at a premium these days, it seems, but I am nearing the end of what has been a time consuming project. I will likely be spending more time in the forums and it is nice to know that there are so many here that are helpful and knowledgeable. Again, thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Lost partitions!

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