Can Dell partitions be deleted by TI using this method?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by zoril, Mar 29, 2006.

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  1. zoril

    zoril Registered Member

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    In a nutshell two hidden partitions came with the Dell PC - Hopefully these are the two:-

    1.) FS: FAT16 partition oxde (EISA configuration) 62.72 mb

    2.) I: FAT32 LBA 3.003 GB

    3.) My C: drive 199.7 GB NTFS

    A.) If were to just backup the C: drive say in the secure zone and NOT the other two, would this mean that the other two would no longer be there when I restored the image?

    B.) I would like to recover the extra free space and merge it into the existing NTFS C: drive. I don't want to reformat, delete partitions, reinstall due to the large number of programs that I have installed. Is there any way to do this?

    Naturally the two Dell partitions would need to be converted to NTFS and probably formatted. I don't have a great computer knowledge, so if there is a simple solution it would be most appreciated...

    My reason for wanting to do this related to an earlier post, when I mentioned that Ctrl F11 no longer works. In all honesty even if it did, I would not want to go back to the "shipping state" as there are several programs, trials etc installed I don't want or need, apart from the time that would need to be spent re-installing all my programs.


    Howard
     
  2. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    If you were to restore to a new hard drive or one that had all the partitions deleted, you would only have the C partition. If you restored to the same drive without deleting the other partitions they would still be there.

    However, if you restore to a new drive, the drive may not be bootable since backing up only the C partition will not include the MBR. Making the drive bootable may require FDISKing and Formatting it first and editing the BOOT.INI file after the restore.

    You are really worried about adding 3GB to a 200GB drive? That's an increase of 1.5%. It's trivial.

    However, you could delete the two partitions and expand the C partition using any disk partitioning program. I use Partition Magic for this sort of work, but Acronis makes a good program also.

    If you only have TrueImage, you would have to use a Windows 98 boot floppy to delete all the partitions and then re FDISK the drive with only one partition and then restore the image of C and expand it to fill the entire disk.

    Before doing this, make an image of the entire disk so that you have a recovery path in case you can't get the restored image of C to the entire disk to boot. Once you know the restored image will boot, you can discard this backup.
     
  3. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    if you get rid of the partitions, you not be able to use dell's support.
    you should keep the partitions at least until the dell warranty expired.
     
  4. zoril

    zoril Registered Member

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    Thanks for the replies:-

    JMK - It sounds like if I delete the two Dell partitions I would definitely need to get a professional partition program to merge/format the space to my existing C: drive as they would be in FAT16 or FAT32 rather then NTFS format? It may be expensive for a one only use. This computer is new. I only want one large C: drive with everything on it. If I did delete the two partitions, hopefully my MBR would be ok on the existing drive?

    Howard - The thing is without ctrl F11 working I could not never use the 3 gig restore to original state facility. The Dell diagnostic program I think I may have on one of the resource cds that I was sent when I phoned about the problem - (although I am not 100% certain). Also I will need to check if Dell diagnostics is linked to the bios in any way. If it is then I wonder will F12 will still work if that partition was deleted? I don't have the technical knowledge to know.

    ............Howard
     
  5. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Howard~

    I have a Dell Inspiron laptop with those Dell partitions. Since my Inspiron has only a 40GB drive with 25GB free, I'd also like to recover that space, especially since my current software configuration bears no resemblance to the shipped state (nor would I ever want to return to that original state)!

    I can't seem to find anything in writing to corroborate your comment about losing Dell support if those partitions are deleted... I certainly wouldn't want to invalidate my 3-year warranty, so are you sure about that?

    ~pv
     
  6. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    PM is quite often available for little, if any cost, AFTER rebate.
    http://www.buy.com/, CompUSA, Circuit city, to mention a few periodically have such offers.

    It is really necessary to have such a program sitting around waiting for when it is needed.


    Ask Dell.
     
  7. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Although I would use a partition program because I already have one, you don't have to.

    In Windows XP go to Control Panel and double click Administrative Tools. Double click Computer Management and then click on Disk Management. Right click on the FAT-32 Dell partition and select Delete. Repeat this with the FAT-16 partition. Now, you have only one partition, but it doesn't fill the disk. Reboot, and with luck you are back in Windows with no problems.

    If the system doesn't boot correctly into Windows, you will need to boot from a Windows 98 boot disk and run FDISK /MBR. At that point the system should boot into Windows. There is some risk here, but there's no way to avoid it to do what you want.

    Once the system boots into Windows, make a new image of the entire hard drive (just selecting C will select the entire drive because there is only one partition. Save this on an external hard drive.

    Reboot from the Windows 98 floppy and run FDISK. Delete the partition. Reboot again from the Windows 98 floppy and run FDISK. Partition the drive to a single partition using 100% of the drive.

    Boot from the Acronis TI Recovery CD and restore the image you made of the drive. Be sure to expand the image to fill the entire partition.

    Remove the Recovery CD and reboot. You will now have C using 100% of the drive. It's a lot of work to recover 3GB, but it should work, and all future backup images can be of the entire hard drive and will definitely boot when restored.
     
  8. zoril

    zoril Registered Member

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    Many thanks for the reply JMK:).

    I was sent a pm also re this. I have 3 small questions re your post:-

    1.) Re:- "Boot from the Acronis TI Recovery CD and restore the image you made of the drive. Be sure to expand the image to fill the entire partition".

    I was advised that it is necessary and very important to leave at least 7.844MB unallocated space - I think it was needed for sizing. Not being technical I am unsure exactly what that amount represents, or if that is an exact figure which applies to all Windows versions. I have Windows XP Professional. I was going to try to find out in one of the Microsoft forums, but maybe someone here knows the answer? If so a reply to this point is appreciated.

    2.) Re:- "If the system doesn't boot correctly into Windows, you will need to boot from a Windows 98 boot disk and run FDISK /MBR. At that point the system should boot into Windows. There is some risk here, but there's no way to avoid it to do what you want".

    Is that better then using fixmbr in recovery console, or perhaps the Acronis fix mbr - mbrautowrite_en.exe?

    3.) Re:- "Once the system boots into Windows, make a new image of the entire hard drive just selecting C will select the entire drive because there is only one partition. Save this on an external hard drive".

    Would saving in the Acronis Secure Zone also be ok, rather then to an external hard drive?

    Thanks for replying,


    Howard
     
  9. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    I've never seen any spec that states when one frees space allocated to a partition, the size of other partitions are affected affected. In particular the free space would not be contiguous.
     
  10. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    FDISK often leaves a few MB out of the partition. It's a "feature" of FDISK. With TI, you can expand to fill the entire disk or partition safely.

    Well, FDISK /MBR works, so I use it. If the others work, they are fine. If they don't work, try FDISK /MBR. :)

    Yes, but... If you have a hard drive failure, you lose the SZ if it's on the same drive, so saving on a different drive is safest. If you have a second internal drive, that's good, but an external drive is a bit safer still.
     
  11. zoril

    zoril Registered Member

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    Much obliged for the excellent answers:)

    Thanks a lot for the reply....................Howard
     
  12. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    FDISK does not omit anything.

    A partition has to be a certain multiple of clusters and begin on a certain boundary. So, there is some overhead lost due to partition starting alignment.

    I would NEVER allow TI or Ghost or whatever to set up partitions.

    I would use only the built-in windows mechanisms, the mechanisms that may bbe provided by your drive controllers (e.g. SCSI cards or Promise controllers) or specialzed programs, such as Partition Magic, that have prove their worth.
     
  13. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    And I have several times found partitions on drives partitioned with FDISK that had a few unused MB. However Partition Magic is happy to expand those partitions to use the full disk. So, FDISK is more conservative than Partition Magic, but Partition Magic works safely.
     
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