Cannot create Acronis secure zone

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by tboltfrank, Jun 13, 2009.

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  1. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    Please see edit at end of post

    Wow,

    another strange issue.

    I had deleted the HP restore files a couple days ago, but now after yesterdays attempts to create a secure zone and recovery backup, there is now that BOOTMGR file there, and a folder named BOOT. When I try to delete them, I get a message saying that a program is using the files, so it's not possible to delete them until I release that program. I have no idea what program it could be that has them locked. Should I perhaps try that unlocker free program thats well respected on the internet?

    Remember, My HP restore was linked via factory settings to the F11 key, same as Acrons's secure zone. Please let me know if you think there could be a conflict with that.

    Edit: Just saw your post.. I will go and make that image for you to see, shortly (after a short break for some refreshment)
     
  2. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    Meant to be back sooner, but fell asleep during what I had meant to be a short break.

    I've attached the image that you requested.

    Please if you will, also read my last post, just in case anything I wrote there might be relevant..

    Thanks

    PS.
    Also,,, It may or may not be relevant to note that: I have my folder options set to show hidden operating system folders. That first partition with no label I'm sure is the acronis secure zone.
    The D partition has that BOOTMGR file, as well as these Folders: Boot , Recycle bin and volume information...[Edited:-->which are the critical Vista boot files, as explained to me in the next post.]

    Per what I've quoted you shown below, from your last post, when you say that I do not need the special Acronis MBR that produces the "Press F11.., how then would I be able to restore at boot time? Or are you saying that I should not atempt that configuration?
     

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  3. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    tboltfrank:

    Thank you for posting the screen shot from Disk Management. It has answered most of my questions. As I suspected, you cannot create a Secure Zone on this disk because your partition table is full.

    A partition table has room for only four entries or "slots". Each primary partition occupies one slot. You have four primary partitions, so there is "no room at the inn", so to speak. In order to create a Secure Zone you will need to either delete a partition or convert one from primary to logical. An unlimited number of logical partitions will only occupy one slot in the partition table.

    The BOOTMGR file and the /boot folder in your D: partition that you commented on in post #26 are the Vista boot files. Good thing that Vista did not let you delete them -- you need them to boot the PC. Vista boots from your D: partition. Apparently HP set up their recovery partition as the Active (boot) partition and installed the Vista boot files there. They were not put there by Acronis.

    So let me ask a couple of questions about your objectives, and we can then figure out the best way to accomplish them.

    Q1: What were you going to use the last primary partition (on the right side of the graphic image) for? It is the first in the text list; the 62.8 GB empty partition with no drive letter. It isn't the Acronis Secure Zone; apparently it's a partition that you created with Vista Disk Management.
    Q2: What is the reason for wanting an Acronis Secure Zone on the disk? Is it to store backup files? Is it to use the "Try and Decide" feature? Is it to have the bootable recovery environment present on your laptop's hard disk? Or all of the above?
    Q3: If you want a Secure Zone, how big do you want it to be?

    Your answers will help me to determine the best way to proceed.
     
  4. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    Actually that is not for anything. -- When I ran acronis just now and clicked protection tools, acronis showed it the be the secure zone . And when I select to delete the secure zone, it fails and I get a 1364 error message
    -------------------------------------------------

    Yes I was wishing to have the recovery environment present on the laptop's hard disk, but I also realize that there might be a conflict with HP's F11 configuration for its own recovery.. If it's too complicated to over come that, I will be ok with out it. I wonder though, if I order the HP recovery disks and if I ever run them, do you or any one here happen to know (1) will the HP restore delete the acronis secure zone? and any other non factory set partitions?, (2) Do you think it might be possible that having the zone might cause an HP restore from DVD to fail?

    -------------------------------------------------
    I only need it to be about 38 gigabytes, as my C drive has about 33 gigs of programs and data files on it and I do not plan to store much of anything else there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  5. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    OK, it's late and my mind was playing tricks on me. I looked at your screen shot in post #27 and thought that it was an NTFS partition. I see now that it isn't.

    When you boot your computer do you still see the "Press F11..." message from Acronis?
     
  6. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    No, I am nearly sure that i have never seen the acronis message when booting, and I certainly am not seeing it now.

    I just did manage to delete what I am sure was the secure zone using windows disk management. And when I did so, windows informed me that the partition I was deleting was created by another program, not windows. Acronis is the only software that I have used to create or adjust any of the partitions.. other than windows disk management tools..

    For interest sake, I just rebooted to see if the F11 does anything now and found that it does nothing... Presumably because I deleted the necessary Hp Recovery files on the Recovery partition D ... All that remains now on The D partition are the HP Critical boot files that we discussed.

    Here is a new image of what i have now,

    Note that for some reason the only volume that will let me use the unallocated space to extend the partitions size, is the R partition.(The Partition R contains one true image backup file that I have already performed a couple of restores from)

    If I try to extend C, the extend option is grayed out.
     

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  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Yes, you can't extend C: with Vista Disk Management because there is no adjacent free space.

    Deleting the former Secure Zone partition was going to be my next suggestion but you beat me to it. Since you didn't see any "Press F11..." messages then you don't have the Acronis MBR on the disk and it's safe to delete what was the former Secure Zone. But you already know that.

    I find it strange that your R: partition changed in size from 49.55 GB to 25.36 GB. Did you make that change yourself or did it happen when you deleted the former Secure Zone?

    OK, from here try the following with Vista Disk Management:

    1. Right-click on your R: partition and see if you can extend it to its former size of 49.55 GB. I presume that you wanted the partition to remain that size, correct?

    2. You are going to need to keep the D: partition, but it doesn't need to be as large as the current size of 10.34 GB; only large enough to hold the Vista boot files. Right-click on the partition and try to shrink it to 250 MB if possible. If Windows won't let you make it this small then just shrink it as much as possible. You could also change the name of the partition from "RECOVERY" to "Boot" so that you remember what it's for.

    3. Finally, try creating the Secure Zone in the remaining free space at the end of the disk. For now, do not activate the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager. We'll try that step later after you get a working Secure Zone.

    It's late here so I'll check back tomorrow to see how you made out.
     
  8. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    Thanks for all your help Mark, get a good rest.

    Just to quickly answer two points with no replay requested until tomorrow, I did intentionally shrink the R: partition in size from 49.55 GB to 25.36 GB. I did so because that's large enough for one backup file and yesterday when I renamed that backup file and I tried to create a second backup there, acronis stated that R: did not have enough space to create it there. In other words it was a choice between enlarging the R: partition to make room for a second backup, or shrinking it, so I chose to shrink it.

    The D: partition I am able to shrink and will do so as you suggested.

    The rest of what you suggested I will report on tomorrow.

    ------------------------------------------------
    And a question for tomorrow is: If I were to loose my ability to boot again, is it possible to run true image restore backup from R:, using the command prompt from the repair disk, instead of repairing the boot files? and if I were ever to be in a situation where I did not have the repair disk with me, but if I was able to access a command prompt with the F8 key windows menu, could I run the restore from there?
     
  9. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    If you lose the ability to boot again you will not be able to get to the F8 key to boot into safe mode or safe mode with command prompt. To fix a low-level boot issue like this requires the repair CD.

    Eventually, you need to get the Acronis Secure Zone and the Startup Recovery Manager working to handle issues like this when you are traveling and don't have access to a repair CD. You will then be able to press the F11 key at boot time to enter the Acronis Recovery Environment to restore a backup image.

    We'll get there but let's get your partition layout fixed up first. Let me ask a few questions about what you want to achieve as a final result:

    Q1: In post #31 you mention trying to extend the C: partition. Do you need more space in this partition? What size would you like the C: partition to be?
    Q2: What is the size of the backup image that is currently in the D: partition?
    Q3: Do you have an external USB disk?
    Q4: Do you prefer having your image files on a visible partition so that they can be managed easily (copied/pasted/deleted, etc) with Windows Explorer?
    Q5: Or, do you prefer having the image files stored in the Secure Zone? In other words, is the intended usage of the Secure Zone for storing backup image files or is it just to contain the files needed to boot into the Acronis recovery environment?

    Once I understand what you'd like to achieve I can then give you detailed instructions on how to get there.
     
  10. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    Hello again Mark.. Hope you got enough rest.

    Hopefully I've answered all of your question's in a suitable fashion.
    (Refer to new image below to show you my latest drive configuration) It would take to many words to described how I got it this way, but I managed to manipulate the partitions around, so that my unallocated space has now been added to my C: Partition. -- The D: partition I will rename later to Boot, as you suggested... I would like to shrink the D: partition as you suggested, but when I do that, I end up with the removed space as unallocated space that is only adjacent to the D: partition. In other words, it seems the only two choices are to have about 10 gigs of unallocated space,(which seem like a worthless option to me), or leave it in the D: partition, (as is), where at least I would have the option of using that space for extra storage.

    10 gigs is fairly insignificant to me at the moment, unless it looks simple enough to some how manipulate it to the C: or R: partition by some means that I've overlooked.

    My backup image is about 21.5 gigabytes in size, and as you can see by my current partition image below, my D: partition is 25 gigs. That seems about right, to me.

    Yes, I just purchased one that's 160 gigs, and I fully intend to store a few versions of backups there.
    I am interested in the best way to access those backups in these two scenarios::: (scenario 1) my internal hard drive fails and I replace it with a new one. (scenario 2) let's say I am able to boot, but maybe it's become plagued with spyware etc. and is impossible to use Acronis from the desktop. I would like to be able to both restore from the Acronis recovery environment with the F11 key, or my usb external, using a boot disk.

    Yes, having them visible and easily manageable is my preference. -- For now I am planning to only have one backup stored in the R: partition and several other versions on the usb external.

    I would like to have the secure zone as well, but I only want to use that for booting into the Acronis recovery environment with the F11 key
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    In my configuration you can see that the 62.80 FREE SPACE is adjacent to the D: partition. Is the FREE SPACE available for anything other than creating a new partition, or extending the D: partition? Below you can see that my C: partition free space is 82.58, not 62.80, so surely it seems that is not an indicator of free space on the C: partition.. righto_O --- It looks by my inexperienced eye as though it's currently non-accessible and therefore wasted space, that I'd surely love to have available for extending my C: partition.. Would you or anyone else be so kind as to explain to me what I might be misunderstanding about the green highlighted FREE SPACE?

    I've begun the steps towards creating the secure zone now. -- I clicked "protection tools" , then "Manage Acronis secure Zone", then clicked the "next" without checking one of the partition check box's and the screen shows the available space for creating the zone as 62.80, the same as the green highlighted FREE SPACE in the image below.. That's good in my eyes so far, as that's putting some of that space to use. The default size is 31.42, so I planning to leave it that size. The default for activating is ACTIVATE, so I'm going to select DO NOT ACTIVATE, as I am nearly sure that is the instruction that you have given me. - I'll be back in a minute to report what happens as I proceed with attempting to finish creating a 31.42 gig zone.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  11. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    Didn't work, I got that error message that I've mentioned before. I've attached an image of it.

    The method that enabled me to create the zone yesterday was to mark a check box in a partition that has too little free space for creating a secure zone, let it default to the FREE SPACE, (the green highlighting FREE SPACE in my previous posts image of my disk layout), then proceed.. This time though I'm going to select DO NOT ACTIVATE. - Be back soon to report..
     

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  12. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    In Disk Management terminology, "Free Space" is space inside an extended partition container that is available for creating logical partitions. "Unallocated Space" is available for creating or extending primary partitions. Here is what you can do to get better control over the D: partition size and the remaining free space.

    1. Right-click on the Free Space and choose "Delete". This will remove the extended partition container, leaving it as unallocated space.
    2. Now shrink your D: partition to a minimal size.
    3. Right-click on the remaining unallocated space and create a logical partition to fill the available space. Format it, give it a name and a drive letter. I would suggest that you use this partition for storing images. It will be large enough to hold more than one image file and to also allow for possible future growth in the size of your images.

    The sequence of operations is important here, so try steps 1, 2, and 3 before doing anything else and then let's see where you're at.

    Afterward, this is where I'm headed with these instructions. The general idea is to get you a large enough partition to store images, a bootable Secure Zone partition for recovery, and more space in your C: partition. The remaining steps should be:

    4. Create a Secure Zone of minimum size (about 30 MB, not GB!) by taking space away from this new partition. It will become a logical partition if you do things in the sequence shown. I will ask you to do this from the Acronis rescue CD in order to avoid the problems with Windows that led to your first "disaster".
    5. Activate the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager from the boot CD.
    6. Test its operation.
    7. After all is working properly, copy the image file stored on R: to the new partition.
    8. Delete the R: partition.
    9. Expand the C: partition into the unallocated space, thus expanding the size of your C: partition by 25 GB.

    But take it a step at a time. I see from your last post that you are unable to create a Secure Zone in Windows. Hold off on this until we get through the first 3 steps above.
     
  13. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    Ok, all sounds very good.

    Before seeing your post, I did just finish now, trying to create a 30 gig zone in the D: partition, let it default to free space, (as there was not enough room to create it there), selected do not activate, and proceeded. the result was the same error as before. It looks to me as though possibly the selecting activate is what allowed me yesterday to create the zone, but as we both agree, we don't want to follow that path again.

    I am not going to have time now, to create the acronis boot disk and follow all of your instructions. I will most likely be back within about 5 to 8 hours. If you are not around then, I'll post my progress and you can answer me tomorrow ....That will be just fine !!.... :thumb:

    Thanks for your concise explanations and good advice.
     
  14. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Sounds good. I need to get back up on the roof anyway and finish painting the trim. We don't get many nice, sunny days like this in Central Pennsylvania...

    If things work for you then continue with each step. If you run into a problem then it would be best to pause and post your results before continuing.
     
  15. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    Pennsylvania huh, :cool:

    I was born and raised and lived in a small town just outside of North East Philadelphia, until a little less than half of my current age of 54.. Then moved to Southern California, near Sea World... where I can golf year round.. hee-hee.. but I still have vivid memories of what you mean about taking advantage of the nice days as you get them... I occasionally miss the greenery in that part of the country, as well...
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    I've complete the first 3 steps, as well as created the Acronis boot disk.
    I am likely going to try to see how far I can get with steps 4 thru 9 on my own, because you did pretty much describe what needs to be done.
    * I have my second laptop right next to me, so I will be able to see if you post a comment, as I attempt to make more progress.
     

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  16. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    tboltfrank:

    That looks good! You're making great progress.

    Booting from the Rescue CD is an important step because you need to confirm that it works well with your laptop. The rescue environment is Linux and has different device drivers than Windows. But the graphical user interface should look very much like the Windows version.

    Try step 4 next then reboot into Windows and check Disk Management to confirm that the Secure Zone was created properly. If that works, try steps 5 and 6. Step 5 may take a while to complete. Just wait it out. Let me know how it goes.

    =======================================================================
    P.S. We spent 4 years in North Hollywood in the early 70s.
     
  17. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    I'm doing fine with the Acronis screen from the boot disk, but it is telling me that I cannot create a secure zone on the selected drive. Which seems like an improperly worded message box, because I did not select any drive.. Should I put a check mark next to the Image partition? Edit: I looked closer at your instructions and see that it is the image partition that I need to select. I'm selecting the size to be 300 mb now and selecting Do not Activate and I will then proceed with the creation. - Ok back again, it is processing the request without error this time, in fact it is now displaying a message that the secure zone was created successfully... I will be booting into windows soon to see if I can see the secure zone. Be back soon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  18. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    I need a little more clarification with these two steps. Are you telling me to run the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager from the boot CD? I need to select Protection Tools, to see the option to manage the zone, is that correct? Then an option to Activate the zone, correct? Will I see an option to resize the zone there? If so, what size should I make it at this point? Only large enough to hold my existing backup file?

    Then how do I test it's operation as called for in step 6?
     

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  19. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I have an older version of TI so I don't know exactly where to find the "Activate Acronis Startup Recovery Manager" wizard in TI 2009, but here is how it appears in the boot CD for TI 10:

    ASRM.png

    Yes, I do suggest trying this from the boot CD instead of from Windows. I'm still paranoid about the original problem you got into. You do not need to resize the Secure Zone; it's already large enough. The recovery files that will get copied into the Secure Zone are only ~30 MB and you have 300 MB of space.

    After doing this, reboot your PC. You should see a message "Press F11..." appear at boot time. Press F11 and verify that the PC boots into the recovery environment. It should look identical to what you see now on the boot CD.

    I see from your last screen shot that Windows Disk Management strikes again. It shows your Secure Zone as a primary partition when clearly it is not. You already have 3 primary partitions and a logical partition container so it is impossible to have a fourth primary partition. Just ignore it.
     
  20. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    hmmmm,

    I activated the zone, (I hope that I was supposed to), then rebooted, removed the acronis cd after the pc screen went dark, but before the hp lap top option screen appeared, then the Acronis F11 prompt text appeared, but I was too slow to try to push the F11 key at that time, then windows failed to boot, but instead diverted to the windows menu that you get when pressing the F8 key. If I select start windows normally sometimes it will and sometimes it fails again. If I do nothing it keeps restarting after automatically choosing start windows normally. It does so a few times, then boots into windows ok. Then if I restart windows again from the desktop, the same happens again and again.

    If I press the F11 key, the acronis program does run as expected.

    Edit (1): All is seeming well now, you might not believe what seems to have cured the problem. The I: Image partition was some how shrunk to 4.65 gigaytes, and the other 67 plus gigs was turned into free space. What's just about as unusual as that is that I the option to delete the free space was grayed out, so instead I elected to extended the I: partition back to the 72 plus without deleting the free space first, as I had thought was the correct procedure. That worked fine.

    Edit (2) New update since my 1st edit: Spoke too soon, everything is not ok, I was able to boot normally twice in a row, but now it randomly fails, the same as described before.

    At least the I: partition is still maintaining it's size now. (That was so weird)

    I likely will not be back until about 2 1/2 hours from now, and I fully expect that you'll be asleep by then. So just leave me your suggestions for what I should try next, and I'll see them later and we can connect again tomorrow. (that is if you are planning to be online tomorrow.) I'll likely be here signing back on here tomorrow somewhere between 1:00pm and 3pm your time, but do not expect you to come running. In fact I do not expect you to be here at all, if you get busy. - Of course it will also be fine if anyone else would like to throw in some suggestions.

    Hope the painting went well Mark.

    Bye for awhile.....
     

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  21. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    That's a completely unexpected outcome. I wonder if the Event Log will give any clue to the reason for the multiple reboots? In Computer Management, instead of clicking on Disk Management, go up the list to Event Viewer > Custom Views > Administrative Events as shown here:

    Errors.PNG

    In the right pane of the window, look at the events marked with red !Error symbols around the time of your last reboot. What kinds of errors are listed?

    You can always try removing the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager to see if the problem goes away.
     
  22. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    Thanks mark,

    I will investigate that and will post back in about 20 minutes.

    If it becomes necessary later to remove the Acronis Startup Recovery Manager, what is the proper method for doing that? Can it be done (and is it best) to do that from the Acronis boot disk?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  23. tboltfrank

    tboltfrank Registered Member

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    Here is the log, however those same errors have been accurring all day. At least by my eye I don't see anything different than before we tried al of what we have today. ** Would restoring my backup likely get us back to where we were before all of this?? (if we decided that's best, I mean)

    ** What if I try the Vista repair disk to see if it detects any issues with the boot files?

    I have to leave now for about two hours. , maybe you could leave me some of your thoughts about my two questions **, above, for me to see when I get back.

    I do appreciate it a lot.

    See you next time. Hope you get to sleep soon.
     

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  24. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I would remove it from the boot disk. It should be the same wizard but this time choose to de-activate it.

    Your event log doesn't look unusual. At the moment I don't see a reason for the behavior that you observe. As a test I would remove the ASRM and see if things return to normal. If they do, make another full-disk image. I'll check back tomorrow.

    Just saw your latest edit. The Vista repair disk might be worth trying. It may replace the Acronis MBR with the normal Vista MBR, thus effectively removing the ASRM. It probably won't hurt to try.
     
  25. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    In TI 2009, deactivating the ASRM can be done in the Protection State >> Protection Tools section of the program.

    Is there a specific reason you kept the booting files on a separate partition? I would move them to the Vista partition and remove the booting partition. This would free up a partition table slot and allow all four to be Primary partitions (if desired).

    When you get into Vista, I would run a chkdsk /f on each partition to make sure there isn't any corruption causing a problem (you can also do this easily from the Command Prompt when booted to the Vista DVD). We've seen before that having mixed partitions can cause problems (some created by Vista, some created by TI/DD, for example). Windows just doesn't like this, in some cases.

    The F11 key used by the ASRM can be changed to another key, if necessary.
     
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