Hard Drive partition

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by samy, Sep 8, 2012.

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  1. samy

    samy Registered Member

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    My son just bought a new HP laptop.
    Having a look at Disk Management I found out that there is already four partitions (all primary ones):
    C 677GB
    HP TOOLS 98MB
    Recovery (D) 21.34GB
    SYSTEM 199MB

    I would like to divide the C partition into two partitions (one for the OS and the second one for Data), but I was told that the system cannot accept more then four Primary partitions.

    What "HP TOOLS" is for?

    Is it possible to divide the C drive?

    Thanks
     
  2. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Your problem lies in the 4 primary or 3 primary + 1 extended rule.
    Luckily, there's a walk-through here.

    Hope this does the trick for you.

    philby
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    samy,

    My preference is to avoid OS in extended partitions. I'd copy the booting files from the System partition to the Win7 partition and then delete the System partition. Now you can resize the Win7 partition and create a data partition.

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=409
     
  4. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Simply resize C using Partition Wizard (free) or a similar partition manager. The new size of C can be 100 GB. This will create unallocated space "to the right" of C. In this space, create an extended partition using the same program or Windows Disk Manager.
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Robin,

    Unfortunately, sami already has 4 primary partitions. An extended partition with logical volume would make five primary partitions.
     
  6. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Hi Brian - can I just ask you a question?

    My preference is to avoid OS in extended partitions.

    Why is that? I thought it was OK as long as the boot files are stored on an active partition (in this case the 200MB System Reserved).

    Just interested - always learning...!

    Thanks

    philby
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    philby,

    It's more of a personal opinion as I've had issues with extended partitions. If an extended partition with multiple logical volumes is deleted it is harder to undelete the logical volumes without losing data. This doesn't happen with primary partition delete/undelete. Also, I prefer the OS to hold the booting files and that means a primary partition. If the OS holds the booting files you only have to worry about imaging and restoring one partition rather than two. It's easier.

    When I was using multi-booting with Win98 and WinXP I did use OS in logical volumes and it worked fine. Once I started using BootIt as the boot manager I stopped using extended partitions as BootIt allows up to 200 primary partitions on a MBR HD. GPT drives can have up to 128 primary partitions and no extended partitions.
     
  8. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Thanks Brian!

    Also, I prefer the OS to hold the booting files and that means a primary partition. If the OS holds the booting files you only have to worry about imaging and restoring one partition rather than two. It's easier.

    Understood - I always get a retail copy of the OS (XP and 7), partition the HDD as I (and not HP, Toshiba, Samsung etc.) like and then just image C once set up. Nice and clean!
     
  9. CyberMan969

    CyberMan969 Registered Member

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    The reason for the Recovery partition to be there is to enable a full restore of the laptop's disk to it's factory default state. The recovery partition can usually be copied over to DVDs (or even better, BluRay discs if the laptop is fitted with a BluRay writer). There will most probably be an HP tool for that purpose (this tool should be pre-installed on the laptop already).

    Steps I undertake when I get my hands on a new computer:

    1. Using another computer I go to the website of the maker of the computer and download all drivers. I copy them over to a USB stick for later install. I also download all the available Windows updates as files, (for later offline installation) using the excellent Windows Updates Downloader: http://www.windowsupdatesdownloader.com/Default.aspx. I place them on the USB stick as well.

    2. I get latest versions of my favorite security software: Comodo Firewall (free), Avast! Antivirus (free version is good enough), CCleaner (free), Sandboxie (free with an ocassional nag screen), MalwareBytes' Antimalware (not free but well worth buying), KeyScrambler (free for IE and Firefox but worth buying the full version).

    3. I make a full backup of the new computer's hard disk before it loads into Windows for the first time (I use an Acronis True Image Home 2012 bootable USB stick for this so I can backup from outside windows). I use a good quality external hard disk as the destination for the backup files.

    4. After the backup is verified sucessfully and there is no image corruption I format the disk of the new computer and install a fresh copy of Windows.

    5. Once my clean copy of Windows boots for the first time I install all the drivers I downloaded earlier. I install none of the bloatware that new computers come with. My Windows is now clean and light, exactly as I want it.

    6. I install the security software I download earlier. I top it all up with Shadow Defender (for full Windows virtualization) so I can fully undo even the sturdiest malware infections, software errors, bad installs, system crashes etc. with a simple reboot. This is an invaluable function in my view. Why trying to uninstall and troubleshot problems when there is software that can undo everything with just a reboot?

    7. I install all the Windows updates, rebooting only once after all of them have been installed (otherwise it will take forever if you reboot after each and every one). I then clean up all temp files with CCleaner. At this point the new computer is 100% clean and has never been online yet. For clients I also install any software they want at this point.

    8. Finally, I boot back into Acronis using the bootable stick, and backup this clean and secure Windows that only has stuff that I want, and not the crapware that some marketing guy at Dell, Toshiba, HP, Acer etc. has deemed appropriate for me to be pre-installed on my new computer. I choose a reliable external hard disk for the destination of the backup, verify the image, then make a second copy of it on a different good quality external disk. I verify this copy as well to make sure that it is fully restorable, then store the hard disk that has my second backup copy away from the computer. This will be my lifeline that will get my system back from the dead in case the disk that holds my first backup copy dies on me.

    I have been used this methodology for all the computers that I have bought for clients, and also for my own laptops (I build all my desktops so there's no crapware pre-installed on them anyway). It all works rather well. On my own PCs I also install instant recovery software (Rollback RX). Comodo Time Machine 3.0 is another one of those instant recovery software that is currently under development, it will be free. Such software allow me to save different software setups as snapshots and switch between them in seconds, with just a reboot. They are lifesavers for software testing.

    With Shadow Defender/Rollback RX on, your system can remain uninfected, clean and fresh forever.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
  10. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Yes, you are right. I would backup the Recovery partition and delete it, resize the C partition, create an extended partition, and create a backup image of the new C.
     
  11. Setcho

    Setcho Registered Member

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    I had the same problem with a HP laptop I purchased about 6 months ago. As usual it was full of the unnecessary (IMHO) bloatware/crapware and finding that I couldn't easily dual boot linux because it already had 4 partitions was the last straw.

    Others have given you info on changing deleting partitions etc, however I agree with CyberMan969 and say reinstalling is the best option. I know HP don't give you an OS install disc but if you haven't got one spare you can download a Windows 7 SP1 ISO legally from Digital River. Here is a guide http://www.pcworld.com/article/248995/how_to_install_windows_7_without_the_disc.html

    If you do take this advice I suggest running the HP Recovery media creation program first so that you can get back to factory condition if you need to sell it at a later date. Another HP annoyance, I had to use 4 DVDs to create this recovery image and this was just after switching it on there was literally nothing on it.
     
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