More questions about partition resizing

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by dwalby, Aug 14, 2008.

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  1. dwalby

    dwalby Registered Member

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    I've done a few resizings on a Vista laptop and DD seems to cause something weird to happen each time I reboot after the resizing, but the net result always seems to be OK.

    1. If I understand it correctly, if I simply shrink a partition, and don't have to move any files, all DD has to do is re-write a few bytes in the MBR to change the partition boundaries. Is there anything more to it than that?

    2. If files need to be moved, then it just copies them inside the new partition range, and updates their entries in the file tables to indicate the new starting location. Right?

    So none of that sounds like it should cause any problems, but Murphy's Law is always there I guess.

    If I ever encounter a major problem, I guess I could just try to repair Vista with the installation DVD. I've never had to do that and have a couple of questions there too.

    3. Will the repair process set everything back to the default values? Or will it retain choices I may have made in the setup? Or is it completely dependent on what it needs to repair, it might go back to default, might not?
     
  2. dwalby

    dwalby Registered Member

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    a few more details

    I was a little vague in my original post, so let me clarify a few things.

    I was resizing the system partition (smaller), so I was running DD rescue disk in safe mode. I don't recall the exact series of events, but I eventually was back in the DD startup window and selected the "continue to Windows" option and I think all was well at that point.

    Then while in Windows I resized another data partition (larger, extending into the newly unallocated space), and made a new partition out of the remaining unallocated space. I don't think there was anything wrong with doing these partitions while in Windows, was there?

    Then I got a message that I had to reboot for the changes to take effect. Upon doing that I encountered the black-and-white windows screen that says it found a problem. I don't remember exactly what the screen said, and I've done the resizing a few different times and gotten different errors at that point, so I can't remember exactly which problem it had found. I tried to make a selection and continue but it didn't seem to have any effect, so I just turned the laptop off and did a cold reboot. It booted normally and seemed OK after that. I can't recall if I even got the usual complaint that Windows did not shut down normally after doing the cold reboot, I don't think I did.

    So if anyone can tell me if my technique is wrong I'd appreciate that.

    Otherwise I've got a bad feeling about using DD with Vista because it just doesn't seem to do anything without causing at least one complaint from Windows somewhere in the process. Now that I've got the partitions set the way I want them its probably a moot point though, I doubt I'll be doing much more re-partitioning anyway.
     
  3. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Do you have any examples of what you mean by weird? Errors, messages, etc.
    As I understand it, that's correct.
    Correct.
    A Vista repair (aside from an installation repair) can only fix a few things and some of what it should find and fix it doesn't so you can still end up making the changes manually.
    Depends what you mean by everything. A boot repair will attempt to fix booting problems (doesn't always work). A repair install (if an option) would reinstall Windows "under" the existing installation. Installed programs and files should still exist and function afterwards, but you'll need to check for any Windows updates to get current again.

    It's generally a good idea to create an Entire Disk Image backup prior do performing partitioning changes. A restore is often the quickest and easiest way to return to the starting point and try again if something does go wrong.
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Re: a few more details

    There shouldn't be. However, if a reboot is required, it's generally best to use the DD CD.

    Was chkdsk /f recently run on the partitions? It's possible that some error was causing a problem.

    I assume your partitions were correct after the cold boot.
    Doing the procedures from the DD CD gets Windows out of the way.
     
  5. dwalby

    dwalby Registered Member

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    Re: a few more details

    Mudcrab,

    thanks for the Vista repair answers, I think that confirms how I expected it to work.

    To answer a few of your questions:

    1. Yes I always do a backup image before re-partitioning, that's how I've been able to try it several times now just to see if I can find the magic touch that works without any complaints on startup.

    2. chkdsk had been run and no problems were found.

    3. My partitions are correct after the cold reboot, and all seems to be functioning normally. Every time that I got a windows startup error the partitions showed up correctly resized after getting around the startup issue. I don't think I ever broke anything to the point where it wouldn't boot, it just booted with some sort of complaint every time, but didn't have any noticable symptoms after getting started.

    4. Using the DD disk for reboot. Hmm, now I have to think about that one. I used it for shrinking the system partition, but then I may have removed it for the later stuff because I figured I'd just do the rest in windows (which I think is a reasonable expectation, right?). Then obviously I would eventually have to remove it from the drive to boot normally, and that's typically when I see the problems. Maybe if I left it in for one more reboot cycle after adjusting the data partitions things would have gone smoother. I'm not going to experiment anymore, but if I have to change anything in the future I'll give that technique a try. Its also possible I actually did that this last time, I don't recall exactly when I removed the DVD from the drive, next time I'll pay closer attention.
     
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