Moving/Resizing C: partition and still be able to boot?

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by Tomq, May 18, 2005.

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  1. Tomq

    Tomq Registered Member

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    I have a HP media center PC with what looks (to me) to be an unusual partition scheme, and I am trying to rearrange it to make room for a linux installation.

    The first partition on the disk is D:, which is a FAT32 primary partition, which contains an HP System Recovery program and data.

    The second partition on the disk is C:, which is a NTFS, act, primary partition, which contains XP sp2.

    Using Disk Director, I am able to resize (smaller) partition C:, leaving more unassigned space for the future linux os, and all is well, as long as I leave partition D: intact and in front of C.

    If I delete partition D:, and move C: to the front of the drive (left), I get a message on the next reboot that the system is not bootable. Later, I tried just deleting partition D:, and leaving C: right where is was originally, and had the same result. Simply recreating partition D: either as NTFS or FAT32 primary, fixes the problem. (Creating D: as a logical partition causes a different error message (missing .DLL file), but the result is the same: Won't boot into XP.

    Is there an easy way to delete partition D:, move C: to the front of the disk and get it to boot normally into XP? Redo the MBR after the move? Edit boot.ini?
    If not, my other option is to simply make D: a small primary ntfs partition and use it for additional XP swap space. That is my current configuration, and it works, but I would rather not waste a primary partition assignment on a partition that currently contains nothing bootable.

    -TomQ
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Tom,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Partition and Disk Managing Software.

    Could you please create Acronis Report in the way described at Acronis Help Post and send it to support@acronis.com along with the link to this thread indicating in the subject of the letter that you want to contact Ilya Toytman? This will allow me to examine your partition layout and provide you with the solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  3. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Hi Tom,

    I think editing boot.ini is the answer. Does it contain a line like this:

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS

    The '2' tells the loader to look for Windows on the 2nd partition. When you remove the HP Recovery partition (partion #1), and shuffle the normal Windows down from partition #2 to partition #1, the entry in boot.ini points to a non-existenting partition. Change the '2' to a '1' and you should be all right.
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello MiniMax,

    You got the point! But I would rather look at the report where the partition layout along with the boot.ini content are reflected before making any assumptions. That is why I asked for the report.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  5. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Yeah, I kinda guessed that. But as I read Tom's post, he is able to restore his system to its original configuration, so there was no big risk in having him edit the file. And he seems to know what he is doing, so...
     
  6. Tomq

    Tomq Registered Member

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    Actually, since my original post, I have since discovered on my own that my boot.ini file does indeed point to the 2nd partition, just as you suggested.

    So I am considering editing the boot.ini file to point to partition 1, while I am booted in XP, then using TI to delete partition D, and move C to the front of the disk, then reboot and hope for the best. But...

    If it fails, how to get the original boot.ini back on the C partition, short of restoring the disk from my TI full backup? I have copied the original boot.ini to a bootable DOS floppy created via XP, but when I boot from the floppy, it cannot “see” NTFS partitions, including my C partition. So there would seem to be no way to copy the file back, should I need to.

    What I am wondering is this: Can I boot from the TI bootable CD, F11, get to the unix prompt, and mount R/W the NTFS partition under linux? I know how to mount the floppy, but I don't know if mounting NTFS manually will work, and if so, what the exact syntax would be. (something like “mount -t ntfs [DEVICE] [MOUNTPOINT]”, I would guess.) Assuming this can be done, then it would be a simple matter to copy (cp) the boot.ini file back to my disk partition.

    I'm no novice when it come to unix, but all of my experience is with Solaris, which is system V based, while linux looks to my eye to be a berkley derived version, which I have not worked with in many years.

    -TomQ
     
  7. MiniMax

    MiniMax Registered Member

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    Tom, if you boot with your Windows XP CD you will get an option to load an Windows Recovery Console. It will present you with a slimmed down command line from which you can either copy the fixed boot.ini from diskette to hard disk, or you can use the special bootcfg /fix to recreate the boot.ini file.
     
  8. Tomq

    Tomq Registered Member

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    I don't have a Windows XP CD, just a HP Recovery DVD, which only has two options:

    1. Completely format and reinstall my disk to factory original configuration.
    2. Replace system files but attempt to retain all data files.

    I don't see an option for Recovery Console, but I will check with HP.

    But, whatever HP says, I am still interested in finding out if it is possible to mount my XP ntfs partition under linux while booted from the TI boot CD. If that can be done, think of all the possibilities!

    -TomQ
     
  9. Tomq

    Tomq Registered Member

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    I have explored the HP web site and I now know how to get to the recovery console using the HP Recovery DVD. So I am all set on that front.

    As far as mounting the ntfs partitions under linux while booted from the TI boot CD, I have found the following to be true through experimentation:

    Using the Home edition TI boot CD, I found that you CAN manually mount a FAT32 partition under linux and copy files from a floppy to the hard disk partition. However, the linux mount command does not work for ntfs, because it apparently does not recognize ntfs as a valid partition type to mount.

    But...

    Using the Server edition TI boot CD, you CAN mount ntfs file systems, as it DOES recognize them. But when I tried to copy a file from floppy to the ntfs partition, I got an unspecified error. I then did an "ls -la" command, and found that the root directory of the NTFS partition has no write permissions for the user. I then tried to change the permissions to read/write/execute for the user, using the linux "chmod" command. But it seems that this bare bones version of linux does not support that command (or I was doing it wrong), so I could not change the file permissions. Still, I was able to copy files from the ntfs disk partition to a floppy, but not the other way 'round.

    Interesting stuff and I'm not done playing...
    ;)

    -TomQ
     
  10. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Tom,

    Well, the version of Linux used in Acronis Rescue CD is limited because we need it only to load Acronis software in stand-alone mode and we need to make is as small as possible.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  11. Tomq

    Tomq Registered Member

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    Ilya,

    I understand that, and please don't take my comments as criticism of Acronis.

    I'm just exploring what is possible with the TI boot cd beyond what is published in the user's guide, and finding some useful functionality in the bargain. But I don't expect Acronis to add linux functionality beyond what is required for the stated purpose of the product.

    Although, IMHO, adding the ability to mount and work with hard disk partitions of all supported types from the TI boot CD would be a definite enhancement to what is already a great product, if it could be done without compromising the current functionality or usability of the product.
    :)

    -TomQ
     
  12. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Tom,

    I do understand what you mean, no criticism from your side. I just found it necessary to explain why some basic Linux commands do not work (are not included to be exact).

    I do appreciate your testings and your eagerness to share your experience on this Forum.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
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