Now what? (How to reclaim unallocated space...)

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by gues, Nov 13, 2005.

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  1. gues

    gues Guest


    I've successfully cloned my (nominally) 40gb HD onto my new (nominally) 80gb HD (necessitated by imminent HD failure). Now, I have apr. 37 GB allocated as my "C:" drive, and apr. 37 GB of space as "unallocated." Obviously, either I (inadvertantly) or Acronis has decided to format the HD with a partition...that is unwanted (I would have preferred, I guess, to have all 80GB of the new drive as one partition.)

    What do I do with the "unallocated" space to make it usable--now? Can I change/remove the partition "on the fly"--or, alternatively, format the unallocated space as a new drive--without damaging the current installation?

    If not, how do I ensure, if I have to go back and restore again, that the whole 80GB of the drive is "allocated?" Thanks!
  2. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Aug 19, 2004
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hello gues,

    In case there is confusion over terminology, can you please confirm that you actually used the Clone Disk Wizard rather than the Restore Data Wizard to migrate from your old HD to the new one?

  3. gues

    gues Guest

    Hi, thanks for the reply.

    Indeed, I used the "Restore Data" wizard, NOT the "Clone" wizard. I'd been making incremental backups for a over a week, as I waited for the new HD's shipping, and wasn't sure whether the old HD in my laptop would even be working at all by the time the new HD arrived--i.e. whether there would be anything left to "clone!" (I had critical emails to send, as I work from home, so I kept using the old, crippled hard drive for about ten days, if sparingly.)

    Hope this helps clarify--e.g. hope you can help me utilize the image I already have on my external HD, without having to pop the old HD in a make a "clone." I doubt it would even work...

    Better: any way (and I'm surely unaware of any!) to "format on the fly" my existing HD, to reclaim the unallocated space, whether to remove the partition, or to name it as another drive? You get my drift...

  4. gues

    gues Guest

    BTW, Menorcaman: (off topic: Took a couple of moments to view some pics of Menorca, given your username...WOW! Stunningly beautiful!)
  5. Othmar

    Othmar Guest

  6. gues

    gues Guest

    For those in my position, please see this post:

    ("gues" I should've done a search to begin with!

    Anyway, it answers my question: Unless I use another SW disk imaging tool (PArtition Magic, etc.), I will have to re-do the restore, paying better attention to the (very confusing!) screen where it asks one to select "space before" and "space after." In my case, setting both to "0" will ensure that all of the drive is allocated to "C:\" I'm just happy to know I don't have to reinstall my crippled old HD in my laptop and make an excruciatingly slow (and chancy, at best) new snapshot. It's take days, if it worked at all! Anyway, this looks like my solution...

    Or, so the gurus have stated. Hope it works!

    Good luck to anyone in the same boat!
  7. gues

    gues Guest


    We must've crossed posts, there...

    Thanks very much for the tip, I'll go check it out!
  8. gues

    gues Guest


    I get an error when I try to extend my ("volume 2") C:\ drive:

    "Dispart failed to extend the volume. Please make sure the volume is valid for extending." Any ideas?
  9. gues

    gues Guest


    There is this caveat on the page you sent me about the tool:

    "You can extend only volumes created on a dynamic disk, not volumes created on a basic disk that you've upgraded. If you try to extend volumes created on a basic disk, you'll receive the error "DiskPart failed to extend the volume. Please make sure the volume is valid for extending."

    However, I do not understand the terminology: e.g. "dynamic" vs. "basic."

    Can you explain, please?
  10. Othmar

    Othmar Guest

    you're welcome, gues.

    Just as a further hint, please do not get frustrated if you are denied extending your (system) c drive. Happened to me, too, and was overcome by using another PC in which I put the new drive as (non system) d drive. There it was all workie.

    Cheers: Othmar
  11. Othmar

    Othmar Guest

    cross postings # 2 & 3, sorry ;-)

    Cheers: Othmar
  12. gues

    gues Guest

    Thanks, Othmar,

    Frustrated? Me? Having computer probs over ten days due to a failing HD?

    NEVER! (grin!)

    My particular prob. is that my PC is a notebook. Not easy to pop it into another PC, without a 3.5" adapter, which I don't have. No winnie fo' me, I guess.

    I CAN go back and re-do the restore, per my earlier post...I just hate to mess with a "sure" thing, ya know? (Ahem, btw: My first attempt at a restore crashed the system, I'm still not sure why!)
  13. gues

    gues Guest

    BTW, re: "Cheers..."

    "Cheers, right back atcha!" gues says, with false gusto, popping his second (undoubtedly destined to be among several, too many) beer of the day...


    Guess I'm gonna haveta do the new restore...

    Well, who needs football as a Sunday excuse to drink beer, anyway?!

    Aside: just for future reference: What do "dynamic" and "basic" refer to?

  14. Othmar

    Othmar Guest

    ok, so final try: find someone who has an external USB enclosure for 2,5 in drives (or buy one, I find them extremely useful, it's just 20 Euros here in Austria), put your new hdd in there and do the extend job on your notebook, booting just one last time from your old hdd?

    Cheers: Othmar
  15. Othmar

    Othmar Guest

    as to 'dynamic' and 'basic', I am afraid that, as both my sons are out of house, I am unable to enlighten you (being a simple PC user myself who just happened to have solved in the not too distant past a problem similar to that one you have now.)

    nonetheless, cheers, again!
  16. gues

    gues Guest


    Yeah, I could buy a caddy for the 2" drive...but I'm looking for a SW solution...and, since my laptop's been down for a week and half, already, I'm looking to find some solution today, as it's Sunday, and I've set aside today--and only today, darnit!--to get everything right. I already have lost so much productivity due to the failing, old HD, that I'm gonna be overwhelmed for at least the next two weeks (I work from home, and this is currently my only PC). What a hectic, frantic-paced world we live in, eh? Run, Lola, run!

    Regarding your "expert" kids: ROFLMAO! Too funny! Ain't it the truth! (And, therefore, aren't we so proud of the little urchins, even as we are somewhat intimidated by them?! Back in prep school (circa 1981), I did a little Basic+ programming...fooled around with various incarnations of random-number generators, tried my hand at making some VERY primitive moving graphics on a (GASP! HIGH-TECH!) VGA monitor, all on a DEC VAX (well, a PDP-1144, earlier). My Dad was just stunned. And you know what? (Yeah, you know!) So what? No biggie! ("Here, just go into the Registry and change this value, and...!") The way of the world, and as it should be. Evolution in action. And, hey. At least for a few more years maybe you'll be bigger and stronger! (Hah!)

    Thanks for the help, and very nice chatting with you. Thank you for sharing your recent successes; such is what makes desperate folks, like me, truly happy about the online community...for all the malware artists, there are real folks that care enough to give back. And all the scammers in the world cannot ever diminish the the community, nor our overall faith in it. (Paralells to terrorism, and "real" communities, bien sur.)

    CHEERS! (Um, beer 5, but who's counting?!) ;>{)


    Will Sullivan
  17. gues

    gues Guest

    Sorry for the mispellings. Started with beer 4, ended with beer 5!

    Devolution in action...

  18. gues

    gues Guest

    I'm just gonna do a new restore, and set the values in the "space before" and "space after" options appropriately, this time. (The manual does NOT go into this well enough, and it's non-intuitive! But, the nagain, it appears the manual hasn't even been updated/edited for three or four years, TMWOT.)

    One of my biggest prob's--and one that mades me leary of TI to begin with--is that my Acronis TI boot CD doesn't work right. I pop it in, and it says it's loading, and then...nada, nothing happens. In frustration, I finally started tapping "Enter" and then randomly a bunch of keys...which overloaded the memory, made the sticks do a self-check, and finally booted TI with a notice that it was booting to reslove the issue.

    (That's a heck of a way to haveta boot a rescue disk, hmm! And just sheer darned "luck of the Irish" that I did it that way...)

    I know I can (now that I have a valid, bootable HD volume) jump into TI though XP, and bypass this Linux step...but, if THIS element isn't "ready for prime time," one wonders about the whole SW package...any--even slight-- increase in the "fear factor," when one already is walking a fine line trying to salvage a dying drive, makes one very, very cautious. Hence, my desire to "salvage what I've managed to save" and try to deal with any issues, from here.

    Just some thoughts. I leave you now to your own beer(s)!

    Thanks for the help, the views, etc.


  19. Othmar

    Othmar Guest


    how well I can understand you, having gone through the process of a slowly dying hdd myself few weeks ago. Sure was handy then to have a recycled 866 MHz desktop PC available for doing some interim work (me too working from home) and troubleshooting.

    One more suggestion - should you be on XP - is to prepare yourself a Bart PE CD with the TI8 plugin. I found this to be the best (ie fastest, by far) solution to back up my notebook's hdd. As I understand, the linux drivers for USB2 which come with the Acronis CD are slowing data throughput considerably, as compared to the WIN XP ones.

    And, btw, 'bigger and stronger'... those were the days... my learning basic on a teletype took place 71/72... so, as of today, 'bigger and stronger' is applicable only to me vs my 13-months-old grandson.

  20. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Aug 19, 2004
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hello again gues,

    Perhaps my reply in this previous thread titiled <New HD image from CDs?> can be of some help?


    Menorca's not so nice at the moment - thunder and lightning and pouring with rain :'(. But your right, it's a beautiful island (and very peaceful now all the tourists have departed!!).
  21. gues

    gues Guest

    Menorcaman (and Othmar and others):

    Thanks for your kind help. My earlier plan (above, in this post) to simply re-restore, using options to set the size of the unallocated space before and after, did not work.

    HOWEVER: using Menorcaman's advice (see his link, just above) to re-restore only the partition in question (i.e. not the whole, upper, "Disk 1" option, even though that was the only NTFS partition on the old drive), worked like a charm. I WAS able to use the slider to extend the total space to the end of the bar, thereby reclaiming all the unallocated space on the new drive!

    Clunky, yes, but workable. Frankly, this should be: a) exlained in the outdated manual; b) integrated as an option during Restore (as it is in the Clone function).
    Perhpas Acronis wants one to buy their full disk management suite, or whatever.

    Anyway, thanks to all! This is a solution to a problem that should not have arisen, IMHO

    P.S. Othmar and Menorcaman (and others): very nice talking with you. I probably won't be hanging out here much, as I don't really antcipate further problems, and yet don't have the expertise to offer advice--but, if you guys have any interest in audio and video (and/or a combination, as in home theater), check out the AV Science forums, where I'm often to be found under the name "Willdao." These are the definitive audio and video forums, and many folks in the industry (along with VERY knowledgable laymen) hang out here, dispensing advice, reviewing equipment, tweaking everything to the nth degree, etc. These are a cut WAY above the typical "lo-fi" consumer forums, although wise and savvy conumers make up the bulk of the posters: very few kids looking for "spkrs tha crank out the watts, man!" as they are mainly ignored and find othr places to play. Lots of engineers (elctrical, optical, mechanical), and TONS of excellent and well-thought advice and experience(s).

    C'mon over! (You'll often find me, these days, wandering amidst the "Digital Projectors < $3500" threads, esp. regarding the Panasonic ae900, or in the "Speakers" or "Screens" threads, as these are my current priorities...the main portal is at , a good enough place to start, but you'll quickly find yourself starting any session by going to the main forums listings, at

    Hope to see folks there! (Do read the forum rules, as AVS funds this site not only by selling (high end) equipment, but also through the use of a myriad of industry sponsors...they don't at all cram their products or advice, but do ask that no talk of dealers or street prices (i.e. "deals") be discussed in the threads--i.e. advice and usability info. only; in exchange, they won't offer opinions on their own lines, but are there if you need 'em. A very fair trade, IMO. There really isn't any other place on the Web like this veritable geek sanctuary. Enjoy!
  22. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

    Aug 19, 2004
    Menorca (Balearic Islands) Spain
    Hello Will,

    Thanks for posting back the result of the workaround. Unfortunately not everyone bothers, which is very frustrating and doesn't help other users with similar problems. Anyway, happy imaging and (hopefully) not too much restoring :).

    I might well take up your suggestion and check out the AV Science Forum - sounds like an interesting place to visit.

  23. gues

    gues Guest


    Why, surely! After getting such terrifically helpful advice (not to mention some cool company, and a bit of commiseration!), reporting back is the least one can do. Thanks, again. So...

    I guess I should post back, yet again, and add full info. (from your linked intructions), so that folks in this thread get a clear and uncomplicated process to follow, without having to link through to your sage advice! Here're Menorcaman's instructions, that I followed to perfect success, followed by a bit of regurgitation on my part:

    <<Hi all,

    Have no fear! There is a way of using TI to resize restored partitions to a larger drive, albeit it's a little convoluted:

    1. Create an image of the whole of the old drive by checking the tickbox next to the disk number. This ensures the MBR is copied into the image, thereby ensuring the new hard drive is bootable.
    2. Replace the old drive with the new one (remember to set the jumpers correctly).
    3. Boot from the TI rescue CD and restore the whole of the old drive to the new one by, again, checking the tickbox next to the disk number. That will ensure the MBR is copied onto the new drive.
    4. Having done that, choose to carry out a second restore to the new drive but this time only check the tickbox next to the individual partition (if the old drive contains more than one partition then, later in the process, TI will ask whether you wish to restore another partition).
    5. The individual partition(s) can then be expanded to fill the unallocated space by using the size slider.
    6. Once the size of the individual partition(s) has/have been set so that it/they fill(s) the whole of the new disk, select "Proceed" to complete the second restore.

    Well I did say it was a little convoluted!! However, it's better than nothing if you don't have any partition management software .

    Regards [Menorcaman]>>

    To reiterate, this works painlessly, although you do have to make a couple of run-throughs with the "Restore" feature, which is clunky and time works. The first run through (after having saved the old drive's whole disk image, by checking the disk number option, "Disk *" not just a given partition; this gets the MBR on the restoration image--e.g. in my case I put the old image onto an external USB 2.0 HD) is to Restore that whole-disk image (again, check the whole "Disk *" option at the top, not a given partition, if available) to the new HD. This gets the MBR to the new drive.

    Then, do another Restore (turn off computer and boot with the Acronis TI Rescue disk again) this time checking NOT the upper, whole "Disk *" option, but the individual partition below, that makes up the primary partition, that you want to restore. (Later, you will be asked whether you want to restore other partitions). You can then--because you're in a subset of the whole disk, with this partition, I guess--use a slider to expand the space of this partiton (and others, if you have them; I didn't) to fill the whole drive volume, if you like. Then click Proceed to Restore, again, for the second time. Upon boot into the OS, you should have reclaimed all the unallocated space!

    I don't know if I clarified anything Menorcaman said, or just befuddled fiolks more! But, this kind of clarified a few things I had trouble figuring out...hope anyone with this issue has as much good luck as I did!
  24. thebigdintx

    thebigdintx Registered Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    You have come up with a great way to transfer a image of an older smaller hard drive to a new larger hard drive for people who don't have any partition manager software (and can not use the clone function because their old drive failed, and they have to use a stored image). I re-worded it a little, and will post it here so people have some step by step directions to follow which are a little more detailed for the less experienced users. I saved these instruction in a notepad document, and will print them out to have as a reference in case I ever have to do such a restore. Thanks again....

    How to transfer a saved image of a old smaller hard drive to a new larger hard drive if you don't have any partition manager software:

    Replace your old smaller hard drive with your new larger hard drive. Boot to the Acronis True Image Rescue disk, and use "restore image" to restore your saved whole disk image to the new larger hard drive (check the whole "Disk" option at the top, and not just the partition listed below the "disk" choice). This gets the old disk's image, including the MBR(Master Boot Record), onto the new drive, but you will have some unallocated space on your new larger hard drive.

    Shut the computer down, and then boot to the Rescue disk again. Do ANOTHER Restore using the same image you just used. This time, do NOT check the upper choice, whole "Disk" option. Instead, select the individual partition (which is listed below the "Disk" choice) that makes up the primary partition that you want to restore. You will then be able to move the slider to expand the space of this partiton so that it fills up the new, larger hard drive. When you are done, and you boot into the operating system, you should have reclaimed all the unallocated space.
  25. rharris270

    rharris270 Guest

    Looking at your problem from another angle:

    Maybe you should use this as an oppertunity to have multiple partitions on the hard drive, one for the OS and programs, and another for data?

    This sort of arangement makes it easier to backup the data, which changes frequently, maybe daily, using a simple XCOPY (with /D switch to only copy new or changed files). Other useful switches are /R /V /S /H. I also suggest the "EXCLUDE:filename.txt" option to avoid attepting to backup the system folders called "RECYCLED" and "SYSTEM VOLUME INFORMATION". Open a command prompt and type XCOPY /? for more info.

    But, the OS+progam still need to be imaged, not simply copied, and TI does a great job of that. Of course, the OS/programs backup/restores will be faster, if there is less stuff on C:\.

    If you are running XP, its disk management tool should be enough to create a partition in unallocated space, and then format it. Otherwise, a third-party program, like Partition Expert or Partition Magic will e required.
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