Partitioning Results and Questions

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by Guerri Stevens, Mar 13, 2008.

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  1. Guerri Stevens

    Guerri Stevens Registered Member

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    I installed Disk Director and this morning decided to partition my disk. I am running Windows Vista Home Premium. I used the Automatic method, and I did my best to turn off my virus software which I think, perhaps wrongly, is the only thing that could have caused a problem.

    Anyway, I wanted to create two partitions. I went through all the steps. As an aside, it would be nice to have some examples in the User's Guide so that people like me woudn't be going "duh" because they haven't done the Commit, but I digress.

    The rebooting is always confusing no matter whether it's Acronis or some other product. My process required two reboots. The first one started, and the screen came up asking for the password, which I entered. My machine is very new, so I have not yet turned off the automatic display of the "welcome" screen, so I closed that when it appeared. Then an error message came up, which I don't think was Acronis, but I can supply details if needed. The message said "Toshiba Flash Cards has encountered a user-defined breakpoint". I said to close the program. It took me awhile to deal with this because I was writing down all the information in case I need it to get this figured out. I don't think I've got a flash card, so it seemed very odd.

    The disk light was going on and off, so I assumed the partitioning was proceeding. I don't recall seeing the second reboot. Everything came to a halt finally.

    I used Windows Explorer and the partitions were there. I moved a file into one of them, and that seemed OK. I started up Disk Director again and looked at the log, but although it says commiting, preparing for reboot, and rebooting, there is nothing saying it finished successfully. Should it have?

    I had it check all the disks and there were no errors. I had it rename the new partitions because it let me enter names that were too long (apparently you still get only 11 characters). And I changed the cluster sizes.

    So my main question here is whether it worked or not.

    Other questions:

    What is taking up space on those partitions now? One of them showed 6.05 meg used, and after changing the name and cluster size, it now shows 159 meg used. I can see there is a recycle bin in both new partitions, and a desktop.ini file in the bin. The second partition showed 22.55 meg used before the rename and cluster change, and 358 meg used now. This is not a big deal, and maybe there is some hidden stuff that Acronis puts there, but I am curious.

    Next: what exactly is the right thing to do with the reboots? Are you supposed to enter the password? Dismiss whatever comes up first? Or what?

    Finally (I hope): this business of turning off sofware that might interfere: I did the best I could with my virus software (AVG) but couldn't make it change its scanning permanently. So I brought up the Task Manager and turned it off there. However, I know that's only temporary, and when the system reboots, it would come right back. This might be true of other processes as well.

    -- Guerri
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    When Disk Director reboots the PC it stops running Windows and instead runs its own standalone operating system, a version of Linux. There is no communication from Linux back to the Windows operating system, so there will be no information in the log after the reboot.

    I generally avoid doing partition operations this way; it's kind of like flying blind. You have no idea what's going on until you reboot into Windows to check the outcome. Instead I prefer to boot the PC with the Acronis Recovery CD and do all of the partitioning steps from the CD while Windows is not running. You are then aware of what is happening while the different operations take place. The recovery CD version of the program has an almost-identical graphical user interface as the Windows version, so you will feel right at home running this way.

    It sure sounds like it did. If you have all of the partitions that you set out to create, and they are the sizes that you specified and they work then I think you can conclude that it did work.

    Acronis does not put stuff in partitions but Windows does. As you observed, you will find a System Volume Information folder in each partition, a recycle bin, and in the case of Vista, some files used by System Restore. To see everything you can turn on the viewing of both hidden and system files in Windows Explorer. Or, if you boot into the recovery CD version of Disk Director, you can explore the contents of each partition and see all of the files.

    You can avoid this dilemma by booting to the recovery CD to perform partition operations.

    It really is best to shut down Windows while doing partition operations, as mentioned previously. This completely avoids interference from antivirus software and the like since they are shut down when Windows is shut down.

    As an aside, if you changed your cluster size then it is best to schedule a disk check. Some of us have found minor errors and inconsistencies in the NTFS file system after doing a cluster resize operation. You can do this in Vista by right-clicking on each disk (partition) and choosing "Properties", then "Tools" and then "Error Checking". Check the box for "Automatically fix file system errors" and then "Start". Windows will schedule a chkdsk operation to run the next time the PC reboots. Reboot the PC and let the disk check proceed. After booting back into Windows you may also want to schedule a defragmentation because doing a cluster resize leaves the disk badly fragmented.
     
  3. Guerri Stevens

    Guerri Stevens Registered Member

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    Ah, the recovery CD. Well, what I did was create a "bootable CD" which may be the same thing. I will post a different question on that. Soon you will be sorry I found this place!

    Booting from the CD and working outside of Windows makes a lot of sense.

    On the cluster size change: I made the new partitions FAT 32 and they are empty. Do your comments about the disk checking and defrag still apply? I don't know why I am asking that, because what could it hurt to just do it!

    -- Guerri
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Yes, the bootable CD and the recovery CD are one and the same.

    I've only changed cluster size on NTFS partitions, and usually chkdsk found some minor errors afterwards and was able to repair them. I don't know if you will see the same thing on a FAT32 partition but it won't hurt to run chkdsk on them anyway. If they're empty there won't be much to defragment, so that should go quickly.

    Originally I thought that you were referring to your system partition, thus the advice about chkdsk needing to reboot the machine. But you should be able to run it on non-system partitions without needing a reboot.
     
  5. Guerri Stevens

    Guerri Stevens Registered Member

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    I ran both the disk check and the defrag. Going to the properties of each partition, then the tools, gave me no option to do either function in any way but immediately. I didn't look at the main partition, but you are probably right about the reboot. I know I have seen that, not on Vista because it's too new to me, but on other machines. There were no problems detected, so I plan to go ahead and populate the new partitions.

    The defrag evidently works on the entire volume, not just the specific partition. I say this because I did one partition, and when I went to do the other one, it said the last time the defrag had been run was the same as for the first of them. Ditto for the C: partition.

    The defrag is set to run automatically once a week. Is that a good idea? I don't leave my computer on all the time, so at the selected time (1 a.m. or something like that), the machine would normally be turned off. Would the defrag start up when I boot up in the morning? My preference would be to turn off the scheduled event and just run it manually once in awhile.
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    That's correct for Vista currently but this will be changing in Vista SP1 to give you the option to choose the volume to defragment.

    In Vista, automatic defragmentation is a background task that stops when you use the computer and resumes when the PC becomes idle. You should be able to just leave the scheduled task as-is and it will be self-managing. Here is an article with more information about Vista's defragmenter. If you want more control over the process then you may wish to consider a third-party tool like Diskeeper or PerfectDisk.
     
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