Which Partitions to Image?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by nozzle, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. nozzle

    nozzle Registered Member

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    I bought a new confuser and it has UEFI and GPT. Which of these partitions should I image to reinstall Windows 8.1 if needed? EFI partition; OEM partition; 5 Recovery partitions; C:OS partition.

    Drives.JPG

    Thanks in advance.
    nozzle
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    nozzle,

    Can you post a screenshot of the Disk Management rectangles? Thanks.
     
  3. nozzle

    nozzle Registered Member

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    Here they are Brian:
    Drives2.JPG
     
  4. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    @nozzle

    If you want to create a recovery disk, you will have to do that from inside Windows 8.1. There is an option there to create a recovery disk for clean install of Windows 8.1. I do not know where as I do not use windows 8/8.1. Perhaps somebody here who is experienced in Windows 8.1 can guide you further.

    Looking at you screenshot, I do not know what is going on with your system. Your oem partition, EFI system partition and the 5 recovery partitions are all blank. There is nothing on them. You should use a partition manager and merge these with your OS C: partition. You are losing about 10 GB of combined hard disk space right now.
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Raza0007,

    Naughty, naughty. That would hose the computer. You can't take any notice of "100% Free". They contain data.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    nozzle,

    A weird system but accept it. The safest thing is to do an Entire Drive backup. Tick the drive box in IFD and all partitions will be selected. I prefer IFL over IFD as it is faster.

    When you do the Entire Drive backup you will find an extra partition. The MSR. It doesn't show in Disk Management.

    You only need to do one Entire Drive backup. Keep it. Subsequent image backups only need to be of the OS C: drive. Full or changes only.
     
  7. nozzle

    nozzle Registered Member

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    Thanks Brian. Will do. You have always helped me and I really appreciate it.
     
  8. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Brian, are you sure? If there was some data on these partitions, they would not be 100% free.

    It looks almost like somebody was trying to create a recovery partition on his computer and either they did not get confirmation or something that the partition was created, so they redid the step multiple times and ended up with 5 recovery partitions.


    @nozzle, was the system bought from a shop (i.e. partitioned by an expert) or did you just buy a new PC from a home user?
     
  9. Snoop3

    Snoop3 Registered Member

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    wondering why those 5 different recovery partitions were created.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Raza0007,

    That confused me when I started using GPT disks. Disk Management reports 100% Free partitions but if you look at the partitions with TeraByte Explorer or TBOSDT, they contain many files.

    When you install (UEFI mode) Win8 to a blank HD you get 4 partitions...

    Recovery 300 MiB
    EFI 99 MiB
    MSR 128 MiB
    OS your choice of MiB

    MSR doesn't show in Disk Management. OEM computers often contain extra Recovery partitions. When you upgrade from Win8 to Win8.1 you create an extra Recovery partition.


    Edit.... with Win 10 these are different
    Recovery 450 MiB
    MSR 16 MiB
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  11. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Well, I will take your word for it as I do not have a lot of experience with GPT disks.

    In regular mbr disks however, the disk management utility actually calculates the free and used space till 2 decimal points. So if the partitions had even 0.5 mb data on them it would have been something like: capacity 100 mb, free space 99.50 mb, % free space 99%.

    Also a partition manager when merging these partitions with the C partition will ensure that the system remains bootable. At least that is what Paragon HDM did for me. I had an MSR and a Dell OEM partition before my C partition. I just deleted and merged them with my C and Paragon HDM did the rest and my system booted fine.
     
  12. Snoop3

    Snoop3 Registered Member

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    seems like an arrogant, self-important M$, happy to pollute your HDD. does Linux do anything like this? what if you had 5 different OS'es all doing this nonsense?

    not necessarily in my experience. often i had to use things like Rescatux or install another linux where grub takes over to regain ability to boot. maybe newer versions are accounting for this though?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  13. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    This looks like a messed up OS drive.
    For me, the first thing i do after I purchase a new computer is to delete all partitions on the drive, clean the disk, then start from a fresh install of OS. I don't understand why the OEM vendor would put so many Recovery partitions on the single drive with only one OS on it. A total waste of space.


    BTW, welcome back, Brian! It's nice to see you around again.
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I can understand the Win8 to Win8.1 situation. The Win8.1 Winre.wim is larger than its Win8 counterpart and won't fit in the partition. Usually the OS partition is resized smaller so the new partition can be created.
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    No, it's fine.
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Did you leave the EFI system partition?
     
  17. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    It was a BIOS based PC and an MBR based disk, there was no EFI system partition.
     
  18. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Maybe things are different for Linux based OS. For Windows 7, Paragon HDM took care of it by itself.
     
  19. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Was Brian gone somewhere?

    We were just chatting 2-3 days ago on the Macrium thread.
     
  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    OK. We are talking apples and oranges. By the way, you didn't have an MSR (Microsoft Reserved System). They are present on GPT drives. Damn acronyms. You are probably referring to a SRP.
     
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I've been fishing. We caught lots of Cobia from underneath Manta Rays. Other fish etc, etc.

    Been home for a week.
     
  22. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    It was 3-4 years ago, so I do not remember what the partitions were labeled. But there were two and both were primary. I left them there for 2-3 years after I bought the laptop, as they did not bother me, but then I ran into the 4 primary partition limit and I needed at least 3 useable primary partitions on the HDD, so those two had to go.

    Good for you. I have not been on a real vacation for a long long while.
     
  23. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    In Disk Management my Win 8.1 Recovery and EFI System Partitions are 100% Free.

    TBOSDT shows...

    Recovery 300 MiB Total Size... 63 MiB Free
    EFI system partition 99 MiB Total Size... 70 MiB Free
     
  24. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Well, like I said before I do not have a lot of experience with GPT disks or UEFI systems, so I will take your word for it.

    But have a look at the screenshot in post#3, there are two recovery partitions in between C:\ and D:\. I have never seen or experienced a Windows installation that will do something like that. Not to mention a half a gig unallocated space between 3rd and 4th reserved partitions. Seems like the system was partitioned by a monkey. (Not trying to be rude to anyone here).
     
  25. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I don't know why there are so many Recovery partitions. But we are only talking about a little over 2 GB out of 1000 GB. The final Recovery partition contains the backup image.

    nozzle,

    Open TBOSDT (as an Admin) and type...

    list hd 0 /f /u

    How much free space do you have in each Recovery partition?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
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