Question about removing 100 mb partition

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by murdercitydevil, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. murdercitydevil

    murdercitydevil MDL Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I installed Windows 7 a few days ago and let it create the hidden 100 mb system partition. Just now I got all my programs installed and settings configured - windows is just the way I like it. If I were to go about reinstalling and not having the partition created, what would be the best way to keep everything as I have it now? Can I create a system image, not including the 100mb partition files, reinstall, and then load that image? Would that keep everything the same, sans hidden partition? If there's a different way to do this, please let me know. My biggest concerns are obviously keeping all my settings and everything exactly the same, and having all those system files working properly.
     
  2. eaponte23

    eaponte23 MDL Member

    Sep 29, 2008
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    #2 eaponte23, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
    Last nite I deleted that 100mb partition with gparted and when I restarted my pc the bootlader was jacked up. Deleting causes it to mess up I guess. :mad:

    Try deleting the 100mb partition first, then use your install DVD to repair the bcd. Once that's done you can use your backup software to save your system. If you wait till later you'll likely have a startup issue with your back up software. Hope that helps.
     
  3. davjak

    davjak MDL Novice

    Aug 3, 2009
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    I'm currently at work so can't be a great help, but I saw a post that said when you install and create partition, when it creates the 100mb partition you can delete the larger partition and increase the 100mb to the size u want it, then format it.
    You'll have a Win 7 created partition with correct alignment and no 100mb partition

    This is exactly what I did on my 2nd rig at home, works no problem..

    I don't know how you'd go about it on an already installed Win7 with 100mb partition
     
  4. 2centsworth

    2centsworth MDL Senior Member

    Feb 12, 2008
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    From my experiences if you plan to image the win 7 partitions using acronis it's best to pre-partition the drive into a single partition of the size you want, then install win7 there.
    If you use win7 installer to partition it places the 100mb partition there no matter what. It's possible to work with the 100MB partition, but sometimes the images with the 100mb part. do not restore correctly, yet with single partitions I've had no issues.
     
  5. wcahill

    wcahill MDL Novice

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    #5 wcahill, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
    I had the same issue trying to remove this small boot partition. I found myself with the extra 100 mb partition after installing Win7 on an unformatted part of my hard drive having deleted the prior Windows partition. I imaged the main Win7 partition with Aconis, used gparted to delete the 100 mb and main partition, and then created a single partition with gparted. I then imaged the OS back on the single partition.

    When I tried to boot it could not find the boot sector. I booted the Win7 install disk and ran the repair. Again the OS did not boot. I booted the Win7 install disk again and this time it found the Win7 OS (it did not seem to see the OS before the first repair operation) and repaired the boot partition.

    All then worked fine but it took two repair operations using the Win7 install disk to make the OS again boot. I don't know if this is typical but that is how changing these partitions worked out for me....

    I am not using a boot loader so I do not know what impact that might have had.
     
  6. murdercitydevil

    murdercitydevil MDL Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I think I got it, more or less. Create a backup image of current OS, reformat both partitions, and delete 100 mb partition (one way or another), reinstall on a single partition and backup system image. (if system doesn't boot, use installation cd to rebuild bootloader)

    However, when I try to make a system image, it by default includes the hidden 100mb partition in the list of drives to be backed up. The checkbox is greyed out so it HAS to be included. When I try to restore this image on my new SINGLE partition, what is going to happen?
     
  7. Dolorous Edd

    Dolorous Edd MDL Expert

    Aug 31, 2009
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    #7 Dolorous Edd, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
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  8. Dolorous Edd

    Dolorous Edd MDL Expert

    Aug 31, 2009
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    It is probably greyed out becasue of the boot sector, if you can assign it a drive letter then format it (may have to boot from an XP cd to format the 100mb partition) then you should be able to boot with the 7 DVD, repair the boot sector on the partition with Windows, reboot and make your image of drive C only, excluding the 100mb partition.

    Once you create the image delete both partitions and format the entire drive. I would suggest booting to an XP CD to configure the drive with a single NTFS partition then installing from DVD.

    Hope this makes sense, I am whacked out on antihistamines because of multiple yellow jacket stings on my left ass cheek, and I am allergic to bees. The good news is the f**king bee is dead.
     
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  9. murdercitydevil

    murdercitydevil MDL Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    #9 murdercitydevil, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
    (OP)
    Hmm...if what you say to do will work, then why reinstall windows after the boot sector has been included to the windows partition? Couldn't I just take the now empty 100 mb partition and extend it onto the main partition?

    EDIT: I assume, also, that after assigning a drive letter to the 100mb partition and being able to view its files, it wouldn't work to just copy everything onto the windows partition?
     
  10. Dolorous Edd

    Dolorous Edd MDL Expert

    Aug 31, 2009
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    #10 Dolorous Edd, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
    It wouldn't let me extend or merge partitions. You could leave the 100mb partition and just assign it a letter but what would you put on a 100mb partition. Partition magic or some other utilities may help but disk management in windows wouldn't let me do it. You can play with DiskPart from a cmd prompt but make a back up image first just in case.

    I don't know if copying would work, if you try let us know, if it doesn't work just run the DVD.

    EDIT: I don't know for sure of anyway to extend, shrink or merge that 100mb partition but I see no reason why a third party program would not work.
     
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  11. murdercitydevil

    murdercitydevil MDL Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I think in that case, I'll try to do what you suggested.

    1. Assign drive letter to hidden partition
    2. Boot from XP cd, delete hidden partition and leave unformatted space.
    3. Attempt to boot 7, repair boot sector with repair CD.
    4. HOPEFULLY, be able to reboot into windows 7.
    5. Create image of single system partition.
    6. Boot XP cd, delete everything on the disk and make one single NTFS partition.
    7. Install Windows 7 fresh.
    8. Restore image.


    Hopefully all this works. My main worry is whether the repair CD will be able to properly rebuild the boot sector. Like someone else mentioned, it took them 2 tries. With luck I should be able to at least boot back into Windows to make a backup image. If not, I'll use my Acronis boot CD and make an image of the data sans boot sector and then put that back on after Windows 7 is reinstalled.
     
  12. Dolorous Edd

    Dolorous Edd MDL Expert

    Aug 31, 2009
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    Hope it works, sounds like a good plan, if it does work let us know, because this would be a pretty good guide for removing the partition after the fact. This is pretty much what I did but I can't be exactly sure because I stumbled through it and didn't take notes.
     
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  13. Pasta88

    Pasta88 MDL Addicted

    Jun 17, 2009
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    Just remember, whenever you install an OS, always use Gparted live cd, format all paritions you want as NTFS and then install the OS. Using gparted this way takes all of 30 secs to do.
     
  14. Phazor

    Phazor MDL Expert

    Sep 1, 2009
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    Since image restoration overwrites everything on the partition i wonder why would you want to do a fresh install first then?

    Unless i missed something, isnt that a little like painting a wall with green paint just to paint it over with red paint immediately thereafter?
     
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  15. HotCarl

    HotCarl MDL Addicted

    Jul 21, 2009
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    #15 HotCarl, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
    Ok, so when you are installing Windows 7 and you get to the point in the installation where the installer has you select a partition to install Windows 7 to...and you get that popup at some point that says something along the lines of the "To ensure that all Windows features work correctly, Windows might create additional partitions for system files"... There are a couple things you can do here to prevent the creation of this aforementioned "System Partition": (both ways should work)

    Option 1 (the easy way):
    While you are at the partition selection screen (after you click [Ok] on the popup window mentioned above...) select the 100mb System partition by clicking on it. Next, click the "Delete" button at the bottom.
    Now click [Next] to continue with the rest of the install as normal...

    The result here is that the Windows installer creates the 100mb system partition, but you unallocated the partition by "Delete"'ing it, so when the installer goes to install to the System partition it can't, so it just defaults to a normal install without it... Note that you will end up with 100mb in unallocated space on your HD if you go this route. If losing 100mb of HD space is a big deal to you, then try the second method. ;)

    Option 2 (the slightly longer way):
    While you are at the partition selection screen (after you click [Ok] on the popup window mentioned above...) select the Primary partition (there should be 2 partitions present, the 100mb System one and another Primary one, select the other one that is not the system one...) by clicking on it.
    Next, click the "Delete" button at the bottom...trust me...
    When prompted with the popup that says "The partition might contain recovery files blah blah blah..." click [Ok]...again, trust me...
    Now, select the 100mb System partition and click "Extend".
    Assign all available disk space to the partition and click [Apply].
    Click [Ok] when prompted with the "Extending the partition is not reversible blah blah blah...".
    The installer will extend the System partition...
    Next, click on the newly extended System partition to highlight it, and click "Format".
    Click [Ok] to the message about "This partition might contain recovery files blah blah blah...".
    The installer will format the newly extended System partition...
    Now click [Next] to continue with the rest of the install as normal...

    The result here is that we have essentially deleted the main Primary partition, then we have extended the 100mb System partition to the full capacity of the drive, thus satisfying the installer's requirements of having a "System" partition. :)

    Feel free to use either method. They both should work, I know the 1st method works 100% of the time...

    Enjoy :D
     
  16. Dolorous Edd

    Dolorous Edd MDL Expert

    Aug 31, 2009
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    Good information Carl, were just trying to work through removing it after the fact for those of us who installed without formatting first.
     
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  17. eaponte23

    eaponte23 MDL Member

    Sep 29, 2008
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    Thats exactly what happened to me... Hopefully you got enough information here to get ur OS backed up the way you want it to. If this thread were here last nite I would've breezed thru the process.
     
  18. murdercitydevil

    murdercitydevil MDL Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    #18 murdercitydevil, Sep 13, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
    (OP)
    Well here's the progress thus far. Before doing any of this, I created a system image of my current system (hidden partition included, like I said I can't deselect this) and stored it on a storage drive. I booted with XP cd and deleted the 100 mb partition, leaving unformatted space. I then booted with the Windows 7 CD, expecting to be able to repair the now boot loader-less OS, but no luck. The OS doesn't even show up in the repair menu. I tried the XP cd's repair as well, but it didn't find the Windows 7 install either. (insert rant: how is it, that startup repair cannot recognize an OS if the boot information is missing? Does it completely ignore the entire OS install if it can't find the boot files? Stupid.)

    Anyway, I panicked for a little while, then decided to restore using the image I had just made. Before it started, it let me know that it would rebuild any partitions as needed, should the image file dictate that they had once been there. Basically, it would revert the entire disk to how it was, based on what was on the image file. And there you have it, I'm back exactly where I started.

    So, this is the next course of action. I need to somehow create a system image that excludes this 100mb partition, then reinstall windows 7 on a full, clean partition, and restore that image. But I have a feeling that this won't work. My instinct is that if I image only my C: drive, once restored, it will start looking for the bootloader that was once previously on the hidden X: partition. You'd think that the OS depends on the bootloader, not the other way around, yet with things of this nature, you never know. Does anyone know for sure if this will work? Again, if this is hard to understand, here's a breakdown:

    1. Image ONLY C: drive, excluding hidden partition
    2. Format entire disk into one partition and reinstall Windows 7 on it, creating a new boot loader/bootfiles.
    3. Restore image of all my files/programs/settings (which in theory should still reference the old, now nonexistent hidden X: partition).
    4. If there is a conflict from step 3, can any programs fix it?

    EDIT: just thought of an alternative plan of action.
    1. Assign drive letter to hidden partition.
    2. Open it up in explorer, and copy all the boot files.
    3. Paste them onto the root folder of the main OS partition.
    4. Do what I did before - Boot xp disc, delete 100mb partition, and attempt to repair with Windows 7 disc. It should, in this case, at least recognize the OS since it will find the boot files, yes? If they are deemed corrupted, then it can use system restore. After rebooting I can then make the image and proceed with the original plan...would this work?
     
  19. murdercitydevil

    murdercitydevil MDL Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Update: Tried my second plan of action in previous post. Loaded ubuntu CD so I could work with boot files and not deal with file protection and copy restrictions. Copied the entire contents of the hidden partition to OS's root folder. Booted with XP and deleted hidden partition. Attempted to boot Windows 7, FAILED! Attempted to repair install, OS STILL NOT RECOGNIZED! This confirms my other theory that a system image of only the OS partition will probably have problems, as obviously the OS is trying to reference a boot loader that is now in a different location, or vice versa. It seems like there's no way to do this....Unless there's something I'm not thinking of. Giving up for now, will check back later for your guys' thoughts.
     
  20. Phazor

    Phazor MDL Expert

    Sep 1, 2009
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    When Windows was installed it obviously instructed bootsect to set the extra partition as bootpartition. Ergo, since we do no longer wish to boot from there we have to make C: the new bootdevice.

    Hence try this:

    1.) Boot your 7 and run bootsect /nt60 C:

    2.) Boot your Linux and copy the content of the extra partition to the root of C:

    3.) Boot into 7

    I dont see why this shouldnt work because this is exactly how Windows would set it up if you installed it to that drive without the extra partition...
     
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