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DouglasR

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#11255 11-Jan-2007 17:28
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I recently had a larger hard disk put in my laptop. It happily boots now on the larger drive, but they rearranged the partition table by simply enlarging each partition in proportion, to use the total of 80Gb. Computer Management-->Disk Management now shows an 8Gb "Unknown Partition", followed by the NTFS C: partition. I'm running XP.

The NTFS partition is expected. What's the other one? Is it needed? How do I get rid of it?

This unknown partition used to be the thick end of 2Gb on the old 20Gb disk. Giving away 10% of my expensive hard drive to this partition is not making me happy.

[Moderator edit (tonyhughes): Fixed formatting]

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tonyhughes
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  #57648 11-Jan-2007 17:48
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Its a recovery partition. If you have the option in your start menu somewhere to make recovery discs, or if you already have recovery or Windows XP install media, you can safely delete this partition, and use Partitionmagic to merge it with your big partiition, or perhaps even just format it, and use it as a little backup partition (of sorts)







DouglasR

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  #57674 11-Jan-2007 21:40
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I don't have a recovery CD (thanks for nothing, NEC). I do have a recovery boot floppy, and a Windows install disk "For distribution with a new NEC PC only".

If I trash my hard disk, and have to start completely from scratch, will the Windows install disk have things like the NEC drivers on it? I have install files or CDs for all the other software on my machine that I care about.

If I'm confident that I can recover using this installation CD, then I'll take the plunge and eliminate the recovery partition.

 
 
 
 


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  #57676 11-Jan-2007 22:16
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You should be able to get all required drivers from the NEC web site.

Best idea is to get your system working perfectly, with a minimal amount of software, and then take a ghost image or something. then you have your own 'recovery disc' just the way you want it.







Methesda
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  #57706 12-Jan-2007 11:32
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Isn't that partition also used for the suspend/hibernate function on laptops? I think you'll find that if you get rid of it, the suspend function won't work properly. You'll be able to suspend, but won't get the session management like functionality of the suspend function. It's useful if you are the kind of user that constantly runs out of battery while working...

Check this out: Hibernate Wiki Entry


EDIT: BTW, although hibernation is said to need a partition with at least as much space as there is memory, it is frequently quoted as being a 'good idea' to have double that and then some spare.  I believe this is because during high risk periods such as battery low conditions, the memory snapshots are written with a bit like a buffer strategy... i.e. one is being written while the other is safe in storage.

DouglasR

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  #57707 12-Jan-2007 12:25
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Thanks for the reply, Methesda. I have all hibernate and suspend functionality disabled on this laptop, as I also have Linux installed, and I found that Windows and Linux had terrible, terrible arguments over the shared FAT32 partition if I hibernated Windows! In a nutshell, if I put Windows into hibernate, booted up into Linux and changed stuff on the shared partition, then rebooted into Windows, all changes made to the shared partition would be forgotten.

I'm not clear about where XP puts its hibernate info. When you enable hibernation on an XP box, it doesn't go and repartition the drive, does it? Also, this mystery partition was 1G (or was it 2G?) as it came from the factory, on a laptop that had 128Mb of RAM. I'm pretty sure the mystery partition is a recovery partition.

So here's the plan: I still have the original 20G drive, sitting untouched in an external USB case. It can be my backup while I play with my partitioning. I will try nuking the recovery partition (as suggested by Tony), and see whether I can still boot into Windows. If not, I can always re-ghost the 20G drive back onto the new 80G drive.

Once I've succeeded, then I'll look at cutting CDs of all my partitions, MBR, and partition table, so that I have my own recovery CDs. There's a good article on doing this on Freshmeat, using the SystemRescueCD (which I have) and the Bash command line:
http://freshmeat.net/articles/view/1375/
I'll report back on how it all goes!

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#57722 12-Jan-2007 13:50
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Methesda: Isn't that partition also used for the suspend/hibernate function on laptops?


Not for Windows-based systems. Windows uses a hidden file stored on the primary partition. And yes, it's the same size of the physical memory because it stores the whole computer's status during hibernation, reloading it when you turn the computer back on again.






 

 

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#57732 12-Jan-2007 16:25
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so long as you have a install CD (Windows) all drivers are available from the NEC website - I have owned Packard Bell (Re-badged NEC) Notebooks and a desktop. In each case I have blown away the recovery partition and started with my own clean install. Gets rid of any bloatware and you know exactly what you have.




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