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Thread: Data HD Dilemma

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    One of my backup HD's in my XP machine has 3 NTFS partitions. I wanted to use the unallocated space in partition 3 to increase the size of partition 1.
    My Acronis Disk Director tried to do it but had some sort of problem. I ended up formating partition 1, recreating the partition at the new size and repopulating the data.
    But now I've got this extra 7.8M partition in front of it that shows as Primary with the other three as extended.
    I'd like to merge this little guy with partition 1 and make it all Primary but can't seem to get it done.
    I keep thinking it must be simple but can't figure it out.
    Any thoughts?

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    Now you have a problem! Extended partitions make what you are trying to do pretty much impossible, because they are the container for the other partitions. To move / delete the extended partition you need to remove the partitions it contains. Do you have a spare disk, or one you can borrow?

    cheers, Paul

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    Sure do. This a 180 G drive on my IDE channel. I've got a 750 G drive on my SATA channel.
    But are you saying there's no way but to format the whole drive and start over partitioning it?
    I can do it, but hoped there was an easier way.
    When I do it, if i do it, how do I specify which partition will be primary? Does it just take the first one?
    Thanks...

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    Easier? yes with partition extenders and what not...Safer? absolutely not. Really the bext way to go is backup the data, redo the partitions and then put the data back. Its really not wise to mess with partitions if you have important data on them because sometimes partition extenders dont work and in some rare cases and render the partition useless or broken. Data recovery at that point is a pain in the ass, especially if you've also formatted and then added data after the fact.
    Richard Chase
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    I have used lots of partition managers and never had a problem, but in this case you must start from scratch.
    You can use Windows Disk Manager (Start > Run > diskmgmt.msc) to create the partitions and set one active. Create the partitions and then format using the "quick" option.
    Why do you want to set a partition active?

    cheers, Paul

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    Actually, I don't. I will make each partition logical, none primary or active.
    I've just deleted the partitions, which shows the entire drive as unallocated space, and remade the partitions.
    But the disk still wants to retain that 7 M unallocated space in front of the first partition.
    It's got to be the old MBR or something.
    So, I'm removing the partitions again and wiping the disk.
    Then I'll try again.
    I never saw this before and figure it's a left-over from trying to resize the first partition.
    I guess I can live with it, but just wonder what's going on there.

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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hi Ron,

    When you create partitions in Windows 2000 and XP, the OS never uses all the space. It reserves approx. 8 MB of drive space in case you want to convert your basic disk to a dynamic disk. The 8 MB is kept to create a dynamic disk database, where it stores information about the disk volumes (because dynamic disks do not have an MBR).
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

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    Thanks Gerald,
    That's good to know.
    As it turns out in my case I re-created Partition 1 and marked it as Primary, even though I don't plan to put an OS on it, and that satisfied XP. The 8M space disappeared.
    Now partitions 2 and 3 are Logical and in an Extended "container".
    So far it seems to have worked. I've re-populated the data and converted the one previous partition that was FAT32 to NTFS.
    I do appreciate your help in this little learning exercise.
    Previously Acronis has always done everything I've asked it to do. Of course, I didn't get to learn as much.
    Thanks to All!

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    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Ron, there is one thing I forgot to mention. XP Pro reserves the 8 MB of drive space. XP Home cannot support dynamic disks.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

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    Is there a reason you want logical disks? Primary does the same job as long as you don't want more than 4 partitions.

    cheers, Paul

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    Paul,
    Acronis advises using Primary for partitions intended for OS's and Logical for data.
    Looks like XP wants to see at least one partition as Primary or it retains the 8M unallocated space at the first sector.
    When I set partition 1 as Primary, that space went away.
    That configuration is now consistent across all 3 HD's in my case as well as the external SATA HD I use for archives.
    After formatting, the partitons read / write properly.
    My WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostics utility says the Seagate HD we're discussing has a SMART attribute that just fails its criteria - Spin Retry Count - but it does pass both its quick and extended tests.
    Newegg is selling WD Caviar Black 750 GB HD's for $60 for the next few days. Maybe I need to get another one (5 year warranty)
    Ron

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