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  1. #1
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    System protection & partitioned RAW drives

    Computer: HP Pavilion DV6 Win7 SP1 x64 laptop I serviced today for maintenance and security

    When finished I created a system restore point and that went ok; however I noticed the protection settings have 2 entries C (Missing) with protection On. What does that mean and what can I do to address them?
    Protection Settings.PNG

    Then I pulled up Disk Management
    What are the 2 RAW drives D & E? How are they used? Is one of them a Recovery drive?
    Disk Management.PNG

  2. #2
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    In the first image the "Missing" may simply mean the partition has no Label [name]. The RAW part can occur from a few reasons, sometimes by infections, sometimes from drive problems. The largest of the 2 partitions may have held the factory restore files needed to put the computer back to its as-shipped condition. RAW is generally not usable by Windows, might right-click then and see if there's choices such as Format or Delete the partition then recreate and format.

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    cmptrgy (2015-08-18)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    In the first image the "Missing" may simply mean the partition has no Label [name]. The RAW part can occur from a few reasons, sometimes by infections, sometimes from drive problems. The largest of the 2 partitions may have held the factory restore files needed to put the computer back to its as-shipped condition. RAW is generally not usable by Windows, might right-click then and see if there's choices such as Format or Delete the partition then recreate and format.
    Wow this is completely new to me. The owner did say she had someone clean out viruses about a year ago. I'll want to know more when I get to talk with her again.

    On the 2 C Missing drives according to Protection Settings it sounds to me like I should see whether or not I can set them to Off. Once I do that I'd like to know whether or not I can delete them.
    --- Now that I think of it I suspect the reason they are recorded as missing is because they have been replaced by the 2 RAW partitions D & E.

    On the RAW partitions maybe I'll be able to format or delete those partitions and then merge them and then extend the working C partition to include that space. I'll see if I can research that idea. But if I can't figure out how to at least format or delete them, is it unsafe to leave them as they are? Would Malwarebytes rootkit find out if anything unsafe is in either or both of those RAW sections?

    Working on hard drive formatting, portioning etc. is not one of my "fortes" but I'll review any advice on what to do

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    I have often seen the "(Missing)" designation following an image restore or similar actions (or mishaps) that may affect the partition signature or guid. No, it is not related to the D: and E: partitions. All refer to the same partition but something would have happened to change the identifier System Restore uses to keep track of things, so in effect SR has lost track and started over (with the non-"missing" one).

    Note this is an issue only with System Restore. They have no correlation with Disk Management or other drives or volumes.

    In effect, those "Missing" references are orphaned restore points, which are no longer of any use to you because they're no longer tied to a valid volume. Delete them.

    To delete, highlight a "Missing" volume, then click [Configure]. Tick "Turn off system protection", and click [OK]. Do the same for the other "Missing" volume.

    As for the D: and E: volumes, those appear to be about the right size and location for HP factory partitions (such as the HP Recovery partition). My guess is that's what they possibly are--or used to be, if they were reformatted by the prior tech.

    Before assuming it's empty I would see if you can launch the factory recovery utility. If it launches, cancel and assume there really is hidden content in those partitions. If it complains there is no factory recovery image, then those partitions were probably wiped and can be deleted altogether.

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    cmptrgy (2015-08-19)

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    I'll have to discuss what she recalls of the computer having been cleaned out from viruses.
    She also told me she has an external hard drive and wants me to show her how to back up her system. Well she's not the type to have an external hard drive on her own so I suspect the prior technician recommended it to her and probably explained to her how to use it; maybe she tried it and the results were not so successful.

    Anyway if I get to delete the delete the 2 RAW partitions, will I be able to extend the C drive to take in those sections?

    Either way create a system image backup using Win7's built in system or maybe Macrium Reflect which is my preference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmptrgy View Post
    Anyway if I get to delete the delete the 2 RAW partitions, will I be able to extend the C drive to take in those sections
    Yes.

    Again, I'd make sure they're really empty before committing yourself. Reboot the computer and press [F11] several times at POST to see if it will launch into HP factory recovery mode. Remember, the way OEMs hide their recovery partitions could make a partition appear to be empty or RAW to the "outside" world (outside of their recovery utility, that is) when it really isn't.

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    It almost looks like someone installed a Linux install (dual boot) with a swap file and then uninstalled it or put it in a format Windows doesn't detect like Reiser and reports incorrectly as RAW.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-08-19 at 19:46.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dg1261 View Post
    Yes.

    Again, I'd make sure they're really empty before committing yourself. Reboot the computer and press [F11] several times at POST to see if it will launch into HP factory recovery mode. Remember, the way OEMs hide their recovery partitions could make a partition appear to be empty or RAW to the "outside" world (outside of their recovery utility, that is) when it really isn't.
    I should have included that I will do that as I'm very interested in seeing what happens

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fascist Nation View Post
    It almost looks like someone installed a Linux install (dual boot) with a swap file and then uninstalled it or put it in a format Windows doesn't detect like Reiser and reports incorrectly as RAW.
    When I get to see what's on her external hard drive is it possible I could find information indicating that activity?

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    If you were looking at it with a Linux OS booted up it would see the partitions if they are Linux formatted.

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    Unfortunately I'm not into Linux yet but I do plan on getting there. I like that bit of information and will remember it.

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