Problems w/partitions on Dell Image


D

Dirk

Hi,

My brand new Dell Dimension E520 came with Vista Home Premium pre-installed
on the 250GB hard drive. The drive was set up as a single partition. This
does not suit my needs, so I attempted to use the built-in Disk Manager
utility to set up new partitions. It didn't work.

To be clear, the drive actually arrived with three partitions on it; the C:
NTFS partition where the OS was installed, a D: NTFS partition labelled
Recovery, and an inaccessible, unlabelled EISA partition. I have not
attempted to make any changes to or remove the D: and EISA partitions. The
C: partition encompasses 224GB of the 250GB (theoretical) drive, so that is
where the changes need to occur.

I first shrank the C: partition, using the Disk Management utility, but it
would only shrink by about 110 GB, despite having only 36.8 GB in use.
That's including the Page File. This left me with a C: drive of about 120GB,
most of which was empty. Repeating the process would not shrink the
partition more than another 1GB, or so.

So, I tried moving moving the paging file to the new partition created on
the freed up space, defragging C:, rebooting and trying again. No change.
Hours of research on MS KB, Technet, Google, and several calls to Dell
later, there's still no change.

Despite the mixed reviews, I downloaded Acronis Disk Director (ADD, nice
acronym), created the bootable Rescue Disc, and tried that. It can't even
see the physical drive, let alone the partitions on it. It sees my external
USB drive, but not the internal SATA drive. So, figuring I have nothing to
lose, I installed ADD in Vista and ran it there. Same thing. It doesn't even
see the drive. I have not been able to find any other reports of this
particular problem.

I don't see this as an Acronis problem, though. There's clearly something
wrong with the image Dell is using to set these machines up. Whether it's
their fault or Microsoft's would be hard to prove, but sizing an existing
partition is not one of the known issues with Vista, so I believe it's
Dell's fault.

I have Partition Magic 8.0, and I haven't tried that, yet, but I'm not sure
it's worth the effort. For one thing, there are more reported problems with
it than with ADD. But also, if I have to struggle this much to overcome this
one problem that shouldn't exist, how many others are lurking in the
background? So, since Dell refuses to take any responsibility for this, or
offer any assistance, I'm currently planning on returning the machine. Why
should I be stuck with a defective OS on a brand new machine?

So, at this point, I don't expect much, but I'll take any suggestions,
advice, or commentary anyone cares to offer, and hope this serves as a
warning to other folks in the market for a new machine.

Thanks!
 
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C

Carey Frisch [MVP]

Windows Vista was designed for best performance when
installed on a single partition drive. Why would you want
to hinder the performance by creating more partitions?

--
Carey Frisch
Microsoft MVP
Windows - Shell/User

---------------------------------------------------------------------------­-----

:

Hi,

My brand new Dell Dimension E520 came with Vista Home Premium pre-installed
on the 250GB hard drive. The drive was set up as a single partition. This
does not suit my needs, so I attempted to use the built-in Disk Manager
utility to set up new partitions. It didn't work.

To be clear, the drive actually arrived with three partitions on it; the C:
NTFS partition where the OS was installed, a D: NTFS partition labelled
Recovery, and an inaccessible, unlabelled EISA partition. I have not
attempted to make any changes to or remove the D: and EISA partitions. The
C: partition encompasses 224GB of the 250GB (theoretical) drive, so that is
where the changes need to occur.

I first shrank the C: partition, using the Disk Management utility, but it
would only shrink by about 110 GB, despite having only 36.8 GB in use.
That's including the Page File. This left me with a C: drive of about 120GB,
most of which was empty. Repeating the process would not shrink the
partition more than another 1GB, or so.

So, I tried moving moving the paging file to the new partition created on
the freed up space, defragging C:, rebooting and trying again. No change.
Hours of research on MS KB, Technet, Google, and several calls to Dell
later, there's still no change.

Despite the mixed reviews, I downloaded Acronis Disk Director (ADD, nice
acronym), created the bootable Rescue Disc, and tried that. It can't even
see the physical drive, let alone the partitions on it. It sees my external
USB drive, but not the internal SATA drive. So, figuring I have nothing to
lose, I installed ADD in Vista and ran it there. Same thing. It doesn't even
see the drive. I have not been able to find any other reports of this
particular problem.

I don't see this as an Acronis problem, though. There's clearly something
wrong with the image Dell is using to set these machines up. Whether it's
their fault or Microsoft's would be hard to prove, but sizing an existing
partition is not one of the known issues with Vista, so I believe it's
Dell's fault.

I have Partition Magic 8.0, and I haven't tried that, yet, but I'm not sure
it's worth the effort. For one thing, there are more reported problems with
it than with ADD. But also, if I have to struggle this much to overcome this
one problem that shouldn't exist, how many others are lurking in the
background? So, since Dell refuses to take any responsibility for this, or
offer any assistance, I'm currently planning on returning the machine. Why
should I be stuck with a defective OS on a brand new machine?

So, at this point, I don't expect much, but I'll take any suggestions,
advice, or commentary anyone cares to offer, and hope this serves as a
warning to other folks in the market for a new machine.

Thanks!
 
R

Richard Urban

The built-in shrink utility will be able to decrease the system partition
size till
it bumps against the first unmovable/locked system file.

If you want to decrease the partition further you will need a 3rd party Disk
Management tool. I use Acronis Disk Director suite. The latest posted
version (ver 10.0 build 2160) is 100% Vista compatible. After installing the
program, create the emergency CD. Reboot the computer and boot up with this
CD. Do your
partition work from there. You will not be hampered with locked files.

After you shrink Partition C: you can use Disk Director to create a new
partition
(suggest a logical NTFS type) in the freed up space which will be indicated
as "unallocated".

Then remove the boot CD and reboot the computer from the hard drive. The new
partition will take the next available drive letter in the alphabet.


--


Regards,

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User
(For email, remove the obvious from my address)
 
R

Rock

Dirk said:
Hi,

My brand new Dell Dimension E520 came with Vista Home Premium
pre-installed on the 250GB hard drive. The drive was set up as a single
partition. This does not suit my needs, so I attempted to use the built-in
Disk Manager utility to set up new partitions. It didn't work.

To be clear, the drive actually arrived with three partitions on it; the
C: NTFS partition where the OS was installed, a D: NTFS partition labelled
Recovery, and an inaccessible, unlabelled EISA partition. I have not
attempted to make any changes to or remove the D: and EISA partitions. The
C: partition encompasses 224GB of the 250GB (theoretical) drive, so that
is where the changes need to occur.

I first shrank the C: partition, using the Disk Management utility, but it
would only shrink by about 110 GB, despite having only 36.8 GB in use.
That's including the Page File. This left me with a C: drive of about
120GB, most of which was empty. Repeating the process would not shrink the
partition more than another 1GB, or so.

So, I tried moving moving the paging file to the new partition created on
the freed up space, defragging C:, rebooting and trying again. No change.
Hours of research on MS KB, Technet, Google, and several calls to Dell
later, there's still no change.

Despite the mixed reviews, I downloaded Acronis Disk Director (ADD, nice
acronym), created the bootable Rescue Disc, and tried that. It can't even
see the physical drive, let alone the partitions on it. It sees my
external USB drive, but not the internal SATA drive. So, figuring I have
nothing to lose, I installed ADD in Vista and ran it there. Same thing. It
doesn't even see the drive. I have not been able to find any other reports
of this particular problem.

I don't see this as an Acronis problem, though. There's clearly something
wrong with the image Dell is using to set these machines up. Whether it's
their fault or Microsoft's would be hard to prove, but sizing an existing
partition is not one of the known issues with Vista, so I believe it's
Dell's fault.

I have Partition Magic 8.0, and I haven't tried that, yet, but I'm not
sure it's worth the effort. For one thing, there are more reported
problems with it than with ADD. But also, if I have to struggle this much
to overcome this one problem that shouldn't exist, how many others are
lurking in the background? So, since Dell refuses to take any
responsibility for this, or offer any assistance, I'm currently planning
on returning the machine. Why should I be stuck with a defective OS on a
brand new machine?

So, at this point, I don't expect much, but I'll take any suggestions,
advice, or commentary anyone cares to offer, and hope this serves as a
warning to other folks in the market for a new machine.


Don't use Partition Magic. It's not compatible with Vista. You could try
BootIt NG, from Terabyte Unlimited. It has a 30 day full featured free
trail version. Also you could post to an Acronis forum for help on why it
can't see the SATA drive.
 
D

Dirk

Thanks for the reply. I held off on using PM, and learned that I can see the
SATA drive in Acronis Disk Director IF I run it with Admin privs.
(Right-click and choose Run As Administrator.)
 
D

Dirk

Thanks for the very detailed reply. The bit about locked/immovable files
makes sense. Too bad the Vista version of Defrag doesn't provide a graphic
representation of the files. It seems unreasonable for a file to be slapped
in the middle of a fairly vast empty drive, instead of at the beginning, but
it's certainly possible.

Unfortunately, I already tried precisely what you recommend. The Rescue
Disc/emergency CD can't see the drive, either. I did, however, learn that I
can see it in ADD in Windows, if I run it with Admin privileges
(right-click, choose Run As Administrator). Now I have to decide whether to
buy the version that actually does something, as opposed to the trial
version, which just shows you pretty pictures.

Thanks, again.
 
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D

Dirk

For the same reason I don't keep all my books in one large heap in the
middle of the floor.

If that's true about Vista, I may need to rethink my choice of operating
systems. Sounds suspiciously like the reincarnation of Microsoft Bob.
 
A

andy

Thanks for the very detailed reply. The bit about locked/immovable files
makes sense. Too bad the Vista version of Defrag doesn't provide a graphic
representation of the files. It seems unreasonable for a file to be slapped
in the middle of a fairly vast empty drive, instead of at the beginning, but
it's certainly possible.

MFT Mirror

A second copy of the first 16 records (i.e., the most crucial records)
contained in the MFT. The system stores this mirror in the middle of
the NTFS volume. The MFT mirror provides enhanced fault resilience and
recoverability in case of damage to the primary copy of the MFT.
 
R

Rock

Dirk said:
Thanks for the reply. I held off on using PM, and learned that I can see
the SATA drive in Acronis Disk Director IF I run it with Admin privs.
(Right-click and choose Run As Administrator.)

Ok, glad you got it resolved.
 
D

Dirk

andy said:
MFT Mirror

A second copy of the first 16 records (i.e., the most crucial records)
contained in the MFT. The system stores this mirror in the middle of
the NTFS volume. The MFT mirror provides enhanced fault resilience and
recoverability in case of damage to the primary copy of the MFT.
Hmm. Could be. Although, it's only supposed to allocate 12.5% of the
available space for its own uses. Still seems odd it would pick the middle
of the drive for that and, if it's supposed to do that, you'd think the disk
manager would have been built to handle it.
 
R

Richard Urban

Even Acronis Disk Director can not handle moving these files if you run Disk
Director from within Windows. The data must be protected at all costs.
Moving around files that are open, and in use, is asking for disaster.

That is why you use the boot CD created with Disk Director. Windows is not
running. All files can be moved safely.

--


Regards,

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User
(For email, remove the obvious from my address)
 
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