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Author Topic: Case of the missing partitions when downgrading from W7 to XP  (Read 2900 times)

brahman

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Case of the missing partitions when downgrading from W7 to XP
« on: September 12, 2011, 07:08:29 AM »
Hi everybody,

a while ago I installed the trial version of Win7 on my lappy.

Then I took the hard drive out, put it in another lappy and mirrored XP to the HD with Drive Snapshot.

Now XP starts fine, but my second partition is laways hiding. I can unhide it with any partition tool and it will show up for that session, but after a reboot it is gone into hiding again.

I think it has to do with the way Win7 aligns partitions.

I can find plenty of tutorials on the web to align a drive to the new Win7 partitoning scheme, but have not been lucky to find one that can reverse it.

Can anybody help?

Thanks.
Regards, Brahman

Stephen66515

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Re: Case of the missing partitions when downgrading from W7 to XP
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2011, 07:11:18 AM »
Only thing I can think of, is to perhaps backup all the partitions data onto another drive, then format the partitions using XP.  Might work, might not, worth a shot though.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 08:11:06 AM by Stephen66515 »

brahman

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Re: Case of the missing partitions when downgrading from W7 to XP
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2011, 07:33:08 AM »
Hi Stephen,

please don't get me wrong, but I would prefer to hear a solution from somebody who actually has had experience with this kind of problem or is very knowledgeable about this topic instead of a long shot solution.

But thank you very much for your try at helping me out.
Regards, Brahman

app103

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Re: Case of the missing partitions when downgrading from W7 to XP
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2011, 08:26:47 AM »
It depends on the order in which you installed the different versions of Windows.

If you installed XP first, to the first partition, Stephen's approach would be exactly what you would have to do.

BUT if you installed Win7 first, removing it might make XP unbootable. It would remove the boot.ini file.

You should probably make a full backup of the xp partition (win7 too if you want to keep anything from it), format the entire drive to wipe the whole thing clean, then put XP back on it in the right place...the first partition.

Make sure you have a working boot.ini file for booting xp on the first partition, though, or it will not boot. If you do a fresh install of XP you should have one. But if you mirror what you have now you might not.

brahman

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Re: Case of the missing partitions when downgrading from W7 to XP
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2011, 08:47:12 AM »
Thanks for your answer:
I installed XP first in the first partition, then a fresh install of Win7 trial with a reformat of the first partition, then (on a different lappy) mirrored an install of XP.

The problem here also is that the lappy is a tablet Toshiba Portege M205 with the special XP pro version for tablets and it did not come with recovery disks.

Furthermore on this computer it is extremely difficult to reinstall the OS, and I would not really want to do it anyway, since I will have to reinstall all my software.

So I am looking for a kind of live realignment solution, if possible.

Would anybody know about how to do it?
Regards, Brahman

Stoic Joker

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Re: Case of the missing partitions when downgrading from W7 to XP
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2011, 11:31:48 AM »
I just don't see the peek-A-boo partition as an alignment issue. That and I think that the whole partition alignment thing is getting a little out of hand. Unless you're going to/from SSD/machanical drives.

It sounds more like in the process of flopping the OS back and forth between machines, you picked up a script/policy/startup command that is trying to hide what it thinks is a recovery partition.

4wd

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Re: Case of the missing partitions when downgrading from W7 to XP
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 02:11:39 PM »
^ +1 here.

An alignment problem is more likely to cause a slow down in the data transfer rate.

Given it appears to be an IDE drive, I would have thought it's unlikely to suffer from mis-alignment since it will probably have 512b sectors.

But if you'd like to check the alignment of your drive, try using the following:
Dell Advanced Format HDD Detection Tool

Quote
C:\dell\drivers\R306204>C:\dell\drivers\R306204\DellAFDT.exe
Model:                                        SAMSUNG HD103UJ
Serial#:                                      S13PJ1KS315664
Advanced Format:                              No
Partition Alignment:                          Aligned
    Partition 1:                              Aligned [D:]
Identify Data Word 106:                       0x0
Identify Data Word 117:                       0x0
Identify Data Word 118:                       0x0
Identify Data Word 209:                       0x0

Model:                                        SAMSUNG HD103UJ
Serial#:                                      S13PJ1LS310988
Advanced Format:                              No
Partition Alignment:                          Aligned
    Partition 1:                              Aligned [U:]
    Partition 2:                              Aligned [Not assigned]
Identify Data Word 106:                       0x0
Identify Data Word 117:                       0x0
Identify Data Word 118:                       0x0
Identify Data Word 209:                       0x0


C:\dell\drivers\R306204>

The second drive above has 2 partitions, both aligned but only the first appears as a normal volume - the second is purely a Truecrypt volume and appears as Raw.

I can unhide it with any partition tool and it will show up for that session, but after a reboot it is gone into hiding again.

Is that only from within XP?

Have you checked the partitions Hidden flag when the OS is offline, (ie. boot from Parted Magic, Paragon Partition Manager, etc) ?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 02:18:27 PM by 4wd »

brahman

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Re: Case of the missing partitions when downgrading from W7 to XP
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2011, 10:49:07 AM »
I wanted to report how I solved the problem.

After much effort it was quite simple:

In Partition Wizard Hoem Edition I used the feature "Rebuild MBR" and voila the partition was sticky from now on.

On some other machine this feature also solved a problem where Win7 did not want to hibernate with Diskcryptor installed on the system partition.

I can HIGHLY recommend this software.

http://partitionwiza...rtition-manager.html
Regards, Brahman