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Living Room / Re: [Help!] Boot problem/s
« on: July 25, 2015, 08:47 PM »
So I am not sure what to make of the 1st partition on your hard disk. Likely when you make the 3rd partition the boot partition your system will start working again.

I'm pretty sure it's part of the Dell restore crap. Not all of it, obviously, since it's not big enough. IIRC it contains the restore program, accessible through the Windows startup repair process. At least on the one I dealt with, the WIM image was actually stored on the system drive, but hidden so you wouldn't know it was there.

It's still a little fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure all I had to do at that point is set the correct partition to boot (using diskpart obviously), and it was fixed. I do remember for sure that the recovery partition was at the beginning of the drive, just because I had always seen them at the end in the past.

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Living Room / Re: [Help!] Boot problem/s
« on: July 24, 2015, 01:20 PM »

I ran into this exact problem last year after replacing the hard drive in a Dell laptop. The restore process is supposed to hide that partition at the end of the restore process, but doesn't necessarily do so. IIRC I found a way to do it from the command line. If I get some time, I'll see if I can find the command I used.

Probably diskpart.  Run it from an administrative command prompt(or elevated as they say these days.)

edit: This tutorial on a Vista system changes a recovery partition to show it by changing the type to 07. Supposedly 07 is visible ntfs 17 is hidden and 27 is a recovery partition.  If 17 doesn't work try 27.  :)

http://defaultreasoning.com/2009/05/29/unhide-the-recovery-partition-on-a-basic-disk-with-diskpart/


This was actually one of Dell's command line utilities, but yeah, DiskPart should do the job.

Apparently I did just use diskpart, at least according to what I posted here at the time.

For anyone unfortunate enough to get stuck repairing a Dell with DataSafe (a truly ironic name) backup software, I do now have a few words of advice. The first word that comes to mind is run and that's only halfway joking.

It seems someone at Dell came up with the brilliant idea of integrating half assed backup software with the Windows deployment process. Actually that's not exactly right which is really the problem. Instead of launching their proprietary tools inside the deployment process, a successful restore required me to use their tool directly so it could select the correct (original) install image rather than the DataSafe backup which just looked like it was the original.

Also, since Dell decided to leave the recovery partition accessible from Windows, when the Win7 upgrade ran it used it as the boot partition and changed it from E: to C:. That, of course, isn't nearly as problematic as the fact the upgrade obviously had to also make it the active partition. On the good side I can now definitively say I haven't forgotten how to use diskpart.

The tl;dr version goes something like this. After booting with a Windows disc I started by making the correct (OS) partition active. Next I used imagex to manually apply what various Internet sources indicated was the factory image. In reality it ended up a backup from some point which at least got me to the point DataSafe was available from the Windows repair menu. When I booted the next time I let DataSafe do another restore which applied the actual factory image.

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Living Room / Re: [Help!] Boot problem/s
« on: July 24, 2015, 12:34 PM »
Sounds like the order of the partitions got jumbled up in (parts of) the Windows configuration.

During the boot routine some hard-coded path's are used and it appears that there things go wrong.

Windows partitions are assigned a unique code that is later on translated into a drive letter. My suspicion is that here your problem starts. Suddenly all parts of the operating system are not in the location where the operating system expects them to be and a generic error code 0x3 will be served up to your screen.

Fixing this kind of errors might prove more time-consuming than re-installing or putting an image back. Laptop manufacturers have the nasty habit lately to put the recovery partition in front off the other partition. The reasoning behind this doesn't make a lick of sense to me. After all, this is the fastest part of the hard disk, which should be used for the Windows partition. After all, you will spend more time using the laptop instead of restoring the factory setup!

My guess is that they do this, so they can crank out laptops faster. Anyway, even the Windows installer gets "confused" by this on occasion.

I ran into this exact problem last year after replacing the hard drive in a Dell laptop. The restore process is supposed to hide that partition at the end of the restore process, but doesn't necessarily do so. IIRC I found a way to do it from the command line. If I get some time, I'll see if I can find the command I used.

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General Software Discussion / Re: why MS Word breaks format
« on: June 08, 2015, 04:08 PM »
ok guys, but the success of a program is not to spend 1 whole year to master it!!!

Maybe not for the user, but if it takes a year to master, but people keep buying it anyway, that's exactly what Microsoft would call a success.

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According to their website, there's still a free (Basic) version.

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