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[SOLVED] Boot problem/s

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I'm still unsure how many partitions are in it:

1) The first mini-partition has DELL tools - it is shown and has a label (V:)
2) Second partition is Recovery, and is labeled with an asterisk* - and is not shown in e.g. file manager
3) Third is the OS (C:)
4) is there also a mini boot partition?? - read on:

System restore shows "RECOVERY ()" and 'C' and a "Boot (X:)" partition.
And Aomei Backupper also shows a "Boot (X:)" (from it's winPE boot disc) when I go to save the image (see screenshot)
Oddly this Boot partition is *not* shown by:
# Windows disk management
# Aomei PArtition manager
# Eassos PArtition Guru
# GParted

Note: the labeling is different in this image/dialogue (due to it being from a boot usb-stick). Important is the precence of Boot patition not seen by Partition programmes :-/)

[SOLVED] Boot problem/s

^ that not-knowing makes me wary of messing with the partitions.

I had been thinking of:

* deleting the Recovery partition
* adding that space to (C:)
* shrinking (C:) at the end, and creating a new (D:) for data
but I'm not sure:
   a) will Aomei restore to a different size partition (in case a restore is necessary)
   b) will this boot partition cause problems
   c) if this all does *not* work, will I be able to restore the partitions to thier previous state. Note: I've done two image-restores of 'C' using Aomei - one was 'just' a partition restore, the other a restore from a 'System Backup' image - I'm not sure what exactly that involves (+MBR?) - but both worked well.
Aomei also does full disk image backup - but I'm not clear if this can be restored to a non partitioned or differently partitioned drive....

Stoic Joker:
but I'm not clear if this can be restored to a non partitioned or differently partitioned drive....-tomos (July 31, 2015, 03:41 PM)
--- End quote ---

Yes, it can.

I had to do it last year on a Server 2008 R2 Domain controller. The OS was on a (Dell OEM Install much like yours) single disk, and needed to be moved to a mirrored RAID array. I took a backup on the OS, and restored it to a newly created partition on the Array. Then ran through the below commands which I pasted here from a .doc file I made for myself to use in the future.

MS Boot Configuration Data Editor
For When Boot Fails Because the OS is Missing!
The following procedure is used to completely rebuild the Windows Vista, 7, 2008 boot configuration when it has either been badly damaged, or when restoring the OS to different hardware with a different disk/partition configuration (however it doesn't hurt to run all of long as it's done in this order).

1.   Boot from appropriate OS media.
2.   Select the current Windows installation if available.
3.   Choose Command Prompt and run the below commands (some may be optional):
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
bootrec.exe /fixboot
bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force
attrib -s -h -r C:\boot\BDC (this one can be skipped if it's gone)
del C:\boot\BCD (this can obviously be skipped if it's gone)
bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd
bcdboot.exe C:\Windows /S C: /L en-us (this one is very critical - Specifically the language switch - adjust accordingly if you're not using English)

(This part is here only for reference)
Diskpart can also be used to mark a partition as active from the Windows RE.
SELECT DISK (followed by the number of the disk – most likely 0)
SELECT PARTITION (followed by the partition number – most likely 0)
(end of just for reference.

Windows startup recovery should now work ... If it doesn't, boot to the OS install disk and run:

Startup repair launched this way is a bit more aggressive about getting the deal closed than the other GUI launched startup repair - I have no idea why...I just know that it is. I have however - recently with a (virus devastated) Win7 laptop - had some success with using the GUI based startup repair, but only after the above commands were run.

I forgot to give this thread closure :p

With the OS now working, I restored the most recent image. I had to get the Windows rescue disc/flash-drive to repair the MBR again.
System started fine after (didnt need to update any files).

I then started messing with partitions using the free Aomei Partition Assistant - deleting the Recovery partition, creating two new partitions - one for data, and one for a couple of backup images. Everything went fine there (so I didnt have to test restoring to a different size partition).

Of interest:
A while later, I noticed System Restore no longer worked.
I was trying to enable it for C but it refused to work:
Could not apply the settings for the following reason: The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect. (0x8007007B)
followed by:
There was an unexpected error in the property page:  The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect. (0x8007007B)   Please close the property page and try again.

Turned out there was a second phantom 'C' partition (hidden down the bottom of the list) with System Restore turned on. Once this is turned off, it turned on automatically for the 'real' 'C'.
(I found out how to do that via MS forums - seems to be common after restoring an image or a reinstall on laptops with funny [peculiar] OEM business on them.)


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