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ElectricHead
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-21-2011
Location: UK
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Re: V570 - Has too many partitions - Can I nuke one? I need a separate Data Partition!

[ Edited ]

Oh damnit. I just lost this post. Here goes again.

Too late for -Jim- but I'm posting this for curiosities sake.

 

  1. I posted an account of my adventures in partitioning a Z570 with a superficially similar disk structure recently on this very forum. In short, this user played around with partitioning and Lenovo's One Key Recovery (OKR) and now I have a new partition wedged between what Windows sees as "C" and "D" and my OKR works just fine. Caveats are that I left the "D" partition as it was and even though OKR keeps the contents of it, I don't know how changing D affects functionality. Also, OKR doesn't like the contents of my new partition (deletes them on restore) but otherwise respects its existence. Obviously the deleting aspect is no good for the OP's purpose but it's fine for me. The effect of modifying the D partition remains to be seen...
  2. There is implication there are mysterious "hidden" files on the "D" partition that are required for recovery. I can't say with absolute certainty, but I'm not convinced. I have a backup of my fresh D partition and I see no hidden files. Now there are folders containing backup files that I made with OKR, but I'm fairly sure these directories did not exist initially. Secondly, the OKR boot loader points at the hidden OEM partition only. I really don't see where D comes into it unless you save a user backup in the default location (which is on D). I'd welcome correction here, but please be specific. What files are supposed to be on here that are essential for correct functionality of OKR and why?
  3. [EDIT: On closer inspection the guide in question seems to quite explicitly contradict my experience, perhaps I booted into the recovery environment and then it treated the discs just as media, perhaps booting off the discs allows the partitions to be re-created as per the guide?] The link on creation of Factory Recovery Discs also implies that making factory recovery discs will allow you to proceed with partition modifications freely. Well, yeah, but I'm very skeptical that you'll get back the original ones from the discs. This isn't how OKR works in my experience. In the 12 minutes it took for me to recover from factory discs, I only saw the C drive being re-populated in the exact same way as restoring from the HDD, although I know the boot partition was also repopulated (but this is small and fast). Further, I was already booted into the recovery environment (which is installed on the hidden partition) and OKR treated the factory discs as media only. I don't believe the factory discs touch the partitions, so they are no good in getting them back if you screw up and if you've taken the partitions too far away from the default, probably simply won't work at all. It would be great if this was not true though as it would massively boost the value of having these discs burned, again, well-founded corrections are welcome.
  4. I suspect "Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0" is just marketing lingo for the energy management utilities etc that are provided by Lenovo... on their website... equally installable on fresh windows. I would also be keen to see specs if there is more to it than that, though...

DragonRider implied that users stuffed up their machines through their own doing. Maybe, there's a myriad of ways to stuff up an OS installation. On the other hand, this user asked very specific questions and got very specific answers that turned out to be wrong. I'd be hesitant in jumping to blame users when there is inaccurate support information flying around. I believe a lot of the information in that sticky on this subject  is out of date at best, wrong at worst.

topmahof
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Re: V570 - Has too many partitions - Can I nuke one? I need a separate Data Partition!

http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/IdeaPad-S-series-Netbooks/How-to-Create-Factory-Disc-with-One-Key-Recove...

 

Hi ElectricHead,

 

Scroll to the end of the article.  It shows the hidden files.  

 

I would say that "most" of the members in that big long thread are there because of experimentation.  They haven't burned recovery discs,  They experimented and now they want it all back.  They want to push the OKR button.  They can't  and they don't know how.  You seem to know your stuff and the OP here knows his stuff.  It's different for you guys.

 

You guys are doing your backups and saving your images  and you can put it all back if you want to.

 

Lenovo does do something with the EE optimization, I don't know exactly what. I have two machines here with the same specs.  One has the preload with EE, Veriface logon, and 84 processes running and it boots to a usuable OS in 50 seconds.'

The other one has a clean install with the same OS, "retail", with no Veriface and 45 processes, and it boots to a usable OS in 40 seconds.  

 

That's only a 10 second difference.  

 

Now I do the required things to make sure that the OS is running smooth, the defrag, the registry cleaning clearing caches.

 

Most people here don't do that stuff, either.  So, the OS gets stuffed up so by the time they make it here, it's unrecoverable and the only way to do it is to use the OKR.

 

Oops, I deleted D:, will it still work?

 

You know the answer.

 

Dave 

 

  

 

 

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ElectricHead
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Location: UK
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Re: V570 - Has too many partitions - Can I nuke one? I need a separate Data Partition!

[ Edited ]

Yeah, those hidden files correspond to the hidden files in my partition that were created in that [default] location when I created a user backup with OKR. I'm looking at them all right now, and they are timestamped over a narrow time window which corresponds to when I made the user backup, this includes the root Lenovo directory itself. I'm fairly sure if I didn't make a user backup this Lenovo/OneKey App/OneKey Recovery/backup.* directory structure wouldn't exist at all.

In other words, as far as I can see, it's just the place OKR saves your backup... you can choose another arbitrary location when you make it if you like.

 


topmahof wrote:

Oops, I deleted D:, will it still work?

 

You know the answer.


 

...actually I wish I did. I didn't go far enough to get an answer to this when I fiddled about with it, I can only guess sadly.

What is definitely not different for me is not having a clue about the actual limitiations and requirements of the disk partitioning and recovery feature which makes it difficult to proceed with intermediate level system modifications. But hey, that's why I spent hours playing with it and posting the results and maybe helping shed a bit of light on it...

PS. I have to say it's kind of hard for me to put the 10s difference in boot times into context, considering the EE-equipped laptop is more heavily loaded (but on the other hand, 50s is a reasonable boot time anyway).

topmahof
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Re: V570 - Has too many partitions - Can I nuke one? I need a separate Data Partition!

I checked mine when I first got it, before I did any backups.  That file structure was there.  I'm pretty sure it was the factory backup.  I've never done a backup onto D: or anywhere on the hard drive.  I did a full system backup onto an external hard drive.

 

I booted the recovery discs just to see if they booted.  I restored from OKR once since I had it just to see if it would work and I restored from the external hard drive once.  So far, everything worked.

 

Seeing as how there's a lot of questions about this, I'm going to reimage the C:, make a system repair disc from control panel and totally change my partitions around, then restore from the discs and see if it will rebuild the partitions and put it back to factory.  It might be a couple of days before I do that.  I'll post back with the results.

 

Supposedly, if your hard drive fails and you put a new blank hard drive in, the restore discs will rebuild the partitions and put everything back the way it was.  I guess we'll see.

 

Dave 

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ElectricHead
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Re: V570 - Has too many partitions - Can I nuke one? I need a separate Data Partition!

[ Edited ]

Interesting... it's conceivable I may have copied the contents of the Lenovo partition via Windows which may well have resulted in me missing these hidden folders, also I can't find any similar files on the hidden OEM partition. BUT, my hidden partition does contain an OKRBackup/Factory/ directory with Boot.okr MBR.okr and OS.okr, with the latter being a little over 6GB (~DVD). There is also an Info.ini in there with the following contents...

[Info]
BakTime=2011-10-19 08:12
FacBak=1
T12Layout=1
BootType=2
DiskCount=1
ImageCount=2
DataPart=1
MBR=MBR.okr
Success=1
[Boot]
Format=NTFS
Lable=
Begin=2048
Total=409600
Used=65784
Image=Boot.okr
[OS]
Format=NTFS
Lable=
Begin=411648
Total=1372989440
Used=56792984
Image=OS.okr
[Service]
Format=NTFS
Lable=LENOVO_PART
Begin=1434222592
Total=30926576

 

In conjunction with the timestamps (on the original D partition in the laptop) corresponding roughly (I have no way of being precise) with the time I made the user backup, I'm fairly convinced this is where my factory backup lives and the recoveries I did during testing the limits of it supported this if I recall correctly (I believe OKR cited the source as the hidden partition). Note that the backup time is pre-purchase. Also, interestingly, the Begin and Total fields correspond to the physical disk sectors BUT in the case of the NTFS "OS" partition, the Total field is no longer correct for me (I shrunk it) and factory restore worked fine regardless so it seems this field or even file is not so critical to functionality. I'd assume that due to the lack of a "D" drive entry in this info this drive is untouched and may well be ignored, still dunno what would happen if the size is changed as it wiped the contents of the new partition I put in the space made by shrinking the OS partition.

What version of OKR? Mine is 7.0.1628. Is it possible Lenovo have changed up the partition/recovery scheme? Perhaps even a customised scheme for particular retailers? (mine does actually come with a token amount of retailer-specific software bundled in the factory image).

Gah. I'm tempted to also expand on my experiments with this but it'll probably have to wait. I look forward to hearing the results of yours, though.

PS. I would just like to reiterate that I'm not a tech, or software engineer, or computer scientist. I'm just an aero engineer with a [un]healthy dose of curiosity. I've certainly been wrong about such things before and I'm merely making common-sense-derived guesses and assumptions.

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dragnoak
Posts: 523
Registered: ‎06-20-2011
Location: Racine, WI

Re: V570 - Has too many partitions - Can I nuke one? I need a separate Data Partition!

Dave,

     I'm really looking forward to you posting the results of your tests.

 

     As you've said, I also, keep a pretty clean machine. I run the EE Boot Optimizer once a week, and my boot times remain in the 40-50 seconds range.

 

     In my previous life, I was a Senior System Administrator of IBM Power 7 systems. (System38--> AS/400--> Series I--> I Series--> Power 7) Back in the 80's, when hugh drives contained very little DASD, if you didn't manage your system to be a clean as possible, the whole OS just stopped. This was our version of a BSOD.

 

     My point is, right now, beneath my fingers, I have more storage in my Y470, than I ever had available to me in the 80's, operating an IBM mid-frame AS/400. So, is it any wonder that this old fogy really likes, and appreciates the tools that Lenovo provides, to manage this system. I don't need to re-partition this drive. I like the drive, just the way it is. That's why I'm interested in your recovery testing. 

 

DragonRider

I'm DO'ing IT
Lenovo Y470 085525U 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7-2630QM processor ( 2.00GHz 1333MHz 6MB )
IdeaCentre A520 Intel® Core™ i5-3230M processor ( 2.60GHz 2600MHz 3MB )
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topmahof
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Re: V570 - Has too many partitions - Can I nuke one? I need a separate Data Partition!

[ Edited ]

DragonRider,

 

From one old fogey to another, I'm amazed at how far things have come.

 

You actually did some pioneering in your day, kudos for that.

 

I was a keypunch operater for the Reading RR and the equipment ran on paper tape.  IBM 1050 system.

If the tape ripped, the RR would stop.  That was my BSOD.

 

I've done the backup, I have to image the drive and burn a system repair disc. I'll probably to this tomorrow when I have some time.

 

Edit:  ElectricHead,  I'm not anything special, not a tech or anything, but I have a nasty curiosity about how things work.  I love taking things apart and putting them back together.  They might not always work when I'm done, that just gives me something else to play with.  

 

Dave 

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topmahof
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Re: V570 - Has too many partitions - Can I nuke one? I need a separate Data Partition!

  U160

i3 processor

4 Gb RAM

320 Gb hard drive 5400 rpm

 

OKR version:  7.0.1230

 

I ran the recovery discs and put it back to factory specs. Mainly to make sure that they worked.  While I was in the factory OS, I went into Disc Management and resized C: to 30 Gb.  I deleted D:  I made a new partition in the unpartitioned space and I installed linux.  Messed up the MBR on windows.  Windows wouldn't boot, linux would.  All this was intentional.

I then tried to run OKR, no go.

 

I then ran the recovery discs again and put it back to factory specs.  The discs rebuilt the partitions and put everything back to factory specs.  All the partitions were back and everything was back the way it was when it was new.

 

I then wiped the drive clean.  I formatted it NTSF and ran the recovery discs again.  Recovery ran and put it back to factory specs.  Rebuilt the partitions and put everything back to factory specs.

 

Then, I used the OKR button and restored the system to the backup I just made tonight.  OKR ran and everything is back the way it was when I started.  The partitions are all there and all the original files are there.  I then ran OKR from the button and it acted like it would run.  Before, it gave an error right at the beginning.  No error this time, but I didn't run it. I'm pretty sure that OKR would run.

 

So, no matter what you do to the drive, the restore discs will rebuild it back to the way the machine came from the factory.

Running the restore discs is pretty much automatic, once you choose what you want to do from OKR.

 

I didn't have to use the Windows Repair disc or anything else.  Just the restore discs.

 

Curiosity got to me, I had to do this now.

 

The only thing I can't do is use the discs on a different size hard drive, but I would be willing to bet and give odds that the discs would resize the partitions to the exact percentages per size of drive.  It would just make each partition a little bigger or a little smaller according to the size of the drive.

 

It all went very smooth and faster than I thought it would.

 

Dave 

 

  

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-Jim-
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Re: V570 - Has too many partitions - Can I nuke one? I need a separate Data Partition!

Dave,
IMHO => I'd expect the rebuilt partitions on a different sized HD would be the same size as the original and not the same %. It takes lots of programming to calculate those ratios which is far too advanced for a restore disk.
topmahof
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Re: V570 - Has too many partitions - Can I nuke one? I need a separate Data Partition!

Hi -Jim-.

 

Hmmm, so if somebody wanted to put a smaller SSD in there, the restore discs probably wouldn't work, right?  

 

If somebody put a bigger hard drive in there, then there probably would be unpartitioned space, right?

 

I guess this raised more questions. 

 

I don't have a smaller hard drive to test this with, but I do remember reading somewhere that you have to get the same size or bigger drive if you have to replace it.  

 

Dave

 

  

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