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SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,222
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 96
Message 31 of 50

Re: Thinkcenter M910t-Add 3.5 inch HardDrivt to Secondary Drive Bay


@SGV2005 wrote:
Let me describe to you what happened since the beginning:

 

1/ I partitioned the original (CSmiley Happy drive in 2 parts before cloning anything to the SSD. I am not sure now if I did it with Windows 10 function "create and format hard disk partitions" or I used PW (I downloaded both Macrium and PW the same day I received the new PC). I did the same thing with my old ASUS and it has always worked well; except that this time with the Lenovo, I was offered to name the new partition on HDD as a (BSmiley Happy drive, or an E, F and G, but there was NO (DSmiley Happy available. I was very surprised to see that (DSmiley Happy was missing and subsequently chose (BSmiley Happy.



This is, in my opinion, the crucial step you did which is probably responsible for why you can no longer boot to this HDD.  It was working initially obviously, and you were running Windows normally.  But the sequence of steps you enumerate above causes me great concern, if you were not using both Macrium Reflect and Partition Wizard, both of which I'm intimately familiar with and how to accomplish what defines your objective of cloning HDD over to the SSD and re-sizing and creating partitions, on both the SSD as well as on the re-purposed HDD (which will become solely for "data" and with no Windows or "system reserved" partition on it).

 

You say your first step is "partitioned the original C into 2 parts". But you shouldn't have been able to do that in a single step.  It should have taken several steps, that you didn't describe.  I still don't know how you could have created a new partition on the HDD without first shrinking the existing C to make room for the new second partition.  Did you do this re-size/shrink?  Did you use PW?  If not, how did you re-size C to make some space available for the second partition?

 

And even if you did shrink C at this point, why couldn't you have assigned D as the drive letter?  I suspect you had your external drives plugged in at this point, and they must have been given D and E.  Hence why you couldn't assign D to the new partition on HDD, since it was already in use for one of your external drives.  Again, you either need to not have those drives plugged in yet (so that D was still available), or why not just use DISKMGMT to change the letters for your two external drives to something else, thereby freeing up D to be assigned for the new second partition you had just created on HDD.

 

Note that nothing so far should have damaged the bootability of HDD, in theory. But I dont' know exactly how you got down to the two 465GB partitions on HDD if you didn't use PW, and what that might have done.  We still have the mystery of why you are now getting 1962 even when only HDD is installed and no SSD and the BIOS boot sequence should work fine.

 

Also, you really should have simply cloned the existing HDD over to the initially blank/empty/raw SSD with Macrium Reflect and specified the new target partitions (on the SSD) with whatever re-sized allocation for C that you wanted there.  Don't re-size and create new partitions on the HDD before you clone.  The HDD is going to be completely re-purposed and re-partitioned when we're all done, so just leave it as it is for now going into the clone.  Make your adjustments on the output of the clone, i.e. the SSD... either by re-sizing target partitions with Macrium Reflect during the clone, or by PW after the clone is finished.  You can re-size the target with Macrium Reflect so that the output of the cloning is sized as you want.  Or, you can just let it do its "full-size clone" with Macrium Reflect still running from the HDD Win10, and then use Partition Wizard also running from the HDD Win10 to "re-size" the SSD C-partition you just created with Macrium Reflect to be smaller.  Or, if you had actually been able to boot from the cloned SSD, you could still run Partition Wizard (either from the new SSD Win10 or "standalone" from the USB boot media) to re-size the initial C-partition down smaller to make room for the second "data" partition you wanted to allocate on the SSD.

 

Note that if you run PW from Windows and your operation affects the C-partition, it cannot be completed while still under Windows.  So PW will build a queue of steps to be performed some of which can be completed now and others of which which cannot be completed now.  It will then ask you to allow a re-boot.  At the start of the re-boot process PW will get kicked into operation (before bringing up the Windows desktop) in order to perform all of these queued operations (e.g. the re-size shrinkage of the Windows C partition).  Once these are all finished, the re-boot process is returned to and the Windows startup completes.  When you are up and running it will from the newly re-sized C-partition and whatever else was done during the pre-Windows "standalone" process.

 

Or, you could just run PW truly "standalone" (i.e. booted from the USB media) and perform ALL of the functions you want right then and there, since you're not running from an operational Win10 C-partition but rather are running PW standalone in a WinPE environment.  Therre's no reason for it not to be able to tweak everything on the SSD and HDD to delete/create/resize/move/label, etc. for ANY one or more partitions on ANY one or more drives.  That's the advantage of running PW "standalone".

 

Just make sure you've first taken a Macrium Reflect "system image" backup of the one or more affected partitions on the one or more affected drives, before you rearrange things with PW.  That is your disaster recovery approach should it be necessary, using Macrium Reflect to "restore" one or more of these partitions from their original "system image" content.

 

 

Anyway, the "re-purpose" and re-partitioning of the HDD should only have been after proving that the cloning of the Lenovo-provided operational Windows system on the HDD had been completed successfully, and that you could truly boot from the SSD. Only now the HDD becomes re-usable for "data".

 

But re-purposing should really be to use PW (now running from Windows on the SSD, or standalone) to first delete all partitions on the HDD so that its entire 1TB is unallocated free space while the drive itself is still partitioned as GPT.  Then use PW to "create" one or more NTFS "data" partitions, each of which you can also assign a drive letter to also using PW.

 

And you can also use DISKMGMT.MSC to "change drive letters" of any partition, on an internal drive or external drive, to whatever you want.  I myself don't use the sequentially assigned drive letters from Windows, just because of how those partitions came to be born for me over the past few decades (copied forward as I migrated from older/smaller drives to additional and/.or newer/larger drives).  I know the content of what's on each drive letter which has remained the same over the decades, no matter which physical drive that partition now lives on.  So I always use either PW or DISKMGMT to be sure my partition drive letters are always what I want them to be.

 

Also, I don't necessarily use sequentially assigned "low" letters D, E, F, etc.  I might pick something else, again just to be meaningful to me and intuitive forever so that I won't have to write things down.  For example, my own 2TB external USB backup drive is manufactured by Verbatim.  So I gave it a drive letter of "V", and all of my Macrium Reflect and NovaBACKUP backups are targeted to folders located on this "V" drive.  Easy for me to remember with no thought at all.

SGV2005
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Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-23-2019
Location: CA
Views: 80
Message 32 of 50

Re: Thinkcenter M910t-Add 3.5 inch HardDrivt to Secondary Drive Bay

As I said , I have already created a standalone USB bootable drive (with WinPE 10) using Macrium Reflect.

From your last message, I undertand that you don't want me to use that standalone USD drive to reboot the Lenovo, but prefer me to create another one with Partition Wizard and use that new one to reboot ?

I have a PW Free edition already, but it appears that this free edition doesn't offer the possibility to create a WinPE-based bootable Media. One needs to buy the Pro edition to get it.

So can I just reboot the Lenovo with the exisiting Macrium created standalone USB bootable drive ? and then (if it works) use PW to get a photo of the partitions on the disks and their status ?

That's the first step for now, I guess. Once that photo is obtained, then we can read/see and understand the situation better, don't you think  ?

 

 

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,222
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 78
Message 33 of 50

Re: Thinkcenter M910t-Add 3.5 inch HardDrivt to Secondary Drive Bay

I want you to have TWO USB drives that you can boot to (since each one has just one program installed on it along with WinPE).  One is for Macrium Reflect (based on WinPE 10) and you've already got it made.  The second is (or should be) for Partition Wizard (and again, WinPE 10).

 

I didn't know the ability to build standalone boot media wasn't part of the "free" version of PW, because naturally I have the non-free Pro edition (same as I have the non-free Pro version of Macrium Reflect).  In addition to acquiring the additional features available with the non-free product it also is my way of supporting the software vendors who have excellent products and who are still in business and still enhancing and supporting their products, including responding promptly to customer emails, problem reports, etc.  For example I'm currently in a conversation with MiniTool (i.e. Partition Wizard developer) regarding the issues pertaining to building this standalone USB boot media in a Win7 environment for a Skylake machine (like the M910t) and having it be usable.  As I mentioned previously, there are several issues with what gets built currently that can be overcome through manual steps, but it really shouldn't be necessary for the user to do this.  Also, if you happen to write to a USB flash drive larger than 32GB they mistakenly format it as NTFS which is unbootable.  The drive MUST be formatted as FAT32 in order for any BIOS (including UEFI) to read it.

 

Anyway, this type of product support comes with the paid non-free product, and I show my support (with my money) for software product developers who produce excellent products.  They have a right to earn a living, and I use their products, so I support them in this way.

 

Anyway, I will provide you with an ISO file (produced from my non-free version of PW) for the standalone PW bootable media generated on a Win10 machine so that the Windows kernel will be based on WinPE 10.  You can then use RUFUS to easily create a bootable USB flash drive (partitioned as GPT, and formatted as FAT32) from this ISO file.  I will PM you with all the details. Then you'll have the bootable standalone version of PW which I wanted you to have, to complete your set of standlone bootable USB versions of both products.

 

 

As I stated previously, I want you to have both products available in standalone bootable form, because you will in the course of your lifetime OCCASIONALLY NEED TO USE EACH OF THEM in this standalone mode as opposed to the regular normal mode of running the product from an operating Windows environment.  For example, you currently don't have an operating Windows environment (i.e. booted from internal HDD or SSD) on your M910t so the only way we can, for example, use Partition Wizard to examine things on the HDD or SSD (or external drives) is to run PW in its standalone bootable WinPE version... which is why you need its bootable USB.

 

You can only run Macrium Reflect standalone from its WinPE USB media.  And you can only run PW standalone from its WinPE USB media.  You can't boot to the Macrium Reflect WinPE USB media and then somehow run Partition Wizard.  Doesn't work that way.

 

So, you download/install RUFUS on your ASUS machine, so that you can then create the second bootable USB media on that machine from the ISO file for the standalone WinPE version of Partition Wizard (non-free) that I will tell you about in that PM.  And then you'll be able to boot your M910t from that USB drive, and take the screenshot.

 

I'm still puzzled about your second external 5TB drive that claims to be MBR when that's impossible.  Now I believe you CAN in fact use MBR on a drive physically larger than 2TB, but if you do that you will only be able to utilize the first 2TB of its capacity. The remaining 3TB will be unavailable and unusable.  So it's possible that this is what is going on with this drive, but we do need to look inside the contents of this drive further.  Some of the answers can come from PW, but other answers may need other products.

 

If you connect that MBR-5TB drive to your ASUS machine (which works normally), we can investigate further and easier than trying to use standalone PW on the M910t.  But for now this is a separate issue which needs to be addressed and understood (and possibly corrected, using PW's "convert MBR disk to GPT" function... which again is a function not available with the "free" product but is only available with the non-free Pro version).

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,222
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 70
Message 34 of 50

Re: Thinkcenter M910t-Add 3.5 inch HardDrivt to Secondary Drive Bay

PM has been sent to you.

SGV2005
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Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-23-2019
Location: CA
Views: 68
Message 35 of 50

Re: Thinkcenter M910t-Add 3.5 inch HardDrivt to Secondary Drive Bay

I have received it. Thanks a lot.\Working on the ISO now, then will use RUFUS to produce standalone USB.

SGV2005
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Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-23-2019
Location: CA
Views: 65
Message 36 of 50

Re: Thinkcenter M910t-Add 3.5 inch HardDrivt to Secondary Drive Bay

Everything's done.

Now I have the 2 Standalone USB boot drives from Macrium and PW.

Should I try to boot the M910T with the PW one and see what's going to happen ?

 

 

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,222
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 63
Message 37 of 50

Re: Thinkcenter M910t-Add 3.5 inch HardDrivt to Secondary Drive Bay

Yes.  Please temporarily disconnect your two external drives, just to simplify things. We still need to deal with the mysterious MBR drive, but for now let's focus on the HDD that's inside the M910t.

 

Again, please spread and/or move the column dividers so that the text of the last two columns of details can be seen.  Of particular interest is the first partition on the drive (i.e. "system reserved") which is where Boot Manager should be living.  It should show "active & system".

 

Also, the first (of the two) 465GB partitions is supposed to be where Windows resides.  If you right-click on that partition in the GUI and then select "explore" from the popup menu, you should see a regular normal Explorer tree for a typical Windows partition.  You can't actually open any files to view their contents, but you can expand the folders in order to see all sub-folders and/or file names.  Let's be sure it looks normal (or not).

 

SGV2005
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Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-23-2019
Location: CA
Views: 59
Message 38 of 50

Re: Thinkcenter M910t-Add 3.5 inch HardDrivt to Secondary Drive Bay

I launched the PW standalone USB boot drive as agreed, and it opened MiniTool PE loader as shown on photo 1  (blue screen).

Then, it started opening Partition Wizard which allowed me to take the 2 following pictures of the on-screen partitions. Partition 1 (System, 260Mb) shows clearly that it's "active & system" as you were expecting. One good thing to know already. It's still there...

Then I came back to the first (blue screen) page to click on the "Reboot your PC" to see what's next.

The blue screen disappeared and the PC start to reboot.... to come back to the same blue screen page and restart opening the same PW page (photos 2 and 3). I am hesitant to click on any of the other lines (such as 'command console") because I am afraid I'm going to screw up something again.

What is the next move now that we have achieved that first step ?

PW USB Boot 1.jpgPW USB Boot 2.jpgPW USB Boot 3.jpg

SGV2005
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Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-23-2019
Location: CA
Views: 58
Message 39 of 50

Re: Thinkcenter M910t-Add 3.5 inch HardDrivt to Secondary Drive Bay

And the other half (463.74Gb) previously partitioned is there too, under the (DSmiley Happy name.

 

SGV2005
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Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-23-2019
Location: CA
Views: 56
Message 40 of 50

Re: Thinkcenter M910t-Add 3.5 inch HardDrivt to Secondary Drive Bay

Something strange I noticed: the C: drive (Windows) shows "boot".

Wasn't it supposed to be in Drive 1 (System) ? Is that the cause why the booting process failed continuously to recognize the existence of a booting system when I turned the PC on ? 

Note: I remember having started to transfer files on that D: partition (297.95 Gb used), but I left the C: partition untouched, which means that it only contains the Windows system.

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