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JCW2
Token Ring
Posts: 150
Registered: ‎05-21-2009
Location: US
Views: 1,324
Message 1 of 11

Safely Re-Partition Drive on New Machine?

I've ordered a new W530 with Windows 7 Pro, Office Home and Business, Acrobat Standard, etc.  Before configuring Windows to my taste, my first goal is to divide the hard drive into two or more NTFS partitions in order to eventually segregate most user data from the OS.  Is there a safe way to do this without interfering with the existing OS and other pre-installed software?

 

If so, how early in the setup process must it be done and what utilities are available to accomplish it?

 

If not, must I wipe the drive, re-partition as desired, and then re-install the system and software from Factory Default Recovery DVDs; or what other options are there?

 

Thanks in advance. -- JCW2

Guru
Posts: 9,598
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: CA
Views: 1,319
Message 2 of 11

Re: Safely Re-Partition Drive on New Machine?

You should be okay manipulating the partition scheme as long as you don't delete SYSTEM_DRV and the Recovery partition. This also means you will have three existing partitions, forcing you to create more logical partitions if you want more than four.

W520: 2960XM, Q2000M @ 1091/1380, 32GB RAM, 500GB&750GB HDD & 500GB SSD, FHD&MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
W550s: 5600U, K620M at 1164/1281, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3K touchscreen
X200s: SL9400, 6GB RAM, 64GB SD card, WXGA+ screen
TPT1: 1839-23U
JCW2
Token Ring
Posts: 150
Registered: ‎05-21-2009
Location: US
Views: 1,305
Message 3 of 11

Re: Safely Re-Partition Drive on New Machine?

>>You should be okay manipulating the partition scheme as long as you don't delete SYSTEM_DRV and the Recovery partition.<<


Good news!

 

Can I do this with built-in Windows 7 (or ThinkVantage) tools, or do I need third-party software?

 

(I'm not yet familiar with Windows 7, and the only third-party partition software I've used in the past won't handle a 500 GB drive.) -- JCW2

 

Guru
Posts: 9,598
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: CA
Views: 1,298
Message 4 of 11

Re: Safely Re-Partition Drive on New Machine?

You will probably be able to do it with Disk Management (within Windows 7). It will allow you to shrink the partition while it's mounted and live.

The only hurdle is that it will only hot-shrink up to the first unmovable file backwards from the end.

Have it query shrink (will take a while as it scans). If it will shrink enough of it, then just go ahead and work with Disk Management. If not, you'll have to do it offline using something like Partition Wizard.

Then just create partitions in the new space (remembering to set the new partitions to logical).


W520: 2960XM, Q2000M @ 1091/1380, 32GB RAM, 500GB&750GB HDD & 500GB SSD, FHD&MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
W550s: 5600U, K620M at 1164/1281, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3K touchscreen
X200s: SL9400, 6GB RAM, 64GB SD card, WXGA+ screen
TPT1: 1839-23U
SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,315
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,295
Message 5 of 11

Re: Safely Re-Partition Drive on New Machine?

Get Partition Wizard Home Edition (free), along with its standalone boot CD ISO which you burn to CD.

 

You can then do anything, on any drive, either while running under Windows or booted standalone to the CD.

 

If you want to change the size of C, you can't actually complete this while Windows is running.  Now you can do that immediately when booted to the standalone CD.  Or, if you start that process while running under Windows, PW will tell you that to complete the operation you must reboot.  You reply OK.  Then at re-boot time PW will break in before you get the Welcome screen, complete the operation, and then finish the normal Windows boot process.

 

Best partition manager there is.

Guru
Posts: 9,598
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: CA
Views: 1,290
Message 6 of 11

Re: Safely Re-Partition Drive on New Machine?

>If you want to change the size of C, you can't actually complete this while Windows is running.
Windows Disk Management has actually been able to do this since Windows 2000. It's actually safer than using another program because the disk remains valid throughout even with power-loss during the operation. It just doesn't as universal as Partition Wizard.

W520: 2960XM, Q2000M @ 1091/1380, 32GB RAM, 500GB&750GB HDD & 500GB SSD, FHD&MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
W550s: 5600U, K620M at 1164/1281, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3K touchscreen
X200s: SL9400, 6GB RAM, 64GB SD card, WXGA+ screen
TPT1: 1839-23U
JCW2
Token Ring
Posts: 150
Registered: ‎05-21-2009
Location: US
Views: 1,259
Message 7 of 11

Re: Safely Re-Partition Drive on New Machine?

>>The only hurdle is that it will only hot-shrink up to the first unmovable file backwards from the end.<<


If I remember right, on a new computer this last unmovable file would likely be the page file.  If so, can't I temporarily turn of virtual memory and get this freed up?  Or does something else prevent me from moving this page file? -- JCW2

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,315
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,250
Message 8 of 11

Re: Safely Re-Partition Drive on New Machine?

Partition Wizard has no problem moving these "unmovable" files.  That's why it should be used, because of its great capabilities.

 

Can't speak highly enough about the product.

JCW2
Token Ring
Posts: 150
Registered: ‎05-21-2009
Location: US
Views: 1,010
Message 9 of 11

Re: Safely Re-Partition Drive on New Machine?

Please just check me on my conclusions below before I start messing around.  ColonelONeill wrote:

 

>>You will probably be able to do it with Disk Management (within Windows 7). It will allow you to shrink the partition while it's mounted and live...

You should be okay manipulating the partition scheme as long as you don't delete SYSTEM_DRV and the Recovery partition. This also means you will have three existing partitions, forcing you to create more logical partitions if you want more than four.<<

 

Now I've run Disk Management to investigate the drive.  Although "Computer" reports only two partitions (C: and the recovery parition as expected), DM reports two additional partitions:

 

Disk 0:

1.46 GB, primary/system/active, "SYSTEM_DRV", no drive letter, NTFS

445 GB, Boot/Page File/Crash Dump/Primary, "Windows7_OS", C:, NTFS

18.9 GB, Primary, "Lenovo_Recovery", Q:, NTFS

 

Disk 1:

14.9 GB, Primary, no name, no drieve letter, no file system.  Could this be the 16 GB solid-state cache drive that I ordered installed?  If so, I'll have to figure out how to get that into action...

 

Assuming that Disk 1 is the SSD, which I expect to be unavailable, the only place there is significant space is in C:, which DM would let me "shrink" as small as 87132 MB (although that would clearly be crazy).  Since I want two more volumes, I should be able to safely steal 100 GB from C: and use it to create a logical partition for my two additional logical volumes (one for user data and one for a share).  Right?

 

How much more might I expect to steal for my logical partition before the C: drive gets constipated?  (Remember that nearly all user data -- documents, pictures, Outlook PST, etc. -- will go into the user-data volume, so most of what gets added to C: will be new software.  Office is already installed, although I haven't started it yet.) -- JCW2

JCW2
Token Ring
Posts: 150
Registered: ‎05-21-2009
Location: US
Views: 965
Message 10 of 11

Re: Safely Re-Partition Drive on New Machine?

>>Since I want two more volumes, I should be able to safely steal 100 GB from C: and use it to create a logical partition for my two additional logical volumes (one for user data and one for a share).  Right?

How much more might I expect to steal for my logical partition before the C: drive gets constipated?<<

 

Re. above, this is Windows 7 SP1 64 bit with 32 GB RAM and all the usual Lenovo bloat-ware.  I think read somewhere that Disk Management will not install an extended (logical) partition until there are already three primary partitions.  Right now there are three by my count, so the next one should be what I want.  Right? -- JCW2

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