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LinYu
802.11n
Posts: 245
Registered: ‎02-04-2009
Location: Portugal
Views: 780
Message 1 of 7

Too many partitions in my W530?

This may look like a silly question and I fully admit that it might be it... But I have been unable to find a way to get rid of some apparently unuseful partitions in my SSD. I am attaching two images (see below) for clarity.

 

In image 1, I can see only two partitions, C: and Q: and there are also listed three other "Devices with Removable Storage": the DVD RW drive (D: ), the Removable Disk (F: ) and the Removable Disk (G: ). I tried to get rid of these last two (F: and G: ) but could not figure out how to achieve it. Not that their presence is a problem, just for cleaning purposes, as I do not see any need for them to be listed there. I don't even fathom what they may actually represent.

 

In image 2, taken from the Acronis True Image backup app, besides the same C: and Q: partitions, I also see a System_drv and an unamed partition that are not listed in the Windows-7 figure. The Unamed Partition, by the way, is always empty but I was discouraged in the past to just get rid of it. I wonder if I should, having received conflicting advice on whether or not to do it.

 

My question is: How can I eliminate the Removable Disks F: and G: as shown in the Windows figure and would it be a good idea to get rid of the Unamed partition as shown in the Acronis figure.

 

All help will be very much appreciated.

 

Thanks.

 

Link to image 1

 

Link to image 2

 

 

Moderator note: images totalling more than 50k converted to links per forum rules:  Lenovo Community Participation Rules

 

Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 10,266
Registered: ‎01-01-2010
Location: US
Views: 761
Message 2 of 7

Re: Too many partitions in my W530?

It is a good idea to leave it alone. F: and G: are related to your USB hub and SD card reader. It has nothing to do with your SSD. The other stuff on your SSD relate to your recovery partition in case your disk becomes corrupted or you simply want to restore to "factory state".

Rich


I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

If a response answers your question, please mark it as the accepted solution.

I am not an employee or agent of Lenovo.
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Farkus
802.11n
Posts: 204
Registered: ‎12-31-2013
Location: US
Views: 752
Message 3 of 7

Re: Too many partitions in my W530?

Upon delivery, I clean install all our machines.  Run with C: for the OS and D: for the data.  Unless you're dual booting, anything else is ill-advised.  If you can't reinstall and format fresh, then AOMEI is the best and most powerful freeware partitioner out there.  Runner ups are MiniTool, Easeus and Paragon.


W530 | 3840QM | 32g @ 1.35v CL9 1986z | 512g 840 Pro | 1t HGST 7200 | FHD AUO v.4 | Quadro K2k | GOBI 5k | Centrino 6300
SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,321
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 727
Message 4 of 7

Re: Too many partitions in my W530?

If you were to install Win7 from scratch on a brand new empty drive (spinner or SSD, doesn't matter) and not change anything from the standard default installation options, you'd get TWO partitions:

 

(1) un-lettered "system reserved" 100MB, where Boot Manager (and boot menu, presented if you were to install a second or subsequent bootable OS after installing Win7 as the first bootable OS) is placed.  This is also marked as the ACTIVE partition, so that the BIOS goes here to start the actual boot process.

 

(2) C-partition for the rest of the drive.  This is where Windows itself gets installed, as a "system" drive.

 

In the case of Lenovo-provided machines, they have installed additional recovery tools, which are placed into that small un-lettered partition normally referred to as "system reserved" and only 100MB.  Lenovo has enlarged the partition from the standard 100MB to about 1.5GB, but it's functionally identical in purpose.  Also, it's been labeled "SYSTEM_DRV", rather than "System Reserved", but this is of no relevance.

 

And Lenovo's also added that additional Q-partition, which is where the "data" for system recovery is placed, in the event you needed to or wanted to restore your machine to initial factory state, exactly as it looked when it first came out of the box.

 

So... what's critical here is that standard Windows7 requires the TWO partitions: (1) ACTIVE partition, where Boot Manager and boot menu lives and where the BIOS goes to start the boot process on what is configured as the first hard drive in the boot sequence, and (2) C-partition because that is specified as the one-and-only bootable OS partition according to the default one-OS boot menu built by the Win7 installer and subsequently examined by Boot Manager at boot time.  Since by default there is only one bootable OS you will not be presented with the boot menu, but instead Boot Manager will simply use that one-and-only OS and start it.  If you had two or more bootable OS's, you'd get a boot list presented onscreen by Boot Manager, and you'd need to select which one to boot from within say 10 seconds else the default OS would automatically be booted.

 

Any "system image" backup requires BOTH of the above partitions to be checked, since [at least theoretically] BOTH of them need to be backed up and/or restored in tandem should you need to recover from a disaster.  By backing and restoring BOTH, you guarantee a 100% working operating environment should you need to recover from a disaster.

 

Now the Q partition can be deleted (and its space re-allocated to either expand C, or perhaps in conjunction with shrinking the generally much too large C can be used to allocate one or more additional "data" partitions D, E, etc.) if you will NEVER need to or want to recover back to Lenovo's "factory-provided" out-of-the-box system setup.  This could be the case if you use an alternative method for disaster recovery, such as using Macrium Reflect to take regular periodic (say once a week) "system image" backups, say to an external USB 3.0 drive.

 

So you could use Macrium Reflect to take an initial "system image" backup, which would effectively be your equivalent of the Lenovo-provided Q partition content, although you wouldn't need Q if you had to restore the Macrium "system image" backup.  And then you'd just establish a weekly regime of further "system image" backups using Macrium, as your ongoing regular protection from a loss of Windows integrity which required some kind of restore to a prior working system.  In this case it would be no older than last week's backup.

 

If you needed more current protection, just take more frequent "system image" backups (if you only have a C partition), or add a second backup tool like NovaBACKUP to take monthly/daily "data" backups (also to the external USB 3.0 drive).

 

==> You don't have "too many partitions".  But the above description explains why you have what you have, and confirms that you can blow away Q if you have an alternative and superior backup/recovery method (such as Macrium Reflect) in case of a disaster.

LinYu
802.11n
Posts: 245
Registered: ‎02-04-2009
Location: Portugal
Views: 704
Message 5 of 7

Re: Too many partitions in my W530?

Hi DSperber,

Thank you very much for the effort and the great insights you provided in your extensive and very clear reply. Appreciated.

As a further comment, I would like to add that I use Acronis True Image for many years (more than 10) and I never, ever, encountered the smallest problem during the several times I needed to recover. On the other hand, I never used the Lenovo's Recovery facility for that purpose, the reason being that I would be missing all the applications, games, settings, and a large array of many other addtiions and customizations one keeps adding along the years... And ATI takes care of all that flawlessly. And since I have the space available, I do a weekly full backup of all my machines and then keep several of the most recent ones, six, eight or ten, on an ongoing basis.

And because I feel quite familiar and reasonably comfortable with Acronis, I never tried to look for other pastures... So I donºt know anything about all those you mentioned.

Following your suggestions, one thing I would like to try is the suppression of the Lenovo Recovery (Q: ) partition, which you defined as practically unnecessary, at least in my case, in order to recoup the almost 14 GB of space it is taking. The only restraining factor is I actually do not have a present need for that space, on the one hand, and would probably feel at odds to make that space available for a more useful purpose, either by attaching it to the existing C: partition or by creating a new partition.

But thanks once again for all your enlightening comments.

 

   

LinYu
802.11n
Posts: 245
Registered: ‎02-04-2009
Location: Portugal
Views: 512
Message 6 of 7

Re: Too many partitions in my W530?


@DSperber wrote:
[...]

==> You don't have "too many partitions".  But the above description explains why you have what you have, and confirms that you can blow away Q if you have an alternative and superior backup/recovery method (such as Macrium Reflect) in case of a disaster.


 

Hi, DSperber,

 

I revisited this thread and read once again the nicely detailed message you wrote back in March. And the reason I came back is because I now have much more information about the issue and also because I now need to take urgent action on the situation. I sincerely hope you can find some time (and certainly a lot of patience) to read me through and I'm sure you will be able to guide me to the most adequate solution.

 

First, I was not aware, back in March, of the big problem that exists with Acronis backup software. It is NOT able to properly handle that 7GB "Unnamed Partition" (see fig. 2 in my opening message) during backup and restore. This is acknowledged by Acronis itself.

 

I was not aware at the time because I was using Acronis 2012 software version and this version does not show any error or warning message while doing the backup. But a System Report shows that Acronis has a problem with that 7GB Partition: I just says "Mount error". (Please see end of report shown in the link below).

 

The problem was discovered only when I started using Acronis 2014 and the backups started failing to complete. This behavior is only presented by Acronis 2014 and no other version. So, the unaware user, like myself and many others, who are using any versions of Acronis other than the 2014 version, may be up for a big shock if and when a restore becomes necessary. And what says Acronis? They just say (but do NOT guarantee) that the backups would still restore, even without the mentioned partition... But what if they don't, as it seems very likely? Or if the system becomes unstable (or simply won't work) because the so-called "hibernation partition" is not present?

 

Now, going back to what you wrote in March...

 

It now makes all sense that I must encounter, very urgently, a way of either finding backup software that can, for real, backup that partition in such a way that it can be properly restored or, as you amply suggested, I need to forget about my current OS and settings and just backup all my data, buy and install a fresh new copy of Windows 7 (if available for sale), reinstall my data and all apps and games and gadgets, and go on...

 

I'm not versed in computer knowledge and I admit that many of my questions and observations may look silly to the expert, but please bear with me and let me ask one question:

 

Would it be better or easier (or would it be possible at all) to just do a backup and restore of the two main partitions in my current drive, the System_DRV and the C: partition, and then copy back the data previously transferred to, say, an external drive?

 

Many thanks in advance for your patience and for all the help you can provide.

 

 

(Couldn't insert the link; here is the final part of the Report):

 

00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 12 00 00 00 00 00 00
12000002
Element: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
12000004
Element: Windows 7
12000005
Element: en-US
14000006
Element: {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
21000001
Element: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 08 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 1E 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 22 00 00 00 00 00 00
22000002
Element: \Windows
23000003
Element: {df5db54b-0bfd-11e2-af34-fc449ecf46b7}
25000020
Element: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

 

--- Partition 1-3 content ---

 

--- R dir content: ---
$RECYCLE.BIN <DIR>
AUTORUN.INF 49
FactoryRecovery <DIR>
LenovoQDrive.exe 267576
qdrive.ico 422982
System Volume Information <DIR>


--- Partition 1-4 content ---

 

Mount error

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,321
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 501
Message 7 of 7

Re: Too many partitions in my W530?

Let's just get some basic answers about your W530 and your environment...

 

(1) Is that a 120GB SSD?  Did you swap out the original spinner (probably 500GB) in your W530 for this SSD?  So you only have a single 120GB SSD now, and no other drive capacity??  Or is this an MSATA drive, and you also have a second spinner as well?

 

(2) If your original spinner was 500GB, did you use Acronis or some other method to convert from spinner to SSD?

 

(3) That 7GB "unnamed partition"... surely it wasn't on your original spinner from Lenovo on your original W530 setup.  So when or how did it get created?  If it has no drive letter, and has no other meaningful "label", at 7GB I don't see how it could contain anything meaningful or useful?  Did you use it at one time, and then it lost its label/letter??  Why are you concerned about backing it up?  Do you know something about its contents?  Could that 7GB be unallocated space for "over-provisioning", from Samsung Magician??  Or is it actually a partition??

 

(4) If that 7GB partition is worthless as it seems it must be, then there's really no reason to back it up. I'd not worry about it.  The only crucial things to backup are your 1.5GB SYSTEM_DRV (which is the "active" partition, and is the Lenovo-provided equivalent of the normal Microsoft 100MB "system reserved" partititon, where Boot Manager lives), and your 97GB C-partition (where Windows lives).  If you want to ever restore things to Lenovo-factory, you'd also want to retain Q (i.e. the Lenovo-provided "factory" recovery partition), but I can't imagine at this point that you'd ever really want to do that.

 

(5) Again, from what your pictures show, it seems that mysterious 7GB partition is serving no usable purpose. The real mystery is how it got created, and whether or not anything is in it that is of value. If you use Partition Wizard, you can "explore" the contents of that partition, if it's even got a file format (e.g. NTFS).  I'd like to see that screenshot.

 

(6) Personally, if it were my 120GB SSD (which is not large), I'd use Partition Wizard to blow away both that 7GB unknown partition (if nothing's in it) as well as the Q Lenovo Recovery Partition (since I would be doing my regular ongoing backups to an external USB drive, and would never want to restore to Lenovo factory... as I have my own retail Win7 Pro installation DVD, and would always use a retail install-from-scratch method if I really wanted to reinstall Win7 from the ground up).  That would let me add about 15GB to C, or maybe create a 15GB "data" partition.

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