Advice on resizing new Dell Laptop NVMe drive partitions

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  1. Posts : 7
    Windows 10
       #1

    Advice on resizing new Dell Laptop NVMe drive partitions


    Just got this new laptop; specs should show below but it's a Dell XPS 13 9310 2-in-1. I have resized partitions and reorganized drive space before, but that's usually where I had set up fresh drives myself. This has already been partitioned up by Dell.

    I would like to have my C:\ drive for the OS and programs, a separate partition from what should be a new D:\ partition for my data files.

    Basically I'm not sure what to do with 3 different Recovery Partitions like this. Should I leave them & just take space from C:\? Or what should I do with them???
    Advice on resizing new Dell Laptop NVMe drive partitions-screenshot-2021-09-13-194928.png
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  2. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 16,194
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    If it was me, I would shorten C: drive by 700GB. Move the three recovery partitions over so they are next to the C: drive partition, and put a 700GB data partition at the end.
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  3. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,474
    Windows10
       #3

    NavyLCDR said:
    If it was me, I would shorten C: drive by 700GB. Move the three recovery partitions over so they are next to the C: drive partition, and put a 700GB data partition at the end.
    To do this needs use of a 3rd party tool like minitool partion wizard free.

    It is easier to just shrink C drive and put the new partition next to C drive.

    If OP is really concerned about space, they could just use reagentc to find out which partition is active and delete other two. Op would need to tidy up using 3rd party tool as above to reclaim space.

    However, if OP just creates a partition as I suggested next to C drive, then next time there is a major upgrade, it will shrink C drive slightly, and it will insert new recovery partition between C and D drive. Then OP can delete all the old ones and expand D drive without any 3rd party tools.

    In the end, if space is not a concern, just leave the recovery partitions alone (as you said indirectly).
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  4. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 7,321
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H1
       #4

    Hi @Miranova23,

    My first advice: Before meddling with the OEM partition structure, Create a Recovery drive with an empty 32GB flash drive. In case you muck up with partitioning and end up with a non-bootable laptop, you can restore your laptop to factory condition ( as you received it first)

    If you are not a geek like Navy Lieutenant CommanDeR ,Cereberus and the like experts here, do not reposition or destroy the OEM Partitions. Those are built with a purpose..Since your laptop will be under warranty any modifications done ( except Partitioning C: drive successfully ,) may void warranty and give shuttle to Dell Support to play truant when you seek warranty service.

    My Dell Inspiron 3280 AIO partitioned:

    Advice on resizing new Dell Laptop NVMe drive partitions-14-09-2021-14-28-26.jpg

    As you can see from the above screenshot, your 990MB partition is the WINRETOOLS, the 15.60GB partition is the DELL System Image ( When you boot from the Recovery Flash drive you created , you are running the system image in it to reset the PC to factory condition), and the 1.8 GB partition is DELLSUPPORT.

    To be continued after a short break ( my eyes and brain cells require )
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  5. fireberd's Avatar
    Posts : 2,442
    Win 11 Pro
       #5

    One caution, Dell installs factory recovery on one partition, hardware diagnostics on another. Moving or deleting some partitions could affect these. May even affect the POST (Power On Self Test) as the Dell Support Assist is part of the POST. Not having these partitions could affect Dell support if ever needed,

    And, as previously noted, make a full disc image (all partitions) to a separate drive before doing anything with the drive.
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  6. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 7,321
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H1
       #6

    fireberd said:
    One caution, Dell installs factory recovery on one partition, hardware diagnostics on another. Moving or deleting some partitions could affect these. May even affect the POST (Power On Self Test) as the Dell Support Assist is part of the POST. Not having these partitions could affect Dell support if ever needed,

    And, as previously noted, make a full disc image (all partitions) to a separate drive before doing anything with the drive.
    Exactly. I was about to mention your name and drag you in into this thread since I know you have dealt with or dealing with DELL machines. You your self chipped in.

    And yes, I preferred to keep the Dell OEM partitions as they were and shrink C: .To this day I am stiil using DELL SupportAssist to update BIOS and other drivers, check hardware, clean files, Optimise the system etc. Since OP has a new system, creating a Recovery drive should suffice to restore the system to factory condition if he encounters some problem in shrinking the C: to accomodate D:

    Now @Miranova23, to continue my post # 4,

    I used only Windows Device Management to shrink C: and create additional partitions. Check how much you can shrink C: . If you have enough space for D: , then no problem.If you are unable shrink C: to the extent required for D; because of unmovable files in C: , then you may have to do some jugglery with System restore, page file and hybernation files etc., to get to the required capacity. You can restore all of it after you partition. See this thread How to Get Around Windows’ “Shrink Volume” Inadequacy Problems

    One question though: I see your C: drive is bitlocker encrypted. Did you set up bitlocker? If the answer is no, then your system is running Windows 10 Home and Device Encryption.enabled. It automatically encrypts the whole disk if you are set to log-in with your Microsoft account credentials.

    Like you I also migrated to OEM machines after a long stint with self-assembled PCs and had to learn to deal with it the hard way. Here is my thread on it which may help you. How to Partition bitlocker encrypted System drive C: on my OEM PC? My posts in Dell Community forums https://www.dell.com/community/Inspi...n/td-p/7448933

    If you have Device Encryption on your laptop, do not decrypt it. Create your D: with the disk encrypted. Once you create D: successfully, you will find thet D: also gets encrypted automatically. You can save the Recovery Keys Settings> Update and Security> Device Encryption

    After creating D: you will still have a problem.

    This is the location the recovery agent points to in my partitioned drive-Partition 9 - WINRETOOLS

    Advice on resizing new Dell Laptop NVMe drive partitions-14-09-2021-16-26-47.jpg

    To find out the current location, on an elevated command prompt type reagentc /info.

    In your case it will point to partition 4 which is WINRETOOL. ( There is an MSR partition before C: which Windows Disk Manager hides. . It is partition 2. C: is partition 3, WinRETOOLS is partition 4.

    After creating D: before WINRETOOLS , it will be partition 5. So you have to set reagentc to point to partition 5..

    I set it to Partition 9 in my case after a google search. I have forgotten how I did it but you may find with google search or other Windows experts may guide you.
    Last edited by jumanji; 16 Sep 2021 at 21:58.
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  7. Posts : 7
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    ��Thank you to everyone for the thorough explanations!

    I've, um, "had Dells for years," but that really only includes a Dimension 2300 & 2400 from 2002 & 2004 respectively, and a Dell XPS M1210 ultrabook from 2006, that is still running for typing & mobile media player. (See my first system rig for what I actually *use* lol - 3D animation & video editing there.) I upgraded to Win10 in 2018, on both the rig & XPS M1210, via my organization's unlimited licenses. I'm familiar with doing my own upgrades, repairs, and recoveries, but haven't had to tiptoe around OEMs in a very long time.

    I knew enough that Dell surely still had some nonsense going on, which was probably going to be 50/50 on how actually helpful it is, but no idea what that would be nowadays. But those things do actually sound helpful. Plus OneDrive is suddenly everywhere & being annoying, so I wasn't entirely sure it wasn't Windows itself using those partitions. It's just that with a different version of Windows, & for the first time in 15 years, a whole new laptop & the OEM setup that comes with it -- it's kinda felt like moving into a prefurnished apartment & I don't know where anything is. Like is this lightswitch for the garbage disposal, a fire alarm, or just a light ��

    Thank you everyone again & I'll let you know how it goes...
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  8. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 16,194
    Windows 10 Pro
       #8

    You can tell which partition Windows is using for recovery by running:
    reagentc /info

    The other two recovery partitions are likely Dell custom recovery partitions. You will notice that if you run reagentc /info, it will specifiy which partition # is being used. If you shrink C: drive and put your data partition in between C: drive and the recovery partitions you are going to change the numbers assigned to the recovery partitions and likely break recovery. That is why I suggested putting the data partition at the end of the drive, rather than at the end of C: drive - because then you are no changing the partition #'s of any of the recovery partitions.

    Also, if you every decide to blow everything away and do a clean install, it will be much easier to accomplish if your data partition is at the very end of the drive.
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  9. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 7,321
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H1
       #9

    NavyLCDR said:
    You can tell which partition Windows is using for recovery by running:
    reagentc /info.......
    I quote from my post #6:
    "To find out the current location, on an elevated command prompt type reagentc /info.

    In your case it will point to partition 4 which is WINRETOOL. ( There is an MSR partition before C: which Windows Disk Manager hides. . It is partition 2. C: is partition 3, WinRETOOLs is partition 4.

    After creating D: before WINRETOOLS , it will be partition 5. So you have to set reagentc to point to partition 5."

    NavyLCDR said:
    ........If you shrink C: drive and put your data partition in between C: drive and the recovery partitions you are going to change the numbers assigned to the recovery partitions and likely break recovery.........
    You are absolutely right. No controversy. But it is not a problem. The OP can reestablish the link by giving the following command in the elevated Command prompt.

    reagentc /setreimage /path \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partition5\Recovery\WindowsRE (Don't forget to press enter after each command)

    Reboot.

    If reagentc /info says it is disabled


    reagentc /enable

    I quote from my post #6:

    ''After creating D: before WINRETOOLS , it will be partition 5. So you have to set reagentc to point to partition 5."

    I shall take a short break and in my continuation, chalk out the workflow as I did.





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  10. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 7,321
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 21H1
       #10

    My Dell Inspiron 22-3280 AIO - uses a laptop motherboard. Received Christmas Day 2019. Windows 10 Home 64bit
    Screenshot.
    Advice on resizing new Dell Laptop NVMe drive partitions-a29-12-2019-20-51-37.jpg

    On initial setup with Microsoft account login credentials, found that OS C: was bitlocker encrypted !!!!!. Found that it is using Device Encryption - a lower form of Standard bitlocker encryption. When logged in with Microsoft account credentials, it automatically encrypts the whole drive. The device encryption can only be turned off or on by the user. The user can save the Recovery Key of the encrypted drive. The key is also stored in the user's MS account.

    Now the OP's Dell XPS 13 9310 2-in-1 screenshot as in his first post

    Advice on resizing new Dell Laptop NVMe drive partitions-bscreenshot-2021-09-13-194928.png

    Hmmm... it is exactly the same partition structure as mine -except that the Image partition at 15GB is slightly larger. Acceptable. Noticed that his OS C: is also bitlocker encrypted. Questioned the OP whether it got automatically encrypted or he setup the bitlocker. No answer from the OP. So I assume that his laptop also is a Windows 10 Home with Device Encryption..

    winre.wim is located in the 990MB WINRETOOLS partition. and that is Partition #4 in the original partition structure taking the MSR partition as Partition No 2. ( this screen was taken with my current partition structure. Earler to it I had assigned a letter to that partition and has noticed that winre.wim is present in partition 4. )

    Advice on resizing new Dell Laptop NVMe drive partitions-b115-09-2021-16-26-34.jpg

    OOps..... by mistake I clicked on the Submit button before completing. Means I should take a break. Will continue after a break

    Last edited by jumanji; 16 Sep 2021 at 22:04.
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