Windows 10: Cleaning up the DESKTOP SSD...

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  1.    03 Nov 2017 #1

    Cleaning up the DESKTOP SSD...

    Windows 10 PRO with a 1TB 840 EVO. Here's what things look like in EASUS Partition Master.

    It may not REALLY be a big thing but it offends my sense of order to have such a goofy looking disk. Which of these parititions do I NEED, and how do I get them all together, preferably at the END of the drive?

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    Everything from here on down is "normal"partitions. I want to reorganize and this seemed like a good time to cleanup whatever all these 450mb, 300mb and 100 mb things are. I'd like to get all these things out of the way and get back the unallocated space so I can do things with the "normal" partitions on the SSD.

    That last little 100mb thing, which everything I've FOUND says "just click on it and do a move/resize/whatever WON'T MOVE. I can click all day, but there's no line in the context menu to move the partition (I'd put in a snip, but I can't get it to do the snip when I right click on the menu - works for OTHER context menus but not the one in partition master)...

    So, what can I delete? What can I move and where to? And how do I get the stuff I need all in one place and out of the way?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.    03 Nov 2017 #2

    By default you should have 4 partitions - ESP (100MB FAT), MSR (16MB unformatted), C (size depends on your disk, NTFS) and recovery (normally 450MB NTFS).

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    See: UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions | Microsoft Docs

    Windows likes to make extra recovery partitions on upgrade if it finds one that is too small. You have a too small recovery partition (300MB) coming presumably from an upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.

    I'd backup C, clean install (so Windows makes it own partitions) and restore C back again although you could shuffle them around with minitool partition wizard or something to make them look like the picture above.

    Once you are done you will need to re-register your recovery partition using reagentc command as described here Deploy Windows RE | Microsoft Docs
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    03 Nov 2017 #3

    If I recall, Windows 10 insisted I put on 7 or 8.1 then upgrade to windows 10 pro...

    I read the same thing you showed, with the partitions. Didn't make any sense when looking at what I've got.

    Potentially, I COULD eventually, blow the world away and do a re-install, but that'll mean going down for at least a week while I get everything up and running correctly again, and I don't have a week to mess with this thing.

    Thus my question of how do I adjust sizes, move things, and get this working WITHOUT having to start over?

    If something's too small, which one is it? How do I increase the size? How do I merge them? And ESPECIALLY, how do I move that &^%$#$ EFI System partition?

    I found a set of instructions to do it with diskpart, but the instructions don't actually solve the problem.

    And unfortunately, now that I can SEE it, I can't STOP SEEING IT. It's making my brain unhappy.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    03 Nov 2017 #4

    GracieAllen said: View Post
    Potentially, I COULD eventually, blow the world away and do a re-install, but that'll mean going down for at least a week while I get everything up and running correctly again, and I don't have a week to mess with this thing.
    No it wouldn't take a week - it would take an hour. Backup C (5 minutes), clean install (20 minutes), restore back C (10 minutes). Multiply by 2 for contingency and that is still only an hour not a week.

    GracieAllen said: View Post
    ESPECIALLY, how do I move that &^%$#$ EFI System partition?
    You don't have to. Windows doesn't care. The suggested layout is above but you can put your ESP on a separate drive or a SD card if you want to. You can also have Windows partitions in any order - it doesn't really matter.

    GracieAllen said: View Post
    And unfortunately, now that I can SEE it, I can't STOP SEEING IT. It's making my brain unhappy.
    That is the problem I guess.

    You don't need to do anything but if it is bugging you, you should. I would as it would annoy me.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    03 Nov 2017 #5

    OK, as is NOT unusual, I'm clearly confused... I use Macrium Reflect, so I can boot from a Macrium CD, make sure I have a good backup, and I'm ready to go... Format the whole SSD, restore, and restore all the other partitions... Yes, that's a LOT faster than the 7-10 days it'll take me to get EVERYTHING working on a clean install - which I what I THOUGHT I was going to have to do.

    Where I'm confused is all these goofy little partitions... If I don't need them for Windows to work, WHAT keeps creating them? And why? I sort-of understand the recovery one - at least I understand that SOMETHING might want to recover SOMETHING sometime, though I'm not sure WHAT it's actually going to recover. But, what's with the 300MB thing(s) with no name and the 100MB ones, and the EFI System one? They MUST be doing SOMETHING...

    In any case, once I DO make a backup of "C", CAN I just format the entire SSD and not do ANYTHING except create a new "C" partition right at the start of the drive and restore the backup?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    03 Nov 2017 #6

    Nope, don't got it.......

    I ran Macrium Reflect free from the bootable version and made an image the "C" drive.

    But HOW do I completely clean off the SSD (format?) the create a partition to restore the image into?
    I tried creating a system repair disk, but that failed...

    I have a DVD that was created LONG AGO, when Windows 10 was free. I can put it in, and in theory boot something, but if I recall correctly, the whole thing was an update from Windows 8.1 or even Windows 7... I'll mess with it in the morning, but isn't there SOME FAR SIMPLER way to boot something that'll just let me blow away the whole SSD, create a partition, then book Macrium and restore the image I created?

    It's the "clean install (20 minutes)" I think has me confused, PRESUMING once I've done whatever that is, I can just boot the Macrium Reflect disk (same way I CREATED the image) and restore the image back to "C"...
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    04 Nov 2017 #7

    You can use MiniTool Partition Wizard Free to peruse the contents of those partitions, delete those which are no longer needed and extend the main OS partition to use up the free space. Please ensure you fully backup your PC (e.g. use Macrium Reflect) since there is a very good chance of rendering your PC unbootable if you don't take care.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    04 Nov 2017 #8

    In the end, you only need actually need two of those partitions to run Windows i.e. C drive and the EFI partitions. Recovery partitions and MSR partitions are not essential. I just delete them to save space, and just make an image backup in case I need to revert OS.

    If it was me, I would just keep OS and EFI partition and delete rest.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    04 Nov 2017 #9

    cereberus, I probably wasn't clear...

    My ORIGINAL problem was all these little partitions sitting there. I SEEM to be able to move, merge, delete, whatever - MOST OF THEM. But I DEFINITELY DO NOT want to render the system unbootable unless there's a way to restore the image to a new "C" partition that WILL make it bootable.

    CURRENTLY,a it boots, but SOMETHING must not be happy because when I tried to "Create a Recovery Drive" it SAYS
    "Some required files are missing. Use your Windows installation disc or media." So, NO Recovery Drive at present.

    QUESTION: If I have this bunch of tiny garbage partitions in here, particularly the 100MB one I can't move, HOW do I increase the size of the "C" partition if I ever need to?

    I have an ntfs partition immediately after "C" that's 450MB - do I delete this one?
    The next partition is ANOTHER ntfs partition, 450MB - do I delete this one?
    Then one marked "Recovery" that's 300 MB - keep or delete?
    Next is a 100MB FAT32 partition - delete?
    Then about 20GB of UNALLOCATED space - stuck in the middle. not part of "C" or anything else. I DO NOT appear to be able to move it to the OTHER SIDE of the "EFI System Partition" between it and the next USABLE partition that has data in it...
    And FINALLY ANOTHER FAT32 partition that says it's "EFI System Partition". It just SITS there with unallocated space on ONE side, and a "normal" partition with data on the OTHER side. I CANNOT MOVE it. I MAY be able to delete it, but if I do, the system won't boot, right?

    My GOAL is to delete the partitions that I DON'T need - if the system won't boot without them, I NEED them. And to MOVE the remainder so I can MERGE ALL THE DELETED, UNNEEDED PARTITIONS into the Unallocated space so I can use it - which means having it available to be added to another partition with data on it. AND so if I ever want to increase the size of "C", I can...

    And JUST IN CASE the above DOESN'T work and I have a brick when I'm done, I need to know EXACTLY (as idiot-proof as possible) how to make the SSD bootable, put on whatever will be needed so everything is happy, and restore the Macrium image of "C" to "C" with the Windows-required partitions that HAVE TO BE THERE FOR NORMAL OPERATION, there.
    I'll happily blow away every partition on the SSD and reformat the thing as long as SOMETHING will put on whatever partitions Windows demands, let me create a new "C" partition, AND restore the image I have sitting on another drive.

    I figure that's GOT to be a document SOMEWHERE that SAYS:
    If you have all these sort of things - delete this one and this one and that one.
    Create a NEW one by doing... Change it to be a ??? by doing ...
    I found ONE entry online that went through a bunch of steps in diskpart and such, but at the end things looked JUST LIKE BEFORE. Nothing changed except MAYBE I've angered Windows 'cause it won't let me create a Recovery Drive.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10. Posts : 893
    Windows 10
       04 Nov 2017 #10

    Leave well alone if you don't understand all this partitioning stuff.

    I agree with you a clean install takes me a week as well to get back to roughly the situation as before.

    The numbers quoted are quite ridiculous, an image backup on mine takes around 2 hours, not 5 min.

    Mine also was Windows 8.1 originally and has a couple of small partitions created by two of the major Windows 10 updates, OK 1 or 2 maybe of those are probably redundant, but with a very limited knowledge of partitioning and their purpose, no fiddling about.
    They are very small relative to your 1 TB drive so don't worry about it.

    If it ain't broke, don't try and fix it.

    More objectively, I would look in to the SFC and DISM commands, that would be more use to you. Tutorials are on here.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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