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  1.    06 Dec 2015 #1
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 160
    Win 10

    Help With Partition Management


    My current disk allocation is seen in the attached pic. Somehow, after installation of 10 I ended up with this. Click image for larger version. 

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    The highlighted partitions are all showing as being empty (100% free space), the circled partitions show 2 recovery partitions, and my primary boot/win partition. IIRC, since I have created recovery media, the recovery partitions can now be deleted/removed?

    And what of the three empty partitions? Safe to delete/remove?

    I want to install an SSD and plan on cloning my hdd but I do not want any unnecessary partitions included. I considered doing a clean install of WIn 10 on the ssd but I really do not want to re-install all of my programs. Any advice and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    06 Dec 2015 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    San Jose, California
    Posts : 2,196
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64

    FYI, The first 3 partitions on the list are not empty. Just hidden.
    the 360MB partition cannot be deleted. Your PC won't boot without it.
    The last partition is your factory recovery image.
    The 450MB partition contains Windows 10 Recovery Environment and can delete but then you won't be able to create the recovery disk.
    The first Partition came with the previous Windows.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    06 Dec 2015 #3
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Penn's Woods
    Posts : 1,275
    Windows 10 Home

    Hi, Gramps.

    1) Those 3 partitions are not actually empty. You have a GPT disk setup and Windows Disk Management apparently doesn't do a good job of displaying things correctly under GPT. You can actually see that there is data if you use a tool like the free MiniTool Partition Wizard or a number of other utilities, including Macrium Reflect Free (for cloning/imaging/backup/restore).

    2) Also, your duplicate entry for D: is not unique either, I saw the same thing on my system when I first upgraded to Win10.

    3) The EFI partition needs to stay there for booting unless you make some other arrangement.

    4) One of the recovery partitions is likely from prior Operating System install. Both can be removed at the loss of some recovery options, one without. "reagentc /info" from an elevated command prompt will tell you which one is the keeper.


    5) If you use Macrium Reflect Free, you can clone or image/restore to SSD and decide which partitions to keep and resize any as needed, on the fly.


    6) That last partition is most likely factory restore and you can decide whether to keep it, image and save it, or just discard altogether. It may or may not still be functional since upgrade and its functionality at this point may or may not be restoreable.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    06 Dec 2015 #4
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 160
    Win 10
    Thread Starter

    Thank you both for your replies. Since Macrium allows you to select which partitions to clone would it be safe to say that the EFI sys, the WIndows C, and the Recovery D partitions would suffice? In the end maybe it would be better to just do a clean install of 10 on the ssd, at least then I know it will be clean. Word Man: reagent points to partition 6 - Recovery Image D.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    06 Dec 2015 #5
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Penn's Woods
    Posts : 1,275
    Windows 10 Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Gramps View Post
    Thank you both for your replies. Since Macrium allows you to select which partitions to clone would it be safe to say that the EFI sys, the WIndows C, and the Recovery D partitions would suffice? In the end maybe it would be better to just do a clean install of 10 on the ssd, at least then I know it will be clean. Word Man: reagent points to partition 6 - Recovery Image D.
    I must say that's the first time I've seen someone report a partition which I'm taking to be the factory restore partition as active - not that I doubt your report - but the implication is that it may well be functional.

    You could do as you propose - transferring only the EFI, C Drive, and D Drives to the SSD and see if you have reagentc still pointing to that (now 3rd) partition - HOWEVER, if would be prudent to first make an image of the entire source disk (all partitions) on external storage so that you have a fallback, i.e., if the potential functionality of that FR partition is important to you - although removing the source drive after cloning and storing in a safe location could serve that purpose as well.

    I also agree that a clean install on the SSD could be the truly best approach (assuming you can save and restore data and reinstall 3rd party software as needed) to decluttering your partition layout. If that recovery image partition is important to you (I'm guessing it may be previous OS plus some manufacturer add-on software), I think there are ways some manufacturer's versions can be pointed to from a clean install recovery partition as the recovery image - but that's not something I've delved specifically into; I've gotten the impression that there are other members here at TF that know how that should work.

    Best of luck.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    06 Dec 2015 #6
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    San Jose, California
    Posts : 2,196
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64

    If you really want your Windows to look like as if you do a fresh install and without losing what you currently have in C: Drive. Here's my suggestion:
    1. Make a complete backup image of your current HD including all partitions to an external HD using Macrium Reflect Free . Once done, disconnect all USB devices from the PC. Assuming now you only have one HD connected to the PC which you will be installing Windows.
      IMPORTANT: Also create a Macrium Rescue disk to boot from later on.
    2. Boot up your Windows installation USB/DVD. On the first screen, Hold SHIFT + F10 to open Command Windows then type:
      Diskpart
      select disk 0
      clean
      exit
    3. Click Next, Choose Custom, select the unallocated partition then click Next (Do not format), when asked for Product ID key, click on "Skip this step"/"Do it later". Continue the Installation.
    4. Once done. With the external HD connected, Reboot your PC with the Macrium Rescue disk, select the image that you created in step 1 as the Source.
    5. Select your current HD/SSD as Destination disk
    6. Restore only C: Drive to it. ie. overwrite the new C: Drive with your backup C: Drive.
      NOTE: See screen shot on how to perform this step
    7. Disconnect all the external devices. Reboot. Windows should perform a startup repair.


    Once finish, you should end up with the partition scheme as follows:
    1. Recovery partition - 450MB
    2. EFI System partition - 100MB
    3. MSR Reserved partition - 16MB (Hidden from Disk Management but seen by Macrium or diskpart)
    4. Your old Windows C: Drive with all the installed software.


    Screen shot: Click once on #1 (C: Drive), click "Delete Existing Partition" on #2, Click & Drag #3 and drop to #1. Click Next->Finish
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by topgundcp; 18 Dec 2015 at 02:56.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    07 Dec 2015 #7
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 160
    Win 10
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for the detailed info topgundcp! Since the current "C" drive will be not used would it be possible to disconnect the "C" drive, connect the SSD, boot-up as per #2 and follow the rest of the procedure? I have a current macrium image and rescue USB ready. This would save me the time from sorting out the current "C" drive that will eventually be wiped as I already have a 2nd hdd for data.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    07 Dec 2015 #8
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    San Jose, California
    Posts : 2,196
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64

    Quote Originally Posted by Gramps View Post
    Thank you for the detailed info topgundcp! Since the current "C" drive will be not used would it be possible to disconnect the "C" drive, connect the SSD, boot-up as per #2 and follow the rest of the procedure? I have a current macrium image and rescue USB ready. This would save me the time from sorting out the current "C" drive that will eventually be wiped as I already have a 2nd hdd for data.
    If I understood your question correctly. You want to disconnect your current Windows C: drive and connect a SSD to perform a fresh install then restore the original C: Drive (From Macrium Image) to the SSD then the answer is YES.

    NOTE: Make sure you only have the SSD connected & already have the backup image of current Windows.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    07 Dec 2015 #9
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 160
    Win 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks again for your help. Will report back later on today to let you know how it went.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    07 Dec 2015 #10
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 160
    Win 10
    Thread Starter

    Okay! Had already created macrium image and Macrium USB PE. Shut down PC, disconnected all devices and drives. Plugged in SSD and did a clean install of Win 10 from USB stick. Went off without a hitch. Shut down PC, connected ext USB drive (location of macrium image), booted using the macrium rescue/repair USB stick. Selected restore option, deleted the C WIndows partition from the SSD, and then restored the partition using the C Windows partition from the saved image. Re-booted and everything is as it should be, no problems at all! I'm pretty good with PC's but was not up to date on using/installing an SSD, hence my original post. A big thank you to topgundcp and Word Man for educating me on SSD installs!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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