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System Partition now Unallocated?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:58 am
by Muad'Dib
From the Windows 7 Disk Management screen, I did a right click->properties on the first (System) partition of the boot drive. There seemed to be a lag in the response I got (possibly due to the fact that I was formatting an external hard drive at the time), so I tried the right click several times. Eventually I got info displayed, but this partition now shows as "Unallocated".

I made a backup of just that partition with IFW. I then ran TBIview on that partition, and as far as I can tell, it is identical to the SYSTEM partition made when I did a full backup of the drive about 3 weeks ago (not as recent as I'd like, but real life has interfered with my ability to make a more recent backup), even to the timestamps on some log files.

So I don't know if the Windows Disk Management screen is just displaying things wrong, or if it actually changed the partition. I'm a bit concerned about rebooting the system in case it causes it to hang. But I guess since I have two backups with (as far as I can tell) identical data in this partition, I could always restore that partition from the backup I made a few weeks ago.

Any suggestions of what else I can do to protect myself before I try a reboot?

Re: System Partition now Unallocated?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:38 am
by Brian K
Muad'Dib,

Is the Win7 partition Active in Disk Management? I suspect not because the SRP was Active. If you have deleted the SRP in Disk Management you can Undelete it with BIBM.

Re: System Partition now Unallocated?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:28 am
by Muad'Dib
The lower row on the former system partition says only "Unallocated". The lower row on the C: partition says "Healthy (System, Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition"

In point of comparison, on an almost identical system (though without BIBM installed) that I know boots up fine, the system partition says "Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)" and the C: partition says "Healthy (Boot Crash Dump, Primary Partition)"

Also the Unallocated partition says just "301 MB" on the top row, while on the "good" machine, the top row reads "300 MB NTFS".

Does this answer your question?

Brian K: "I suspect not because the SRP was Active. If you have deleted the SRP in Disk Management you can Undelete it with BIBM."

I'm looking at page 41-42 of the BIBM manual "Undeleting a partition or volume". It seems like undeleting the System Reserved Partition is pretty straightforward, anything I should look out for (for example, I don't want to accidentally overwrite my C: partition)? I tend to be pretty cautious when trying new tasks like this, but I'd still want to avoid any risky moves that could make things worse.

Will the undelete function work without a .tbi backup file, or do I need to have that file available?

I should also mention that the boot drive (on both computers) is an Intel SSD (in case that matters).

Thanks!

Re: System Partition now Unallocated?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:22 pm
by Brian K
Strange that Win7 is active if the SRP was functional. Can you check if Win7 has the booting files? Do section 11 of this web page...

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=409

" The booting files have now been copied. If you wish to verify that they were copied correctly, run the following command (make sure to use the drive letter of the Windows partition):
dir c:\ /ah

If the bootmgr file and the Boot folder show up in the list, the procedure was successful."

Re: System Partition now Unallocated?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:54 pm
by Muad'Dib
Yes the C: drive/partition has both the bootmgr file and the boot folder.

So I guess it's just booting directly off the C: partition, and it doesn't matter whether or not the former System Partition is active (with files) or is Unallocated?

Re: System Partition now Unallocated?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:10 pm
by Brian K
That looks good. Try rebooting. If there is a problem check your BCD Edit...

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=492

Re: System Partition now Unallocated?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:52 am
by Muad'Dib
Brian K - My system booted up fine, thanks for your help!

Now for some related (and less urgent) questions:
1) Even though it's not used, is there any reason to restore the unused System Partition?
2) Would it be needed if I weren't running BIBM?
3) Could restoring it now cause any problems, or would it continue to be ignored?

Re: System Partition now Unallocated?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:39 pm
by Brian K
That's good news. To answer your questions. No to Q1 and Q2. If you restored the SRP it would be ignored, as before.

Re: System Partition now Unallocated?

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:04 pm
by Muad'Dib
I was going to ask:
Since it seems that the SRP has no purpose, any idea why that partition even exists?

But looking it up online I discovered (from: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/lib ... 41289.aspx):

"This “stub” of a partition, which is new in Windows 7, serves two functions. First, it holds the Boot Manager code and the Boot Configuration Database. Second, it reserves space for the startup files required by the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature. If you ever decide to encrypt your system drive using BitLocker, you won’t have to repartition your system drive to make it possible."

Since the boot manager is already in my C: partition, and I don't plan on using BitLocker, the SRP is useless to me.

Thanks again.