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Shrinking to make 2 partitions.


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#1
Channeal

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Hello there!

 

I have a 149.01 GB C Drive. I also have a second hard drive of 465.76 GB which is divided into 2 partitions.: 500GB for data and 65.76  which has a clone of my Windows 7 OS.

 

When I created the new clone recently, I had to move all my data to my external drive for a while to avoid it being deleted. I think this is probably because it was trying to copy the whole 149.01 GB from drive C.

 

To avoid having to move the data again if I ever update the clone, do you think it would be a good idea to shrink the C drive to make 2 partitions, one of which is smaller than 65.76, for the OS? From what I have read, it looks as if it would be possible to do this, but is that correct - and am I right in thinking that it would solve my problem and make it easier to renew the clone in the future?

 

Chris.


Edited by Channeal, 04 March 2017 - 09:17 AM.

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#2
UnloosedCake

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Shrinking your internal hard drive is not usually a good idea, it typically messes with the partition map and boot sectors and things go awry. Why is your backup on the external only 65 gigs when your internal is almost 3 times that? Wouldn't it make more sense to shrink the 500 gig partition and make the external one bigger so you can backup all of your files?


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#3
Channeal

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Thanks for your reply. A shame that shrinking the C drive is not a good idea! :(

 

Not sure if you understood me fully though. I have 2 hard drives, both internal. (I have an external hard drive as well).

 

The OS is on the smaller of the 2 drives and contains no data.

 

All my data is on the second hard drive, in a separate partition from the cloned OS.

 

So......

 

 

Wouldn't it make more sense to shrink the 500 gig partition and make the external one bigger so you can backup all of your files?

 

You have said that it is not a good idea to reduce the size of a partition with an OS on, but what you have suggested would mean increasing the size of the  partition with the (cloned) OS on. Is it just shrinking that is not advised then, is increasing the size likely to be without problems?

 

Also, this would mean first of all shrinking the partition with the data on. Would the unallocated space resulting then be contiguous with the partition with the clone on? I am not sure it would turn out to be so - but I think that unless it was, then it would not be possible to add it to the partition with the clone.

 

Not sure about any of the above, but this is what I think.......


Edited by Channeal, 04 March 2017 - 12:36 PM.

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#4
SleepyDude

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Hi Chris,

 

To propose a course of action I need to full understand what you have now and what you want to accomplish.

 

Can you post a screenshot showing the disk manager window with all the partitions and disks visible?

 

Also I would like to know how did you do the clone you mention? tools used or any other piece of information you find important about it.


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#5
Channeal

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Hello SleepyDude and thanks for your reply.

 

My previous clone was created a long time ago - back in 2014, at a time when I was getting a lot of help in this forum. Our computer came with a second hard disk when it was purchased w-a-y back in 2006 , although for a long time that fact was wasted on us because we did not even understand what having a second hard disk really even meant, let alone what we could do with it! :)  The two disks were originally the same size, although the main one failed a few years ago and was replaced by a larger one. At the same time as making the clone in 2014, I swapped the function of the 2 hard drives so that the newer (and larger) one is now the secondary drive and has the clone on it, plus all my data. I have however been told that the newer one (which was made by Western Digital),  is in a worse state than the original one. I am digressing though..... :(

 

Am attaching the disk management screenshot as requested. Disk 2 is my external drive which was only purchased last year. The clone was created using the free version of Macrium Reflect. I have got an Acronis CD as well, but that is old now and probably can't be used with Windows 7.

 

By the way, the clone has been tested by switching over the leads to the two drives and it boots up okay.

 

Can't think of anything else I should mention. I only asked my original question because I read that it was easy to resize partitions in Windows 7 and wanted to confirm that fact. It isn't crucial that I do it though: if I did ever want to replace the clone, I guess it wouldn't kill me to move the data off for a while in the same way I did when I created the clone recently (and as I also had to do back in 2014). Was just wondering if there was an easier way.......

 

diskmgmt11.03.2017.jpg

 

Many thanks,

 

Chris.


Edited by Channeal, 11 March 2017 - 12:44 PM.

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#6
SleepyDude

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Hi,

 

Thank you now I have a better picture :)

 

About splitting the HDD0 to create a C: drive with only 66GB its not a good idea because presently the C: drive have around 63GB of data, it would result in around 2GB of free space that is not acceptable for Windows to work. The free space should be 15% at minimum.

 

Now about the clone, in my opinion its not a safe way to backup the Operating System unless you disconnect the HDD after doing the clone. In you case the close is always accessible and can be damaged by malware, lost due to hardware problems etc. The cloning option is more suitable when we are moving the current Operating System installation to a newer and bigger HDD.

 

The recommended option for a backup of the OS is to backup the partition to an image file that you can store on a external drive or you can save the image to a different HDD like you have, and after the back also copy the big backup file to the external drive for safety. Because Macrium Reflect uses compression for the backup file usually the backup uses less space on the HDD.

 

When the need arise you can restore the C: partition without affecting the data on the second hdd.


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#7
Channeal

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Hello SleepyDude,

 

 

About splitting the HDD0 to create a C: drive with only 66GB its not a good idea because presently the C: drive have around 63GB of data, it would result in around 2GB of free space that is not acceptable for Windows to work. The free space should be 15% at minimum.

 

I was very confused when I first read what you wrote here. I am very aware of the need to keep enough free space, but did not understand what you were saying about my C drive.... that is, until I looked at the figures again! I had not even noticed that the size of everything on the C drive had gone up so much in the very short period since I created the clone and really could not believe what I was seeing. I checked out all the programs which have been added since the clone was made and only calculate them to add up to about 1 GB. What I have been doing though is just playing around with trying out different Linux versions on a Virtual Machine, purely out of interest really, so I am guessing that this is to do with the extra space being used. The experiment hasn't been going too well thus far to be honest, so may well end up deleting it all anyway! :(

 

 

Now about the clone, in my opinion its not a safe way to backup the Operating System unless you disconnect the HDD after doing the clone. In you case the close is always accessible and can be damaged by malware, lost due to hardware problems etc. The cloning option is more suitable when we are moving the current Operating System installation to a newer and bigger HDD.

 

The recommended option for a backup of the OS is to backup the partition to an image file that you can store on a external drive or you can save the image to a different HDD like you have, and after the back also copy the big backup file to the external drive for safety. Because Macrium Reflect uses compression for the backup file usually the backup uses less space on the HDD.

 

When the need arise you can restore the C: partition without affecting the data on the second hdd.

 

Ah.... this question of clone v image is an old one - and a source of some amusing memories - for me! Back in 2014, Phillpower2 had been helping me with a few computer problems on here and right at the end I made a throw-away remark to him about how I did not know what on earth to do with the second (smaller) hard drive and he came back to me with the suggestion to clone the data from the C: drive to the D: drive, reverse the drive letters so that D: becomes C: etc and then use the smaller C: drive as my boot device. The whole process took me a very long time, as he also suggested that I check out my old external drive (not the present one) to see if I could put a clone on there and if it was possible to boot from there, but after two or three attempts at that we realised it wasn't - and then when we returned to the idea of putting the clone on the other hard drive, it again took several attempts as the cloning process kept failing (in the end I discovered that it was because Macrium was not making the clone 'Active'). I made so many attempts at cloning that I think I could easily have won the world record for making the most unsuccessful cloning attempts! Anyway, it all worked out in the end! :)

 

With regard to the cloning v image issue, somebody else came in right in the middle of my cloning disasters to tell us that I should be making an image and not a clone. To cut a long story short, whenever this issue comes up now it always brings back somewhat amusing memories for me......

 

Fast forward to 2017, when I now know quite a lot more about computers than I did back in 2014..... and I fully recognise that I should have an image of the HDD on my external drive. I have no intention of getting rid of the clone on my second hard drive though, as I have found it really useful and am very glad that I created a clone in the first place almost 3 years ago. It is always good to know that if something went wrong with my present C drive, I could still so easily get into the other drive with all my data on. Last summer, I had problems with the C drive not booting as a result of the CMOS battery running out, but for some strange reason the second hard drive was still booting okay so I was able to try to find out what was wrong (with GTG's help, of course) from there. If I had just had an image then, it would have been no use to me at all! I love my clone! ;)

 

So anyway, I am determined to keep the clone! What I am probably going to do is just leave everything as it is now. This computer is very old anyway, so who knows how much longer it will last? The really important thing is that my data is backed up, which it is..... so hopefully all with be well when this trusty old computer finally expires of old age! :)

 

Thank you so much for your help though; it is much appreciated.

 

Chris.


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#8
SleepyDude

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Hello SleepyDude,
 
I was very confused when I first read what you wrote here. I am very aware of the need to keep enough free space, but did not understand what you were saying about my C drive.... that is, until I looked at the figures again! I had not even noticed that the size of everything on the C drive had gone up so much in the very short period since I created the clone and really could not believe what I was seeing. I checked out all the programs which have been added since the clone was made and only calculate them to add up to about 1 GB. What I have been doing though is just playing around with trying out different Linux versions on a Virtual Machine, purely out of interest really, so I am guessing that this is to do with the extra space being used. The experiment hasn't been going too well thus far to be honest, so may well end up deleting it all anyway! :(

 
The virtual machines create files that could be very big corresponding to HDD used inside the VM, unless you redirect them to the DATA partition usually they are created on the C: drive.
A nice free tool to check what is using the hard disk space is TreeSize Free http://www.jam-software.com/freeware/ the zipped version can be run without installation.
 

 

Now about the clone, in my opinion its not a safe way to backup the Operating System unless you disconnect the HDD after doing the clone. In you case the close is always accessible and can be damaged by malware, lost due to hardware problems etc. The cloning option is more suitable when we are moving the current Operating System installation to a newer and bigger HDD.
 
The recommended option for a backup of the OS is to backup the partition to an image file that you can store on a external drive or you can save the image to a different HDD like you have, and after the back also copy the big backup file to the external drive for safety. Because Macrium Reflect uses compression for the backup file usually the backup uses less space on the HDD.
 
When the need arise you can restore the C: partition without affecting the data on the second hdd.

 
Ah.... this question of clone v image is an old one - and a source of some amusing memories - for me! Back in 2014, Phillpower2 had been helping me with a few computer problems on here and right at the end I made a throw-away remark to him about how I did not know what on earth to do with the second (smaller) hard drive and he came back to me with the suggestion to clone the data from the C: drive to the D: drive, reverse the drive letters so that D: becomes C: etc and then use the smaller C: drive as my boot device. The whole process took me a very long time, as he also suggested that I check out my old external drive (not the present one) to see if I could put a clone on there and if it was possible to boot from there, but after two or three attempts at that we realised it wasn't - and then when we returned to the idea of putting the clone on the other hard drive, it again took several attempts as the cloning process kept failing (in the end I discovered that it was because Macrium was not making the clone 'Active'). I made so many attempts at cloning that I think I could easily have won the world record for making the most unsuccessful cloning attempts! Anyway, it all worked out in the end! :)

 

 
A perfectly normal problem, when using a clone only one of the disks should be connected when the system starts because of conflicting disk signatures, etc.
 

With regard to the cloning v image issue, somebody else came in right in the middle of my cloning disasters to tell us that I should be making an image and not a clone. To cut a long story short, whenever this issue comes up now it always brings back somewhat amusing memories for me......
 
Fast forward to 2017, when I now know quite a lot more about computers than I did back in 2014..... and I fully recognise that I should have an image of the HDD on my external drive. I have no intention of getting rid of the clone on my second hard drive though, as I have found it really useful and am very glad that I created a clone in the first place almost 3 years ago. It is always good to know that if something went wrong with my present C drive, I could still so easily get into the other drive with all my data on. Last summer, I had problems with the C drive not booting as a result of the CMOS battery running out, but for some strange reason the second hard drive was still booting okay so I was able to try to find out what was wrong (with GTG's help, of course) from there. If I had just had an image then, it would have been no use to me at all! I love my clone! ;)
 
So anyway, I am determined to keep the clone! What I am probably going to do is just leave everything as it is now. This computer is very old anyway, so who knows how much longer it will last? The really important thing is that my data is backed up, which it is..... so hopefully all with be well when this trusty old computer finally expires of old age! :)

 

Independent of using disk clone or disk image you should create a Macrium Reflect Rescue disk just in case something goes wrong and you can't boot Windows. Using the Rescue Disk you can boot the machine and restore from a backup image or create a clone, etc.

http://reflect.macri...Environment.htm

 

Thank you so much for your help though; it is much appreciated.

 

You are welcome.


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#9
Channeal

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Hello again,

 

 

A nice free tool to check what is using the hard disk space is TreeSize Free http://www.jam-software.com/freeware/ the zipped version can be run without installation.

 

Thanks very much for this link: I will definitely use it to check on the size of the files.

 

 

 

Independent of using disk clone or disk image you should create a Macrium Reflect Rescue disk just in case something goes wrong and you can't boot Windows. Using the Rescue Disk you can boot the machine and restore from a backup image or create a clone, etc.

http://reflect.macri...Environment.htm

 

Yes, as I said in my previous post :-

 

 

I fully recognise that I should have an image of the HDD on my external drive

 

I did it before when I still had XP on here. Mind you, I cannot think that I would ever be likely to use it now, as if one of the hard drives went now we would most likely just call it a day and buy a new computer, as this one is so old now. Will face that eventuality when it happens though.

 

Just as an aside regarding cloning, it was only after I had successfully managed to clone the OS back in 2014 that I realised that there had already been a clone of the the XP OS on there - and that it had been there ever since we purchased the computer (complete with two drives) from Dell back in 2006. I knew that there were files on there, but before 2014 I never had any understanding of what they were. :blush:

 

It does seem though that Dell agree with me that having a clone on a second hard drive is a good idea! :)

 

Ciao,

 

Chris.


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