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Windows 7 Boot Partition (to create, or not?)....

pawhe955
Grafter
Posts: 106
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Windows 7 Boot Partition (to create, or not?)....

Prep'ing for an upgrade from XP to Windows 7....
I've heard that (in most circumstances) installing Windows 7 on an unformatted hard disk creates 2 (or more) partitions - a small (200MB) "boot" partition, which contains some WinRE files (which you can select to boot into in order to 'assist' in the recovery from certain main system corruption/errors), and the main partition(s) for system/data files, etc. The small partition is apparently not created to known partitioning "standards", and (for example) if you use a 3rd party partition manager to delete it (as Win7 doesn't allow you to delete it through disk management), it can blat your Win7 installation.
Now, at the moment, I use Acronis True Image Home 2009 to make complete Disk Images - MBR plus all partitions. Acronis have not yet committed to updating TIH2009 to Windows 7 compatibility - TIH2010 is (supposedly) compatible, but has major issues at the moment, so don't want to touch that.
But TIH Win7 "compatibility" seems to be focussed on the installed Windows application - in fact, I would be happy to just use the bootable media to make my disk images/backups - which has always worked with any previous OS, be it Windows XP or earlier, or Linux, etc. - but they, of course, play by the rules with regards to partitioning tables....
So - I suspect that not having the 200MB partition there would allow me to confidently use the TIH2009 bootable media to perform Disk Images of my Windows 7 system. There is much discussion around (and instructions) on forcing Win7 to *not* create the 200MB partition, and Win7 runs happily without it (apparently).
I can therefore see a possible advantage for my situtation for *not* creating this patition - but just wondered if anyone had come across considering this decision for their system?  There may be advantages in the partition being there, that I haven't considered...?  Or perhaps someone else can confirm that they have used Acronis TIH2009 (bootable media, I assume) to successfully backup AND RESTORE(!) a Windows 7 installation - with or without the 200MB boot partition...?Huh
Thanks,
3 REPLIES
Cliff_Jordan
Grafter
Posts: 228
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 Boot Partition (to create, or not?)....

Not really a reply to your question ...but did you know that Windows 7 backup can do a system image which can be restored from the installation disk or a recovery disk. I am using this at the moment rather than upgrading Acronis which I've used in the past. Of course I've not needed to do a restore yet so I can't vouch for it fully at the moment ...just keeping my fingers crossed.
Not applicable

Re: Windows 7 Boot Partition (to create, or not?)....

Well, I am interested to see what becomes of this question. I reformatted Vista>W7 and didn't actually get a WinRE partition - just one big C drive. Concerned about this, I asked elsewhere if it made any difference but didn't get a reply. I really don't know why W7 didn't apply it but read something about it being due to the disk being preformatted to NTFS instead of RAW (if this makes sense-doesn't to me).
In this case, I had reformatted it with GParted.
As you say, as long as you have restore media than does it matter? On the other hand, 200MB isn't much. I read that MS think that this should be installed.
I have now gone back to the previous installation of Vista Business and don't have WinRE but have EISA which I read is something to do with Dell and diagnostics.  Huh
With regards to the MS backup utility I have done this with W7 (once) - does it do incremental backups? Don't want to start from scratch again.
Cliff_Jordan
Grafter
Posts: 228
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 Boot Partition (to create, or not?)....

Quote from: poppy
With regards to the MS backup utility I have done this with W7 (once) - does it do incremental backups? Don't want to start from scratch again.

Yes it does - until you reach a certain percentage of the disk space available for backup (or the amount you have pre-set), then it does a full backup again.