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Daniel_Potyrala
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How to repartition HDD of HP notebook with pre-installed Windows 7.

[ Edited ]

Disclaimer

You are using this guide at your own risk. I don't take any responsibility for any problems.

 

Important information

Please create a set of recovery discs, Windows 7 System Repair Disc and back up all important data before you will do anything.These steps will save you a lot of troubles if something will go wrong.

           

            Resources:

       Creating Recovery Discs or Saving a Recovery Image to a USB Flash Drive (Windows 7)

         How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

 

Remember that if you will decide to use the recovery discs or the F11 option to restore the PC to its original condition, all partitions which were created by you will be lost and all the data which were stored on them will also be lost.

 

 

 

Table of Contents:

 

 

A How to use the guide

 

B Basic information which you need to know

 

C Our problem

 

D Possible solutions to the problem

 

E Pros and cons

 

F Convert the C partition

 

G Remove the HP_TOOLS partition

 

H Remove the RECOVERY partition

 

  Remove the SYSTEM partition

 

J  FAQ

 

 

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Daniel_Potyrala
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Message 2 of 11 (189,274 Views)

How to use the guide

[ Edited ]

A How to use the guide

 

 

It is very important to do everything step by step, because each point of this guide contains important information.  

Read the document even several times and do the necessary steps only when it's clear what needs to be done.

 

I would like to emphasize once again that a very important part of this process is to ensure the safety of your data.

Please create a set of recovery discs, Windows 7 System Repair Disc and back up all important data before you will do anything.

 

Remember that if you will decide to use the recovery discs or the F11 option to restore the PC to its original condition, all partitions which were created by you will be lost and all the data which were stored on them will also be lost.

 

If there will be a problem and need to ask a question, it is required to start a new topic (make a post). Please write there details of the problem, your notebook product number (p/n) and which system are you using on this model (Windows 7, Windows 8, 32-bit or 64-bit).

 

 

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Daniel_Potyrala
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Message 3 of 11 (189,273 Views)

Basic information which you need to know

[ Edited ]

B Basic information which you need to know

 

 

After reading this section, you will know what is Master Boot Record (MBR), Partition Table, primary partition, extended partition and logical partition. This information will help you to understand the topic and at the same time give you basic knowledge, which is required to create new partitions.

 

A Master Boot Record (MBR) is located at the first physical sector (cylinder 0, head 0 and sector 1) of each hard drive and it contains two key elements: Bootstrap (BS) and Partition Table (PT). The whole structure has a length of 512 bytes. The first 446 bytes for the code that boot the computer, followed by a 64 byte Partition Table and it ends with a two-byte signature.

 

In simple terms, the Master Boot Record is a small program that is executed when a computer boots up. The program begins the boot process by looking up the partition table to determine which partition to use for booting. It then transfers program control to the boot sector of that partition, which continues the boot process.

 

Partition Table memorizes information about sizes and locations of partitions on hard disk.

Each partition entry is 16 bytes long and we know already that the total Partition Table is 64 bytes long.

Simple mathematical operation: 64 / 16 is giving information that Partition Table is limited to a maximum of 4 entries.

This means that we can create up to 4 partitions which are called primary partitions.

 

However, many users need more than 4 partitions. In order to meet these requirements and to overcome this limitation, extended partition was invented. A hard disk may contain only one extended partition, that can be subdivided into multiple partitions, which are called logical partitions. The only limitation to the number of logical partitions is the number of available drive letters that can be assigned to each logical partition.

 

Summary

The total data storage space of a hard disk can be divided into at most four primary partitions or three primary partitions and an extended partition that can be subdivided into multiple logical partitions.

 

 

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Message 4 of 11 (189,161 Views)

Our problem

[ Edited ]

C Our problem

 

 

The below picture shows pre-configured partitions of HP notebook with pre-installed Windows 7.

 

HP Primary Partitions.png

 

As you can see on the disk are already created four primary partitions:

 

  • C - partition on which the operating system was preinstalled;
  • HP_TOOLS - partition which allows to use the HP System Diagnostics after pressing the F2 key on the  startup;
  • RECOVERY -partiton which allows to recover the operating system by pressing the F11 key on the startup;
  • SYSTEM - active partition that allows to boot the operating system and run Windows Recovery Environment.

 

Using the knowledge that we gained at the A point, we know that the maximum number of primary partitions has been reached and therefore can not be created even one new partition.

 

 

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Message 5 of 11 (189,137 Views)

Possible solutions to the problem

[ Edited ]

D Possible solutions to the problem

 

 

How can we solve the problem with a limit of 4 primary partitions?

There are several ways, however, some are better than others. We may:

 

  • convert the C partition into the logical partition, shrink the free space on the C partition and use the free space to create the logical partition;

 

  • remove the HP_TOOLS partition, instead create the logical partition, shrink the free space on other partition and enlarge the capacity of this which we created;

 

  • remove the RECOVERY partition, instead create the logical partition, shrink the free space on other partition and enlarge the capacity of this which we created;

 

  • remove the SYSTEM partition, set C partiton as active, use the free space to create the logical partition, shrink the free space in other partition and enlarge the capacity of this which we created.

 

Are there any disadvantages of these solutions?

The answer to this question will be presented in the next point.

 

 

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Message 6 of 11 (139,883 Views)

Pros and cons

[ Edited ]

E Pros and cons

 

 

At this point I will try to discuss the pros and cons of solutions presented in the D point and indicate which one is recommended by me and why. However, the final decision is left to the user.

 

The C partition

 

It contains the operating system.

 

Summary

For these reasons, I would not recommend to convert the C partition, because it is a very high risk of losing important data.

 

The HP_TOOLS partition

 

The HP_TOOLS partition contains HP System Diagnostics. This program allows you to identify hardware problems.

For example you may test CPU, hard drive, memory (RAM), graphics card, etc.

It's a very useful tool, so definitely it's worth to have possibility to use HP System Diagnostics in an easy way.

After removing the HP_TOOLS partition you may create a bootable USB Flash Drive which will allow you to use it, but it's not as convenient solution as this which you have now.

 

Why?

 

To use this program you will need to plug a bootable USB Flash Drive with HP System Diagnostics to the notebook everytime when you will want to run it and you may not always have this USB Flash Drive when it will be needed.

 

It is also worth noting that at the time when you will not be able to log into the system and you will not have a bootable USB with HP System Diagnostics then you will not be able to create it. Once you have the HP_TOOLS partition that is no problem. Despite the lack of a functioning system, you can still use all the tests.

 

When you will remove the HP_Tools partition, shrink the free space on the C partition and enlarge the capacity of the new partition then you will at the same time move the RECOVERY partition. In this way, you will lose features such as possibility to run HP Recovery Manager by pressing repeatedly the F11 key on the startup screen and possibility to reset the computer to its original factory condition.

 

Summary

After removing the HP_TOOLS partition you won't be able to run HP System Diagnostics by pressing repeatedly the F2 key on the startup screen, won't be able to run HP Recovery Manager by pressing repeatedly the F11 key on the startup screen and won't be able to reset the computer to its original factory condition.

For these reasons, this is the worst solution and I do not recommend to remove the HP_TOOLS partition.

 

The RECOVERY partition 

 

It containes files used to perform a system recovery.

This partition allows you to run the HP Recovery Manager by pressing repeatedly the F11 key on the startup and reset the computer to its original factory condition. After removing this partition you will lose both features.

It's very useful in case of a serious problem with the operating system.

There is a possibilty to create a set of Recovery Discs or create a Recovery Image on the USB Flash Drive, but it's still worth to keep the Recovery partition.

 

Why?

 

HP recovery software allows you to make only one recovery backup. If after removing the Recovery partition, even one disc from a recovery discs set or the USB Flash Drive with the Recovery Image will be corrupted, then there will be no other option to recover the operating system. When something like this will happen then you will need to call HP to order the recovery disc set and pay a fee for it. Of course, the set of recovery discs will be delivered within a few days.

The RECOVERY partition is like your free second chance.

 

Summary

After removing the Recovery partition you will not be able to run HP Recovery Manager by pressing repeatedly the F11 key on the startup screen and reset the computer to its original factory condition.

For this reason, I would not recommend to remove the RECOVERY partition.

 

The SYSTEM partition  

 

The SYSTEM partition containes WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) and boot files.

WinRE allows to do Startup Repair, System Restore, Complete PC Restore and Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool.

Each of these functions can be performed through the tools available on the RECOVERY partition and the HP_TOOLS partition. However, the same tasks are performed much better by the tools contained in these two partitions.

Bootable files that allow to load the operating system and which are stored on The System partition are also not a problem. This issue can be easily solved by selecting the partition that contains the operating system (in our case the C partiton), marking it as active and running startup repair.

However it would be wise to create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc just in case.

 

Summary

For this reason, I would recommend to remove the SYSTEM partition.

 

 

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Message 7 of 11 (139,882 Views)

Convert the C partition

[ Edited ]

F Convert the C partition

 

  

            Note:

 

            -  Please create a set of recovery discs, Windows 7 System Repair Disc and back up all important data before

                you willdo anything. These steps will save you a lot of troubles if something will go wrong;

                Creating Recovery Discs or Saving a Recovery Image to a USB Flash Drive (Windows 7)

                How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

 

            -  This solution is not recommended because of the high risk of losing important data;

 

            Please perform each operation individually. Using several operations at one time may end with a fatal error.

 

 

Procedure to convert the C partition

 

1. Download and install the MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition software.

 

2. Set the C partition as logical.

 

      Resource:

      Set Partition as Logical

 

3. Shrink the C partition.

 

      Resource:

      Move/Resize Partition

 

4. Use the free space to create the new (NTFS) logical partition.

 

      Resource:

      Create Partition

 

 

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Daniel_Potyrala
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Message 8 of 11 (139,880 Views)

Remove the HP_TOOLS partition

[ Edited ]

G Remove the HP_TOOLS partition

 

 

            Note:

 

            -  Please create a set of recovery discs, Windows 7 System Repair Disc and back up all important data before

                you willdo anything. These steps will save you a lot of troubles if something will go wrong;

                Creating Recovery Discs or Saving a Recovery Image to a USB Flash Drive (Windows 7)

                How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

 

            -  This is the worst solution. It's not recommended, because after removing HP_TOOLS partition you won't be able:

                to run HP System Diagnostics by pressing repeatedly the F2 key on the startup screen, to run HP Recovery Manager

                by pressing repeatedly the F11 key on the startup screen and reset the computer to its original factory condition;

 

            Please perform each operation individually. Using several operations at one time may end with a fatal error.

 

 

Procedure to remove the HP_TOOLS partition

 

1. Create a bootable USB Flash Drive which will allow you to use the HP System Diagnostics program.

 

2. Download and install the MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition software.

 

3. Remove the HP_TOOLS partition.

 

      Resource:

      Delete Partition

 

4. Use the free space to create the new (NTFS) logical partition.

 

      Resource:

      Create Partition

 

5. Shrink the free space on the C partition and enlarge the capacity of the new logical partition.

 

      Resource:

      Move/Resize Partition

 

 

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Daniel_Potyrala
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Message 9 of 11 (139,877 Views)

Remove the RECOVERY partition

[ Edited ]

H Remove the RECOVERY partition

 

 

            Note:

 

            -  Please create a set of recovery discs, Windows 7 System Repair Disc and back up all important data before

                you willdo anything. These steps will save you a lot of troubles if something will go wrong;

                Creating Recovery Discs or Saving a Recovery Image to a USB Flash Drive (Windows 7)

                How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

 

            -  After removing the Recovery partition you will not be able to run HP Recovery Manager by pressing repeatedly

                the F11 key on the startup screen and reset the computer to its original factory condition;

 

            -  This solution is not recommended, because the RECOVERY partition is very useful in case of a serious problem

                with the operating system;

 

            Please perform each operation individually. Using several operations at one time may end with a fatal error.

 

 

Procedure to remove the RECOVERY partition

 

1. Create a recovery discs set or save a recovery image to a USB flash drive.

 

      Resource:

      Creating Recovery Discs or Saving a Recovery Image to a USB Flash Drive (Windows 7)

 

2. Download and install the MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition software.

 

3. Remove the RECOVERY partition.

 

      Resource:

      Delete Partition

 

4. Use the free space to create the new (NTFS) logical partition.

 

      Resource:

      Create Partition

 

5. Shrink the free space on the C partition and enlarge the capacity of the new logical partition.

 

      Resource:

      Move/Resize Partition

 

 

Back to the top

 

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Message 10 of 11 (139,876 Views)

Remove the SYSTEM partition

[ Edited ]

Remove the SYSTEM partition

 

 

            Note:

 

            -  Please create a set of recovery discs, Windows 7 System Repair Disc and back up all important data before

                you willdo anything. These steps will save you a lot of troubles if something will go wrong;

                Creating Recovery Discs or Saving a Recovery Image to a USB Flash Drive (Windows 7)

                How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

 

            -  This solution is recommended;

 

            Please perform each operation individually. Using several operations at one time may end with a fatal error.

 

 

Procedure to remove the SYSTEM partition

 

1. Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc.

 

      Resource:

      How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

 

2. Remove the SYSTEM partition.

 

      Resource:

      How to Remove the 100MB Windows 7 System Reserved Partition

 

3. Repair the Windows 7 startup.

 

      Resource:

      How to Run a Startup Repair in Windows 7

 

4. Download and install the MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition software.

 

5. Use the free space to create the new (NTFS) logical partition.

 

      Resource:

      Create Partition

 

6. Shrink the free space on the C partition and enlarge the capacity of the new logical partition.

 

      Resource:

      Move/Resize Partition

 

 

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  Microsoft MVP Windows Expert - Consumer
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