Are all of these partitions necessary?


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MsT18
MsT18
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I'm about to clone a 500 GB NVMe SSD to a 2 TB NVMe SSD using Macrium clone, and have some questions before doing so. Both drives are Samsung and the disk is set up as AHCI not RAID, for that reason.

This is the current state of the smaller drive that is about to be replaced:


Are all the partitions necessary and can anyone tell me what they are (except for C and W, which I know about).
I will be expanding the size of the C and W partitions. Should I also expand the size of the partition between C and W? It looks as if it needs it Smile
Anything else before I begin?
(I'm using the excellent tutorial and very excellent tips I've read in this forum so far so feel reasonably confident.)
dbminter
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I would guess the FAT32 partition might be the EFI partition, which you'd definitely need or Windows probably won't start, but I'm not sure.  Although, the EFI might be partition 5 in your case, but I think the EFI partition has to be before the Windows partition.  In fact, I thought it had to be the first one.  Not the Recovery partition.


The Recovery partition is intriguing.  I'm guessing it was put there by the manufacturer of your PC.  Most Recovery partitions I've seen are usually several GB, not just a few hundred MB.


Anyway, it couldn't hurt to include them in your backup and restore them back to the new drive.  They're only a few hundred MB so backing them up won't take that long or that much space and you might find Windows won't start without them.  Well, probably won't start without at least one of them.


I'd back them up and restore them if I were in your position in this case.

jphughan
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Those are all standard partitions for a Windows installation on a UEFI computer.  They are (in order) Windows Recovery, EFI System Partition, MSR Partition, OS, apparently a second Recovery partition that is for some read a bit smaller than the original, and then your custom partition.  Having a second Recovery partition after your C partition can occur as a result of updating to newer Windows 10 feature releases.  The reasons for this and the impact on Reflect imaging when it occurs are documented here.  Typically the one after C is larger than the original Recovery partition at the beginning of the disk, though.  But the one after C may get larger if future Windows 10 versions require a larger Recovery partition.  Windows will just shrink your C partition by the additional amount necessary for the required larger Recovery partition.  Starting with Windows 10 2004, Windows Setup now creates its Recovery partition after C rather than at the beginning of the disk by default in order to avoid creating this dual Recovery partition situation -- although that creates a bit of an inconvenience for people with default partition layouts who clone onto larger disks, because if they don't "stage" a resize of their C partition as part of the clone operation, then their Recovery partition will be sitting between their cloned C partition and the additional unallocated space of the larger disk, preventing them from easily extending C after the fact.  At that point they would need to either use repartitioning tools to extend C or rerun the clone.

If you want to open an elevated Command Prompt window and run "reagentc /info", you can check the Path to your active Windows RE environment.  If it shows Partition 5 rather than Partition 1, then Partition 1 on your current disk can be considered dead weight and would not have to be cloned.  However, omitting Partition 1 will cause the numbering of the subsequent partitions to change, i.e. Partition 5 will become Partition 4 on your cloned disk.  This might affect Windows RE, so after the clone, run that same command again and confirm that Windows RE still shows as Enabled and the path now points to Partition 4 instead.  If so, congrats on reclaiming 499 MB. Smile

But you definitely need the others.  If you want to see them officially spelled out in Microsoft documentation, here you go.

Edited 19 May 2020 2:30 AM by jphughan
MsT18
MsT18
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Thank you both very much.
The windows partition behind C caused me a lot of grief in the past when the C drive was getting a bit full. I ended up using some third party software to resize C. I don't want to have to do that again, so I'll be making the C partition much bigger than currently needed (it's just for Windows and programs, not my own data files).
The computer is a Dell laptop and this will be its third drive replacement. Maybe the first partition was a legacy from the first SSD drive (which I replaced immediately on getting the laptop). Oops - I just remembered you've already explained it's from a Windows update, @jphughan

Here is what reagentc /info says:

I'll try not cloning the first partition - just for the sake of neatness and efficiency. If that doesn't work, I'll reclone the drive with all existing partitions.
I'll report back on how everything went. Might be a little while. The new drive is expected to arrive today but it could be held up in viral delays Sad
Thanks again, both of you. You are fantastic. KissKiss

Edited 19 May 2020 3:01 AM by MsT18
jphughan
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I know what you mean about the double-edged sword of having a separate Data partition in terms of potentially going too small on C -- although being a Reflect user does make it fairly straightforward to address that by simply performing a custom restore that "stages" a C partition resize as part of the restore.

In any case, based on your ReagentC, you don't need Partition 1.  Just make sure that you set up the clone using the "drag and drop" method, i.e. drag each partition from Source to Destination, working left to right, instead of clicking "Copy selected partitions", since that will cause you to have a block of unallocated space at the beginning of the disk.  Drag and drop will also allow you to specify a different C partition size as part of the clone.  Good luck!

MsT18
MsT18
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I'm afraid neither of the options worked - with or without the first partition. I'll have to do more research to see what the problem is. Either that or I'll just leave the current hard drive in place and use the new SSD in a new system I'm putting together. I will risk losing some legacy programs on this computer with a clean install, so I won't go that route. (I tried fixing Windows boot in Macrium, but to no avail.)

Tomorrow I might see if it works if I just clone the drive as is, without changing any partition sizes. (See below).

The other point I'll investigate is whether the Latitude 7389 can take a 2TB SSD. (I don't see why it wouldn't, but it's worth looking into.)

Update: Well, it looks as if it could be the final point I wrote above. I just checked the manual and the specs for storage options show the largest drive can only be 1TB.:
Storage options•
256 GB M.2 2280 PCIeSSD•
512 GB M.2 2280 PCIeSSD•
1024 GB M.2 2280 PCIeSSD•
256 GB M.2 2280 SED PCIeSSD•
512 GB M.2 2280 SED PCIeSSD•
128 GB M.2 2280 SATA SSD•
256 GB M.2 2280 SATA SSDCommunication

Silly me for not checking before shopping. So that rules out this SSD on this laptop from the look of things. I'll see if there are any 1TB drives on sale somewhere - or not. (The 2TB drive cost me an arm and a leg, so I may wait a bit BigGrin)
Edited 19 May 2020 9:24 AM by MsT18
jphughan
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@MsT18 don't give up just yet.  When Dell lists maximum capacity specs, it's typically because that's either the max the system was sold with and/or the max that Dell actually tested.  As you say, there's no reason higher capacities shouldn't be possible.  The only limitations would be around physical fitment, namely dimensions (e.g. M.2 2280 vs other sizes) and the fact that some high-capacity M.2 SSDs place chips on both sides of the board, and in some very tight laptop designs, that can be a problem.

Can you expand on it "not working" though?  What exact process did you follow?  Was the new SSD installed internally when you attempted to boot from it, as opposed to connected via an NVMe to USB enclosure, and did you remove the previous SSD when running Fix Boot Problems?  The more descriptive you can be in your problem report, the more likely people will be able to help you.  Speaking as an IT person, one of the most frustrating problem reports you can get from a user is, "It's not working", because that gives you absolutely nothing to go on

MsT18
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@jphughan - that's worth a thought, thank you.

I installed the new SSD internally to the NVMe M.2 slot. It fitted perfectly. That's the only motherboard slot that takes a drive (of any kind) so there was no other drive in there. There was nothing else attached to the laptop except maybe for the power cord, although as I recall I was just running it on battery. I then inserted the USB with Macrium restore and tried "fix boot problems". It said it deleted something (BCD?) - I can't recall exactly, and finished whatever it tried. Still no luck though.

Thanks for all your help. I may not get back to this for a few days. Having it in the new desktop will not be the worst outcome. I hope to be able to assemble that next week some time.

I'll not dwell on it too much right now and let ideas come as they probably will, knowing how my brain works Wink

GO

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