Extra Partition on my hard disk?


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hankfoner
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I just noticed that on both my Widows 10 computers there is an extra partition on Disk MBR1 which I am pretty sure wasn't there with Win 8.1. So now I have 3 partitions: (1) System reserved (none) NTFS Active; (2) System 8(C) NTFS primary; (3) (none) NTFS Primary. Only the first two partitions have the the little Widows icon on them and so only they are backed up when I do an Image backup using "Create an Image of  the partitions required ..." -second on the list of backup types.  I suspect that  partition 3 is a leftover from Win 8.1; it is only 460 MB so it can just remain there if it is not doing any harm.

My question is: If I ever have to do an Image Backup Restore will it matter that partition no. 3 is not reinstalled?
I hope the explanation is clear.
                            Thanks,
                                              Hank

P.S. I previously postedthis as a reply to another thread but no-one answered. Perhaps it just got overlooked there.
Froggie
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Some of Windows upgrades in the past have added partitions to existing disks (W8.1 > W8.1.1 and W10 v1511), replacing old ones which are left in place.  From your description, only (1) and (2) are required for a BOOTable system... (3), apparently, is the old System Reserved partition prior to the update.

The system should BOOT fine using only (1) <the "new" Misrosoft System Reserve BOOT through partition> and (2) <your main Windows System partition>.
Edited 5 June 2016 5:31 PM by Froggie
Richard V.
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=hankfoner -- I previously posted this as a reply to another thread but no-one answered. Perhaps it just got overlooked there.

My answer to your inquiry was posted the same day you first asked under the Windows 10 Upgrade topic, Hank.  Reproduced below if you're not able to see it there for some reason.

=hankfoner -- My question is: If I ever have to do an Image Backup Restore will it matter that partiton no. 3 is not reinstalled?

As Scott has noted in this topic's OP, the Windows 10 upgrade process may add a partition by reclaiming space after the OS ("C:") partition on your hard drive.  The additional partition is most likely a WinRE recovery partition (usually identified by a $WINRE partition marker) and, if so, it may be used by Windows 10 for some reset and advanced start-up repair options as shown in the screenshot below.  WinRE is also included in the boot configuration data (BCD) store for Windows 10 to use in rebooting automatically if it detects a post-bootmgr start-up problem, but it is not usually visible as a boot option during normal system start-ups.

Reflect's option to "Create an image of  the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows" excludes any such $WINRE partitions, presumably on the basis that they are not actually required for normal Windows OS start-ups.  Personally, I disagree with Macrium quite strongly about their whole exclusionary implementation of that option and Microsoft seems to think that WinRE is important, but you'll have to decide for yourself whether it matters or not.  If you want to add the $WINRE partition to your backup images, you'll have to use the other Reflect option to "Image selected disks on this computer" and include it in your own selection.

http://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/11ffeb69-849a-4a7e-8ffb-34be.png



Regards, Richard V. ("Arvy")
https://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/afc5d4fe-5d25-4e25-be94-185e.png

Edited 5 June 2016 5:35 PM by Arvy
hankfoner
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Thanks Froggie and Arvy.

Arvy, I looked but didn't see your reply. No idea what happened there and I've deleted that post now and so I can't find out. Anyway, thanks for posting again.

I have decided to do what you suggest and simply backup the whole No 1 disk. After all, the computer works now so the extra partition cannot be doing any harm. and backup disk memory is so cheap that there is not much point in trying to economise.

The controversy about MR's recommendation is an old one and I also cannot see why they leave that option in.
                                         Thanks again,
                                                       Hank
Richard V.
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Well, I know the reason they gave me for its being there long ago and I do agree with Macrium's underlying good intentions, just not their exclusionary implementation which, IMO, is increasingly contrary to those original good intentions.

Anyhow, if you think that both answers that you check marked are correct about the additional partition, that it can possibly be both "the old System Reserved partition" and a WinRE partition "used by Windows 10 for some reset and advanced start-up repair options", I guess any further attempt to explain wouldn't really help much.  So I'll just say that it wasn't added without good reason and certain functions provided by Windows 10 itself expect it to be there.  In any case, you can't go wrong by backing up all partitions on the entire drive.  That way, at least you retain for yourself the decision about restoring the partition or not which is a choice you don't have if it isn't included in the backup image in the first place.


Regards, Richard V. ("Arvy")
https://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/afc5d4fe-5d25-4e25-be94-185e.png

Edited 6 June 2016 1:48 AM by Arvy
hankfoner
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Arvi, I had realised that your and Froggie's answers were incompatible, but I am way too ignorant to be able to decide which is correct.  Backing up the whole disk seems to be the best bet on the old principle of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
Richard V.
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I am way too ignorant to be able to decide which is correct.

I don't believe that.  In any case, the simple cure for ignorance is knowledge and, if you're truly interested in knowing the correct answer to the question that you asked for in these forums, there's plenty of that available from numerous sources.  Was I wrong to assume that you asked twice whether that additional partition "matters" because you really wanted to understand why it's there and what purpose it actually serves?

Maybe this SuperUser answer providing a visual representation of the drive layout for all Windows versions would help.  Note, in particular, the bottom line there: "A separate WinRE partition is created only by Windows 8 Setup in UEFI/GPT mode and by Windows 10 Setup in both BIOS/MBR and UEFI/GPT modes."  (Windows 10 advanced start-up repair options rely on WinRE being there as I said.)  Or maybe you'd consider this MS Community discussion more authoritative than the answer that I tried to provide for you.


Regards, Richard V. ("Arvy")
https://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/afc5d4fe-5d25-4e25-be94-185e.png

Edited 6 June 2016 3:47 PM by Arvy
hankfoner
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Sorry for the delay. I've  been away from the computer for the last week or so. I think you are quite right Arvi. The third partition is 450.0 and must be the recovery partition. It just isn't marked as such. Anyway, as you say, one can't go wrong by backing up the whole disk.

Thanks for the help.
                       Hank
Richard V.
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In some cases, it seems to use an empty marker file ($WINRE_BACKUP_PARTITION.MARKER) rather than a volume label.  Don't know why.  Anyhow, no problem.  I just don't like to leave a question unresolved or my answers unclear in anyone's mind.  That's just me, I guess.

Regards, Richard V. ("Arvy")
https://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/afc5d4fe-5d25-4e25-be94-185e.png

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