Removing Windows 8


R

RnR

It boots straight into Win7. That's all I've left on the boot menu using
EasyBCD. I've also managed to shrink the obsolete Win8 partition quite a
bit and delete most files on it, but I want to get rid of it completely.

I've posted snapshots of my Disk Management ten minutes ago to Paul's
post below. They show the story well enough.

Ed

As someone mentioned earlier, edit the partition table and you can
then do as you please with it.
 
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R

R. C. White

Hi, Ken.

Does the "From: "...winston" <[email protected]>" confirm your
suspicions? ;^}

Winston is not a very common name, but ...winston is even rarer. Unique, I
believe. And so is he. And I second your welcome. ;<)

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"Ken Blake" wrote in message

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd799232(WS.10).aspx#PartitionStructures
<qp>
On Windows® Developer Preview and Windows® Server Developer Preview
configurations, the active partition is typically a separate partition
that
is called a system partition.
</qp>

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorial...ows-8-delete-windows-8-developer-preview.html

Forgive my off topic post, but Winston is not a common name. Are you
the Winston I think you are? Is this your first time posting here. If
the answer to both questions is yes, welcome.
 
P

Paul

Ed said:
On 06/10/2011 23:55, Paul wrote:


Hello.

The evil "42" is present on one disk.
Here are the snapshots;
http://tinyurl.com/3e8dav8
http://tinyurl.com/3knjx7f
http://tinyurl.com/3sctz8l


Ed
I find it interesting, that your "System Reserved" just says
Healthy, and your Win8 says Healthy (System). I think that means
what we might refer to as boot files, are actually on your
Win8 partition, instead of on the System Reserved.

So now the question is, what is the best way to make the System
Reserved say Healthy (System) again. It's possible the repair
capabilities of the Windows 7 installer disc could fix it,
but I don't know that for a fact. You probably can't delete
the Win8 partition right now, because of the fact disk management
knows it is Healthy (System). If it said Healthy and that is all,
it could probably be deleted.

You'd need:

1) Partition Manager that understands dynamic disks.
2) Boot off something that doesn't care about Healthy (System) status.
You could try GParted via a Linux LiveCD, but I don't know what it will
handle in a situation like this. GParted has always made me nervous.
3) Remove Win8 partition.
4) Boot Win7 DVD, attempt boot repair and... pray :)

That's my best guess. I'd definitely be backing this up
before trying it, so later, you'll have some Windows left
to use...

Paul
 
K

KCB

Ken Blake said:
Forgive my off topic post, but Winston is not a common name. Are you
the Winston I think you are? Is this your first time posting here. If
the answer to both questions is yes, welcome.
He maintains this site:
http://liveunplugged.wordpress.com/
and helps immensely on microsoft.public.windows.live.mail.desktop
 
K

KCB

Paul said:
I find it interesting, that your "System Reserved" just says
Healthy, and your Win8 says Healthy (System). I think that means
what we might refer to as boot files, are actually on your
Win8 partition, instead of on the System Reserved.

So now the question is, what is the best way to make the System
Reserved say Healthy (System) again. It's possible the repair
capabilities of the Windows 7 installer disc could fix it,
but I don't know that for a fact. You probably can't delete
the Win8 partition right now, because of the fact disk management
knows it is Healthy (System). If it said Healthy and that is all,
it could probably be deleted.

You'd need:

1) Partition Manager that understands dynamic disks.
2) Boot off something that doesn't care about Healthy (System) status.
You could try GParted via a Linux LiveCD, but I don't know what it will
handle in a situation like this. GParted has always made me nervous.
3) Remove Win8 partition.
4) Boot Win7 DVD, attempt boot repair and... pray :)

That's my best guess. I'd definitely be backing this up
before trying it, so later, you'll have some Windows left
to use...

Paul
I'm not sure about the direction you're going with this. My Disk Management
window shows only the C: as active, not the System Reserved. I also had
Win8Dev installed on a separate partition, but just reformatted the
partition (from in Win7) when I was done playing with it. Tell me where to
post a picture.
 
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E

Ed Cryer

Ed posted these links. It includes two PTEDIT32 pictures, and
a Disk Management picture. The disk with the two OSes on it
is dynamic, and primary partition table entries are all marked "42".
There isn't the normal 07 you'd expect for NTFS.

http://tinyurl.com/3e8dav8
http://tinyurl.com/3knjx7f
http://tinyurl.com/3sctz8l

Paul
It looks really alien territory; it looks like we've landed on the moon.
"This is life, Jim, but not as we know it". Or, to keep the Columbus
analogy, we've shipped into some Caribbean island where we can't sell
beads to the natives nor get them to acknowledge us as gods; we have to
find a survival strategy that incorporates their norms and cultural
procedures

Everything works, though; browsing, email, all system utilities I've
tried including a full Windows disk image, booting, closing down,
nothing new in Event Viewer. I can't find a single problem. I guess the
crucial test will be next Wednesday with Windows updates.

Something is bound to give way sooner or later. I have an uneasy feeling
that I ought to do a general restore right away, and use a backup dated
before I put Win8 in (I have one end of August).

Ed
 
K

Ken Blake

Hi, Ken.

Does the "From: "...winston" <[email protected]>" confirm your
suspicions? ;^}

I saw the address, which is why I thought he was who I thought he was.
But, unlikely as it may be, there could be more than one MVP named
Winston.

Ken
 
P

Paul

KCB said:
I'm not sure about the direction you're going with this. My Disk
Management window shows only the C: as active, not the System Reserved.
I also had Win8Dev installed on a separate partition, but just
reformatted the partition (from in Win7) when I was done playing with
it. Tell me where to post a picture.
The objective would be to return the Win7 partition and the System
Reserved partition to like new condition.

As I see it, at the moment, the Win8 partition is fulfilling the role
the System Reserved would normally fill. And I suspect whether Ed is
booted into Win7 or Win8, the Win8 partition will probably still
have the status of Healthy (System), meaning it has the boot files,
the BCD or whatever.

To fix that, I suspect you'd have to be outside Windows, so Windows
would not protect that partition. That could be why Ed is having
trouble deleting the partition. And with the "42" value in the
MBR partition table, I'm not even sure writing "00" in there will
do any good, as the 1MB metadata area at the end of the disk, contains
all the pertinent information, not the MBR. So if that disk is to be
modified, it might take a Linux LiveCD, and having proof that Linux
properly handles a Windows Dynamic Disk.

Paul
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, Ed.

Note that in your first screen shot
(http://www.ecryer.fsnet.co.uk/DiskManage1.jpg ), the one and only partition
that has the "System" status is your "XWin8" , which is the 4th partition on
your Disk 0. This is your System Partition when booted into whatever OS you
were running at the time of the screenshot - Win7, I assume, but please
confirm.

Your Drive C: is the 3rd partition on that Disk 0; it has the "Boot" status
but, since you've labeled it simply "Acer", we can't tell if it is the Boot
Volume for Win7 or for Win8 - or for WinXP or something else.

I'm not familiar with PowerQuest, but your second screen shot raises some
questions for me. It identifies the disk as "Drive 1 (610477 MB)", so it
apparently is referring to your first HDD, which Disk Management properly
identifies as "Disk 0...596.17 GB". (No, I'm not quibbling about the normal
MB/GB "rounding errors", just trying to be sure that they are the same HDD.)
I can't read PQ's version of the partition table very well, but it
apparently omits one partition - probably the 100 MB "SYSTEM RESERVED"
partition, which DM shows as Partition 2 on Disk 0. It shows the "80" (hex)
code in the Boot column for what it calls Partition 3; this apparently
refers to the volume that DM properly shows as Disk 0, Partition 4, which
you've named "XWin8". PQ says it has 84,632,240 sectors, or about 41 GB at
..5 KB per sector, which DM shows as 40.36 GB.

So, at the time you took that first screen shot, you had started your
computer; the BIOS had loaded the startup code from the MBR (Head 0, Track
1, Sector 1) on Disk 0. The Partition Table (the 64 bytes following the MBR
code in that first physical sector) pointed to the partition that starts at
CHS 1023/254/63, which has "80" as the first byte in its table entry. This
is Partition 4, which PQ calls Partition 3. Each disk has only a single
MBR, but it can have as many boot sectors as it has partitions.

In that XWin8 partition, it read the first physical sector (Sector 0 on CHS
1023/254/63), which is the Boot Sector for that Partition. It loaded the
contents of that sector into memory, jumped to the first byte of that code,
and started executing. That code instructed it to load a lot more
instructions, including to look for the file "bootmgr" in that same
partition, load it and follow its instructions. At this stage of the boot
process, the system is not yet smart enough to understand extensions or
folders or even other partitions and "drive" letters, so everything needed
to find the next step has to be in the Root of the System Partition. It
quickly learns about those things and looks into the poorly-named \Boot
folder to find the BCD data. (The \Boot folder is NOT the same as the Boot
Folder. Typically, the first is at C:\Boot, in the System Partition, while
the second is C:\Windows, in the Boot Volume. The first holds only the BCD,
which lets bootmgr find the second, which holds many GB of OS files.)
Remember, "We BOOT from the SYSTEM partition and keep the operating SYSTEM
files in the BOOT volume." And refer to KB314470, Definitions for system
volume and boot volume, which has not been updated for Vista/Win7, but is
still informative, especially the "More information" section.

So, following the instructions in the XWin8 boot sector, it found and loaded
your Win7 from your Drive C: (Disk 0, Partition 1). The path was: Power
On; BIOS; MBR; System Partition; Boot Volume; Win7. That’s: Power On;
BIOS; MBR (Disk 0, Physical Sector 1 - which is not in ANY partition);
System Partition (Disk 0, Partition 4 - which PQ calls 3); Boot Volume (Disk
0, Partition 1 - your Acer (C:)); Win7.

To solve your problem, you need to make some partition OTHER than XWin8 your
System Partition. Since you already have the un-lettered System Reserved
Disk 0, Partition 2, why not let Win7 make that your System Partition - as
the Win7 developers intended. Than you can delete or reformat XWin8.

I hope this helps, Ed. But it's awfully hard to work around - and explain
around - the confusing semantics and word definitions when discussing these
things.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


<Snip>

Hello.

The evil "42" is present on one disk.
Here are the snapshots;
http://tinyurl.com/3e8dav8
http://tinyurl.com/3knjx7f
http://tinyurl.com/3sctz8l


Ed
 
V

VanguardLH

Disk Mgmt pic: http://tinyurl.com/3e8dav8

For the screen capture for Disk Management, did you take that when you
believed you have booted into the Windows 7 operating system? If so, I
think Win8 stole the BCD and marked its partition as "active".

The Win8 partition (XWin8) is marked as "System". The Win7 partition
(Acer C:) is marked as "Boot". See my reply to winston as how this
naming is confusing to users. According to Microsoft's terminology, the
system partition is where the OS first starts to boot, and the boot
partition is where the rest of the OS loads. So the system partition is
the boot partition and the boot partition is the system partition.
Yeah, I know, backwards.

So the Win8 partition is marked as the "system" partition which means
that's where the booting starts from - and that means it must be the
"active" marked partition in the MBR (master boot record) where are the
partition table. "Active" is an attribute of a partition record in the
MBR. It tells the BIOS where to go to load the code in the boot sector
of that partition. That is, to the BIOS, the active-marked partition is
to where it loads that boot sector for an OS contained there - but not
all of the OS must be contained within that partition.

It looks like Win8 changed the partition record for that partition so it
was marked "active". The BIOS loads the boot sector for that partition
and that contains the boot manager (that Windows 8 put there). So you
are using Microsoft's dual-booting scheme. You are booting to the Win8
partition whose boot manager then dumps you back to the Win7 partition
where is the "rest" of the OS. Windows 8 stole the BCD control to its
partition and that's the boot manager you are now using.

The Win8 partition is marked as "active" in the partition table in the
MBR that the BIOS reads. The BIOS loads the boot sector (which contains
the loader for the boot manager) for that Win8 partition. Disk
Management lists the Win8 partition as "System" because that's where is
the boot manager that gets used (to you and me it's the boot partition).
The Win8 boot manager loads from the Win8 partition and you select Win7.
The Win8 boot manager then loads Win7 from the boot partition for it
(which, to you and me, is really the system partition).

If the Win8 install didn't corrupt the BCD over in the Win7 partition,
it might be as simple as using a partition manager that lets you mark
the Win7 partition ("Acer") as the "active" partition. Then the BIOS
will load the boot sector from the Win7 partition and use the boot
manager in the Win7 partition. If that doesn't work, you could use the
partition manager to change back to Win8 as the active partition and be
back where you were.

You have a boot manager and BCD (database) now in both the Win7 and Win8
partitions. You don't want to be using the set in the Win8 database.
See which partition is marked as "active" in the partition table. I
don't see that listed in the output of Disk Management (but is a
right-click context menu choice) or in the PQ utility you used in other
snapshots (or the partition record attributes were out of view and you
have to scroll up in the PQ window to see them).
 
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K

KCB

VanguardLH said:
Disk Mgmt pic: http://tinyurl.com/3e8dav8

For the screen capture for Disk Management, did you take that when you
believed you have booted into the Windows 7 operating system? If so, I
think Win8 stole the BCD and marked its partition as "active".

The Win8 partition (XWin8) is marked as "System". The Win7 partition
(Acer C:) is marked as "Boot". See my reply to winston as how this
naming is confusing to users. According to Microsoft's terminology, the
system partition is where the OS first starts to boot, and the boot
partition is where the rest of the OS loads. So the system partition is
the boot partition and the boot partition is the system partition.
Yeah, I know, backwards.

So the Win8 partition is marked as the "system" partition which means
that's where the booting starts from - and that means it must be the
"active" marked partition in the MBR (master boot record) where are the
partition table. "Active" is an attribute of a partition record in the
MBR. It tells the BIOS where to go to load the code in the boot sector
of that partition. That is, to the BIOS, the active-marked partition is
to where it loads that boot sector for an OS contained there - but not
all of the OS must be contained within that partition.

It looks like Win8 changed the partition record for that partition so it
was marked "active". The BIOS loads the boot sector for that partition
and that contains the boot manager (that Windows 8 put there). So you
are using Microsoft's dual-booting scheme. You are booting to the Win8
partition whose boot manager then dumps you back to the Win7 partition
where is the "rest" of the OS. Windows 8 stole the BCD control to its
partition and that's the boot manager you are now using.

The Win8 partition is marked as "active" in the partition table in the
MBR that the BIOS reads. The BIOS loads the boot sector (which contains
the loader for the boot manager) for that Win8 partition. Disk
Management lists the Win8 partition as "System" because that's where is
the boot manager that gets used (to you and me it's the boot partition).
The Win8 boot manager loads from the Win8 partition and you select Win7.
The Win8 boot manager then loads Win7 from the boot partition for it
(which, to you and me, is really the system partition).

If the Win8 install didn't corrupt the BCD over in the Win7 partition,
it might be as simple as using a partition manager that lets you mark
the Win7 partition ("Acer") as the "active" partition. Then the BIOS
will load the boot sector from the Win7 partition and use the boot
manager in the Win7 partition. If that doesn't work, you could use the
partition manager to change back to Win8 as the active partition and be
back where you were.

You have a boot manager and BCD (database) now in both the Win7 and Win8
partitions. You don't want to be using the set in the Win8 database.
See which partition is marked as "active" in the partition table. I
don't see that listed in the output of Disk Management (but is a
right-click context menu choice) or in the PQ utility you used in other
snapshots (or the partition record attributes were out of view and you
have to scroll up in the PQ window to see them).
Couldn't he just right-click "Acer" while in Disk Management, and select
'Mark Partition as Active'? One issue with that is I've seen many posts on
other forums that insist the System Reserved needs to be the active
partition for Win7, although on my computer Disk Management reports C: as
System, Boot, and Active. This is the drive current install of Win7.
 
E

Ed Cryer

Couldn't he just right-click "Acer" while in Disk Management, and select
'Mark Partition as Active'? One issue with that is I've seen many posts
on other forums that insist the System Reserved needs to be the active
partition for Win7, although on my computer Disk Management reports C:
as System, Boot, and Active. This is the drive current install of Win7.

Here's a right click on two partitions;
http://tinyurl.com/6go3ozs
http://tinyurl.com/658dc56

Curiouser and curiouser!

Ed
 
E

Ed Cryer

Hi, Ed.

Note that in your first screen shot
(http://www.ecryer.fsnet.co.uk/DiskManage1.jpg ), the one and only
partition that has the "System" status is your "XWin8" , which is the
4th partition on your Disk 0. This is your System Partition when booted
into whatever OS you were running at the time of the screenshot - Win7,
I assume, but please confirm.

Your Drive C: is the 3rd partition on that Disk 0; it has the "Boot"
status but, since you've labeled it simply "Acer", we can't tell if it
is the Boot Volume for Win7 or for Win8 - or for WinXP or something else.

I'm not familiar with PowerQuest, but your second screen shot raises
some questions for me. It identifies the disk as "Drive 1 (610477 MB)",
so it apparently is referring to your first HDD, which Disk Management
properly identifies as "Disk 0...596.17 GB". (No, I'm not quibbling
about the normal MB/GB "rounding errors", just trying to be sure that
they are the same HDD.) I can't read PQ's version of the partition table
very well, but it apparently omits one partition - probably the 100 MB
"SYSTEM RESERVED" partition, which DM shows as Partition 2 on Disk 0. It
shows the "80" (hex) code in the Boot column for what it calls Partition
3; this apparently refers to the volume that DM properly shows as Disk
0, Partition 4, which you've named "XWin8". PQ says it has 84,632,240
sectors, or about 41 GB at .5 KB per sector, which DM shows as 40.36 GB.

So, at the time you took that first screen shot, you had started your
computer; the BIOS had loaded the startup code from the MBR (Head 0,
Track 1, Sector 1) on Disk 0. The Partition Table (the 64 bytes
following the MBR code in that first physical sector) pointed to the
partition that starts at CHS 1023/254/63, which has "80" as the first
byte in its table entry. This is Partition 4, which PQ calls Partition
3. Each disk has only a single MBR, but it can have as many boot sectors
as it has partitions.

In that XWin8 partition, it read the first physical sector (Sector 0 on
CHS 1023/254/63), which is the Boot Sector for that Partition. It loaded
the contents of that sector into memory, jumped to the first byte of
that code, and started executing. That code instructed it to load a lot
more instructions, including to look for the file "bootmgr" in that same
partition, load it and follow its instructions. At this stage of the
boot process, the system is not yet smart enough to understand
extensions or folders or even other partitions and "drive" letters, so
everything needed to find the next step has to be in the Root of the
System Partition. It quickly learns about those things and looks into
the poorly-named \Boot folder to find the BCD data. (The \Boot folder is
NOT the same as the Boot Folder. Typically, the first is at C:\Boot, in
the System Partition, while the second is C:\Windows, in the Boot
Volume. The first holds only the BCD, which lets bootmgr find the
second, which holds many GB of OS files.) Remember, "We BOOT from the
SYSTEM partition and keep the operating SYSTEM files in the BOOT
volume." And refer to KB314470, Definitions for system volume and boot
volume, which has not been updated for Vista/Win7, but is still
informative, especially the "More information" section.

So, following the instructions in the XWin8 boot sector, it found and
loaded your Win7 from your Drive C: (Disk 0, Partition 1). The path was:
Power On; BIOS; MBR; System Partition; Boot Volume; Win7. That’s: Power
On; BIOS; MBR (Disk 0, Physical Sector 1 - which is not in ANY
partition); System Partition (Disk 0, Partition 4 - which PQ calls 3);
Boot Volume (Disk 0, Partition 1 - your Acer (C:)); Win7.

To solve your problem, you need to make some partition OTHER than XWin8
your System Partition. Since you already have the un-lettered System
Reserved Disk 0, Partition 2, why not let Win7 make that your System
Partition - as the Win7 developers intended. Than you can delete or
reformat XWin8.

I hope this helps, Ed. But it's awfully hard to work around - and
explain around - the confusing semantics and word definitions when
discussing these things.

RC
That is where I came in; simply trying to shift the System Files from
the XWin8 drive to either the Win7 or SystemReseved one, assuming that
doing so would then leave the XWin8 deletable.

But, how to do it; that's the problem.

P.S. As I've stated it above it's not buried in "confusing semantics and
word definitions"; surely not. It's the subsequent delving into the
depths that has brought those in.

Ed
 
E

Ed Cryer

Here's a right click on two partitions;
http://tinyurl.com/6go3ozs
http://tinyurl.com/658dc56

Curiouser and curiouser!

Ed
Well now, I've found a program that objects to my hard drive. Paragon
Backup & Restore.
Look why it objects;
http://www.ecryer.fsnet.co.uk/Paragon1.jpg
http://www.ecryer.fsnet.co.uk/Paragon2.jpg

"A retained Dynamic Hard Disk"
Read this;
"After you convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk, you cannot convert it
back without losing your data. So if you want to go back make sure to
back up your files first! You must first delete all dynamic volumes on
the disk and then convert the dynamic disk back to a basic disk."
http://www.onlinecomputertips.com/hardware/basic_dynamic.html


This looks a large hurdle!

Ed
 
E

Ed Cryer

Well now, I've found a program that objects to my hard drive. Paragon
Backup & Restore.
Look why it objects;
http://www.ecryer.fsnet.co.uk/Paragon1.jpg
http://www.ecryer.fsnet.co.uk/Paragon2.jpg

"A retained Dynamic Hard Disk"
Read this;
"After you convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk, you cannot convert it
back without losing your data. So if you want to go back make sure to
back up your files first! You must first delete all dynamic volumes on
the disk and then convert the dynamic disk back to a basic disk."
http://www.onlinecomputertips.com/hardware/basic_dynamic.html


This looks a large hurdle!

Ed
On the other hand not according to Aomei. I downloaded their program,
installed it, ran it, and went to this point;
http://tinyurl.com/6bk86hj
If I click yes that'll be it.

Does anybody have any experience of either this program or other
dynamic-to-basic disk converting?

Ed
 
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P

Paul

Ed said:
On the other hand not according to Aomei. I downloaded their program,
installed it, ran it, and went to this point;
http://tinyurl.com/6bk86hj
If I click yes that'll be it.

Does anybody have any experience of either this program or other
dynamic-to-basic disk converting?

Ed
The dynamic to basic is partially made possible by the fact that you're not using
multiple volumes to make the partitions. If you had "spanned" disks and two disks
to make that set of partitions, you might not be offered that option. Because
if a partition crossed over two disks, it makes it that much harder for a
Partition Manager to make a sensible transformation.

Your partitions are all on the same disk. It's possible all that needs ripping
up by the tool, is removing the metadata at the end, changing the four primary
partition entries from their "42" value. Maybe the partitions themselves don't
have to be moved.

In summary:

1) Backup that disk first.
2) Go ahead, click the button.
3) Continue on with deleting Win8, use Win7 repair. Since there is already
a System Reserved, and it probably has the Win7 BCD in it, there's a chance
the repair can work with it. All it might need, is setting the 0x80 boot
flag on the System Reserved.

Paul
 
R

RnR

It looks really alien territory; it looks like we've landed on the moon.
"This is life, Jim, but not as we know it". Or, to keep the Columbus
analogy, we've shipped into some Caribbean island where we can't sell
beads to the natives nor get them to acknowledge us as gods; we have to
find a survival strategy that incorporates their norms and cultural
procedures

Everything works, though; browsing, email, all system utilities I've
tried including a full Windows disk image, booting, closing down,
nothing new in Event Viewer. I can't find a single problem. I guess the
crucial test will be next Wednesday with Windows updates.

Something is bound to give way sooner or later. I have an uneasy feeling
that I ought to do a general restore right away, and use a backup dated
before I put Win8 in (I have one end of August).

Ed

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of windows updates. They ruined my
system at least on two occasions. If I allow updates, I never know in
the morning if I'll have a working system like when I went to bed.
IMO, with all the updates, windows is still insecure so I'd rather
rely on 3rd party software or on hardware firewalls or both (which is
what I do now). I sleep better now.
 
E

Ed Cryer

The dynamic to basic is partially made possible by the fact that you're
not using
multiple volumes to make the partitions. If you had "spanned" disks and
two disks
to make that set of partitions, you might not be offered that option.
Because
if a partition crossed over two disks, it makes it that much harder for a
Partition Manager to make a sensible transformation.

Your partitions are all on the same disk. It's possible all that needs
ripping
up by the tool, is removing the metadata at the end, changing the four
primary
partition entries from their "42" value. Maybe the partitions themselves
don't
have to be moved.

In summary:

1) Backup that disk first.
2) Go ahead, click the button.
3) Continue on with deleting Win8, use Win7 repair. Since there is already
a System Reserved, and it probably has the Win7 BCD in it, there's a chance
the repair can work with it. All it might need, is setting the 0x80 boot
flag on the System Reserved.

Paul
Thanks for that, Paul. I was growing more confident in it. I found
another alternative using TestDisk again;
http://tinyurl.com/2z5l8t
but I'll try the Aomei tomorrow when I have time.

Ed
 
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V

VanguardLH

KCB said:
Couldn't he just right-click "Acer" while in Disk Management, and select
'Mark Partition as Active'?
That's what I indicated but couldn't be sure since the snapshot of
diskmgmt.msc didn't show what would appear is the OP right-clicked on
the "Acer" partition (to see if "Mark as Active" were available).
One issue with that is I've seen many posts on
other forums that insist the System Reserved needs to be the active
partition for Win7, although on my computer Disk Management reports C: as
System, Boot, and Active. This is the drive current install of Win7.
With Windows 8 being a non-released version, and without personal
experience in putzing around with its boot manager and BCD (and seeing
what, if anything, happens to the BCD on the prior OS partition), it's
possible the Win8 install modified the BCD over in the Win7 partition.
I don't see why Microsoft would do that as the BIOS would load the
"active" partition which was the Win8 partition and load the boot
manager over there which wouldn't care what was in the Win7 partition.

This level of manipulating the partition tables and attributes for them
really screams the need for saving a disk image (or partition images
along with including the MBR) and making sure to create a bootable
rescue CD for the imaging program.

From Ed's next post in this subthread, it looks like dynamic (spanning)
is employed. One of the volumes is actually composed of 2, or more,
disks or partitions. I've never bothered with OS-driven dynamic volumes
and instead went to RAID (0 for spanning to add capacity or 5 for adding
capacity along with redundancy/recovery). Ed was thinking was doing the
conversion from dynamic to basic but that will destroy the contents of
every partition that was involved in creating the dynamic volume.

Unless someone comes along with more experience with dynamic volumes, at
this point it looks like Ed needs to save images of every partition (on
ALL disks since dynamic volumes can span across hard disks) and wipe,
flatten and rebuild anew. In fact, at this point, I think Ed should be
saving partition image backups as a safety net for following any advice
here that he'll regret (we're not perfect).
 

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