Partition Mystery

Windjamer

Jim
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Joined
Dec 2, 2018
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36
I have a 1 TB hard drive installed on my computer which I back-up every two weeks on an external 1 TB hard drive using Macrium Reflect through a USB port. Normally, before I use Reflect, I go to Disk Management to delete the existing previous clone on the back-up hard drive to create a fresh partition to clone too. I also use AOMEI Partition Assistant to delete the Recovery Partition which Disk Management won't do. With the fresh hard drive partition I then use Reflect to clone the exterior back-up drive. Usually when doing this procedure all three applications (Disk Management, AOMEI, and Reflect) showed two partitions - Windows 10 Professional and the Recovery Partition. Lately, things have gotten a little confusing - Disk Management shows: Windows 10 Professional, Recovery Partition & 3 MB Unallocated Space - AOMEI shows: Widows 10 Professional, Recovery Partition, and 3 separate partitions of unallocated space (1 MB, 664.50 KB, 1.71 MB), Reflect shows the standard Windows 10 Professional and NTFS Primary Partition which (when I begin the cloning it tells me the geography is different on the drive and recommends using the original drive configuration which I do). I guess my question is how did these unallocated partitions get there and can I merge the unallocated partitions with the Windows 10 partition or just leave it as is? would merging them cause a problem?

Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.9
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit, Build 19041, Installed 20200709212751.000000-420
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-6100 CPU @ 3.70GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 94 Stepping 3, CPU Count: 4
Total Physical RAM: 16 GB
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon(TM) R5 340X
Hard Drives: C: 931 GB (766 GB Free);
Motherboard: Dell Inc. 0T7D40, ver A01, s/n /1JRXKB2/CN7220066401KR/
System: Dell Inc., ver DELL - 1072009, s/n 1JRXKB2
Antivirus: Norton Security, Enabled and Updated
 

Oddba11

Jim
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
8,177
Open the disk in Windows Disk Manager and delete all of the partitions.
 

Windjamer

Jim
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Dec 2, 2018
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36
Disk Management shows 3MB of Unallocated Space which it will not allow me to delete. I certainly do not want to delete (which Disk Management won't allow anyway) the Windows 10 or recovery partitions.
 

Oddba11

Jim
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May 12, 2011
Messages
8,177
To be clear, I thought you were referring to the backup drive.

And no, you can't delete unallocated space as it hasn't been partitioned for use. You would need to expand one of the other partitions to use that space. How it was created of why it only started showing up now, I can't say. And don't make partition changes on the primary drive without ensuring you have a backup of the drive first.
 

Windjamer

Jim
Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
36
To be clear, I thought you were referring to the backup drive.

And no, you can't delete unallocated space as it hasn't been partitioned for use. You would need to expand one of the other partitions to use that space. How it was created of why it only started showing up now, I can't say. And don't make partition changes on the primary drive without ensuring you have a backup of the drive first.
Thanks for the guidance. Just wondering - any reason the three applications read the internal hard drive differently?
 

crjdriver

Moderator
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Jan 2, 2001
Messages
41,775
Why are you making a clone of your hard drive? A much better method of making a backup is to make an image of the system drive. You can store multiple images on a backup drive ie clean install, weekly backup, whatever. It takes all of 5~10 min to restore an image if you have a drive failure, ransom ware attack, etc.
 

Windjamer

Jim
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Dec 2, 2018
Messages
36
Why are you making a clone of your hard drive? A much better method of making a backup is to make an image of the system drive. You can store multiple images on a backup drive ie clean install, weekly backup, whatever. It takes all of 5~10 min to restore an image if you have a drive failure, ransom ware attack, etc.
I was under the impression that cloning is imaging. Reflect takes snapshots of the drive and copies it to the external drive. Is their a better program I can use?
 

crjdriver

Moderator
Joined
Jan 2, 2001
Messages
41,775
Cloning and imaging are two different things. A clone is just that; an exact copy of what was on the source drive. An image is a single, compressed file containing most [however not all] things on the source drive. Some things are omitted ie page file, hiberfil.sys, etc. These things are recreated when windows first boots after restoring an image.
In addition, making an image will allow you to select the level of compression for the image. As an example, if your system drive is 1Tb with 500gig used, the image file can be something like 200gig. This allows you to have multiple images on a backup drive.

I use and recommend acronis true image for all imaging, cloning, etc. IF one of your drives is a WD, you can download the free [proprietary] version of acronis from WD.

I have not used macrium in a long time however I am pretty sure it will make an image as well as making a clone.
 

Windjamer

Jim
Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
36
Cloning and imaging are two different things. A clone is just that; an exact copy of what was on the source drive. An image is a single, compressed file containing most [however not all] things on the source drive. Some things are omitted ie page file, hiberfil.sys, etc. These things are recreated when windows first boots after restoring an image.
In addition, making an image will allow you to select the level of compression for the image. As an example, if your system drive is 1Tb with 500gig used, the image file can be something like 200gig. This allows you to have multiple images on a backup drive.

I use and recommend acronis true image for all imaging, cloning, etc. IF one of your drives is a WD, you can download the free [proprietary] version of acronis from WD.

I have not used macrium in a long time however I am pretty sure it will make an image as well as making a clone.
Thanks so much for the information - I thought I was imaging all this time. And yes (after I investigated), Macrium can be set to image. I will, however, check out Acronis to see which works better. My primary drive is a WD.
Thanks Again
 

crjdriver

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Jan 2, 2001
Messages
41,775
FWIW I used acronis 2020 and went right back to the 2016 ver. As I recall, there were a number of issues with the newest acronis build. Just did a quick check and it looks like WD is still hosting the 2016 ver.

Sometimes a company cannot resist "Fixing" something that worked fine......
 

Windjamer

Jim
Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
36
I'll make sure I get the 2016 version - I've been through the "improve to sell" crap with other software like ccleaner. I do believe in the saying "If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix IT"
 

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