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Old 01-19-2010, 08:51 AM   #1
Robert Carnegie
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Best way/tool to resize Windows XP installed on a Vista partition (no Vista)?

Hi, what's the best tool or method to resize an NTFS partition containing Windows XP Home but with some evidence of being installed using Windows Vista?

(Possible answer: Windows 7...)

I bought a Fizzbook Spin, UK version of Intel Classmate PC with touchscreen. Disk is about 55 GB; I want to resize system partition C to about 17 gigabytes and then maintain it using something like partimage on live CD/DVD/USB for complete backup of volume: 15 gigabytes roughly compresses to one DVD, 2 gigabytes for hibernation memory storage which I won't back up (and can't move off C), pagefile on the next volume (probably 4000 MB on FAT32, an affordable commitment of disk space to buy not worrying about the page file size). Plus, I will be able to store the backup of volume C on volume D.

The machine can boot Linux (Knoppix 6.2) from external DVD drive, from a USB flash memory key, and from SD[?HC] card. I don't have a separate Windows install CD or recovery partition, but there's an Intel tool to generate a recovery, um, stick.

There's evidence that XP's partition was created by Vista, as follows: 1 MB unused before the system partition; an error message about "correcting errors in the uppercase file" which apparently means "Vista did something on this disk that XP thinks is wrong, but this is not serious" - and several attempts to resize the volume with GParted have left Windows unbootable, blue-screening for a split-second and then rebooting. Apparently that's a Vista experience, and it would've been really bad if I hadn't taken a backup already.

I'm pretty sure that in at least one attempt, I remembered and successfully turned OFF the default-on "Round to cylinder" option in GParted... or is that WRONG?

Standard Vista/Parted/resize advice (before 2010) such as seems to be "Use GParted, then use the Windows Vista installation CD to make your ruined hard disk partition properly bootable again." Since I don't have a Vista installation CD to use or legally borrow for this computer - unless I buy Vista or Windows 7 (which I'm considering anyway, for speech recognition) - I appear to be stuck.

Am I stuck?

I do have more than one other XP computer, in case I can use something from there to exorcise the Vista-ness. But I want to keep the extra software (and device drivers) supplied with this little computer.
Old 01-21-2010, 01:31 AM   #2
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You could try Hiren's BootCD. It comes with a lot of utilities, like partition managers and some to fix the MBR, so give it a try. When I'm having trouble with a disk/partition/MBR that's purely Windoze I always use that utility CD.

Kind regards,

Old 01-21-2010, 01:49 AM   #3
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Acronis Disk Director Suite in Hiren's BootCD.
Old 01-21-2010, 05:41 AM   #4
Robert Carnegie
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Thanks for suggestions, but (1) that appears to be a bootleg collection (? - Wikipedia says so) and (2) Acronis Disk Director is reported to handle Vista system partitions poorly.
[ ]
Maybe they fixed that, but then I'd expect the version number to go up +1.0 - and anyway, see point 1.

There is a free demo from Acronis, but I wonder what it doesn't do? Full price is $49.9x, I think. Is it worth that to get my partitioning done - if it works?

As for the actual problem, I wonder if I've got Vista's boot program at partition table level instead of XP's - also in that 1 MB reserved space. Apparently, the Vista way of doing things is to store information about partition and boot file size and location in various places, and, I'm half remembering and half guessing (and what I remember reading may be someone else's guesswork), if some of the stored values don't match one another or match the reality on disk, the toys are thrown out of the pram.

Instructions at probably will let me see the Windows blue screen when it crashes, instead of rebooting at once. Something to try in due course. And I haven't tried the "make an Intel recovery stick" tool yet, either. But according to here
"Key features of Intel(R) Education Administrator are:**
System backup and recovery by USB device
System backup and recovery in LAN/WLAN
Patch and application update in LAN/WLAN
Simple and easy-to-use portal design for kids
**Only some functions are available in this Intel(R) Education Administrator USB Recovery version."

So principally it's just a backup tool, and I have that covered... unless it lets me back up, and then restore to a smaller partition at restore time with all settings correctly set. It does not look like it. It looks set up to copy the entire hard disk surface, or maybe justlpartition 1, to USB stick (or disk?) as a compressed file - by default on a FAT32 partition up to 32 GB. (XP has an artificial restriction on creating new FAT32 partitions larger than 32 GB.)

Which for non-expert use is a pretty good idea. Keep it simple. But I'd prefer to have separate OS and data partitions, and separate backups of each.

So no help there either!


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