Saturday, 6 October 2007

Acer 6592G - Partition Magic 105, 106, 116 Errors

When we receive Acer laptops, we run through the Acer setup routines which take some time before doing anything else to the laptop.

The second order of business is eliminating the second "Data" partition that all Acers seem to come with. Lately, the system partition has been formatted NTFS, so we no longer need to convert from FAT32 and run an extensive defrag.

However, the first TravelMate 6592G that we received refused to be read by Partition Magic when the Acer's drive was slaved up to our data mule system.

When Partition Magic is first fired up, it sends out a bunch of the following errors against the Acer drive:

  • 105 Partition starts on wrong boundary
  • 110 Partition table number of sectors is inconsistent
  • 116 Partition table Begin and Start inconsistent
Whether we choose to repair the issues (it does not interfere with the ability to boot the OS when back in the laptop), or leave the issues alone, we end up with the following:

Partition Magic 8: None Existent/Bad Disk

This situation is made even more frustrating when we head over to Symantec's Partition Magic Support page.

Once we find the relevant error and click through to its "solution" we see:

Essentially, it is not relevant at all.

So, where does that leave us? In search of a different partitioning utility. Keep in mind that we are dealing with an XP OS based NTFS partition on an Acer laptop setup.

After a bit of a search, we came up with what we believe to be the best possible alternative: Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0 (DDS).

After a download, install, and reboot, we were greeted with the following after DDS fired up:

Acer's partitions are visible and workable

Interestingly enough, there were no errors against the Acer hard drive when DDS started up. So, we used DDS to delete the "Data" partition as shown, then to extend the system partition.

When we clicked on the Checkered Flag to start the conversion process we were greeted with:

Acer hard drive extension process

The process finished with no errors. When we went back to the DDS console we saw that we now had one large system partition:

Acer system partition

We purchased the DDS 10.0 utility. It is worth the money by far.

To us, this is another nail in the Symantec coffin. We will no longer be purchasing newer versions of Partition Magic. This is unfortunate, as we have been using PM long before Symantec ever got their hands on the product. It was a great product.

UPDATE 2007-10-09: It seems that Acronis Disk Director will not convert FAT32 to NTFS as I had originally thought it could. The first partitions we worked on were already NTFS so it wasn't discovered until tonight when we were working on some Acers with two FAT32 partitions.

On to the next one. We will try the Paragon product suggested by Chris Knight.

My apologies for the mistake!

UPDATE 2007-10-22: Well, it looks like Paragon can't do it either. :(

We can delete the trailing FAT32 partition, but when we go to expand the NTFS OS partition, we cannot access it.

D: Partition is Invalid

We see the red indicating that the OS partition on this particular Acer laptop hard drive is "Invalid".

We can't seem to Merge or Redistribute Free Space in the Paragon Hard Disk Manager 8.5 GUI.

It makes us wonder just what the chicken Acer is doing with their hard drive images.

After opening the CompMgmt.msc on the Mule system with elevated priviledges, we were able to delete the FAT32 partition that was seemingly there after the Paragon software deleted it.

On to Acronis, and guess what? We can extend the partition:

Acronis Disk Director: Resize Partition

So, it looks like it is going to take three separate steps:
  1. Use one of the utilities that can read the available partitions
  2. Delete the trailing FAT32 partition and hope it takes
  3. Verify in the local machine's Disk Manager & delete if still there
  4. Run Paragon or Acronis to see which one can continue on from there.
What a pain.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


Chris Knight said...

I ditched Partition Magic years ago in favour of Paragon Hard Disk Manager, for reasons very similar to yours.

The really cool feature I like is the ability to perform partition resizing without rebooting.

I'll have to check out DDS and give it a spin.

Anonymous said...

Chris Knight correct again!!

I purchased the same Paragon HD manager after looking, testing and more looking/testing for a replacement product to my old versions of Norton Ghost and Partition Magic.

Although I have version 6 of Paragon HDM, it works wonderfully.

It also takes single/multiple file images of your hard drive, but for that purpose I rely on Acronis True Image.

Beta tester of "0"s and "1"s

Anonymous said...

Hi i ust wanna ask, what bios version are you running, on do you have a copy of bios version number 1.32 , 1.32.01 or 1.32.02.

If you do please let me know as i need it badly.

thanks very much