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
This situation is made even more frustrating when we head over to Symantec's Partition Magic Support page.
Partition Magic 8: None Existent/Bad Disk
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:
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.
Acer's partitions are visible and workable
When we clicked on the Checkered Flag to start the conversion process we were greeted with:
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 hard drive extension process
We purchased the DDS 10.0 utility. It is worth the money by far.
Acer system partition
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.
We see the red indicating that the OS partition on this particular Acer laptop hard drive is "Invalid".
D: Partition 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:
So, it looks like it is going to take three separate steps:
Acronis Disk Director: Resize Partition
- Use one of the utilities that can read the available partitions
- Delete the trailing FAT32 partition and hope it takes
- Verify in the local machine's Disk Manager & delete if still there
- Run Paragon or Acronis to see which one can continue on from there.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
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