Windows 8 x64, GPT/UEFI and Par titioning

  Ptolemy 05:19 24 Apr 2013

Hi all

My wife got a new Dell XPS laptop from her employer. A very impressive bit of kit with Windows 8, 64 bit, masses of RAM and many, many processor cores (dreadful touchpad though ). And 1TB HDD.

She asked me to set up it the same way as her existing Windows 7 laptop, so a fun few hours discovering how the charms bar works (before giving up on that and going for Start8) and installing various bits. I then decided to partition the huge drive so the OS and program files are on one partition which can be imaged and restored with Acronis as required while all the jpgs mp3s docxs etc remain safe on the second partition (every computer in our home is set up this way and I've found it to be the best method).

I shrank the partition as much as possible and ended up with 400 GB before immovable files put a stop to that - needlessly large I thought so I installed EASEUS partition manager which I have used with W7 without problem (can you see my obvious mistake yet?) and set it for a 200 GB partition, started it going and popped back five minutes later expecting to find everything as desired. Instead the laptop no longer believed it had a HDD. Several days of frustration and blame from my wife and trying every fix on the net - and finding a lot of people who had done the exact same thing (although probably without so much blame) - and a talk with Dell resulted in the conclusion of a failed HDD and a replacement drive fitted. The current situation is that the machine is pretty much as wanted except the partition sizes aren't as required and no Acronis image has been made.

So, the questions this experience raises are:

  1. Did the drive fail or did EASEUS break it? (If it was just waiting to fail my opinion is that it's good to find out so early on and not when it was full of data that hadn't been backed up).

  2. Which partition managers (and which versions) are safe to use with the combination of Windows 8 and UEFI that Dell have produced? I'm somewhat nervous of just experimenting on this point.

  3. Is Acronis (version?) safe to use with Windows 8 and UEFI.

Thanks for your time.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:53 24 Apr 2013

3 Acronis compatibility see here

1 Bet the drive is Ok

Bootable media from previous versions of Windows may not be recognized in Windows 8. You can change the Boot Mode setting from UEFI to Legacy BIOS, and it should recognize the bootable device.

Use the following steps to change the Boot Mode:

Completely shut down your computer. Power on the system. As soon as the first logo screen appears, immediately press F2 to enter the BIOS. Use the right arrow key to select Boot. With Boot Mode highlighted, press Enter, and then use the down arrow to Press Enter. Press F10, and select Yes to save the change and exit the BIOS.

  Ptolemy 13:09 24 Apr 2013

Fruit Bat

.1. I thought so, especially as I ran chkdsk from recovery, but Dell replacing the drive was the only solution I could find that produced a working machine - nothing else would make the HDD "exist" for the boot process.

.3. Thanks for the info. I had seen that before, but have become rather paranoid about this new machine so I'm checking everything.

.2. Anyone?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:25 24 Apr 2013

2 You can shrink / expand the partitions in W8 diskmanagement

  Ptolemy 01:25 25 Apr 2013

I shrank the partition as much as possible but was informed there were immovable files and couldn't go below 400 GB. Which is pretty large and makes the image and restore process needlessly long while empty disc space is copied.

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