Computers & Electronics

Small Partition on Disk 0 Gone After Cloning

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[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3678 posts
987 upvotes

Small Partition on Disk 0 Gone After Cloning

So, over the years, I have used Win 7 to initiate and format harddrives in this PC. I am pretty sure there was a small (100 MB maybe) partition on Disk 0 on the old drive. I cloned this disk to an SSD and now there is no more small partition. What was that small partition used for and is it bad that I no longer have this?
10 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 27, 2004
13844 posts
3005 upvotes
Vancouver.bc.ca
That partition gets created if you install Windows 7 on a drive that doesn't have any partitions created (ie brand spanking new HDD). I believe it has boot files and other critical systems files on it, and the separate partition is to prevent those files from getting messed up.

If you don't have that hidden 100MB partition, then all those files are located on C:\Windows. Is it bad that you don't have it? Depends on how prone you are in getting infected with malware. Personally, I prefer not to have it, making it easier to backup and restore a Windows install image.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
28394 posts
13963 upvotes
I force Windows to not create it by creating a partition before I let the installer get in.
But if you cloned an existing drive with it and you're missing it, you cloned it incorrectly.
Redo it and make sure you select it.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3678 posts
987 upvotes
So what is the issue at hand. It's not there, Windows 7 runs fine. The cloning software (Acronis WD) must have put these in the current C-Drive. What is the downside to this?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
28394 posts
13963 upvotes
Weird... I always thought that Windows wouldn't boot if you removed that first partition.
I may have to test it next time I do some imaging and forget to force Windows onto one partition.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3678 posts
987 upvotes
I chose automatic when running Acronis WD and it may have cloned those files over to the SSD's. I don't see any files in the root directory. Is there a trick to see where these boot files are located? Acronis WD even aligned Windows for me during cloning. I checked and Win 7 on the HDD was not aligned. After cloning, the SSD and all other HDD's were aligned to a factor of 4096.

Anyone else know what happened here?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3678 posts
987 upvotes
Thanks Warlock. I actually read that article. It sounded scared that you should just keep it since Windows created it. It never explained why you shouldn't delete it, it just said you shouldn't. I have also read other articles that showed users can force Windows not to create this partition during install with no detrimental effects. My question is, what is the downside to NOT having this partition. I don't see any and in fact, I see benefits. But that is only me, hence, my question here.
Deal Addict
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Jul 27, 2009
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If you use Windows Bitlocker you might need it or other wise there's no need for it. If you are really concern that something might go wrong with your OS. Create an image clone of your OS and store it on the HDD.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 25, 2006
3678 posts
987 upvotes
LEXX911 wrote: If you use Windows Bitlocker you might need it or other wise there's no need for it. If you are really concern that something might go wrong with your OS. Create an image clone of your OS and store it on the HDD.
At this point, nothing I have read leads me to believe something may go wrong. I do see that BitLocker is needed but I have never used this and don't plan to use it anytime soon. Thanks for your comment. There has been a lot of mis-information on this little partition. Some even say it is absolutely needed for Windows to work. It's just not the case and I was looking for more info.

Glad this darn SSD is chugging along happily & quick I might add. Thanks all.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 27, 2004
13844 posts
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Vancouver.bc.ca
Have you tried booting when ONLY the SSD is connected? Maybe it is still booting using the partition on the HDD, and then running Windows off the SSD.

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