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Here's a real poser...

Last response: in Windows 7
a b $ Windows 7
February 10, 2010 4:31:45 AM

I have an Acer Aspire 8730 laptop that had 64-bit Vista preinstalled. Just the other day, I finally got Windows 7 Home Premium installed and that's when the fun began. Everything was great, I got all drivers / software / updates installed and then I noticed something. This particular laptop shipped with 4 partitions: 1 Windows partition ( C: ), 1 DATA partition ( D: ) and two hidden partitions... one for eRecovery and one for booting into a stripped-down XP install to act as a media player. The problem is that somehow D: disappeared. Needless to say, I was scambling to find something that would recover my partition.

I settled on Acronis Disk Director. It revealed that my partition wasn't exactly gone... but it's type had been changed. Instead of 7h (NTFS), it was 12h (Compaq Setup). I thought ok, I'll just change it back. I did, and everything was fine... my data was all still there and everything went back to the way Acer intended. Now the problem is that when I reboot, the DATA partition reverts back to the Compaq Setup type and I have to go through the process of changing it back again. I need to know how to make the change permanent... as I don't want to have to do this every single time I reboot my computer. I even tried to delete the partition and recreate it using computer management, but the result is the same. I have done many searches trying to find an answer, but to no avail. The info I find refers to recovering lost partitions and data... but nothing about partitions spontaneously changing types. Is there anyone that can possibly lend a hand?

More about : real poser

February 10, 2010 12:13:47 PM

do you have any software running that could keep changing it back? this erecovery maybe?
a b $ Windows 7
February 10, 2010 2:48:59 PM

No, I can't even install eRecovery... but that is really of no concern to me. I might just back up the recovery partition and blow everything away except the two partitions I have in Windows. I'd really like to know how the partition keeps changing back (especially since everything looked good when I first installed Windows). I know that Acer has it's own bootloader that was likely overwritten when I installed Windows 7... but again, that's not really a concern for me. I'm just scratching my head over why this second partition suddenly changed from a normal NTFS partition to a Compaq Setup partition. It wouldn't surprise me if it were some sort of Acer software... I'll try uninstalling it tonight. The only software I could see having an effect is the Acer eData Security app.

Should have thought of that earlier... but it didn't occur to me until I started typing this out. If it works, great, if not, then I'll still be scratching my head.
Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
February 11, 2010 3:53:31 AM

Well that did absolutely nothing. Uninstall, reboot, partition gone. I'm open to any suggestions...
a b $ Windows 7
February 11, 2010 7:16:17 AM

use EFRC(E Using Free Registry Cleaner it's free DUH) and clean the registry, see if it help
February 11, 2010 10:21:55 AM

if that program was the culprit, it most likely changed it already again before you uninstalled it. tried again after the reboot?
a b $ Windows 7
February 11, 2010 10:34:24 AM

Possibly a silly question, but how many partitions do you now have? Did Windows 7 make the tiny additional partiton that it someitmes does?

I'm wondering if the Acer now thinks that your D: drive is the original recovery partition, and so keeps changing the type back.

Basically - do you still have the same 4 partitions as originally, and are they in the same order as before? (I gather that if you change the type of the recovery partition Acer automatically changes it back to 12h - something in the BIOS no doubt.)

Edit: A few things you might look at in this thread. One thing you might try is disabling D2D recovery in the BIOS.
a b $ Windows 7
February 11, 2010 1:34:53 PM

Thanks, ijack... I'll give that a try tonight. Yes, the partitions are all there... none of them were deleted or modified. I'll try restoring Acer's boot manager to see if that alleviates the problem. I knew I probably wouldn't be able to boot to the other 2 partitions anymore... and that didn't really bother me... but I wasn't expecting one of my main partitions to be modified.
a b $ Windows 7
February 11, 2010 11:35:18 PM

Well disabling D2D did nothing... the partition still reverts back to the other type upon reboot. The files they refer to in the thread you linked to don't exist on my recovery partition... so I'm not sure how to restore Acer's bootloader.
February 11, 2010 11:41:47 PM

did you only try with acronis or also with diskmgmt.msc? i do have acronis, but always use diskmgmt.msc to delete/create/redo partitions. (hit the windows start button and type diskmgmt.msc into the searchbox and hit enter). maybe acronis is at fault, who knows.

or as nothing else seems to work, how about a little workaround? resizing it might help. resize d: to a tiny size. then create a new partition for your stuff. and if you want, in diskmgmt.msc you can give the new partition the d:\ path if you remove it from old d:\ before. then you can forget about that partition problem as you only loose a couple MByte.

although i would first try assigning d:\ to another partition and look what happens before going through the process of resizing. maybe its already enough if you assign the d:\ path to another partition and give a new letter to that partition.
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 3:35:03 AM

I think I have found what the issue is... looking at Disk Management again shows that the Acer restore partition has been marked as the Recovery Partition... so I believe that Windows 7 has modified this partition and the Acer boot manager is changing my D: partition to act as the Acer recovery partition.

I've checked Disk Management before and for some reason that just did not occur to me. I didn't realize it until Santox directed me to check it again. Now, the question is can I move the Windows 7 recovery partition without pissing Windows off...
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 4:19:21 AM

Another update:

I tried to change the Acer partition back to Compaq Setup, but on reboot it reverts back... which tells me that Windows 7 is the likely culprit rather than the Acer bootloader.


The question is... how the hell do I get Windows 7 to leave the Acer partition alone... and at the same time leave my Data partition alone?
February 12, 2010 11:03:26 AM

you dont like the idea of resizing the problematic partitions to a minimum size and using the freed space for a new data partition? not a clean solution, but a quick one.
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 2:32:18 PM

I'm not totally opposed to the idea... I was just hoping to find a different one. I wanted to gain the Acer partition back and force Windows to use another partition for recovery. All I can say is... what a pain in the ass. I never noticed this on my desktop, but then I only had 2 partitions on there to begin with and none of them were OEM-type partitions. This has been a somewhat frustrating experience to say the least... I think I might just end up blowing everything away and installing Windows 7 fresh with only 2 partitions.
February 12, 2010 2:36:43 PM

if its somehow related to the bios as ijack suggested, the problem might still be there then. i would be already annoyed like hell ;) 
a b $ Windows 7
February 12, 2010 3:34:45 PM

I disabled the D2D recovery option and the result was the same... so I can't blame the BIOS at this point. Windows 7 decided all on it's own that it wanted my Acer OEM partition for it's recovery... I don't know if there's a way to force it to use another partition or even get rid of the recovery partition all together. I am annoyed for sure... maybe since I have a long weeked I'll completely blow everything away and reload... but the question is, does Vista actually have to be installed before I can use my Win 7 upgrade?
February 12, 2010 7:25:32 PM

i think i have seen a tutorial somewhere how to make a bootable install dvd from an upgrade disk. unfortunately i dont remember where nor the title. i would search this forum or start a new thread for that question. dont forget to make an image when you got all drivers and programs installed.
a b $ Windows 7
February 15, 2010 2:01:50 PM

Well it's done. Wiped all partitions and created 2. Windows 7 automatically created it's recovery partition at the beginning of the drive as expected (that is what happened to my Acer recovery partition). I'm not sure why the third partition kept reverting back to a Compaq Setup partition; the only thing I can think of is that Windows 7 knew there was a Compaq Setup partition and because it took control of the first partition... it decided that it should still keep one of my partitions as a Compaq Setup.

Oh well. I backed up all the files on both Acer partitions and blew everything away. Now I have a D: partition that stays the way it's supposed to and everything else works the way it should.
February 15, 2010 3:15:00 PM

did you create a bootable win7 dvd from your win7 upgrade?
a b $ Windows 7
February 16, 2010 5:21:56 AM

Didn't need to... at least not yet. I'll be using my second partition for backup, plus a folder on my desktop computer and my desktop is connected to an external USB hard drive. I should create an image though... and a means to restore it.
February 16, 2010 11:47:25 AM

acronis does images pretty well. i just asked cause you wanted to skip installing vista first.
a b $ Windows 7
February 16, 2010 1:15:52 PM

Yeah, I did manage to avoid installing Vista... booted from my Windows 7 upgrade DVD, removed the remaining partitions and recreated two partitions. Formatted both partitions and installed Win 7 on the first... there were no issues installing it clean or activating it afterward.
February 16, 2010 1:18:21 PM

ah, yours is bootable for a clean install already. might have been a student version that wasnt.
September 26, 2012 1:25:20 AM

Zoron said:
I'm not totally opposed to the idea... I was just hoping to find a different one. I wanted to gain the Acer partition back and force Windows to use another partition for recovery. All I can say is... what a pain in the ass. I never noticed this on my desktop, but then I only had 2 partitions on there to begin with and none of them were OEM-type partitions. This has been a somewhat frustrating experience to say the least... I think I might just end up blowing everything away and installing Windows 7 fresh with only 2 partitions.

OK, been reading most of this thread. One problem I see is the 4 partition limit. As typical on an acer laptop, the laptop comes with several partitions set up from the factory, all of them primary. You can only have 4 primary partitions on a hard drive. Consequently, if you want to install linux or another operating often involves deleting all partitions and starting over.
Windows 7 install wants to create at least 2 primary partitions, although it might use an existing partition as one of the primary partitions.

To me, it looks like you were maxed out on primary partitions and tried to create some more. Some software or firmware is trying to correct that mistake for you.

If it was my laptop, I'd probably delete all partitions (all) and then start a fresh install of Windows 7. The odds of you needing the recovery partitions are slim and none (are you going to want to restore an old operating system?).