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Dell Recovery Partition can not be deleted

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I have a Dell Inspiron 1318 (laptop) that had Vista installed.  I removed Vista and installed XP Pro SP3 (and all updates) and all drivers.  This is a SATA drive in ATA mode for XP, it was ACHI under Vista.  All shows fine under XP disk manager and ADD. 

The problem:

The system has a small 10Gb partition that had all the Vista recovery junk. 

I formatted that as well as the primary partition during the XP install.  I can not get ADD to merge this small partition with the main 200Gb partition. 

I have tried deleting the small partition and merging (and every other permutation or combination), and all I get is a message to reboot to complete the merge.  The system does a lot of checking, snorting, and other misc. file work during the boot, and tells me all is good at the end.  But the small partition remains unchanged.

I curently have it set as the swap file dumping ground while I wait to see if there are any suggestions.

Thanks in advance. 

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Merging is not the correct operation. You want to delete the undesired partition, then resize the desired partition larger. The best way to do this is manually; one step at a time.

Whenever you do an operation that will affect the OS partition, DD needs to shut down Windows and reboot into its Linux recovery environment to complete the operation. If nothing happens then it is an indication that the Linux recovery environment does not properly support your hardware. Unfortunately, there is no communication between the two environments so the only indication available to you is that nothing happened.

The better way to do this is to shut down Windows and reboot your PC with the DD recovery CD. You can make one with the Bootable Media Builder application on the Tools menu. I think that if you do this you will probably find out that when booted into the recovery environment, DD cannot see your hard disk because it lacks the proper Linux drivers.

Two simple ways out -- one; try booting into "Safe" mode. Safe mode uses a DOS recovery environment and should support any device that is seen by your BIOS. Two; download the latest version of the Linux recovery environment and make a recovery CD from it. You can find this by logging into your account on the Acronis web site and going to the "Your Registered Products" section. Click on Disk Director 10 and look for the bootable ISO image file.

Hope this helps...

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I'm REALLY impressed. I'm new to DD and just happened to be cruising the forum and read this thread.

The question was well-formed and complete but it was the response that blew me away. Complete, clear, and NOT condescending. I don't have the problem, most likely will never have the problem since, for me. Vista is just one step up from black death. (We had a computer with Windows ME one time.)

But, I learned something from the answer.

Thanks... Bob

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Vista got an undeserved bad reputation; it's a lot better than what you have probably read or heard. I've been running it since its release and it is a much better operating system than Windows XP. It had a rocky start but I wouldn't hesistate to recommend it now. Having recently switched to Windows 7, there have been some improvements over Vista and a couple of steps backwards too. For example, in Win7 they crippled Previous Versions of Files and Superfetch due to unwarranted complaining about how these features were implemented in Vista.

Thanks for the compliment, but we're just a bunch of volunteers who, like you, are trying to learn more about how our computers work.

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Thank you for the answer.  I'll give it a shot soon and let all know how it worked.

I have have been a network admin from way back.  I got Microsoft certifications under NT4 and am an A+ tech.  I have to say Vista did get a few things right, but more are not.  I finally gave up trying to get Vista stable on this system, I put on SP2, tons of tweaks, but it still would crash much more frequently than XP.  It took almost twice as long to boot as XP.  It used resources at a prodigious rate.  All this I could work around.

I finally removed it due to software incompatibility.  I have many software packages that are not stable with Vista (even the Vista versions), but once Vista refused to search that spelled it's demise with me.

So bottom line Vista has some noce new features, but more things are still wrong than not.  Skip it and wait to see if W7 finally gets things right.  As always with anything Microsoft, wait until SP1 comes out before committing, unless you want to submit a lot of bug reports.

Thanks again for the reply.