Dell's EISA partition
This my first post here, so please be gentle! :-)
I plan to upgrade to a bigger hard disk and just found out that there is a small partition, called EISA, on my old drive. I googled it and learnt that it's a utility partition that allows my PC to revert back to the original state in case a disaster strikes. I already ran a utility that removed the Dell System Restore functionality from my PC. My question is: Do I need to restore the EISA partition onto my new drive too? Anyone had problems upgrading their hard drives after removing this partition?
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Sometimes it is essential to transfer EISA partition to another hard drive in order to make it bootable. I would recommend you to transfer this partition. In case you don’t want to include this partition you may face MBR errors while booting. You can repair MBR using one of the following method.
You can do it using one of the following method.
Windows 2000/XP/2003 – boot from Installation Disc (CD) into Recovery Console and run "fixmbr" command.
If you experience problems using the above solution, then please download special Acronis utility from http://download.acronis.com/support/mbrautowrite_en.exe. Use it to create a floppy and boot the machine from the floppy.
If you prefer to a fix MBR using a CD, then please download special Acronis utility from http://download.acronis.com/support/mbrautowrite_en.iso. Use it to create a CD and boot the machine from the CD.
The MBR will be rewritten once you boot the computer from the created media and confirm that you want to fix the MBR.
Most of my computers have been Dells. I've restored thousands of images to the same and to new HDs and I've never had to use fixmbr or fixboot. I've used fdisk /mbr to zero a DiskID on occasions but that wasn't because there was anything wrong with MBR boot code. You won't have DiskID problems with what you are contemplating.
I just used this process on my Dell XPS Gen 5 system where I needed to replace my original 160GB drive with a 250GB drive. I created the the full backup of my C drive and then used that as the restore image. I could not figure out how to transfer the "utility" part so all I did was the C partition.
Everything went fine UNTIL I tried to boot off of my "new" drive. It would NOT! You get a message something to the effect of "Windows could not start because of a computer disk or configureation problem....." When I searched on this error is it caused by the boot.ini not being correct. There are several ways to fix the boot.ini including using the bootcfg utility off of the XP CD through the Recovery process.
Bottom line is that I spent hours thinking something was wrong with my image or new disk drive or BIOS or ???? until I figured it out. Once you fix the boot.ini file which isn't hard to do, then everything is fine and you don't need the Dell Utility Partition.
I also have a Dell and created an image of both partitions, (OS) (C) and EISA. Restored both partitions (Disk 1 checkbox) to a spare internal HD. Disk booted perfectly. No problems since. I would recommend including the EISA partition as others have suggested.