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2:50pm on Wednesday, 24th August, 2016:

More Space


After criticising my daughter for having no free space on her laptop, I checked to see how much space I had left on mine. There was enough to get by, but I knew I had a huge Linux partition I didn't really make much use of so I decided to delete it and hand the space over to Windows 10.

First, I backed up all my files. I've been in this hell before.

Deleting the Linux partition was easy enough. However, I couldn't extend my C: drive to cover it because this was originally a Windows 7 PC and it had a recovery partition between them. Windows 10 doesn't let you delete recovery partitions, but HA, diskpart.exe does so I smashed it with that. This allowed me to extend my C: drive to use the former recovery partition space, but I couldn't extend it to reclaim the Linux space as I got some error message about there not being enough space free to do so.

Losing my patience at this point, I downloaded a free tool, pwfree, to partition it for me. I cranked it up, made the changes I wanted, then applied them.

Pwfree couldn't complete the changes as my C: drive was in use, so it needed a PC reboot. I let it do it.

That's when I discovered that the dual booting software I use was installed on the Linux partition I'd just deleted.

I got out my laptop and did some searching.

It turns out that the way to fix a master boot record issue is to put in the installation disc and tell it to do a system recovery. Of course, I didn't have a Windows 10 disc as it was installed from a download. I did, however, have a Windows 7 one, so I used that.

It turned out it was a Windows XP one. To do a proper recover, it just wanted me to input the administrator password. I don't know what the administrator password is, and it didn't like any of the ones I dacrificed to it instead. I did manage to get to a console, though, where I was able to fix the master boot record. The effect of this was to change the error message from the one the loader was giving me to one telling me I didn't have a boot managed.

I gave up. I downloaded a Windows 10 media tool on my laptop and set about creating a bootable USB.

You know how USB sticks jut out a little from the side of a laptop? It turns out that if you move your keyboard you can catch one and knock your laptop to the floor. I can attest to this. It took me 15 minutes with a pair of pliers and a sharp knife to bend the metal frame back so it wasn't permanently pressing on the built-in left mouse button on the laptop keyboard.

Restarting the download, which was going to take ages, I put away the Windows XP CD and in so doing came across the Windows 7 one. I managed to boot from this and it launched Windows 10. Well, it would have done, but pwfree still wanted to finish its partition work from earlier so it took over and did just that (at a very pedestrian pace, as if it didn't like having been kept waiting). It did another reboot, which seems to have worked. I am now able to type this.

I'm currently doing a disc scan, because when I tried to create a USB recovery stick it said it couldn't do it (no reason, just it couldn't). I do, however, appear to have all my hard drive back at my disposal. Woohoo!

Now to go do the same thing to my daughter's PC, so she has more room for all the viruses that live on it.

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Copyright © 2016 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).