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I am using a dual boot Ubuntu/win7 machine. My win 7recovery partition is around 20GB, since I have created recovery disks I am assuming I no longer need it my windows partition is only small I was thinking to delete the recovery and add an extra 20GB to my Win. Is my thinking sensible there?. The recovery partition shows as the 1st partition on my hard disc. I'm a bit concerned that by moving the starting position of my Win partition to the start of the hard disc I will make win 7 'lost' and unable to boot. I am fairly new to ubuntu and haven't used a dual boot machine before. I know I use GRUB 2 to boot either windows or ubuntu but I can't remember if I 'loose' the win7 partition and use the recovery disks wether MBR will then overwrite grub. I'm basically concerned it could become very messy and just looking for some advice as the best way to go about it. Any ideas, in n00b language?

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2 Answers 2

I removed the Recovery Partition from my Dual Boot laptop, but I haven't tried to use the recovery disks yet, so I don't know what they do in terms of MBR and existing partitions. However I can say that deleting the partition hasn't affected my Windows or Ubuntu install.

I recommend using a tool like http://redobackup.org/

to make a full, "bare-metal" backup of your disks partitions. Then you shouldn't have to mess with Windows recovery disks. You can also use Redo to run Gparted and delete/resize partitions.

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Was your Recovery the 1st partition on your hard drive? This is my main concern. If the recovery was after the win7 partition resizing it would have little effect, since the start of the partition doesn't move but coming before the win7 partition means the start of the win7 partition will be moved. I have read that is when you start to have problems with GRUB as it can't locate the start of the new partition. –  Si Peertrowski Dec 3 '12 at 20:42
    
I can't recall where the partition was. It is an HP which I believe have the same partition scheme. I had to remove my recovery partition before even installing Ubuntu. It does sound like moving the start of a partition is more risky, but it does look like boot repair is the way to go. FWIW my current scheme is sda1 ntfs SYSTEM 199 MB, sda2 ntfs windows 100GB, sda3 extended, sda6 ext4 ubuntu 450GB, sda7 linux swap, sda5 linux swap –  Colin Matheson Dec 5 '12 at 14:18

The ability to boot up an OS depends on the bootloader knowing the start position on the disk on the partition, so moving your Windows partition (or any other with an OS on it) will require you to repair your bootloader.

You'll need to repair both the Windows bootloader and Grub. You may see an entry for Window s in your Grub menu, but it's simply forwarding to the Windows loader. The act of repairing the Windows loader will however overwrite Grub so you'll need to repair that afterwards.

Before trying any of this, there is one important thing you must do:

Backup your data

Messing about with bootloaders isn't the worst thing you can do to your computer, but if anything goes wrong it can sometimes be difficult to get back to your files, so don't take any chances.

  1. Repair your Windows bootloader, using the installation disk and following this guide.
  2. Repair Grub following this guide.

Hope that helps.

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