System Recovery Partition Impeding Extending C Drive Partitions

So you’ve gotten a new hard drive and cloned your existing drive over? Or perhaps you’ve got a virtual machine running out of storage and you’ve added more virtual disk. Well now we encounter the “fun” problem of having the recovery partition at the end of the partition table for the disk. Simply if you don’t need it get rid of it right? Well yes, but you can’t just delete it from disk management.

Obviously you should create backup just in case and use your eyeballs to read what your partition list is (in case its different than mine) and not just blindly copy and paste these commands without understanding them.

Basically at a high level what we’re doing is listing the disk, selecting the disk, listing partitions, selecting the partition and deleting the partition.

Step 1: Start Disk Part

Launch command prompt as administrator. Then type disk part and hit enter. You should see something like this:

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.17763.1]
(c) 2018 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\WINDOWS\system32>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.17763.1

Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: DESKTOP-3PBGL38

Step 2: List and Select Your Disk

To view a list of disks on your machine enter the “list disk” command. Once you’ve done this you should see all your disks. Next we want to select the disk that your C drive is on, this is typically Disk 0. To select a disk (in this case disk 0) use the following command: “select disk 0”. Your cmd should look something like this now:

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          120 GB    40 GB



DISKPART> select disk 0

Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

Step 3: List and Select the Partition

Next we want to list partitions on your disk. you can do this by running the “list part” command. This returns a list, you should see one with the type “Recovery”. Take note of its partition ### and use it in the next command. In my case Recover is partition 3. To select it I enter “select part 3”. Your cmd should look like this:

DISKPART> list part

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Primary            500 MB  1024 KB
  Partition 2    Primary             78 GB   501 MB
  Partition 3    Recovery           844 MB    79 GB


DISKPART> select part 3

Partition 3 is now the selected partition.

Step 4: Delete Partition

Note this is not reversible. To delete the partition we simply use the “delete part” command, however since this is a protected partition it will give you an error about permissions. You can get around this using override “delete part override”. See example below:

DISKPART> delete part

Virtual Disk Service error:
Cannot delete a protected partition without the force protected parameter set.


DISKPART> delete part override

DiskPart successfully deleted the selected partition.

Step 5: Finished!

Now that this is done you should see in diskmgmt that the partition is now gone and you can extend your partition as planned originally.

Breathe New Life Into Your Old Laptop with a Solidstate (SSD) Drive

Greetings! I am usually posting stuff fairly in the weeds server side, but I thought I’d pause for a few and write up an article for all my average user friends out there. I often get asked for my recommendations when friends and family are looking to buy new computers. I frequently recommend getting a used (but not used up) enterprise grade Dell laptop because the damn things are bullet proof and easy to repair, and parts are cheap. Rarely it seems does anyone actually take me up on my advice, except my good buddy Josh who is still loving the crap out of his Dell. In any case the biggest reason friends and family are after new laptops is that their laptop feels slow. Usually at this point the computer is about 2-4 years old and the speed just isn’t what it used to be.

While there are multiple factors that contribute to slow (usually too many background process, spyware/malware/greyware/bloatware, etc) if you find your computer still running like crap even after a fresh install of Windows it may not be time to toss it aside just yet. If your machine has at least an i3, i5, or i7 (if you have no idea what I’m talking about look at the Intel sticker or right click “My Computer” and click properties) or the AMD equivalent you can do a few things to speed things up. If you do not have at least 4gb or RAM in your machine look into upgrading your RAM. This can be done easily, and the right RAM can be acquired off of http://newegg.com using their memory finder tool, or by going to Crucial’s site and using their scan tool.

Aside from RAM the biggest bottleneck in your computer is your slow magnetic drive. Most cheap laptops (under $1000) come with a 5400 RPM drive which is an absolute joke for performance. You can have the world’s most badass processor and if you have a 5400RPM drive you might as well have a crappy Celeron. As magetic drives grow older they start to perform poorly and often die around the 4 year mark. Before they get to this point they can get unusable (the beachball on Mac or the spinning wheel of non-deterministic time on Windows). If you’re in the market for a new computer you know what I’m talking about…where launching Google Chrome takes so long you go make a sandwich while you’re waiting. In any case a SolidState harddrive will solve all of these woes and breathe new life into your machine. I recently replaced my mother-in-law’s old magnetic disk with an SSD and the results were off the charts. With the old spinning disk drive it would literally take 3-4 minutes to boot and be usable. With the SSD the same load of Windows (I cloned the contents of the old drive) clocks in at about 7 seconds for boot time. The use case for this laptop is word processing, web browsing, and watching Netflix. Why spend $500 on a computer that’s moderately faster at best that you’ll be replacing in 2 more years for the same reason when a $120 drive will give you better results than a new sub $1000 laptop.

The major obstacle here I think is that taking apart a computer to replace a hard drive sounds daunting. It generally speaking isn’t (unless you have an all in one touchscreen computer or an Apple iMac). For the most part it’s as simple as removing a few screws, pulling out the drive, unscrewing the old drive from the mounting bracket (usually 4 screws), putting the new drive in the bracket, re-inserting the drive and closing it up. When it comes to getting all of your stuff back there’s a few options, the first is to backup all your files, music, pictures, etc to an external drive before replacing your hard drive, then booting the Windows installer disk and away you go. The second option is to go on Amazon and find a SATA to USB converter for about $10 and order this with your new drive. Then following my CloneZilla instructions (http://richsitblog.com/index.php/2015/05/01/drive-cloning-with-clonezilla/) you can clone the contents of your old drive to your new SSD before replacing the drive and you’re all set.

By the way as someone who owns multiple computers my go to computer is a 4 year old Dell E6220 with an i5, 8gb RAM, and an SSD runnign Fedora Linux. I would pit this up against any new $300-$500 computer and it would win. I literally paid $250 for this laptop, and picked up a docking station for $8 at a computer recycling store. When I was dual booting Windows and Linux on this prior to loading Fedora it kept up with my Surface Pro 3 just fine. Anyways enough of my rambling, I hope this inspires some of you to look into saving some cash, saving some waste, and getting the most out of what you have with less money. Stay tuned for more fun stuff!

 

Network Location Cannot Be Found (Joining AD Domain)

 

Problem: Network Location Cannot Be Found

When attempting to join the domain the following message appears:

network_domain_join_error1

When this occurs you cannot browse to the UNC path of the domain controller and cannot reach SYSVOL

Solution: Add Client For Microsoft Networks

Browse to control panel and click network and sharing center (or run ncpa.cpl)

Right click your network adapter and go to properties

Ensure that the Client for Microsoft Network is enabled and installed, if it is unchecked tick the checkbox, if it is not present choose install then select client and choose client for Microsoft networks.

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