Here is the "odd" part -
I have HP Laptop that came with preinstalled Win 7. It actually had 4 primary partitions:
- 200 MB System partition that is not visible in Windows
- C: partition
- HP_Recovery partition of about 15 GB
- HP_Tools partition of about 5 GB
Notice the order, also noting this is (usually) S.O.P. for Recovery Partitions? Notice also how "resizing" boogers the whole "matrix"? Again, the "PARTITION" Sectors ar *not* what they seem, as some of the OEM's have a nasty habit of using *non-standard* code (and "extra" sectors) thta *would* cause XP Install to "see" an odd amount of "free space", that "space" not being "seen" from the perspective of the Partition Table (as seen in the MBR), but of the Partition Sectors.
Another example of "correct order of Partitions" -
A post in the thread mentioned above -
...and subsequent posts (HP morons follow moron Dell's fiasco...)
Seriously, the Recover Partition should "never" be at the Beginning Of The Physical Drive! I just recently gave back an HP with a USB3 failure (remember that thread? Win7 x64) with nearly the exact layout *except* that the "Tools" weren't on a separate partition. FWIW, I saved that MBR and did a *complete* backup of each and every partition *and* Partition sectors in case the guy finally got a new MoBo. *And* pulled a "stunt" to obtain the Restore DVD's. (I despise these oddball OEM methods.) (Side note: thie backups I did may/may not help at all for the OP. Yet to be seen - see below.) Basically, I did this (and then some) -
IOW, the "shrink and format" has (apparently) created a "mess", if you will ("W-Drive in Win7, but nada during Install"). Please remember (Goodells) that Dell does this same (similar) stupid stuff. ("Odd" alignments as well?) It *may* very well behoove the OP to use HDHAcker to obtain the Logical Drive starting sectors as well.
HDHacker is a stand-alone micro-utility that saves, visualizes, and restores the MBR (from a physical drive), the BootSector (from a logical drive) or any specified sector from any disk (even removable disks).
Therein lies my point. Something (potentially) is amiss beyond First 512-byte Sector.
BTW, not disputing the *need* for a snapshot of the MBR/PartitionTable Sector. Simply pointing out that something beyond that is amiss and that under *no circumstances* should any other action be taken other than what *you* indicate (being the more experienced).
@oldtiger64 - TAKE NOTE - I bow to jaclaz' expertise. Do what he says, just read my posts as FYI's *only*.
Edited by submix8c, Today, 08:54 AM.