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My laptop can boot, but it can't reboot. Any time something restarts the laptop (e.g. to apply Windows updates, or Start Menu->Restart, etc), the computer sits at a black screen with the message "Invalid partition" displayed in console text. When this happens, I power off the computer, then power it back on, and it boots up fine.

OK, now the history behind this:

This laptop is a new Dell. The day I got it, I used gparted to reclaim 30 GB of disk space that had been allocated to a "recovery partition" in the middle of the laptop's primary drive. (I have DVDs for recovery and I didn't want to waste 30 GB of SSD space on recovery data.)

So I used gparted to delete the recovery partition and resize the primary Windows partition to use up the new free space. As expected when resizing a boot partition, the computer would no longer boot. I used Windows Recovery Console to fix the boot process:

BOOTCFG /rebuild

This worked fine and the computer boots up fine. But, as mentioned earlier, the laptop still can't reboot. Any idea on how to fix this without completely reformatting the disk and reinstalling Windows from scratch?

It's Windows 7.

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Is your drive C: still mark as active and only primary drive. Check it through the disk management. – avirk Apr 1 '12 at 3:57
Sometimes performing a "startup repair" will fix this issue, sometimes you have to do 3 repairs in a row before it boots – Moab Apr 1 '12 at 4:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I assume you use Windows 7, since it's this version of windows that is a little cranky when it comes to partition resizing.

Resizing a partition, especially if you move the initial header around, and if it's the boot partition, is very risky business. You should expect it to fail as a rule of thumb. I recommend you just back your data up, clear the partition table and repartition the drive from scratch.

For what it's worth, Windows 7 is able to resize NTFS partitions natively, and it appears that by using the built in tool problems such as yours can sometimes be averted. Rumours are there are tiny differences between the NTFS version most non-microsoft tools were coded upon, and the NTFS implementation Windows 7 uses. As such, I recommend you use the Windows 7 installation disk to partition your drives to avoid any problems.

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Thanks for the information. Yes, I realized what I did was risky, and that gparted might not do things exactly right. Unfortunately the recovery partition was in the "middle" of the disk (after partition 0 - OEM, but before partition 2 - Windows). I forget the details exactly, but the Microsoft disk management tool either didn't support deleting a partition in the middle of the disk, or didn't support resizing in this scenario. Like you, I suspect that the only way to fix this will be to repartition, reformat, and reinstall everything from scratch using just Microsoft's tools. – Mike Clark Apr 1 '12 at 3:29

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