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I am currently using a Lenovo Essentials G550 Laptop. When the laptop was sold by Lenovo, a proprietary recovery solution created by the same company was bundled with the laptop, taking the name of Lenovo OneKey Recovery. OKR uses software on-disk and a button adjacent to the power button to perform recovery and backup functions, including creating a series of CDs or DVDs which can be booted into to recover the machine factory defaults.

The problem comes in with the fact that, through examination with GParted, it is obvious that Lenovo has maxed out the entire disk - 3 primary partitions, and one extended partition containing one logical partition.

The partitioning scheme is almost exactly similar to this:

First Partition, Unnamed, Primary, NTFS, 200-300 MB, boot flag, almost certainly Master Boot Record Partition (no need to touch this really)

Second Partition, "C", "C:", and/or "OS Drive" (running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1), Primary, NTFS, approximately 187 GB, contains Windows installation and personal files.

Third Partition, Unnamed, Extended, most likely NTFS, approx. 30 GB: Logical Partition: "Lenovo", Logical, NTFS, approx. 30 GB, lba flag (which I take to mean it's bootable, which therefore could mean it contains the files necessary to boot after pressing the OKR button next to the power button) contains driver installation files and some sort of binary or hex file from OKR, which, when read, appears only to be a log. Partition mostly considered useless considering that restoration of driver installers is trivial and no real "recovery" data.

Fourth and final Partition, "LENOVO_PART", Primary, NTFS, 13-17 GB, hidden partition, contains actual recovery data for recovering Windows, and is most likely used to create and store backup images, which are then burned to CDs or DVDs.

The real dilemma I have here is, I was attempting to use GParted to shrink the C partition down, and modify the extended/logical partition setup so that I would have some unallocated space for Linux (one of my friends who is more experienced with the actual work of partitioning was operating GParted), and then do something to create new partitions for Linux. The C partition shrunk with no errors, but the re-sizing and moving around of partitions within the extended partitions subset would not really start, let alone complete, giving an error about not being able to work with the extended/logical partition's "constraints", whatever they are.

I would appreciate it if someone could direct as how to proceed from here - I have already created recovery disks, so that is not an issue, but if I could be given some tips on what to do, I would be thankful. I am reluctant, however to delete the recovery partitions, while possible, it would mean I would be unable to use my recovery disks, and could mean the bricking of my computer, however that specific side-effect is unlikely, as some users in the Lenovo Community forums have stated that they have removed OKR with no difficulty, but again, cannot use recovery disks afterward.

TL;DR: Lenovo maxes out the partition table and creates a frustrating situation with recovery partitions.

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I can't speak for OKR, but Thinkpads have a similar partition scheme but after creating the recovery disks you're given the option to remove the partition that contains that data. – Shinrai Jul 25 '12 at 21:15
That does sound useful, but the partition you would be removing is "LENOVO_PART", which gives me no is the extended partition mess with "Lenovo" that is extremely aggrivating. – willbuntu Jul 25 '12 at 21:32
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think any way you slice it there's risk involved. Maybe your best option would be to copy this recovery partition elsewhere. Lenovo usually preinstalls an application to burn this recovery partition to DVDs. Basically, make a backup of a backup before moving partitions around. You never know what might get destroyed, or how exactly Lenovo set up their recovery partition.

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What tool do you think I should use to create a backup of Lenovo and LENOVO_PART? – willbuntu Jul 26 '12 at 1:36
Maybe take an image of it? I'd be really concerned with missing a crucial piece of data that might not be found with your typical copy and paste, but personally I haven't had much experience with imaging programs. Anyone else have a suggestion? – Tanner Faulkner Jul 26 '12 at 1:43
I guess I could use DD - a *nix tool. It isn't really imaging, it just copies the selected data bit-for-bit to the chosen destination or medium. What is your opinion on that? – willbuntu Jul 26 '12 at 12:17

With a similar set up I had to back up and remove a couple of those partitions in order to free up the partition table for my new partition.

You say you have an extended partition already though, so a shrink/move/resize should work. Just remember you can't have more than 4 primary partitions (and the extended counts as one of them).

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