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I bought a small 32 GB SSD to store the operating system (Windows 7) and my applications.

I'll copy the existing boot partition (30 GB) from my harddisk (WD Velociraptor) to the SSD using GParted but I'd like to keep the existing partition intact (keeping all data on it) so I can go back to it if there is a problem with the SSD.

How can I hide the partition so it is not visible anymore to Windows? What should I change with GParted?

Second question: how can I keep the harddisk partition synced with the SSD so I have a backup? I'm looking for a near real-time solution (not something like Acronis Drive Image).

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Aren't the two questions mutually exclusive? – harrymc Nov 14 '09 at 22:02
ping. is this still an issue or can it be closed as no-longer-relevant? – quack quixote Jan 28 '10 at 22:49
not really relevant as is, I changed the way I set up the SSD. – Snark Feb 2 '10 at 8:05
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can "hide" a partition from the boot loader by deleting its line in boot.ini.

You can hide a partition from within Windows by taking away its drive letter. Under XP you go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management, right click the partition and select Change Drive Letter and Paths. Then click Remove.

This seems a safer option than messing with the partition ID as suggested in the article that Matthew linked. Note that any method to hide it will probably render it impossible to use for backup :)

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For syncing the hard disk partition, you could use dd (perhaps even Partimage, ntfsclone, or partclone). You might be able to have a script which executes prior to system shutdown or on a regular basis that copies your data over.

I don't know if this would be a problem, but personally I'd be worried about some of the data being copied over being incomplete or corrupted due to it being currently in use.

There might also be a solution where all writes are mirrored on a backup disk, but if you accidentally delete or overwrite something, the backup is useless.

The idea of a real time copy sounds similar to RAID. Perhaps that is what you are looking for?

This is an article I found on how hidden partitions work.

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