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I am cleaning up an old Acer Aspire Revo NetTop Windows 7 mini-PC. Its Hard disk drive has three partitions:

1: OEM Recovery partition - 12GB
2: System reserved - 100MB
3: C:\ Main - ~400GB (as I recall)

I attempted to use the Acer eRecovery software to restore the factory image from the Recovery partition, but the software gave errors. Instead, I manually cleaned up the system (removed unneeded software, etc), and burnt a System Image to two DVD-Rs using Windows in-built backup. Then I wiped the HDD and restored using the Windows 7 64-bit Recovery disc and the two DVD-Rs that Windows Backup made. This returned the HDD and its partitions to its original state, as above.

Now imagine that I take the following steps:

1. Delete the (unusable) "1: OEM Recovery partition" using Disk Management
2. Burn a new System Image to DVD-Rs
3. Wipe the HDD
4. Restore from the DVD-Rs
5. Boot into Windows

Would the unallocated space resulting from step 1 remain "to the left" of the System reserved partition? How does Windows Backup determine the location of unallocated space when restoring? From the original location? Ideally it would be nice if it were "to the right" so that I could simply grow 3: C:\ partition by 12GB.

I appreciate that 12GB is a very small capacity so not really worth worrying about; I'm just curious really and hoping to learn from those experienced with using Windows 7 in-built system imaging.

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