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I have a friend that has an Acer Aspire S3 laptop. After sending it for repair, the laptop came with the system (Windows 8) installed on SSD 18gb. The problem with such a small SSD is that it renders your OS close to unusable. What I suspect is that initially the system was installed on HDD and the SSD was used as a hibernation drive. On the HDD I still have everything from the old configuration.

Now the question is what I can do to go back to the old configuration?

First of all going to the BIOS menu is a real challenge, as you have to press F2 as soon as you see the acer logo, before the boot kicks in.

Running diskpart gives the following output

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
* Disk 0    Online          465 GB      0 B        *
  Disk 1    Online           18 GB      0 B        *

DISKPART> list partition

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Recovery           400 MB  1024 KB
* Partition 2    System             300 MB   401 MB
  Partition 3    Reserved           128 MB   701 MB
  Partition 4    Primary            451 GB   829 MB
  Partition 5    Recovery           350 MB   452 GB
  Partition 6    Recovery            12 GB   453 GB

DISKPART> list volume

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     D   ACER         NTFS   Partition    451 GB  Healthy    Pagefile
  Volume 1         Recovery     NTFS   Partition    400 MB  Healthy    Hidden
* Volume 2         ESP          FAT32  Partition    300 MB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 3                      NTFS   Partition    350 MB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 4         Push Button  NTFS   Partition     12 GB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 5     C                NTFS   Partition     18 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 6         Recovery     NTFS   Partition    300 MB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 7                      FAT32  Partition    100 MB  Healthy    System
  • such SSDs are used as cache. Windows is not installed on it. – magicandre1981 Jan 11 '14 at 16:18
  • @magicandre1981 - Diskpart seems to think the SSD is the C drive, which could very well be where Windows in installed. – Michael Frank Jan 11 '14 at 17:36
  • Yes, indeed, Windows is installed on C. I agree that this is not a good solution, but this is how it came from the repair centre. – Adrian Ber Jan 11 '14 at 23:24
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I had to change in BIOS to boot from Windows Boot Manager. Afterwards I changed the partition type of the SSD to Hibernation partition. And then a Windows 8 clean boot. Everything is working fine now.

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  1. If the hdd is intact you should be able to change the boot order in the BIOS to boot from it instead of the SSD.

  2. Use drive cloning software to clone the SSD to the hdd.

  3. Junctions (if you want the fast OS) assuming C: is ssd and d: is hdd First move the swap file and hibernation file to d: Boot Windows 7,8,8.1 DVD or USB Repair mode Command Prompt

    move the content of c:\program files to d:\program files

mklink /j "c:\program files\" "d:\program files"

If you have a "program files (x86)" repeat above.
move the content of c:\program files (x86) to d:\program files (x86)

mklink /j "c:\program files (x86)\" "d:\program files (x86)\"

In the same way junction everything under c:\user\<username>
for example:

mklink /j "c:\users\myname\Documents" "d:\users\myname\Documents\"

If you move and junction stuff you should have enough free space to function.

Make sure you run disk clean up wizard in advanced mode to clean up file left over by windows updates, this usually frees up gigs of space.

  • I already put in the BIOS, the HDD as the first boot device. But I think that the boot flag is not enabled. – Adrian Ber Jan 12 '14 at 8:56
  • Admin command prompt diskpart select disk 0 select partition 4 (could be 2) active that should make it bootable. – cybernard Jan 12 '14 at 17:12
  • Already tried this. It complains about the fact that a non-MBR partition cannot be made active. – Adrian Ber Jan 13 '14 at 13:27
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Generally, isn't the Windows Boot Partition the System Reserved 100MB ?

In cases like these I find its generally easier to copy the important useful data off the drives, then rebuild the system from scratch, or using the included Recovery Tools already on the disk. Honestly, it looks like whoever did the recovery scrambled things and you would be better off following the boot recovery for the machine of finding a copy of Windows on DVD to rebuild with.

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