Keep existing partitions with Riprep

When using Riprep/RIS, a nasty result can be that you lose your existing data. This tip will show you how to prevent this.

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Using Riprep/RIS for deployement is great -- but a nasty result is that you lose your existing data on the local machine. For example, you use the `C: drive' for the OS, and the `D: drive' for data -- one disk with two partitions.

With Riprep you have only the answer file to manage your partitions with the `repartion' key. With this key set to `NO', you have the `C: drive' with the old size but the `D: drive' is eliminated. With the key set to `YES', the whole disk becomes one `C: drive' and instead the `D: drive' is eliminated.

The trick that will save the `D: drive' is as follows. First, set the repartion key to `NO'. Before you dump the Riprep-image, you have to make the partition you want to keep hidden. The tool I used for this is `Gdisk32' (it comes with `Ghost'.) The command is: `Gdisk32 1 //Hide //P:2' (1=disk, //P:2=partition 2).

Now you can dump the Riprep-image. After that is completed, you then reverse the process with the command: `Gdisk32 1 /-Hide /P:2'

Now you have you new OS installation with the old but valuable data partition intact. If you have a CD-Rom present, the partition can be represented as the `E: drive'.

This was first published in September 2002

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