Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20
  1. #1
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    27
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I'm in the final stage of upgrading my Dell Vista machine to Windows 7. I want to reformat the whole of the old C drive that used to contain Vista. Dell have placed an OEM partition at the beginning of this drive and I want to delete it. Dell fixed the 'Disk Management' console so nothing can touch the partition. It's not theirs, it's mine and I want it back.

  2. Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    5,432
    Thanks
    128
    Thanked 494 Times in 454 Posts
    When you go to clean install Windows 7 you can choose to delete & format it from the boot menu's options screen.
    Remember that a fresh Windows 7 installation may create it's own 1-2 hundred MB partition. This can easily be
    deleted afterward with a free partitioning tool like Partition Wizard Home Edition.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  4. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 930 Times in 851 Posts
    I was going to say use Partition Wizard to delete and reclaim the Dell partition prior to Clean Installing Win 7. Either way a 3rd party partitioning app such as Partition Wizard does wonders and it's free.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  5. #4
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    South of the North Pole
    Posts
    919
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I've reformatted partitions and installed but never delved deeply enough to know if one can remove all the partitions before reformatting with the upgrade disc.

    As mentioned though, 3rd party partitioning boot disc does it, no questions asked, my favorite happens to be Parted Magic (contains GParted).

  6. #5
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    27
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I tried Partition Wizard Home Edition. It worked perfectly as advertised. I'd already done a clean install of Windows 7 on the D drive and I'd been using it in dual boot configuration until I was sure everything was working as I wanted it. Thanks for your help.

    I'd be a little concerned about deleting any of the partitions created by the Windows 7 installer. I believe I read somewhere that these are not temporary zones used during installation but part of a future implementation of large disk management. There's more here: Vista's New Partitioning Rules. See the last section titled "Goodbye to Cylinder Boundaries". That page has lots of links to more information at the bottom.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    5,432
    Thanks
    128
    Thanked 494 Times in 454 Posts
    Vista and Windows 7 are compatible with the up and coming newer 4K sector standard. So the only reason
    for the partition created in Windows 7 is for use of Microsoft's file encryption tool BitLocker.
    Even if you have a version of W7 that does not have BitLocker, it will still create a partition. I think the rational
    being related to a future "Easy upgrade" option. Deleting this partition causes no ill effect.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  8. #7
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    1,228
    Thanks
    15
    Thanked 163 Times in 126 Posts
    There are a great number of programs that can and will remove partitions, even going all the way back to MS-DOS and FDISK.
    "Delete Non-DOS Partition" is the option to select when running FDISK.

    Then of course, there is the Old Reliable "Partition Magic 8" and even Easus Partition Manager, etc.
    The list just goes on and on. Actually, there is NO partition that cannot be removed.

    Every time I get a new or used HD, I partition it with FDISK and then do a DOS format of it. That checks every sector on
    the drive for reliability and blocks out any bad sectors. Then I can install any OS I want with total assurance that the
    drive will perform correctly. It takes a little while, but checking out drives that way has never failed me.....in 30 years.

    Good Luck!

    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  9. #8
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    DrWho (or anyone else): Does Windows 7's partition/format process (non-quick-format) accomplish the same thing as performing FDISK and FORMAT commands?

    I'll be receiving a replacement hard drive for the failing one in my Dell Latitude laptop. To perform an FDISK and FORMAT on the drive, I suppose I would need to boot off of a DOS boot CD-ROM or USB thumbdrive...and then issue these commands to the newly installed blank hard drive. I can do that; but if the partitioning/formatting that is invoked during Windows 7 setup accomplishes the same thing, I won't bother.

    BTW, I found this thread while searching for the best way to prepare the replacement drive; in particular, should I set up the Dell OEM Partition on the drive? If so, how do I do that?

  10. #9
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    20,512
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 613 Times in 549 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by cgwaters View Post
    DrWho (or anyone else): Does Windows 7's partition/format process (non-quick-format) accomplish the same thing as performing FDISK and FORMAT commands?

    I'll be receiving a replacement hard drive for the failing one in my Dell Latitude laptop. To perform an FDISK and FORMAT on the drive, I suppose I would need to boot off of a DOS boot CD-ROM or USB thumbdrive...and then issue these commands to the newly installed blank hard drive. I can do that; but if the partitioning/formatting that is invoked during Windows 7 setup accomplishes the same thing, I won't bother.

    BTW, I found this thread while searching for the best way to prepare the replacement drive; in particular, should I set up the Dell OEM Partition on the drive? If so, how do I do that?
    The short answer is YES about FDISK & FORMAT. You should NOT attempt to setup an OEM partition. That partition is put there by the OEM to be able to return the PC to factory condition. You are much better off setting up your PC the way you wish and then doing an image backup.

    Joe

  11. #10
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Thanks, Joe. I believe Dell's OEM Partition (at least on this Latitude E6400) serves purpose other than returning it to factory condition. It's only 102 MB in size. I believe it contains utility or diagnostic tools, but I haven't yet seen a definitive explanation.

  12. #11
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    20,512
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 613 Times in 549 Posts
    You are correct. I was thinking of the recovery partition. I can tell you that in more than two decades of dealing with OEM PCs I've used an OEM partition twice. IMO, not worth the effort on your part.

    Joe

  13. #12
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 930 Times in 851 Posts
    You should not have to do the FDisk or Format. When you insert your Win 7 disk, choose custom Install, then point to New. The installation should format and set the partition up for you. It will not hurt to use the dos disk, but why bother when Win 7 can do this for you.

    Trying to recover the 102 Mb partition is most likely not worth the effort, it is such a small amount by today's standards. It can be done with a 3rd party partitioning app, but why bother.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  14. #13
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    186
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 42 Times in 36 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by cgwaters View Post
    I believe it contains utility or diagnostic tools, but I haven't yet seen a definitive explanation.
    The DellUtility partition is a tiny FAT16 partition, typically 32-150MB in size, with its "type" descriptor in the partition table "munged" from 0x0C to 0xDE. The DE is intended to be a uniquely identifiable code so the Dell BIOS can find the partition when you choose to boot the Utility/Diagnostic partition. The partition is bootable only via the BIOS and F12 one-time boot menu. (If you're really interested, details are covered on my webpage, "Inside the Dell Utility Partition".)

    The Utility partition serves a singular purpose--when it boots it runs a DOS-based diagnostic suite to test the system hardware, and when you quit the program it reboots the computer. That's all. Installing the program on the HDD is superfluous because the same program can be downloaded from Dell and run from a CD if/whenever you need it ... which, as Joe said, is quite rare.

    Note the Utility partition is unrelated to the factory OS recovery feature, which is provided by a different partition.

    If you have the "Drivers and Utilities" CD that may have come with your laptop, it does include a feature to reinstall the DellUtility partition on a new, blank HDD. However, I don't consider it worth the effort; the partition just isn't that useful.

    Also, the partition can give some partitioning tools fits. The DellUtility partition is a legacy-style, CHS-aligned partition, although if you're going to be installing Vista or Win7 you're almost certainly going to be using Microsoft's newer, megabyte-aligned partition layout. It's acceptable to mix alignments on a single HDD, but in the long run it's probably wiser not to.


    Dan Goodell

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to dg1261 For This Useful Post:

    satrow (2012-05-30)

  16. #14
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cardiff, UK
    Posts
    2,138
    Thanks
    102
    Thanked 208 Times in 181 Posts
    @dg1261: Thanks for taking the time and effort to put those pages together Dan, I've pointed people there many times! Much appreciated.

  17. #15
    Star Lounger catilley1092's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    94
    Thanks
    24
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    I will say, although this is an old thread, it's a good idea to do a Full disk image of a computer prior to deleting anything. Why? First off, it may be under warranty, some OEM's expects the computer to have the OS that shipped with it. Especially if the warranty claim involves a faulty install by someone who doesn't know how to properly install an OS. There's a lot more to that than booting off the Windows 7 install disk & letting it rip, it's a day or two of work, updating the OS, installing the needed drivers (which should be obtained beforehand), installing your programs, this takes time.

    Then do a full defrag, run a Full virus scan & do a Full Disk image of the new install.

    The second reason to image the computer beforehand is this. Sometimes, after a couple of years, we want a newer computer. The computer that you have still has value, provided it's in factory condition. If there was a recovery partition there, many customers (myself included) expects that partition to be there, or the set of recovery disks that's supposed to be burned within a few days of usage. This gives the buyer a "like new" computer, provided the hardware is OK. I'm not really crazy about buying a used computer, but if I were to, I'd expect to have the "out of the box" experience, especially if it's only 2 to 3 years old.

    Never blindly delete a partition w/o backing it up, it's there for a reason.

    Cat
    My System Specs:

    http://speccy.piriform.com/results/N...gWw3zT1A30RkV3 MSI Notebook (OEM Win 7 Pro x64)

    http://speccy.piriform.com/results/8...3hQlSkXzuDfbKb Dell XPS 8700 w/Windows 8

  18. The Following User Says Thank You to catilley1092 For This Useful Post:

    CLiNT (2012-06-06)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •