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  1. #1
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    3 Partitions on Hard Drive

    My Dell computers hard drive has 3 partitions. These were made at the factory. This computer is now going on 3 years old.

    These are the partitions:

    1. "Dellutility" fat16 99.8 MB
    2. "D" NTFS "Recovery" 14.65GB
    3. "C" NTFS "OS" 581.42GB

    My questions are:

    a. Do I need to backup partitions 1 & 2?
    b. If this was your computer what would you do? Remember computer is 3 years old.
    c. What do you think the differences are between partitions 1 & 2?

    OPINIONS WELCOME PLEASE!

    Thank You
    Glenda

  2. #2
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    Partition 1 contains Dell software to run diagnostic tests on the PC.

    Partition 2 can be used to restore the system to the way it was when it left Dell's factory.

    Unless you are desperate for disk space I'd just leave it alone.

    Joe

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  4. #3
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    Strictly speaking, it's not absolutely necessary to backup the first two partitions. Your Dell should have a utility called something like "Dell Datasafe Local Backup", which allows you to burn a set of system recovery DVDs. Do that, and those will allow you to completely restore those partitions on a new, pristine hard drive should the need ever arise. If you do choose to use one of the good, third-party imaging programs, note you only need to backup partitions 1 & 2 once. The partitions won't ever change so you don't have to keep renewing your backup regularly.

    Some people might suggest deleting the partitions to reclaim the disk space, but I agree with Joe; leave them alone. Deleting either one will cause booting problems for partition 3. That can be repaired, but you have to know what you're doing and it's not worth the hassle for the measly amount of space you'd be recovering. You've got a 640GB drive, so if you really need to use that extra 15GB of space, then you should instead be adding an external drive or replacing the 640 with a larger drive. Furthermore, leaving partition 2 intact allows you to easily return the computer to its OEM state if/when the time comes to eventually pass the computer on to another owner.

    Dan

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  6. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I guess I would say is what OS is on the HD at present? If the same as the factory recovery partition, there is no harm in keeping it. If you have upgraded to a new OS, why do you need it? Some people keep this partition in case they ever sell the PC, they can reinstall the factory settings. My thought is WHY? You can just as easily remove all your data and leave the new OS on it.

    As Joe stated, unless you are running out of disk space, you do not need the space.

    If it were my PC, I would leave the small utility partition alone. I would delete the Recovery Partition, leaving unallocated space. I would then use an app such as Partition Wizard to recover this unallocated space into my C Drive. Then I would take one further step and resize the C Drive to about 75 Gb and format the unallocated space that is left after resizing the C Drive and set it to logical. I would then use this as a separate Data drive. Now when it comes time to get rid of this PC, you can delete the data drive, overwrite it with an app made for this and be sure your data is no longer available for someone to see.

    This is exactly what I did on our 2 laptops, but then we only have 320 Gb HD's. You have much larger HD's so I would again say unless you are lacking space then you really do not need the space. Some of the operations I have described can be intimidating if you are new to partitioning.
    Last edited by Medico; 2013-02-22 at 19:21.
    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

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  8. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    My questions are:

    a. Do I need to backup partitions 1 & 2?
    b. If this was your computer what would you do? Remember computer is 3 years old.
    c. What do you think the differences are between partitions 1 & 2?

    OPINIONS WELCOME PLEASE!
    A. I would ensure that you have at least one image where the entire drive's partitions are included.
    Hard drives fail, that's a fact of life, and if you have no backup, you'll be sorry you hadn't created one.

    B. I would image the drive in it's entirety then format it and install a genuine operating system
    unfettered with the OEM's offerings. I have a low tolerance for OEM installs, that is just me.
    Along with the above I would also purchase an SSD and use the drive you currently have as internal data storage.

    C. Partition two will include your OEM Dell setup install operating system files in the event you need to get back to a factory clean installed state.
    Partition one may contain Dell diagnostics.
    If you decide to purchase a new operating system you may discard the other two partitions by formatting the entire drive.
    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.

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    glendad (2013-02-23)

  10. #6
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    Ok Thank you gentlemen for your input. I was just wondering. I was thinking less stuff on the laptop maybe the better off it would be. I see your point and it is a very good idea. I am running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, SP1 Dell i5 450 4.0GB 500GB.

    Yes this is there, "Dell Datasafe Local Backup", which allows you to burn a set of system recovery DVDs. I tried to do the backup of the system recovery onto DVDs but it got hung up and I never finished it. So I do NOT have the DVDs, but I have done an image of the entire drive just as it is on an external drive, in fact I used "RetiredGeek's" Epiphany, using MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition and Macrium Reflect. Everything turned out well, so I am set for now. So next time I will only image the "C" drive.

    Most likely I will be keeping this laptop until it goes to computer heaven, hopefully that will be a long time. With your input I hope to be able to keep it running well.

    I want to thank all of you for your input to this whole site, you have helped me a great deal.

    Thanks...........Glenda

  11. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    You would probably do better to focus more on keeping it updated & maintained rather than concern yourself with the meager bit
    of space saved by removing a few little partitions.
    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.

  12. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I agree, on that size HD, those 2 partitions do not consume much space. Partition work can cause problems if done incorrectly.
    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

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