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  1. #1
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    XP - Data 'leaking' from hidden partitions. (XP Home Edition)

    The following is the reply I received from PowerQuest - Partition Manager
    -----------
    XP does have the ability to see hidden partitions. Generally, if you
    unassign that partition a drive letter, then XP should not look at it. If
    your hidden partition is not given a drive letter inside XP and it is
    still being updated by changes made on the hidden partition, you may want
    to talk to Microsoft because they told us that as long as it is not
    assigned a drive letter you should be fine.

    Regards,
    Elizabeth
    PowerQuest Technical Support
    -----------
    My query was as a result of setting up four partitions on a new machine,
    one with the original copy of XP, as it arrived, the "working partition".
    The second with a "Drive Image" created copy of the original, the "trial partition".
    The third one containing my data, fourth empty waiting for another operating sytem.

    The idea is that the "trial partition" has games installed, software tried out
    and experiments done. It then gets wiped and a fresh Drive Image put in place.
    The "working partition" is kept clean, with just the applications I use all the time.

    I spotted that the "Add or Remove Programs" application would list programs that were
    in the other "hidden" partition". I then removed McAffee from the "trial partition"
    only to find it was removed from the hidden "working partition". There was also
    interaction when I installed Office97 onto the "trial partition" with OfficeXP on the
    hidden "working partition".

    So far none of this has caused me any real problems but it seems there is scope
    for dreadful things to happen and I am wary of installing another operating
    system on the empty partition in case WindowsXP starts gathering information from
    that and really falling apart.

    I thought a hidden partition really was hidden!

    Tony Beckett, Rutland, UK

  2. #2
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    Re: XP - Data 'leaking' from hidden partitions. (XP Home Edition)

    How are you setting these partitions as hidden and are you limiting these settings to NON admin users?

    <img src=/S/devil.gif border=0 alt=devil width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/devil.gif border=0 alt=devil width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
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    Re: XP - Data 'leaking' from hidden partitions. (XP Home Edition)

    In Partition Magic I click on the partition that I want to make active (it is listed as hidden at present).
    Use the option "set active". The machine reboots from the new active partition, with the previously active partition now hidden. A proceedure I have done lots of times on previous pre-Windows XP machines.

    The XP machine is standalone, not on a network. I am the only user and with no experience of networks or
    admin/NON admin users I don't if I am "limiting these settings to NON admin users"

    Regards
    Tony

  4. #4
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    Re: XP - Data 'leaking' from hidden partitions. (XP Home Edition)

    By default XP Home Edition, all users have Admin rights. This means that if XP can see it then anything goes.

    As for the removal, I have not input. <img src=/S/devil.gif border=0 alt=devil width=15 height=15>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Re: XP - Data 'leaking' from hidden partitions. (XP Home Edition)

    My concern is if this is a problem; has anybody else noticed the "leaking"?
    Does the "leaking" only happen between partitions that have WindowsXP on them?
    Can I safely put Windows98 or Linux onto the empty partition and not have WindowsXP interacting with the non-XP systems?
    So far nothing dreadful has happened as a result of the interaction between the two partitions with XP on them. do I just carry on and ignore it!

    Regards

    Tony

  6. #6
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    Re: XP - Data 'leaking' from hidden partitions. (XP Home Edition)

    i've worked with dual/triple boot systems for months and never had a problem with this. You might want to search http://groups.google.com to see if others have reported this.

    My personal opinion is that Elizabeth is nuts and your problems stem from how you copied the initial install and put it on another partition. It contains pointers that are still looking at that location. It would be better to do a fresh install (then image each partition for faster restore). I think if you do that, you'll discover the partitions are really hidden.

    Also - are you sure you are really booting to the working or trial partitions? WinXP uses the NT bootloader, which doesn't always honor the settings of other bootloaders. It may be booting you into the working partition every time, not the trial partition.

  7. #7
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    Re: XP - Data 'leaking' from hidden partitions. (XP Home Edition)

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    From reading postings on http://groups.google.com/ I wasn't able to find anyone with my particular query so perhaps I am alone in creating a "trial partition" by using Drive Image on the original "working partition" and then restoring it to a newly created empty partition. Your comment "It contains pointers that are still looking at that location" sounds likely.

    The "Add or Remove programs" application can pick up references to programs installed on the hidden partition but if you look in C:Program Files there are only the installations specific to the active partition.

    I am as sure as I can be that I am booting to the working or trial partitions, as, although a lot of the programs are duplicated I check and find the specific programs for that partition in C:Program Files and the programs specific to the other partition are not shown. Also various preferences are different on the working and trial partitions.

    It is only the "Add or Remove programs" application that can "see" both partitions.

    Looks like if I want to cure the oddity then a fresh install direct from the WinXP CD into the trial partition is needed. From the sound of it there is a good chance I can do an install of another operating system into the currently empty third primary partition without too much trouble.

    Regards

    Tony

  8. #8
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    Re: XP - Data 'leaking' from hidden partitions. (XP Home Edition)

    If this partition is truely hidden how did you copy a image to it from the other partition?

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  9. #9
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    Re: XP- Data 'leaking' from hidden partitions. (XP Home Edition)

    I used Drive Image to get the original image, the .pqi file from which I stored in my data partition.
    Drive Image was then run again, it drops into its own version of DOS, I then restored the image
    to the empty trial partition. Came out of Drive Image and then used Partition Magic to "Set Active" the
    trial partition. "Set Active" hides what had been the current active partition. A re-boot and I was into the
    trial partition. It was the fact that uninstalled programs were listed in the "Add or Remove programs" in
    the working partition that alerted me to all this.

    Regards
    Tony

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