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Old 12-22-2004, 01:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default repartition / XP reinstall question

I just sat down to reinstall XP on my new Dell system, and create a separate 5 gig partition for Windows.

I booted from the XP CD, and when I got to the partition part, it told me my system had three partitions.

First was marked with a drive letter "-" and was only 42 megs big or so; my friend told me this was for some kind of Dell diagnostics thing and to leave it alone.

The second was drive letter C and was the size of my system's hard drive.

The third was drive letter E and was 2800 megs large, with 500 megs free.

What is this third drive / partition? The only E drive my system shows is when I hook in my external USB drive, but that was unconnected when I did this. Is this something hidden on my system I don't know about? Should I get rid of it, keep it, what?

Many thanks.
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Old 12-22-2004, 01:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe a Dell restore partition. Does it have a label?
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Old 12-22-2004, 01:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't see a Dell restore partition when I explore my system when it is booted normally. Would it be hidden? Will reinstalling XP / the Dell software create a new restore partition?
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Old 12-22-2004, 01:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Dunno about Dell software, but re-installing XP does't create a new restore partition.

It's probably hidden or doesn't have a driveletter assigned in XP.
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Old 12-22-2004, 01:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The XP reinstall utility said it was formatted in FAT 32, while my C drive is listed as formatted in NTFS, if that helps.

Just don't want to screw anything up with this repartitioning / reinstallation...
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Old 12-22-2004, 02:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would format the XP partition (C and install XP there. Dunno about the Dell stuff. Wait for someone with Dell knowledge to reply.

I would leave the other partitions untill you are sure what they are.

Make sure to backup data before formatting.
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Old 12-23-2004, 12:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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it is a restore partition. I would use that instead of installing xp, as you won't have to activate xp, plus you will have all of your original application programs, you will lose them through reformatting, plus it only take about 25 minute to do that, as oppose to days, when you reinstall all of your applications
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Old 12-23-2004, 01:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't understand. I only see this partition in the XP install utility. I can't detect it when booted in XP normally. Plus it's formatted in FAT32. How do I "use it"?

I have only had the system for a week or so and have everything backed up, so wiping everything isn't a problem.
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Old 12-23-2004, 01:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think you need to use some disc to restore it.
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Old 12-23-2004, 01:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What would it be restoring?? Why would I need to restore anything?? I just want to reformat my HD so I can create a separate partition for XP, then reinstall XP on it. What valuable information does this restore partition have on it?? Maybe I should just call Dell.
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