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  1. Zachary Boddy's Avatar
    Good morning, I'm just doing some spring cleaning on my laptop and I noticed a couple of partitions on my hard drive. Well, I'm mostly curious about two. Both of them are about half full. Neither one has a drive letter, and one of them has this label: System. They're allocated but are labeled as unused partitions. What do these partitions do and how careful do I have to be with them? I need to move partitions around and such to merge with and extend my C drive.

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    03-14-2016 03:42 PM
  2. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Can you post a screenshot of the disk management window?

    Use the snipping tool to take a screenshot of that window only :).
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    03-14-2016 05:50 PM
  3. RyanCreek's Avatar
    It should be the system reserved partition that is used for factory reset, or EFI partition for OS boot. Don't merge or delete that partition. Usually the partition is about 100Mb in size.
    03-14-2016 07:33 PM
  4. Zachary Boddy's Avatar
    Can you post a screenshot of the disk management window?

    Use the snipping tool to take a screenshot of that window only :).
    hard-drive-partitions.png
    What I'm curious about is the two partitions, neither of which are full, that say they are Primary Partitions (or Data Partitions, whichever you prefer). I'll post screenshots giving a quick peek of what's inside them. One has no label or letter, the other is labeled System yet still has no letter.
    TechFreak1 likes this.
    03-15-2016 05:12 PM
  5. Zachary Boddy's Avatar
    system-partition.png
    unamed-partition.png
    Here is a quick snatch of what's located inside the partitions. I don't intend to merge or extend these partitions at all I'm just curious what they are.
    Last edited by Zachary Boddy; 03-15-2016 at 07:52 PM.
    03-15-2016 05:16 PM
  6. RyanCreek's Avatar
    The first partition is system reserved partition, while the second one is EFI partition. It's likely that your Windows system was installed in UEFI mode. I can't figure out what's the purpose for your last partition (826MB).
    03-15-2016 07:39 PM
  7. Zachary Boddy's Avatar
    The first partition is system reserved partition, while the second one is EFI partition. It's likely that your Windows system was installed in UEFI mode. I can't figure out what's the purpose for your last partition (826MB).
    Thank you for the reply. I understood the EFI partition but I was confused mostly about the unnamed partition.
    03-15-2016 07:45 PM
  8. jmshub's Avatar
    The first partition is System. (1.00GB) That is where Windows loads the bootloader.

    The second partition is for EFI, (100MB) for secure boot files.

    The third partition is your Windows system partition (463 GB), obviously.

    The fourth partition at the end is just extra space (826MB). The PC was probably imaged from the manufacturer, and the image didn't fully fill the hard drive, to account for different hard drive sizes. You could delete that partition and expand your C drive into that space, if you'd like.
    Last edited by jmshub; 03-15-2016 at 08:39 PM. Reason: edited for clarity
    v535 and TechFreak1 like this.
    03-15-2016 08:31 PM
  9. Zachary Boddy's Avatar
    Thank you. What about the unnamed partition?
    03-15-2016 08:31 PM
  10. jmshub's Avatar
    The unnamed partition is the one you can delete, the 826MB partition. It is just extra space at the end of the disk.

    DO NOT delete any of the other partitions, or the PC will have a bad day.

    I edited my last post with partition sizes for clarity.
    03-15-2016 08:38 PM
  11. Zachary Boddy's Avatar
    Are you absolutely certain of that? It has been allocated and has files located in it. Refer to the two screenshots I posted above.
    03-15-2016 08:39 PM
  12. jmshub's Avatar
    Here's the thing, I'm 100% confident that if it were my machine, I would delete the partition, and expand my C drive to fill that empty space.

    However, I can understand your hesitance in trusting a total stranger on the forum. Your C drive is 70% free, so the easiest solution is to do nothing.
    Tom Snyder likes this.
    03-15-2016 08:51 PM
  13. jdballard's Avatar
    Given that your largest partition (c:\) shows 71% free, it doesn't seem like you're in need of space, so I wouldn't lose sleep over it. But sometimes stuff like that drives me crazy, so I get it. :)
    03-16-2016 12:09 PM
  14. Krystianpants's Avatar
    Just format the last partition and use it for movies, songs, or something you can keep separately and manage easier. You have a lot of free space anyways. Merging isn't necessary really.
    03-16-2016 01:40 PM
  15. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Here's the thing, I'm 100% confident that if it were my machine, I would delete the partition, and expand my C drive to fill that empty space.

    However, I can understand your hesitance in trusting a total stranger on the forum. Your C drive is 70% free, so the easiest solution is to do nothing.
    I concur with jmshub, when I installed W10 in UEFI mode (GPT) the windows installer created:
    450 Meg (Recovery Partition)
    100 Meg (EFI System Partition)

    Along with random sized partitions in between my OS, Data and Games Partitions (when I was playing around with partition sizes in the installer)- which was strange to say the least and one at the end. These random sized partitions can be merged. So in your case the 826 Meg partition an be merged or you can just leave it be as it's taking less than a Gig.

    Just format the last partition and use it for movies, songs, or something you can keep separately and manage easier. You have a lot of free space anyways. Merging isn't necessary really.
    It's already formatted :) :P - even if a partition is empty you have to remember there is also space loss due to how space is calculated and the filesystem - which is why when you buy a 16 Gig USB - you don't get the full 16 Gigs :) (I won't go into detail, it would just complicate this thread lol).
    jmshub likes this.
    03-17-2016 09:09 AM
  16. Guzzler3's Avatar
    Sorry I'm late, but that 826MB partition was your recovery image partition from the hardware manufacturer (i.e. "my system is so messed up, I want to make it look like the day I bought it."). I'm hoping that you used the manufacturers software to make a recovery disk(s) (CD/DVD/USB) and you put it in a safe place.

    Typically when you do make the recovery disk, the software will generally ask if you want to delete the recovery partition and add the space to your main drive when it's done.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    03-17-2016 11:21 AM
  17. Zachary Boddy's Avatar
    Sorry I'm late, but that 826MB partition was your recovery image partition from the hardware manufacturer (i.e. "my system is so messed up, I want to make it look like the day I bought it."). I'm hoping that you used the manufacturers software to make a recovery disk(s) (CD/DVD/USB) and you put it in a safe place.

    Typically when you do make the recovery disk, the software will generally ask if you want to delete the recovery partition and add the space to your main drive when it's done.
    I'm reasonably certain that is not what it is, as I already wiped and merged the 8 GB recovery partition as it was no longer necessary (since my laptop is not Windows 10 not Windows 8.1).
    03-17-2016 05:07 PM
  18. jmshub's Avatar
    I agree. The manufacturers will label the recovery partition to avoid potential disasters.

    I stand by my assessment that it's extra space.
    03-18-2016 09:59 PM
  19. Guzzler3's Avatar
    I'm reasonably certain that is not what it is, as I already wiped and merged the 8 GB recovery partition as it was no longer necessary (since my laptop is not Windows 10 not Windows 8.1).
    I still say they were old recovery partitions. Just by looking at your screen shots of the contents of those partitions, they did have directories labeled "recovery". Whether or not they were still valid partitions, I don't know.

    I have run across several computers that have those partitions, that weren't properly labeled as recovery partitions, but still functioned when you used their proprietary recovery programs. Also, I have run into other computers that even after you make the recovery disks (again with the manufactures proprietary program), and it said it deleted the partition, they were still there (i.e. buggy programs).

    If you really want to do "spring cleaning" on your laptop... Backup your data (twice). Then download the W10 ISO, and do a fresh install (deleting all partitions in the custom setup section). Then you will have a drive that's fully partitioned with the proper partitions (Recovery, EFI, Boot, etc.)
    03-19-2016 11:03 AM

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