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Messed up unnamed partitions on new Dell computer

  1. #1


    Posts : 1
    Windows 8

    Messed up hidden partitions on new Dell computer


    I recently purchased a Dell Inspiron 17R SE.

    The first thing I wanted to do to it was transfer the OS to an SSD, and use the 1TB drive that came with the computer as a data drive.

    I wanted to shrink the C: OS partition so it would fit on my SSD but the Windows Shrink Partition tool wouldn't let me due to unmovable files.

    I tried using the Windows 7 File Recovery backup tool to do a backup. With over 500 GB space on my backup drive and only 65 GB used on the 1Tb drive I was backing up, it kept telling me not enough disk space. Eventually I gave up.

    I opted to install EaseUS TODO Backup and tried to backup the the whole 1TB drive. It raised an error indicating too many unnamed partitions. I opted to backup only the C: OS and the EFI System partition - leaving 3 oem hidden partitions not backed up as I wasn't going to do anything to them anyway. It worked.

    I used EaseUS Partition Master to shrink the C: OS partition to 120 GB. Worked again.

    I thought now would be the time to generate the Windows backup - created an image OK. Afterward however, it failed to generate the system recovery disk indicating some invalid parameter error. This was concerning. I went to the Dell Backup and Recovery tool and it told me it couldn't find the recovery partition. Not good again.

    In disk management, all partitions are still there. I'm pretty sure the 3 OEM hidden partitions (40Mb, 500Mb, and 14.73Gb) had names in brackets like 'Healthy (Recovery Partition)', ... They all just say 'Healthy (OEM Partition)'. I'm guessing EaseUS Partition Master messed up their names and/or messed with their content.

    At this point, the computer still works fine, and on the second pass I was able to backup the entire drive using EaseUS TODO Backup. I can't use the Dell or Windows backup utilities. I'm not sure what mess I created by messing up the 3 oem partitions, or if I can recover somehow.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    In almost every case I've seen, once something is done to the OEM drive, the Dell restore partition (PC Restore) is no longer valid and cannot be user generated - its a factory only. You can only restore with discs. There is also a Dell Diagnostic partition and it sounds like that may be gone too. Dell's also have a "recovery" partition that is used for backup user data but that is a fluke, if the hard drive fails the "recovery" partition and saved data is gone too.


    I use Macrium Reflect to do full hard drive (all partitions) backups.

    I used to do a lot of support on the Dell users forums (community) and many users that wanted to use some other drive, or OS, would just remove the Dell OEM drive and set it aside, install whatever drive they wanted and use that. Then, if the original configuration was needed all they had to do was reconnect the OEM drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Quote Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
    In almost every case I've seen, once something is done to the OEM drive, the Dell restore partition (PC Restore) is no longer valid and cannot be user generated - its a factory only. You can only restore with discs. There is also a Dell Diagnostic partition and it sounds like that may be gone too. Dell's also have a "recovery" partition that is used for backup user data but that is a fluke, if the hard drive fails the "recovery" partition and saved data is gone too.
    I've noticed this as well, it all started when I was upgrading a Windows Vista laptop to 7. It went in, but then it would not boot to 7 but only to the Recovery partition. This was before I ever considered deleting the recovery partition. It's because some OEMs put the recovery partition on the system drive BEFORE the System partition, and the recovery partition always snakes the Drive C assignment. But I think if they want to keep the recovery partition, they can use BCDedit to tell the system to use the second partition on the drive as System and Boot. But lately I have just been deleting the recovery partitions when they start interfering with the boot sequence on the main drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    How to clone your SATA HDD drive to a SSD drive.
    How to Migrate OS to new Hard disk.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Messed up unnamed partitions on new Dell computer
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