Existing partitions when reinstalling XP

  keewaa 21:36 09 Nov 2005

Trying to re-install XP pro on a Dell PC using reinstall CD that came with it. I want to reformat the drive then reinstall.

Going into the windows XP setup from the CD it comes up with 3 existing partitions, shown exactly like this :

-: Partition 1 [FAT] 47MB (40MB free)
C:Partition 2 [NTFS] 38092MB (20383MB free)
Unpartitioned space 8MB

I want to reformat and reinstall .... was going to delete C: partition and re-create.

What are the other 2 ? The Partition 1 and the Unpartioned space, what is their purpose, and what do they store ? I did not set them up, and they did not appear as usable in XP before. Should I leave them or delete them? Thanks.

  Skills 21:43 09 Nov 2005

The first partion seems small but dell could have installed some software on it?

XP is funny and for some reason always leaves 8MB of unpartioned space at the end of the drive.

Id be a bit wary of wiping the first partion incase it was put there by the manufacturer so I think you'd be best to just delete and recreate the c partion. Or see if you can find out what the first partion contains.

  keewaa 21:53 09 Nov 2005

Thanks ... as only the C: shows up from within windows how can I find out what is on the other ? Is there a way from within windows or some other (free) software ?

  woodchip 21:54 09 Nov 2005

You do not format the Partition you should just start with the Restore disc, and it will be as Shop bought. If you start altering or formatting the restore discs will not work anymore and You will have to buy XP CD and all the software that you use came with the Computer

  Skills 22:01 09 Nov 2005

Dell restore Cd's are usually a full XP cd with some dell tweaks to it.

Am not sure as looking at your opener the isnt a drive letter assigned you'd probably need to use something like partion magic to unhide the partion and thenyou should be able to see it in windows or from a boot disk.

  keewaa 22:02 09 Nov 2005

I'm don't think it is a "Restore Disc". I think it is a full copy of winxp pro ... it is labelled "Reinstallation CD Microsoft windows XP pro including service pack 1a" and when I boot up from the CD it comes up as installation winXP screen and gives me the option of deleting the existing partitions ...surely a restore disc wouldn't do this ?

  keewaa 22:03 09 Nov 2005

The thing I'm worried about is could it be a nasty partition created by malware / virus although I'd be very surprised as my PC is protected and never flagged up anything.

  woodchip 22:06 09 Nov 2005

Have you got all the Software that is Installed on Discs

  Skills 22:07 09 Nov 2005

Your correct my friend has a dell PC and her restore cd says the same on it and is a full XP cd.

I understand your worry but Im not really sure what to suggest as I said if dell put the partion on there it could have vital files that you need, although from memory when I reinstalled said friends pc I cant remember there being any hidden partions. Prehaps you could contact dell and see if they did put a hidden partion on there.

  woodchip 22:08 09 Nov 2005

Why do you need to Format? why not click here

  keewaa 22:08 09 Nov 2005

yes i have all the software on discs, so I can't see it being software installation files on the partition ... possibly drivers?

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