Mystery partition

  jaydoubleyou 19:53 16 Feb 2004

I bought my PC with XP Home Edition ready installed on an 80GB hard drive, and recently partitioned the drive to dual boot Linux and have other partitions for pictures and other documents. XP is on an NTFS partition, but I notice that right at the beginning of the disk there is a hidden primary FAT32 partition called 'RECOVERY'. The partition is 2502.3MB, with 188.8MB used, and when I booted into it, it started loading XP Professional (remember I have Home) then hung.
My questions are:
1) What purpose does this partition serve, and
2) Can I install anything on it without messing up the existing XP installation? I'm thinking of reinstalling XP just so I can start afresh, but obviously don't want to do it if it will cause problems.

  Chris.h 20:46 16 Feb 2004

Some manufacturers do not supply an OS independently but give you rescue disks which restore from a hidden partition. This appears to be what it is.

If you have Windows XP disk then you can format this partition and use it for your own purposes. It`s sole purpose is system recovery at present.

  LastChip 20:48 16 Feb 2004

It is common for major manufacturers to hide a partition on the drive in order to hide the system files to give the user the option to Recover to the Manufacturers Condition. In other words, exactly as it was when you bought the machine.

However, if this is the case, the manufacturer would have supplied a Recovery CD, rather than a full XP original CD ROM. Is this what you have?

  jaydoubleyou 20:55 16 Feb 2004

I have a recovery disk. If I ran this, would it install on the hidden partition or over the existing XP install?
I don't urgently need to do a reinstall, but I've had my PC nearly a year and just want a 'fresh start' as it were.

  Chris.h 21:16 16 Feb 2004

Jay chances are that the recovery disk tells the machine to install FROM this hidden partition onto what is now your "C" partition, formatting it first , so be advised to leave the partition intact.

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