Windows 10: Numerous Partitions Solved

  1.    22 Sep 2015 #1

    Numerous Partitions

    Hi - I am new to this forum so I hope I am putting this question in the right section. I have upgraded to Windows 10 pro from Windows 8.1 pro. Going into Disk Management I have found numerous partitions. I have no idea what they are and if they are needed. I really don't think that I need so many and would like to get rid of them but am not sure which ones to get rid of. I have made a recovery disk with W10 and also a system image with Aomea OneKey. I would greatly appreciate if someone can help me or point me in the right directions to get the answers.

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  2. Night Hawk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       22 Sep 2015 #2

    Hello dannicc Welcome to the Ten Forums!

    Did Windows 8.1 come preinstalled or upgrade over a previous version that came when buying the system new? Those extra partitions are for the System Reserved, OEM recovery, OEM softwares/drivers. and likely 3rd party apps. They are small and can be removed easily BUT! you may not be able to expand the OS primary 10 is on afterwards to fill in the drive. You may have to wipe the entire drive clean!

    This came up on an HP laptop lately that came with the 32bit 7 Home Premium I upgraded into the 64bit 10 Home with some work cot out for me there! Once the upgrade was on for the 32bit 10 Home I then immediately performed the 32bit clean install and all was well after the initial upgrade on the other hand was doing so well! No Start button seen, Settings screen blank, and no access to the AllApps! But no worry already planning multiple 10 installs to begin with!

    Once the 32bit clean install was found activated I knew I could then see the second to the 64bit platform but afterwards wanted to dump those other small 300mb and 400mb OEM and 3rd party items! Those went easy enough simply going into the Disk Management tool while not touching the System Reserved part at the front not rear of the drive as the other two were. The partition would not expand to fill the drive in! It also refused to shrink any when deciding to reduce the OS primary to created a second backup partition for the single drive only laptop.

    In the end game I simply wiped the drive entirely previously having made a full system image backup of the original 7 installation. I also now have a full backup of the working 10 install that went onto the brand single OS primary partition created to run 10 on. And that is what you have to expect will need to be done there as well.

    Generally speaking the OEM primary partitions are made to be unmovable being locked to the drive and need to be erased! First backing things up you want to keep will be advised before a total drive wipe takes place however. Once the drive is clean you can use the fast option of Drive Tools when going to use the Custom install option or partition the single primary using any of a number of other options available to not see the System Reserved partition automatically created by the Windows installer when not seeing this done first. The Clean Install guide will outline how to use the Drive tools option during the fresh clean install of 10.

    You will notice the drive also sees the GPT not MBR option which suggests UEFI at work. Windows won't go onto drives with MBR type partitions where this is active. The guide will explain more on that. For alternative methods to partition the drive you have the DiskPart tool run at the command prompt option when booted live from the 10 media as well as 3rd party ware like EaseUS and Partition Wizard for Windows or if you have any Live distros the GParted option will create an NTFS primary for you as well. You will need to know which type of primary GPT or MBR to go with.
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  3.    23 Sep 2015 #3

    Hi Night Hawk - Thank you for your reply. Windows 8.1 home was preinstalled on my PC when I bought it. I upgraded it to windows 8.1 Pro and I then upgraded to Windows 10 Pro when it became available. I was hoping not to have to do a clean install. I might try to delete a few partitions and see what happens. I will try and delete the 1gb OEM partition and see if I can reclaim the space. If not then I will have to read the "clean install guide" from the link you gave. Thank you again.

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  4. Night Hawk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       23 Sep 2015 #4

    I figured the AOMEI OneKey was 3rd party there but still optional when planning to wipe the other now obsolete partitions from the drive. The part about not being able to expand the OS primary to fill in the gaps left open is however why a fresh primary will be needed for that or simply leave gaps! The OEM type primaries are typically write protected in a fashion to prevent resizing even after a reformat.

    By the looks of everything there the new primary will likely need to be the GPT not MBR type where a gui partitioning method will be necessary to be able to make that type of selection. Of course you can always refer to the TechNet page for the Windows PE and DiskPart information seen at Sample: Configure UEFI/GPT-Based Hard Drive Partitions by Using Windows PE and DiskPart

    Here I wouldn't even have wasted the time obviously from simply having done a large number of clean installs on fresh primaries over the years where it has become second nature to nuke a drive clean and start fresh. You don't pick up the clutter left behind from upgrade installs or system partition table information seeing some corruption over time when can come up on you suddenly.

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  5.    24 Sep 2015 #5

    Hi Chrunos - Thank you for your reply. Using your answer as a guide I have managed to get rid of the excess partitions and have merged them onto my main partition. I used a 3rd party free software -Aomei Partition Assistant. So far everything is working OK.

    Night hawk - Thank you for your reply - I will bookmark the 'the clean install guide' just in case. Hopefully I won't need it.

    Thanking you both again Cheers.:)
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  6. Night Hawk's Avatar
    Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
       24 Sep 2015 #6

    Glad to hear you were able to see some of those merged with the primary. If you should end up running into any partition volume type errors which might come up on you just be prepared to see a total wipe. The OEM Primary I ran into wouldn't allow any merge or resize only deletion of partitions at the time. And if you do have to you might want to see if you can customize a second recovery partition if you lack a second drive to store a full system image on. That could get you back running again if something else comes up later.
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