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    Hidden volumes in win 7 - some linked questions


    acer 5732Z laptop
    win 7 home premium

    disk management shows that i've got 3 volumes (= partition...?) - see attached screenshots.

    the machine didn't come with any disks so I think the 12GB 'nameless'/recovery partition contain all the system files I'd need to do a fresh reinstall of the OS, but it's shown as having 100% free i.e. empty, but if i assign it a letter (diskpart > list volume, in command line) then when it appears in 'computer' it shows as only having 1.97 of 12GB free.... i.e not empty

    * does anyone know why...what's going on there?

    * also, what's the 102MB 'system reserved' volume for?

    TIA
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    Last edited by jifjaf; December 3rd, 2011 at 11:08 AM. Reason: got new understanding - deleted some questions
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    Grumpier old Moderator
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    You shouldn't be messing with your recovery partition by giving it drive letters, normally recovery partitions are hidden from the OS and if you change the partition flags the BIOS may no longer be able to boot the recovery partition.

    W7 uses 2 partitons one boot partiton of around 1gb and the large partition for the rest of everything. Recovery partitions are normally created by (for) the hardware vendor, not microsoft.
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    Originally Posted by Doug G
    You shouldn't be messing with your recovery partition by giving it drive letters, normally recovery partitions are hidden from the OS and if you change the partition flags the BIOS may no longer be able to boot the recovery partition.
    Point taken re potential problem with BIOS - thanks! I didn't intend assign mount points to volumes permanently - this started as an attempt to temporarily access & copy files to use to repair another machine & now I'm just exploring & trying to find out why one view says a volume's empty while another view says it's mostly full - & I've now removed the assigned flags (put everything back to how it was).

    Originally Posted by Doug G
    W7 uses 2 partitons one boot partiton of around 1gb and the large partition for the rest of everything. Recovery partitions are normally created by (for) the hardware vendor, not microsoft.
    Sorry if this question is a bit dumb, but does this mean that they're both for recovery i.e. the recovery partition is split in two? If so why & what's the difference between the two?

    I guess that as the recovery partitions are created by/for the h.ware manufacturer then the contents as a whole won't be much use for another machine....?

    Thanks
    Last edited by jifjaf; December 3rd, 2011 at 11:39 PM.
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    Grumpier old Moderator
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    The recovery partition is a hidden partition, therefore it's contents aren't visible from within windows and windows can't size it. For many reasons you can't use recovery partition software on any other computer except the original computer.

    The boot partition is part of windows 7, it holds the initial boot files necessary to start windows.

    The C partition is what's available to you after windows boots.

    There is nothing unusual with your partitioning scheme. There is plenty of documentation available that describes disk partitioning and the boot sequence details for windows 7, microsoft has a website called microsoft technet that you may find informative.

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    • AdamPI agrees : This is for the solid, concise, well-written answer.
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    Ok, thanks for your help & advice

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