Partition Help

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Skyline969, May 22, 2009.

  1. Skyline969
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    Skyline969 MENUdo Afficionado

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    I have Vista on my laptop (Dell Inspiron 1525) and I want to dual-boot Windows 7 with it. However, I have the maximum number of partitions: I have a 180 gig partition or so for Vista and all my files, a 10 or so gig one for Dell's recovery feature, and two unidentified partitions. One of them is 2.5 gigs and the other is less than 100 megs. I think the 2.5 gig one is Dell MediaDirect, but deleting that partition would cause some major damage to my laptop should I accidentally press the MediaDirect button on my laptop while it's off. Still, what would that less-than-100-meg partition be? In disk management, both unnamed partitions are shown as 100% empty. What can I do so I can make a new partition with my unallocated hard drive space and install Windows 7?
     
  2. Trolly

    Trolly GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I made the mistake of doing something similar recently and getting rid of that small unused space at the end of the hard drive, but apparently the hard drive can be damaged if you use the last 100 meg or so. Of course, I'm no expert, so I'd get a second opinion.
     
  3. playallday

    playallday Group: GBAtemp Ghost

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    Whoa, whoa, whoa! Are you sure? I'm right now using the last 100MB of my hard drive!
     
  4. Skyline969
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    Skyline969 MENUdo Afficionado

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    Chill, playallday. According to someone from the Dell forums, it could just be Dell Diagnostics. I don't know if that's for sure or not, but I'll look into it more.

    And as for not using the last 100 megs, what if you just expanded the partition and then just made sure you didn't fill it completely? Would that work?
     
  5. psycoblaster

    psycoblaster Divine

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    Just delete those. I had an unkown 8GB partition that would cause errors in programs such as partition magic.
    I just formatted that and added it to my 50 GB partition and that's where I installed my windows7.

    Just delete those 2 unused partitions, as they wouldn't be important anyways.
     
  6. Findecanno

    Findecanno GBAtemp Regular

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    I think theres a linux live cd made just for editing partitions. not sure what Its called though but it may be helpful. Why do you want 2 versions of windows anyways? get Linux instead.
     
  7. Skyline969
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    Skyline969 MENUdo Afficionado

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    That CD is called the gParted Live CD.

    As for deleting the two partitions, I can't delete the 2.5 gig one. If that's MediaDirect, it'll mangle my MBR if I accidentally push the MediaDirect button when the power is off. It'll try to boot to MediaDirect and then fail since it can't boot. However, I'll consider deleting the tiny partition when I find out just what it is.

    I just want to test out Windows 7. Once I test it out for a while, I'll probably delete it and switch to an Ubuntu dual-boot because I'll need Ubuntu (or probably Debian) for my second year of college.
     
  8. dark42

    dark42 GBAtemp Regular

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    There are actually two MediaDirect partitions, one with all the data (visible) and one with the booting code (hidden). If you delete both the MediaDirect button will be rendered harmless, it will just turn into a second on button. To delete it you need to do a whole disk wipe. Get a Linux Live CD (GParted will do), open a command line (ctrl + alt + F2) and type in:
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda
    WARNING: THIS WILL DELETE ALL DATA ON YOUR HDD!!! It will overwrite your disk with zeros and get rid of the otherwise impossible-to-delete hidden partition. This will take some time, you might want to leave your computer on overnight or something, but it will render the MediaDirect button harmless. If you press it after doing this it will show the MediaDirect splashscreen and will continue booting your laptop like normal. Also, I'm pretty sure you can never reinstall MediaDirect again, for me it's not something I care about but you might. Also, make sure you have a Windows install disc (Dell gave you one right?) to reinstall Windows if you want it, since that recovery partition will be destroyed.
    Yes, I have done this on my XPS M1330, I had to do something after my grandpa accidentally my whole partition table by pressing the button.
     
  9. Skyline969
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    Skyline969 MENUdo Afficionado

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    Ah crap, that's gonna be a lot of work just to render the MD button useless. I've got too much stuff on here and not enough storage (DVDs can only go so far) to put it all away. Maybe I'll just delete the Recovery partition and then just make frequent backups of the important stuff on my laptop.... That way, if my laptop does mess up somehow, I can use your method and one-pass zeros format (is that the proper term?) the HDD to get it to work again completely. Of course, that'd probably screw my 3-year warranty over that I paid like $100 extra for.

    EDIT: Yeah, Dell gave me a Vista DVD, along with others such as one for Roxio Creator. Oddly enough, I don't think they gave me a drivers CD... but that's what the internet is for, right?
     
  10. dark42

    dark42 GBAtemp Regular

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    Dell won't void your warranty for overwriting your HDD, don't worry about that. This is a computer, not Wii hacking. And yes the drivers can be obtained from dell.com.
     
  11. Skyline969
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    Skyline969 MENUdo Afficionado

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    Ok, so for a final note (ignore my purposes afterward), will I suffer from any side-effects at all if I delete the Recovery partition from my hard drive and then create a new 30 gig partition? I'll be deleting the partition with Disk Management in Vista. Or is that possible? If not, I'll use my Ubuntu Live CD or Hiren's Boot CD.
     
  12. dark42

    dark42 GBAtemp Regular

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    No, you'll be fine deleting that, but if you ever want to reinstall Windows you'll have to do it from the DVD.
     
  13. Skyline969
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    Skyline969 MENUdo Afficionado

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  14. Dark_linis

    Dark_linis GBAtemp Regular

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    "it'll mangle my MBR"


    that sounds kind of dirty [​IMG]

    er and not to jack your thread but what type of processor do you have?

    I have a insperon 1525 also but it has a intel celeron chip... that runs like shit and it doesnt seem like I'll be able to overclock.

    If I wanted to install windows 7 would my processor be a problem?
     
  15. Skyline969
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    Skyline969 MENUdo Afficionado

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    Lol now that you think of it, it does seem dirty. [​IMG]
    My processor is a Pentium Dual-Core. This program will tell you whether or not you'll have problems with Windows 7.
     
  16. Trolly

    Trolly GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Screwed perhaps?
    Otherwise, I can't see a thing, why not just ask?
     
  17. Dark_linis

    Dark_linis GBAtemp Regular

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    oooo, ok thanks!
     
  18. piratesmack

    piratesmack GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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  19. dark42

    dark42 GBAtemp Regular

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    Because it needs to wipe the hidden MediaDirect partition, and AFAIK that's the only way to do it. If you don't get rid of that partition, and you don't have the regular visible MD partition, and you accidentally press the MD button your partition table will be rendered useless.
    If there's a better way to get rid of the hidden partition please do tell. It would help a lot of people.
     
  20. piratesmack

    piratesmack GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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