That is exactly why I checked here first before going ahead and doing it
Back to the first image, what is the second entry? It's listed as a Primary partition, system, active. But it's not visible to me. Ditto the first entry. "OEM partition". If they're just for backups, I don't need them. When Lenovo replaced my hdd they said this was the "original factory configuration", nevermind that when I bought the laptop back in 2010 I'm fairly certain it wasn't like this.
Is it possible to unallocate both the partitions which aren't C: or D:, and then consolidating the resulting free space into one partition? Having fewer partitions around would simplify things, yes?
I just booted the laptop with the WinXP setup disc - not to do anything, mind, just to have a look - but after it loaded drivers and was preparing to start setup, it bluescreened. Ouch. After power cycling it and letting Windows 7 boot, it started up fine.
A little googling around seems to finger outdated SATA drivers as the culprit - some people with similar hardware i.e. Lenovo laptops also experienced getting a BSOD after booting a WinXP install disc. http://social.microsoft.com/forums/e...-f3e379e58f55/
Way in that thread someone posts changing the SATA controller from ACHI to Compatibility. Hmm, guess I'll try that.
Yeah, that fixed it. My BIOS settings for the SATA controller were only AHCI or IDE (no "compatibility") but setting it to IDE did the trick and allowed WinXP setup to start.
At this point though I'm going off-topic from my original question so I guess I better stop here.