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Windows 7: OEM hidden partition questions

17 Apr 2015   #21
Microsoft MVP


That's a Texas Instrument Card Reader. Look for the driver on the PC's SUpport Downloads webpage.

Hardware Identification.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2015   #22

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by betaupsilon View Post
If I understand you correctly, I would still have quirks even if the 2 computers are identical models?
I didn't actually say this. You are using 2 different Dell models running XP and I wouldn't expect you could just swap HDDs. I Don't know exactly what Paragon adaptive restore does and how it deals with licensing issues (inc SLIC tables). I think you will still have the issue of activation. Is your transferred OS activated (810 image to 800)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2015   #23
Microsoft MVP


PAR is built on a Win7 PE, but must have had the SATA driver for the other PC or it had the same one. This is the only deal-breaker as far as drivers are concerning when switching. But another important function as I understand it is removing the SID and HID of the source install so that it is accepted to start up by the new hardware. This may have been what was accomplished by it here. I don't think an XP Repair install would do that, only change out drivers.

Someone else may know for sure, but PAR has mainly been promoted here by SIW2, then me, then Kaktussoft wrote his tutorial. I still use it all the time moving images around on home machines, but only for Win7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 May 2015   #24

Win7 Pro x64

I have a question for you experts, regarding the hidden OEM partition on my Dell XPS-8700.

My Dell system (new build) came with a mSATA SSD (pre-installed with Windows 7 Pro x64) and a Hard Drive (for data).

The mSATA SSD has 3 partitions:
OEM (39 MB) (Hidden) (I think the Dell ePSA Pre-Boot System Assessment utility, accessible via F12, resides here)
RECOVERY (24 GB) (The factory system image and the Boot-Manager reside here)
OS (C:\) 215 GB) (Windows 7 and installed programs reside here)

Dell Tech says the OEM (39 MB) utility partition is impossible to delete. That it cannot be deleted with DISKPART CLEAN, or CLEAN ALL. Do you know if that statement is true?

I may need to use Diskpart to delete the RECOVERY and OS partitions, but I do NOT want to delete the OEM partition by accident..... and I'm looking for advice.

Thanks in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2015   #25
Microsoft MVP


What the Dell tech meant is that you can't delete Recovery as long as it is booting the OS on C. You can actually move the Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD - Windows 7 Forums unless C is Logical in which case it needs to first be converted to Primary to receive the boot files. But I wouldn't bother with that just to recover 39gb unless you really need it. The time to get rid of Recovery if you don't want it is when you're ready to do a Clean Reinstall Windows 7 which is a vastly better install than the Factory crap install restored by the Recovery partition.

Diskpart Clean and Clean All will wipe the entire HD of all code that can interfere, but we really only use it when troubleshooting install failure or have a drive like an external that's blocking an OS boot. All you really need to do during reinstall is delete all partitions to get it cleanest, then create and format New as you wish during the reinstall, ignore the tiny boot partition it creates and install to the first large partition. Or just delete all and click Next and the installer will create one large install partition for the whole disk.

I hope this answers your questions adequately and if not just ask back any others. If you want to provide a screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image we can advise you better on anything you want to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2015   #26

Win7 Pro x64

Gregrocker... Thanks for the reply.

The Dell Tech said the Recovery (Factory Image) partition and the OS (Operating System) partition would be deleted if DISKPART was used during a Windows install (Shift+F10).

But he insisted that the OEM (Diagnostic Utility) partition was impossible to delete (even during Windows install) because "it is designed in such a way that it works with System board"..... whatever that means.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2015   #27
Microsoft MVP


A mobo or BIOS-linked Utility partition would be different than most Dell Utility partitions I've seen here. Check in BIOS setup to see if there are any such settings.

But as it says in the Special Note to Dell Owners at the end of Clean Reinstall Windows 7 you should keep the Dell Utiliity partition anyway if it will run and boot from F12 menu.

Diskpart will wipe all code from any disk. If it is somehow prevented due to new Dell partitioning restrictions then deleting all other partitions except the OEM Utility should be possible during install, which is all that is really needed anyway unless you have install problems requiring Troubleshoot Windows 7 Installation Failures - Windows 7 Help Forums the foremost of which is to wipe the disk. Otherwise it's overkill unless you want to overwrite data to make it unrecoverable by all except forensics, in which case you'd use Clean All.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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