14GB 100% free Healthy (Primary Parition) after Windows 7 install

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  1. Posts : 6
    Windows 7 Home 64
       #1

    14GB 100% free Healthy (Primary Parition) after Windows 7 install


    I recently bought a new SSD to put in a really old laptop and installed Windows 7 on it. It's just for some very old software and hardware that I still want to use that are not supported in Windows 10 and up.

    Just now I took a look at Disk Management and saw there's an almost 15GB partition that is empty. I know about recovery partitions, but those are usually called Recovery Partition and have some file system. This one is just Primary Partition and no file system. When I right click on it, the only option is "delete". Also usually they would be to the right of the C partition, and this is to the left.

    Could it still be a recovery partition? Would it be so big?

    What else could it be? Could I just delete it? It's quite a lot of space to be sitting there empty. Especially that I want to dual boot Linux on there.


    14GB 100% free Healthy (Primary Parition) after Windows 7 install-partition.png
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 16,232
    7 X64
       #2

    I recently bought a new SSD to put in a really old laptop and installed Windows 7 on it.
    If it is a brand new ssd it wouldnt have come with an oem recovery partition on it.


    You can have a look inside hidden partitions with the free version of diskgenius. A very useful program.
    DiskGenius Download Center | Free Download DiskGenius
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  3. Posts : 3,816
    win 8 32 bit
       #3

    You can just delete it and move c to the left
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  4. Posts : 6
    Windows 7 Home 64
    Thread Starter
       #4

    If it is a brand new ssd it wouldnt have come with an oem recovery partition on it.
    But when installing Windows 7, it couldn't have created it? Or what else could that partition be? Something must have created it for some reason.


    You can have a look inside hidden partitions with the free version of diskgenius. A very useful program.
    DiskGenius Download Center | Free Download DiskGenius
    Is that like GParted? I'd rather use a Linux based utility.

    - - - Updated - - -

    samuria said:
    You can just delete it and move c to the left
    How can I make sure it won't affect the other partition with the installation of Windows 7? I spent way too much time setting that drive with all the software I installed on it. I'd rather loose the space in the hard disk than loose all the work I put into it. Unless I can be absolutely 100% sure that it will be completely safe to delete it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Someone has told me that I won't be able to dual boot using this disk because the system partition and boot partition are together in the same partition. Anyone know if this is true? And if so what can be done about it so I can dual boot with Linux?
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  5. Posts : 139
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
       #5

    If it is a GPT drive then you do need the system partition to be able to boot into it. If it is MBR, you can safely delete it. But back it up first, that way you won't have to take someone's word that everything will be fine.
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  6. Posts : 3,816
    win 8 32 bit
       #6

    It does show as 100% free so no files on there
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  7. Posts : 6
    Windows 7 Home 64
    Thread Starter
       #7

    BlueBonnett said:
    If it is a GPT drive then you do need the system partition to be able to boot into it. If it is MBR, you can safely delete it. But back it up first, that way you won't have to take someone's word that everything will be fine.

    It is MBR.

    I posted on Reddit and someone says it would be very complicated to do: https://www.reddit.com/r/pchelp/comm...se_partitions/

    What do you think?

    - - - Updated - - -

    samuria said:
    It does show as 100% free so no files on there

    I've seen some people saying that their recovery partitions show 100% free even though it was actually really the recovery partition.

    But how could a 15 GB partition have been created just like that for no reason? The SSD was new, I used the Windows 7 recovery disks, and did a normal install. At no moment did I choose anything about partitions or anything like that.
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  8. Posts : 7,061
    Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
       #8

    @sebs

    You are saying that it is a new SSD. When you received did you check it to confirm that it is a new one? We have come across users who bought SSD on ebay and found that it was a used one and not new. In one instance it was actually formatted in Linux for Linux.

    Usually, you will need to format an SSD after purchase in order to ensure it's compatible with your operating system or if you are moving the SSD from one device to another.

    How to Initialize Your SSD for Windows(R) | Crucial IN


    Last edited by jumanji; 17 May 2024 at 01:28.
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  9. Posts : 403
    Windows 7/8.1/10 multiboot
       #9

    First, just to be clear, 15 GB is not a lot of space. Don't be prejudiced by the Disk Management display, which is not to proportional scale.

    sebs said:
    But how could a 15 GB partition have been created just like that for no reason? The SSD was new, I used the Windows 7 recovery disks, and did a normal install.
    Aha, there's the key piece of information.

    (Disclaimer: I'm not familiar with the Asus recovery CD/DVDs so I may be off-base, but I'm going on the assumption they're basically similar to those from other OEMs -- notably HP and Dell, with which I am most familiar.)

    With the recovery discs I studied back in the Win7 era, using the discs would first wipe the target HDD (read "SSD" here, too) -- hence, it's moot whether or not the disk drive had any pre-existing partitions. The factory discs then create fresh partitions in the factory pre-determined layout. 15 GB or thereabouts was a common size for a factory recovery partition, which had to be big enough to contain the full factory Win7 restore image (which was often around 8-12 GB large). This partition was then hidden using manufacturer-specific techniques to prevent Windows (and fumble-fingered users) from messing with it. By hiding it, Windows can't see into it, and erroneously thinks the partition is empty because it can't see anything.

    This factory partition enabled a user to restore the computer to its OEM factory state by invoking the manufacturer's magic key combination, all without requiring reinstallation CD/DVDs. The purpose of the CD/DVD discs you have would therefore be redundant except in the case where the HDD completely died or when it was upgraded -- in which cases the factory restore partition would be inaccessible and unavailable for restoring the OS partition on the new disk drive.

    Some tips that may be helpful to determine if that's what you're looking at would be to look at the original HDD (e.g., put it in an external USB enclosure). Does the original have a partition of equivalent size? Does Windows Disk Management think that one is also empty?

    If it is indeed a factory restore partition, there is no harm deleting it -- especially since you already have a known-good set of recovery discs anyway. The only downside is you would lose the ability to do a quick and easy factory restore just by pushing the magic keys.

    OTOH, that factory image is undoubtedly so old and out of date that you'd be better off using any of the good third-party backup imaging programs (Terabyte, Macrium, Acronis, Aomei, Easus, et al) to make a new image after you've updated Windows and configured it to your liking. That's a better recovery strategy than having to fall back on a decade-old factory image.

    As for dual-booting linux, it's been over a decade since I did that so I'm no expert. However, IIRC, you actually want your Windows startup ("System") and OS ("Boot") partitions to be one and the same. Linux will boot from its own grub partition, from which you would have a menu to select whether to boot a linux OS partition or chain to the boot loader in the Windows partition. The Windows startup partition cannot choose between linux and Windows OS partitions, but a grub startup partition can.

    If your Windows were installed in the more common split System/Boot partitions, it would actually be more complicated to dual-boot linux because you'd have to keep both partitions while adding a grub partition to chain to the Windows System partition to then chain to the Windows Boot partition. (And if it's an MBR disk, you'll also start running short of slots in the partition table. There are ways around that, but that's a discussion for a different thread.)
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  10. Posts : 16,232
    7 X64
       #10

    dg1261 said:
    With the recovery discs I studied back in the Win7 era, using the discs would first wipe the target HDD (read "SSD" here, too) -- hence, it's moot whether or not the disk drive had any pre-existing partitions. The factory discs then create fresh partitions in the factory pre-determined layout. 15 GB or thereabouts was a common size for a factory recovery partition, which had to be big enough to contain the full factory Win7 restore image (which was often around 8-12 GB large). This partition was then hidden using manufacturer-specific techniques to prevent Windows (and fumble-fingered users) from messing with it. By hiding it, Windows can't see into it, and erroneously thinks the partition is empty because it can't see anything.

    This factory partition enabled a user to restore the computer to its OEM factory state
    I supected it might be that which is why I made post #2

    Some tips that may be helpful to determine if that's what you're looking at
    Already suggested one easy method for doing that in post #2

    There also might be an extra entry on the winre system recovery options menu pointing at the oem restore.
    An extra entry in addition to the usual 5 a bit like the one I have added here

    14GB 100% free Healthy (Primary Parition) after Windows 7 install-added-recovery-option.jpg



    diskgenius will usually indicate the partition type for example

    14GB 100% free Healthy (Primary Parition) after Windows 7 install-ms-recovery-partition1.jpg

    or rt click the partition and select "modify partition parameters" for more information


    or highlight the partition and click the FILES tab to see and browse the contents, for example

    14GB 100% free Healthy (Primary Parition) after Windows 7 install-dg-files1.jpg

    rt click on any of the files/folders for more options
    14GB 100% free Healthy (Primary Parition) after Windows 7 install-dg-files2.jpg
    Last edited by SIW2; 17 May 2024 at 09:06.
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