Want to view files/folders on a EISA Configuration partition

Posted on 2004-10-03
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
I have a hard drive that has a small partition that XP sees as an EISA configuration partition. My understanding is that computer manufactures put system restore software on such partitions. The disk manager won't let me assign a drive letter, so I can't see what's on it.   It's the first partiton on the disk.  

Any idea how I can get to the files?  (Partiton Magic sees it as an NTFS partiton.)

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!


Question by:d_springer
LVL 16

Assisted Solution

samccarthy earned 100 total points
ID: 12213566
Usually you can get to this on bootup.  Usually it comes up during Post and you can select an F key.  On my Dell servers, F10 puts me in the Utility.  On some other machines, compaq is one that comes to mind, you have to run the utility CD to get to the partition.  Some manufactures provide a CD that can be loaded like any other program and it will provide access to utilities, diagnostics, etc., that are stored on that partition.

Lastly, when rebuilding some machines, I just wipe it out and use the extra space.  It is generally small and unless you are using the advanced management or diagnostics that might be there, it might be better used for your files.

LVL 15

Accepted Solution

Cyber-Dude earned 400 total points
ID: 12215378
Compaq's EISA machines have a special partition for storing EISA configuration information. If you are using Windows XP OS than you may use the 'DiskPart' utility to manage that partition rather than the 'Disk manager' you are trying to use. Try to follow these steps;
1. Enter the command prompt: 'Start' => Choose 'Run' => enter 'cmd' and press 'Enter'.
2. Run the 'diskpart' utility: 'diskpart' => press 'Enter'.
3. Now things are going to get a bit tricky; Type 'list disk' to see whether you have more than one disk.
4. Type 'select disk <#>' where <#> is the number of the disk where the EISA partition is at.
5. Type 'list volume' and verify that the EISA volume is available.
6. Type 'select volume <EISA volume #>' where the <EISA volume #> is the number of the volume where the EISA resides.
7. Type 'assign <drive letter>'.


Thats it. If it wont work than it may be due to the reason of installing the OS while the EISA was already on a dynamic volume thus leaving you no choice but to delete that partition; that is if you want to... (not reccomended).


Expert Comment

ID: 14199159
If the existing OS is XP Home and the EISA partition does not have a volume assigned to it, is it then not possible to view the contents on this partition?  I went into Diskpart and even got to the point of selecting the EISA partition but was not able to run the "create volume simple" command on this OS.  

Does Diskpart allow the merging of two partitions?


Expert Comment

ID: 21186725
Cyber's instructions didn't quite work for me.

I had the same issue on my hard drive (that came from my old Dell Dimension 2400).  I reformatted this drive, but it still came up with a hidden partition, a 47 MB FAT (EISA Configuration).

I'm running XP Pro - but I don't think DiskPart runs differently.  Here's how I solved this problem:

1.  Open a command-line window (DOS commands) Start/Run/cmd <Enter>
2.  Run DiskPart
3.  Found the disk with the mystery partition:  List Disk
4.  Select Disk <disk number>
5.  Clean
6.  Create partition primary

Go into Disk Management: Start/rt-click My Computer/Manage
7.  Left-hand window pane, choose Disk Management
8.  Find the drive & partition
9.  Rt-click on the drive's unassigned partition, choose Format...., and click Yes
10. I chose NTFS, Quick Format, and Enable file & folder compression, hit OK, then OK again

Not sure Quick Format works every time - I had actually done a full format once before, and these steps were re-creating the wheel, so to say.

11. Rt-click on the newly formatted partition, choose Change Drive Letter and Paths
12. Click Add... then select a drive letter and click OK

Now, I have my new drive, all 40 GB (lists as 37.2 GB) as one partition, formatted as NTFS.  And, I did all of this using an external hard drive frame, thru the USB (2.0) port.


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