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8 partitions?!  Really?

Posted on 2016-11-03
  • Windows 8
  • SBS
  • Laptops Notebooks
  • Hardware
  • Storage Hardware
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
This picture is from shadow protect of a Dell laptop that shipped with windows 8 and the user upgraded to 10 at some point.

I'm counting 8 partitions?  I'm used to 3 or so: the actual operating system, diagnostics, partition with an image of the original OS.

Any idea if all or part of this is part of upgrading to win 10?

And I'm looking to do a clean install of windows 10 (I am looking to use a dell win 10 install disk - will that activate?  I'll use the same microsoft user name as before).

Woudl you wipe the drive? save all / some partitions?

8 partitions?
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by:pony10us
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41873002
I only have 3 on my 3 Windows 10 systems including one that upgraded from Windows 8.1

Were the partitions there prior to the upgrade?  Is there a backup running that causes this?
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by:rindi
rindi earned 83 total points
ID: 41873058
Some of the partitions are from the original factory setup, including factory restore partition etc.

Don't use the Dell Win 10 install disk. Rather download the newest Windows 10 iso from the m$ site and install that. When asked for product key click on "I don't have a key", the installation will continue, and once the system is setup and connected to the internet it will automatically re-register with the m$ servers. Make sure you install the correct OS version that corresponds to what you have now (Windows 10 home or Pro), as it will only activate if you install the correct version.

There should be no problem deleting all partitions before installation of the OS, as you won't want to go back to Windows 8 anyway, and the factory restore and other Dell partitions won't be needed.
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by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
ID: 41873071
any way to tell now (the computer doesn't boot up, but files are there) what version of 10 is installed?  if file x is there, it's pro, if it's missing, it's home?

the other dell partition for diags.  when does that get recreated on a new drive? is that part of the dell win 10 disk install?  Or something you get from the drivers page for that machine?
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by:rindi
rindi earned 83 total points
ID: 41873133
The Dell stuff was probably installed by Dell. It may not be possible to install them again. But they shouldn't be necessary. Dell Servers had some tools you could download to create such partitions, but I don't think they are available for PC's/Notebooks.

The invoice should say what OS it came with, and possibly also the service tag when you check via the Dell web-page.
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garycase earned 251 total points
ID: 41873244
As noted above, you can do a complete reinstall of Windows 10 from bootable media and don't need ANY of the partitions on the disk.

I'd do the following:

(1)  Download the media creation tool ("Download tool now" link here:  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 ]

(2)  Create bootable media to "install on another PC" ... you can either create an ISO and burn a DVD from it; or you can simply create a bootable flash drive (best choice).

(3)  Boot from the bootable media you created and run setup.   Delete ALL of the current partitions on the disk, and then do the install.   If prompted for a version, you need to choose either Home or Pro.    If you know what was already on the system -- if you don't, if you know which version of Windows 8 was originally on it you can assume it's the corresponding version of 10 -- then choose the correct version.    If not, just choose one -- if the system doesn't activate with that, then just repeat the install and use the other one -- and let the install proceed.    As noted earlier, when prompted for a key, just click on "I don't have a key" and the install will proceed and it will automatically activate when completed (unless you selected the wrong version).

(4)  If the install in #3 didn't activate, just repeat it, but select the "other" version of 10 this time (Home vs Pro or Pro vs Home).    Note that the "bitness" doesn't matter -- you can install either the x32 or x64 version.

As for the # of partitions => you'll end up with 2 partitions ... a "System Reserved" partition and the actual OS partition.   Upgrades often end up with 3, as the original "System Reserved" from '7 or '8 isn't large enough, so an additional partition is created after the OS partition.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 83 total points
ID: 41873472
The system is using UEFI instead of BIOS.  That means the main disk - the one with the C: drive - is a GUID Partition Table (GPT).  These disks can have 128 partitions.  But it's not uncommon for a GPT based system to have 5 or more partitions - see https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825686.aspx
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by:BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp
ID: 41874298
Thanks
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