What is the Dell Utility Partition and can it be deleted? - Disk Drives (HDD, CD/DVD, Blu-ray) Forum - Disk Drives - Dell Community

What is the Dell Utility Partition and can it be deleted?

Disk Drives

Disk Drives
Disk Drives (Floppy, USB, HDD, CD/DVD/BD) discussion

What is the Dell Utility Partition and can it be deleted?

  • Hey,

    Im thinking about doing some drastic things with my hard drive and the Dell Utility Partition (and Dell Restore partition) might get lost.

    I know the Restore one just contains an image of the pc as shipped from factory (ive got my own backup so im ok getting rid of this) but i dont know what the Utility one is for and if i need it.

    Ive looked on Dan Goodell's site and can see how to get it back, but not what it actually IS.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks
  • The Dell utility partition is a set of diagnostics. If you know you'll never have a hardware failure you'll need to diagnose, it's safe to delete. If you want the ability to check for hardware faults, leave it where it is - it's a very small partition, consuming a negligible amount ot space.
  • Thanks for the reply

    This is though i want to dual boot linux and XP and this installs GRUB bootloader, which overwrites the MBR, which makes me unable to boot to the utility, i think. Is it similar to that diagnsotic cd that ships with dell pcs?
  • Major_Disaster
     
    Yes.
     
    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • "Ive looked on Dan Goodell's site and can see how to get it back, but not what it actually IS."

    That's easy to find out.  Just boot the DellUtility partition and look for yourself.

    "i want to dual boot linux and XP and this installs GRUB bootloader, which overwrites the MBR, which makes me unable to boot to the utility, i think."

    The DellUtility partition is booted by the bios, not by the MBR.  It will still work, even if the MBR is overwritten.  (FYI, Dell shipped systems for several years with DellUtility and generic Microsoft MBRs.  Dell didn't go to a custom MBR until the advent of PC-Restore.)

    The DellUtility partition is required to be there by PC-Restore and MediaDirect.  But you don't have MD and are eliminating PC-Restore, so DellUtility is expendable.  It merely runs the same diagnostic program that is on the Utilities CD or can be downloaded from the Dell website.

    Eliminating it will require adjustment to your XP boot.ini file.  Some utilities like Partition Magic will automatically adjust it for you, but others like qparted reportedly do not, so you'd have to do it manually.  (This is assuming you're keeping the existing XP.  If you instead reinstall XP after the partitions have been readjusted, the installation routine will build the correct boot.ini.)

    Dan Goodell

     

  • Wow thanks Dan, i tried before to boot to it but Acronis kicked in before. So i just used acronis now and manged to get to it. Kinda like a screen where you can test all the pcs components right?

    Well thanks for that, it looks pretty useful and im gona try to keep it. Thanks for the help Dan, as usual you are my saviour in these matters!

    Thanks again
  • "i tried before to boot to it but Acronis kicked in before."

    During POST (Power-On Self Test) you'll see the blue-on-black Dell logo and the F2/F12 prompts in the upper right corner.  That's when you press F12.  When POST finishes it will present the bios boot menu, giving you a choice of which device to boot from.  If no F12, it doesn't show the bios boot menu and (as typically setup) boots from the hard disk.  That's the first place Acronis can have any influence, so if you saw Acronis kick in, that means you missed the bios boot menu and were already booting from the hard disk.

    "Kinda like a screen where you can test all the pcs components right? ... it looks pretty useful and im gona try to keep it."

    Right.  It's always available on the Dell website, so it's not that important to keep it on the hard disk, and it does take up a slot in the partition table, but it's small so most people don't bother with it and leave it alone.  I recommend leaving it there unless it starts getting in the way or you need that slot in the partition table.

     

  • "During POST (Power-On Self Test) you'll see the blue-on-black Dell logo and the F2/F12 prompts in the upper right corner. That's when you press F12. When POST finishes it will present the bios boot menu, giving you a choice of which device to boot from. If no F12, it doesn't show the bios boot menu and (as typically setup) boots from the hard disk. That's the first place Acronis can have any influence, so if you saw Acronis kick in, that means you missed the bios boot menu and were already booting from the hard disk."

    This is the procedure i got...
    1. POST Test.
    2. Press F12
    3. Gievn Boot menue
    4. Select "Boot to utility partition"
    5. Acronis loads under the boot menue.

    Now 1st time this happened i ingnored it and it just booted staright to windows, thats why i said it didnt work / acronis mucked it up so i couldnt get to it, but yesterday..

    6. Press ECS to acess acronis menue
    7. Select boot "unknown operating system"
    8. I get into the Dell Utility.

    So acronis does have sometihng to do with it, just dont know what! Doesnt really matter now though as all is working... thanks again