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Dell Partitions?

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Dell Partitions?

  • Hi.  Recently I was going to reinstall the OS on my Dell PC.  I noticed that I can choose what partition to install on or to delete any and all partitions.  I know the one with the largest MB was the one i wanted to reinstall on.  But my question is what are the other partitions for?  One is in FAT and the other (D)(which is my cd/dvd drive name) in FAT32,  I may have mixed up which one is FAT and which one is FAT32 but you get my point.  What are these partitions?  And what are they used for?  Is it safe for me to delete them?  I would like to delete anything I don't need and just make a clean install of XP on unpartitioned space.
    I am using the Dimension E521
    AMD 64 Athlon X2
    Windows XP

    Message Edited by ComposerPianist on 09-30-2007 12:45 PM
  • On every computer we have ever had, back decades, we set up a C:/ drive for the OS and programs ONLY. 25Gb is probably enough for the average. The D:/ drive we use for data, and it is usually whatever is left on the primary drive. All our e-mail, bookmarks, addresses, spreadsheets, documents, etc go on D:/. Why?? So when (not if) we have to reformat the C:/ drive to do a clean re-install of the OS we don't lose any important stuff. Any further drives (usually E:/ and F:/) are used to store music and pix, and as a work area for ripping and burning DVDs and such. We also carry installation files for most of the apps here for re-installation.
  • ComposerPianist

    Do not delete anything unless you know the consequences?

    Navigate to Disk Management as follows:

    Start > right click My Computer > click on Manage

    In LHS pane, click on Storage to expand, then click on Disk Management

    The RHS pane will now show computer disk information & partitions

    If NO format/partition changes have been made to PC hard disk drive (HDD) since purchase, you should see the following:

    A small MB FAT (Dell Utility), (c: ) a large GB NTFS (Windows OS) & a 3 to 4GB FAT32 (Dell PC Restore)

    The Dell PC Restore by Symantec a.k.a. Dell System Restore (DSR) utility is explained in your E521User Manual

    When used, DSR utility restores PC Windows OS partition to out-of-box condition without need for any CDs

    If you want to retain Dell preinstalled boot features do NOT delete either the Utility or DSR partitions

    However even by doing a WXP clean install it will probably overwrite the Dell modified master boot record (MBR) on your HDD & break the boot links to FAT32 partition etc

    Not sure what the “D” drive is unless you have some “other” Dell preinstalled application, but it should show up in Disk Management, otherwise your HDD has been partition modified as explained by cciaffone

    Message Edited by BELL BOY on 09-30-2007 06:06 PM
  • Thank you for your reply.
    I did a little reading up on the Dell Diagnostics Utilities.  The smaller partition is for the Dell Diagnostics.  I have all the diagnostics tools on my drivers and utilities disc that came with the PC.  So I guess if I delete that partition no harm is done?  Am I right? 
    Now the big question is:  If I delete the diagnostics partition and/or the recovery partition, does that effect my warrantee?  Will Dell stop supporting my PC if they find out I deleted those?  This is a very important question that I need answered before I do anything!
    EDIT:  I did reinstall clean once as a Dell Technician walked me through it.  So I cant go to dell recovery by pressing F11 anymore.  So the bootable stuff is useless to me. 

    Message Edited by ComposerPianist on 09-30-2007 06:11 PM
  • Correct, you can run diagnostics from CD, deleting above mentioned won’t damage HDD but some prefer to use DSR (only takes 10 minutes) rather than clean install which can take 2 + hours, if all goes well?

    Doubt it, but then I don’t work for Dell & it’s not my PC but unless corrected by “others”, Dell’s warrantee tends to only cover hardware failures

    Never had to use Dell Support but understand their “normal” first suggestion is to use DSR or do a clean install?

    Just noticed your Edit, there is a fix for DSR boot problem, if interested?

    Message Edited by BELL BOY on 09-30-2007 06:29 PM
  • I just got done chatting with a Dell Tech Support. (Which was a trip I must say lol)  It must have took 30 minuts just to answer one question:
    If I delete all partitions including Diagnostics Utilities and System Recovery, does it effect my warrantee?  Will Dell still support it?
    after 30 minuts of utter stupidity the final answer is:
    yes Dell will still support it.  But only the hardware not the software.
    I think that could have been answered in 5 seconds dont u think so? LOL
    Also, as long as I'm not shipping it to them to fix it, they won't know that I deleted anything and thus they will give me software support.  LOL :smileyvery-happy:
    EDIT: Upon reading the warranty in my user manual I discover the following:
    "The limited warranty does not cover: 
    -Software, including the operating system and software added to the Dell-branded hardware products through our factory-integration system, third-party software, or the reloading of software."
    So that means they never were supporting the software LOL :smileyvery-happy:  just the hardware in the first place!!!

    Message Edited by ComposerPianist on 09-30-2007 07:45 PM

    Message Edited by ComposerPianist on 09-30-2007 07:45 PM

    Message Edited by ComposerPianist on 09-30-2007 07:46 PM
  • Yep it’s a laugh  :smileyvery-happy:

    As previously stated Dell’s software support tends to be “do a clean install”, not surprising since software problems can be a maze  :smileymad:
  • read my edit.  i just noticed your post after i made the edit
  • " So that means they never were supporting the software LOL   just the hardware in the first place!!! "
    Why would anyone expect Dell or anyone else that builds PC's to support software problems.
    1.) They did not write the software.
    2.) They have No control over the Code written into the software.
    3.) It takes some users through their own carelessness 2.7 seconds to mess up a perfectly good OS.
    4.) Software support is very expensive to provide anyway if you hire anyone worth his salt he will be expensive to keep on the payroll.
    Remember when computers were first coming out you would buy the computer then you had to write your own programs or trade through Bulletin Boards ( BBS) to get someone elses.