By scarz3 ยท 9 replies
Mar 17, 2005
  1. Hi, i have three partitions that i have found in PartitionMagic
    1. BACKUP - FAT32 - 4gb - Hidden
    2. HDD - NTFS - 141mb - Active
    3. Local Disk - NTFS - 148gb - None

    I am using the Local Disk although the HDD is the active partition.
    A while ago my pc went potty so i had to reinstall windows and i think this may have created a new partition.
    I don't get why the backup partition is so big!
    Is it a good idea to boot from the XP cd and delete all partitions, then having one partition with XP on it?
    I don't know any other way unless i try and merge the two NTFS partitions, but this is a risk??
    Please Help!!
    P.S. My hard drive is meant to be 160gb but all partitions = 152 gb
  2. dopefisher

    dopefisher TS Rookie Posts: 444

    do you have any data in the partition which you do not want to lose? if not just delete it. using one partition will be the easiest and most efficient route.
  3. scarz3

    scarz3 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the reply...

    i don't think there any data that i can't afford to lose in the other two partitions although i am a little curious that one is called BACKUP, it's hidden and it takes up 4 gb!!
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    The hidden partition contains a backup of the original installation, when you first bought that PC. If all else fails, you coud restore from there, but you would loose ALL your data.
    Have you installed XP yourself since, or what have you done?
    HD-system files always take up some space, so you never get the full HD-size. Also, some manufacturers use 1GB=1000MB where it should be 1GB=1024MB.
    Do not start deleting or merging any partitions if you don't know what your are doing! (and you obviously don't).
  5. scarz3

    scarz3 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well a while ago i had XP home on my system, which i think part of it is still here on the HDD active partition, i installed XP pro on the system which is the Local Disk partition, even though i am using it, the HDD partition is saying Active
    Now i have 3 partitions, a huge Backup, a HDD and a Local disk
  6. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    If you don't mind reinstalling, and you want to stay with XP-Pro, then use PartMagic to unhide that 4GB partition, if it lets you. Get all the drivers out from there that you need for that PC. Backup your personal data (and those drivers) onto another HD or burn to CD.
    Then delete all partitions. Use PM or boot from the XP-Pro CD and make either 1 new partition using the whole disk, or (better), make a small partition of about 10GB to install XP-Pro in, and make a second partition, using the rest of the space, for all your programs, My Documents etc.
    When you have installed and updated XP, take an image of it before you install any other programs. That way you can recover easily in future if anything goes wrong.
  7. scarz3

    scarz3 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the help
    what do you mean by "unhide the 4gb", do you mean delete it?
    and also how do I know which drivers i need?
    if you have msn messenger it would be easier to communicate and you could tell me what needs to be done, PM your email address please!!
  8. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    You stated you have a Hidden partition. In PM there is a function to 'unhide' a hidden partition.
    You have not given any info whatsoever about your PC, so how would WE know what drivers you need? Obviously the ones for your motherboard hardware, and any other peripherals your PC came with. If that PC were a Dell for instance, it would contain XP, Works, some Antivirus, an Office trial, hardware drivers and whatever else.
    Stop thinking about your harddisk as having 3 partitions.
    The 4GB contains the BACKUP of the software and drivers that the PC came with originally. 4GB is nothing on a disk of that size, so stop worrying about it.
    The HDD Active is a system area on the harddisk, and you should not even look at it. It also takes up an absolute minimal amount of space. DO NOT TOUCH IT.
    The Local Disk is your usable Harddisk area. This is the one you see in explorer.

    My best advice is to leave everything as it is. If your PC is working, fine. If not, what is the problem?

    I do not use any messenger and I certainly do NOT give out my email address!
  9. scarz3

    scarz3 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cheers realblackstuff you have been great help, i have 144gb of usable disk size so i guess i'm ok.
    One more thing though, say that my PC went wrong, what would the BACKUP partition do for me?
  10. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    The BACKUP contains Windows and all the stuff, the way it came from the factory.
    If the PC goes belly-up, you can ONLY restore the FACTORY-status, but you will lose anything you ever installed yourself. There should be some restore-instructions with that PC.

    Advise: buy a second harddisk and get some disk-imaging program (
    Make at least monthly backups by imaging (part of) your drive. Copy your personal data over on a more frequent schedule.
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