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Ever notice how ASUS computers always partition their Win7 installs into two drives, with the boot drive having barely any space at all? Why is that?
Update: Partition 1: 120 GB, Partition 2: 200GB.

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closed as too localized by MDMarra, random Sep 2 '10 at 17:19

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This question probably should not have been closed. It is helpful to anyone who who buys an ASUS computer, a major brand. Its also been viewed over 4,000 times implying that other people find it relevant. –  Chris Dutrow Mar 17 '12 at 13:58
    
Asus isn't the only one. Dell does it and so does HP. I believe that its a recovery partition. –  KronoS Jul 13 '12 at 16:00

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

My Asus netbook came with two extra partitions, one was a system restore, which if you changed the bios and booted into it, it would reset to factory settings (much to my dismay having just installed Ubuntu!). The third partition which was tiny was Asus' own operating system designed for web browsing and chat only, and would boot in a couple of seconds from pressing the second power button.

Your partition might be this other operating system if It's really small.

Edit: Just noticed the sizes, it's probably just Asus trying to 'assist' you by separating your programs and your documents. Personally first thing I would do is repartition to what I wanted (turned out to be Ubuntu Netbook edition).

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When I did repartition, my copy of Windows 7 wouldn't boot. Windows 7 doesn't like Ubuntu, apparently. –  digitxp Sep 1 '10 at 14:05
    
On my desktop they live side by side quite happily, on my netbook I didn't leave any Windows on there at all. –  Dom Sep 2 '10 at 8:15

Acer laptops with large drives tend to come with three partitions:

  1. a 10Gb partition that contains the rescue/restore system so you can roll back to factory settings without any extra media if your hard-drive is in one piece.
  2. a large (about half the drive) partition that is C: by default. This is killed and refreshed when you use the restore process to roll back to factory settings
  3. another large (the remaining space) partition that is D: under the default Windows setups. This is not affected by the factory reset process so you can keep data here for a little extra safety (though I still recommend having your data copied to another drive (such as your normal backup solution, we all have a good backup solution set don't we!) anyway just in case something goes wrong and that partition is somehow affected.

I've seen three Acer machines with 250Gb drives partitioned this way, two of which I have had to use the factory restore on (having given up extracting all the malware by other means) so can confirm the third partition is untouched if all goes to plan. I presume things will work the same with other manufacturers who use a similar layout.

You should be able to remove the extra large partition (or shrink it to a smaller size and move it to the end of the disk) and extend the C: one into the resulting space using partition management tools like gparted, but I've never done this on such a machine so definitely take full backups before trying - last time I resized a Windows system partition this way Windows wasn't happy booting afterwards. I don't know if the factory restore process will respect your changes or complete reset the partition table if it detects changes, so take extra care if you need to use that afterwards too.

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Often the recovery partition will be hidden and not show up in Windows (even in disk manager). I'm also responsible for a set of 18 Acers with this configuration, and the sad part is that occasionally they decide to boot in recovery mode all on their own. –  Joel Coehoorn Sep 1 '10 at 20:38

Some manufacturers make this partition for backup purposes, they may have installed a backup software that uses the D partition to store backups, or have pre-configured Windows to use the D partition for backups and restore points.

You should contact Acer support to find out for sure, 200gb is way to big for Windows 7 restore and would be wasted space.

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If you are talking about the 200mb partition it is to hold the WinRE (recover environment) and is there by default when installing Windows 7.

For more info on the partition you can look at this link.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd799232(WS.10).aspx#SystemPartitions

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Nope, not a 200MB partition. –  digitxp Aug 30 '10 at 20:33

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