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I was installing Gentoo when I ran into out-of-room errors, so I had to go back into Windows to do some partition resizing. In the Disk Management tool, I noticed that there is a small, empty partition in addition to the Windows and Linux partitions. The tool lists it as a 39 MB primary partition.

Is this safe to delete? What is it there for?

EDIT: Some more details about the partitions:

  • [No name] 39 MB healthy EISA (mystery partition)
  • RECOVERY (D:) 14.65 GB healthy NTFS (for backups and such, factory-made)
  • OS (C:) 449.07 GB healthy NTFS (Windows)
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Can you provide additional details about the partitions such as their types and file allocation system (i.e. FAT)? – Zian Choy Jun 4 '11 at 1:49
@Zian Sure. See my edit. – Maxpm Jun 4 '11 at 1:58
If you had given the output of the list partition command from diskpart, you would have provided enough information for people to give you more than "If you have a Dell, it's most likely this." answers. – JdeBP Jun 5 '11 at 13:30
up vote 3 down vote accepted

When I've seen a small EISA partition like that before, it's been the storage area for the Dell recovery and diagnostics tool (not the actual OS image or anything; just the tools themselves). If you have a Dell (or any other mainstream manufacturer like HP), that's likely what the partition holds.

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It would be a bad idea to delete it, then? (Not that I would; it's too small to be worthwhile.) – Maxpm Jun 4 '11 at 2:14
@Maxpm I'd say so. Besides, you've got tons of other space; no need to cause potential problems. (Also worth noting is that the recovery image in the second partition is most likely useless without the first partition). – squircle Jun 4 '11 at 2:16
It is probably a diagnostic tool partition. Dell laptops have such such a partitions that is accessed by holding the Fn key during boot and contains a self-test suite. I would keep it, it's handy if your computer ever starts acting up. – jcrawfordor Jun 4 '11 at 3:58

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