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I have a hard drive with the following layout:

enter image description here

I want to delete the first two partitions (a 243 MB Linux swap partition and a 5.87 GB root partition). Problem is, every time I deleted them, Windows would also delete Drive G: and H:, leaving only drive F: intact. Deleting the two Linux partitions using GParted from a Live CD also gave the same result. I've attempted this multiple times now and, after each attempt, TestDisk always managed to recover all the deleted partitions.

Any ideas on how to delete these two partitions without affecting the rest?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

My gut says that it has something to do with deleting both of the primary partitions from the disk, leaving only the extended partition on the drive.

What you might need to do is delete 1 partition first, create a new primary partition in its place, then delete the 2nd partition.

Alternatively, backup, repartition the entire drive, then restore. Which would be quite a bit safer.

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Assuming the deleted partitions will be replaced with some other partiton, it might be easier to delete 1 partition, resize the remaining, and reformat it. – Joe Internet Aug 4 '11 at 17:53

If your partition table matches the picture, then deleting those two primary partitions involves writing zeroes to exactly two bytes in sector #0 of your disc. This is a fairly routine partition management task, and most partitioning tools are capable of it without incident. There's an old Microsoft Knowledgebase article that shows how to do it with Windows NT 5 and the FDISK from MS-DOS, even.

But my educated guess is that the pretty picture is hiding the ugly truth that your partition table is in fact mucked up, especially when two different partitioning utilities from two different heritages behave identically. I wouldn't be surprised — given that it is a known failure mode of some tools — if it turns out that your container partition doesn't have the correct length set.

Since your post is short on detail of your partition table content, it is impossible to do anything more than guess, however.

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