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I have just found two hidden partitions on my Samsung laptop running Windows 7:

File System          Label             Size       Flags
ntfs                 SYSTEM            100Mb      boot
%hidden partition 1%
%hidden partition 2%
ntfs                 SAMSUNG_REC       21Gb       diag

Q1: What are they for?

Q2: Is it safe to delete them?

Q3: Is it ok to format %hidden partiton x% and reinstall Windows 7 and install Ubuntu after that to have a dual-boot system?

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What generated the output you quoted (it looks like parted, but I can't be sure of that), and did that program really generate the text %hidden partition 1% and %hidden partition 2%? It's important to identify what program generated output and to reproduce it completely and accurately for diagnoses like this. Generally speaking, I wouldn't recommend deleting any partition; but if you need to shrink one to make room for Linux, do so. Making backups first is always advisable. –  Rod Smith Aug 1 '13 at 0:53
    
If you are OK with losing everything on the hard disk, you can wipe it out entirely (losing even the partition information) and create a fresh ntfs partition about half of the total disk space (you can do so during Windows setup). Install Windows first on this, then Ubuntu on the unpartitioned space (Ubuntu will create required partitions automatically). (This is different from reclaiming existing partitions for reuse, which isn't always necessary.) –  ADTC Aug 1 '13 at 7:46
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1 Answer

The SYSTEM partition contains boot files and is automatically generated upon installing Windows. So it is not recommended to remove this partition.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/can-i-delete-the-system-reserved-partition-from/656014d2-a516-46e6-a841-d0f9333ecb48

The SAMSUNG_REC partition appears to be a recovery partition to restore your Samsung laptop to factory conditions. This could be removed if you no longer want a backup inside your hard drive.

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Thanks for the reply! And is it ok to remove SYSTEM if I do not need any Windows OS anymore? –  Jay Foreman Jul 31 '13 at 21:42
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Prob not recommended to remove recovery partition. If OP is wondering what they are, most likely OP will need it down the road when something goes bad. ;) –  Carl B Jul 31 '13 at 21:42
    
The SYSTEM partition looks like it may be an EFI System Partition (ESP), which you should not remove if you want the disk to be bootable on an EFI system. If you're hung up on deleting partitions because of the 4-partition limit, be aware that it applies only to MBR disks. You may have a GPT disk, though, which doesn't suffer from this limit. The complete parted output will tell us which partition table type you've got. –  Rod Smith Aug 1 '13 at 0:56
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