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I'd like to know why a Samsung computer would have a writable D: partition that is over 160 GB. As far as I know, D partitions are usually for recovery files. I am not a windows user, but I was for a bit over a year, and I remember my computer used to have that partition, but it was not as big, and it was protected.

Today I needed to use a windows computer, so I asked a friend of mine if I could borrow her Samsung laptop (model unknown). She is not computer savvy, so I'm guessing she did not do the partition. Her computer is pretty much as she bought it, except the C: disk partition is full. I noticed the D: partition.

Why would Samsung create a D: partition that is 166 GB big, and writable?

There are a bit over 20 files in there, half of them are text files, and judging by their name, they are end user license agreements. Other files are .dll files all named install.res.XXXX.dll, where XXXX are digits such as 1028, 1031, and 1033, each of these files seems to correspond to one of the eula files.

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Could you give us a model number of the laptop? Perhaps it is supposed to have a secondary (non recovery) drive. Many laptops have a spot for a secondary hard drive. Sometimes these are in weird locations, such as under the keyboard. This is a possibility, but until I know the model number, I cannot be certain. Do you recall if the label on the D drive was "Recovery"? Since it appears that you looked at the files related to an EULA, were they for sure Samsung related? Perhaps they were randomly downloaded and place files on a secondary hard drive. –  David Sep 7 '13 at 1:22
Are you sure it was came with Windows installed on it as is? Did she perhaps have someone transfer a previous install of windows from an older system/drive perhaps? Your question is very useful because you are asking us to wildly speculate about why a computer was setup in an unusual way. We can't give you a good answer. –  Zoredache Sep 7 '13 at 1:23
Ask in Samsung forums / tech support? (I've gone through a few samsung laptops and I don't see this behaviour as you have described...) –  Darius Sep 7 '13 at 13:05
I don't think she could have done this, since she barely understands computers, and she is the only one who uses it, besides me this one time. I cannot be 100% sure it came like this, but I think it is pretty safe to assume it did. The drive is not called Recovery, but Local Disk. The model, as reported on the bottom of the laptop is NP305E5A –  Buzu Sep 7 '13 at 19:09
The device manager reports only 1 HDD, and the Disk Management shows one Disk of 298 GB, which is partitioned in 4: System (100MB), C: (112 GB), D: (166.10GB), and an extra one without a label with description of Recovery Partition. One thing that I just saw is that the D drive is described as "Page File, Logical Drive", while the C is described as "Boot, Crash Dump, Primary Partition" –  Buzu Sep 7 '13 at 19:18

3 Answers 3

how big is the drive in the laptop? Tjere is nothing special about any drive letter. in the windows world The OS is is normally installed on C. Sometimes it is the only drive/partition, sometimes it isn't. It is up the manufacturer to determine that.

Couple of reasons:

  1. Lots of times the Vendor has a drive image that is X GB in size, so as opposed to adjusting the image, they just split the drive, TotalSize - imageSize. C: is the OS image, and D is the remaining space.

  2. Also Some people like to keep the OS separate from Data. Makes backing up / clean installs easier as you can just format the OS drive.

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The drive is 298.09 GB, as reported by Disk Management. I know there is nothing special about the drive letter, but I've seen that D is usually used for recovery. Of course, that can be only a coincidence that most pcs I've seen are configured this way. Reason 1 sounds like a good candidate for an answer. Thanks! –  Buzu Sep 7 '13 at 19:20
Yes most time D can be recovery, or sometimes the recovery partition is hidden. –  Doon Sep 7 '13 at 23:59

As far as I know, D partitions are usually for recovery files

That assumption is incorrect as far as I know.

My understanding is the "D" partition doesn't have any purpose at all and can be used for whatever you want, or removed. Why it needs to be so big depends what you do with it.

Personally I'd just delete the partition and resize the C partition to fill the newly available free space (sorry, I'm not sure what software is best used to do this, perhaps someone else has recommendations).

A proper "recovery" partition will be on a separate physical hard drive from the primary one anyway. Better PC manufacturers put them on flash memory directly on the motherboard, similar to how the BIOS works. Or sell the PC along with a bootable DVD or USB thumb drive with recovery software installed.

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Windows 7 "Computer Manager" -> "Disk Manager" can do that. It is built in to the operating system. I am pretty sure that Vista and Windows 8 also have this available. Vista might be "Disk manager", and not located in "Computer Manager". You can search for those applications after clicking the start menu, or searching through the control panel. I do not recommend this if these are two separate disks because if one disk fails, the entire computer is gone, but if you have the second disk set as a data drive and it goes out, you only lost your data and vice-versa. –  David Sep 7 '13 at 2:25
The OS is windows 7, so I will suggest that she does that. There are no 2 separate disks, there is only one with 4 partitions. Thanks. –  Buzu Sep 7 '13 at 19:22

As far as I know, D partitions are usually for recovery files.

Ehm. Nope. You really do not want to expose an emergency recovery partition to the user. There is often a recovery partition on a branded computer, but it will not show up as a mounted volume.

However there are a very good reason to use multiple volumes. Among these are:

  1. Organisation (e.g. all documents or all games on D:) and only the OS on C:
  2. Easier to recover from disasters. (Just restore the OS on C: from a backup, leaving all your data on other volumes in tact). In old times this was easy. In modern times and with windows you just move your [my documents] folder to D:
  3. Fragmentation. Especially if you use torrents (e.g. WoW updater). That leaves the other volumes unfragmented.
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Yes, there are benefits to a partition, but I just never saw a computer that came with a partition like this right from the manufacturer, so I was a bit taken by surprise when I saw this. I think it is not a good thing to have for users who don't know much about computers like my friend, who has filled up the C drive, and now thinks she needs to delete stuff when she wants to download something, without knowing that she actually has over 150 GB of free space. I may just suggest that she uses that or deletes the partition. –  Buzu Sep 7 '13 at 19:26

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