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I would like to install a clean RTM version of Windows 8 on a HP laptop that came with OEM version of Windows 8 with all kinds of bloatware and trialware. However I would like to keep all the current partitions and other information necessary to be able to restore the system back to OEM configuration.

I have the following partition layout.

Partition 1: Recovery Partition
Partition 2: EFI System Partition
Partition 3: Recovery Partition 
Partition 4: Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition
Partition 5: Primary Partition
Partition 6: OEM Partition
Partition 7: OEM Partition

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I have actually already prepared a Windows 8.0 ISO image that I can boot from. But I have ran into a problem with the setup program, which says that my partitions are not in recommended GPT order.

What kind of "partition order" do I need that would allow me to install RTM Windows and still restore the computer to its original OEM operating system should I need to? Is it safe to remove all these partitions except for the OEM partitions?

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1 Answer 1

Since your laptop came with OEM Windows 8.0 the manufacturer create some partitions like Recovery (of the OS Installation and drivers), etc. The other partitions that have less then 1GB are from Windows Installation like Recovery (of the system), MSR (Microsoft Reserved Partition), and so on. It's normal the laptop that came with OEM OS came with all those partitions.

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Can I safely delete all the partitions except the OEM partitions, install RTM Windows, and still be able to restore the system to the OEM Windows should I need to? –  sammyg Mar 27 at 11:37
    
Well, I've never installed a RTM Windows and keep the OEM partitions, so I can't answer this question without any doubts. But I think that you be able to do the restore if you keep this partitions, this link may help you: superuser.com/questions/448764/… –  ZeroNegative Mar 27 at 11:46
    
@sammyg - If you delete the partitions they are gone forever unless you clone the drive before hand. –  Ramhound Mar 27 at 11:49
    
@Ramhound I don't have the luxury of being able to clone this HDD. I don't have a second, external HDD I can use. And I am not allowed to use our fileserver for this. But it looks like I could get away with it by just leaving the OEM partitions. Judging from what I have read so far it is plausible. It should allow me to restore the original system later on should I need to. –  sammyg Mar 28 at 9:26

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