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My hard disk is split into three primary partitions. Some of these are deletable, some of these are not.

This is the situation in disk management:

Partition 1: Windows 7 is on here, delete option is unavailable.
Partition 2: Nothing is on here, delete option is available.
Partition 3: Nothing is on here, but delete option is NOT available.

And I don't know if it matters, but there is a large block of unpartitioned space in between partition 2 and 3.

I want to delete partition 3. How can I do it? Why is the delete option not available for this partition when it's available for the second partition? The only option available is shrink volume or change drive letter.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I had a similar problem recently when trying to resize a partition in Vista in order to allow for the installation of Windows 7. Ended up using GParted with no problems. See this article on howtogeek.

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I cannot tell you with any degree of certainty why it is failing to delete the drive, but it could be because it is mounted and cannot be unmounted. I would recommend trying using a live CD tool such as GParted. By using this you can insure that the partition is not mounted. If GParted fails to delete the partition, then there may be an issue with your partition table or hard drive itself.

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I found out that since it's marked as system I can't delete it. – Phenom Dec 27 '09 at 3:04
Ah, well, GParted should still be able to remove it, although it is a bit worrying that it was marked as system without anything on it. Is it from an old install? – Emory Bell Dec 27 '09 at 3:29

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