I want install Windows 7 Pro on new notebook with 500GB hard drive. The similar Dell notebook with Win 8.1 and 500GB HDD come with default partitions shown here. I just want use same sheme for my notebook: should I select the whole disk as one partition, and Windows 7 will create the rest two additional partitions, ~39MB OEM partition and about 12GB Recovery Partition? Or I should specify Recovery Partition myself?

EDIT: what partition size would be reasonable to alllocate for Windows 7? I have no separate disk to store user data.

  • What are you going to put in the OEM partition? – sawdust Jun 15 '16 at 22:27

You do not need recovery partition at all - it is pre-created on the factory to contain Windows recovery image that allows you to use factory restore feature. When you install Windows by your own factory restore can't be used. You also don't need OEM partition. When you install Windows you just create one partition for the whole drive and it will advise you to create 150 MB Boot partition - you should agree with it.

Meanwhile, I don't recommend to use one partition for the both Windows and user data. In case of Windows crash you user data will be on C disk and it will hard to get it back. I advise to save your personal data on D disk.

  • Just to enhance the first sentence - Window itself will never create a recovery partition, it's just something Dell put there. Most people remove it (power users anyway) – Simon Sheehan Jun 16 '16 at 17:35

The recovery partition that is present in the Dell notebook is created by Dell not Microsoft Windows that is there in case if you want to roll back to factory settings without having the installation media(usually there is a key combination that one has to press to go to the recovery environment where the Recovery manager provided by the OEM in this case by Dell will handle the further recovery options) If you are installing Windows 7 on a brand new notebook don't worry about the recovery partition just partition the drive as follow:

  1. I would recommend nearly 50 Gb for the C drive(i.e. the partition where you will install the windows 7 and other application softwares)

  2. Partition the rest as per your need or you can keep the remaining as one usually people partition the disk for different works like Study,Entertainment etc. anyway it's a personal choice.

In case you need to recover or reinstall windows you can do that by formatting the C partition without even touching your data.

So,go ahead and install windows 7 and do keep the installation media safe it would help you in future to reinstall or to boot into recovery environment.

  • Does 50-60Gb will be enough for a long-term perspective to store Win 7 and applications? I just noticed that notebooks with preinstalled Win OS have one large pargition, or some vendors have about 160Gb partition for OS (on 500Gb HDD). – triwo Jun 18 '16 at 12:50
  • 50-60 Gb is more than enough,just make one thing sure that is don't install storage hungry games in C drive.Every software/application asks for the location during installation so install games and other not so critical stuff in some other partition. – does_it_matter Jun 18 '16 at 18:31

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