[SOLVED] Weird partitioning after Windows clean install

dratyan

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I'm having some other hardware issues and ended up completely reinstalling Windows(twice) while trying to fix those. This time I noticed that a 100mb "primary" partition has been created against my will, as seen in the picture below.

All I want to know is if it's safe to delete this E: partition, and if I will be able to use that space in C: instead, where Windows 10 is currently installed. I know 100mb isn't much but it's only a 120gb SSD so I'd rather have it all for C:. And having a separate, useless partition is bothersome.


Thanks.

 

USAFRet

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Disconnect all drives except the one you want the OS on.
Boot from your (hopefully) bootable Win 10 USB
Delete ALL existing partitions on the drive as you do this install.

All outlined here:
 
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USAFRet

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What other drives are in this system?
What led you to do this OS reinstall?

Assuming this is a brand new install, I'd just redo it.
And yes, assuming you do it correctly, you WILL end up with a small partition at the beginning.
It should NOT, however, have a label (Z) and a drive letter (E).

To end up like this, you've done something non-standard.
 
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dratyan

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What other drives are in this system?
What led you to do this OS reinstall?

Assuming this is a brand new install, I'd just redo it.
And yes, assuming you do it correctly, you WILL end up with a small partition at the beginning.
It should NOT, however, have a label (Z) and a drive letter (E).

To end up like this, you've done something non-standard.
Only got another SSD at the moment, that one seems fine. Picture below. I also have an HDD but it's not plugged in atm.

This is the reason behind the reinstalls, basically (still) having issues with a new GPU.

No idea where the "Z" came from, but I can rename it freely.

When I got to the drive/partitioning part of the OS installation, the SSD was already divided like that. Before attempting the reinstall, that same SSD only had one partition though.

So it isn't safe to just delete that volume? If it could work I'd rather try that, just want to be sure I wouldn't cause any irreversible damage. Three Windows installs in 2 days, along with 6 days of constantly troubleshooting the GPU are the main reasons I'd like to avoid yet another clean install if possible.

 

dratyan

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The Z label and E drive letter cannot result from an actual clean install.
Do NOT delete that volume.

And instead of a slice by slice screencap, maybe the whole thing all at once?
Here it is.


Based on your other thread, you're fighting multiple things at the same time.
Don't do that.
Yeah sorry, just thought this would be something easy/quick to solve. I guess it could be, if I reinstall Windows...again... Although the partition was already there during installation.

The GPU issue is on hold right now anyway, it's not plugged in.

I've placed the Windows 10 install media on an USB drive, and chose every possible option to format/lose all my data. Also, before this latest reinstall, the OS was on the HDD that I haven't even plugged in. Neither of these SSDs have ever had an OS installed on them. And they always had one single partition each. The reason for this latest reinstall was exactly because I thought "Oh no, I just reinstalled Windows and forgot to place it on an SSD instead of the HDD like I kept postponing! Might as well reinstall it".

EDIT: Also, there's nothing inside that E: partition, despite 10mb being occupied.
 
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USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Disconnect all drives except the one you want the OS on.
Boot from your (hopefully) bootable Win 10 USB
Delete ALL existing partitions on the drive as you do this install.

All outlined here:
 
Reactions: dratyan
If the partition is/was there prior to installation,unless you delete it (and any others on drive in question) at the install option when available partitions and/or available space are shown, ...it will be there again, as WIndows is merely pointed to the existing unpartitioned /unformatted space...

For a clean start, delete everything on the drive in question until only 'unallocated' space shows...

Certainly, with MBR chosen as partitioning type, there will be a 100-150 MB small partition prior to the big/true Windows NTFS partition...(How/when it got a Z name or E drive designation, difficult to speculate, and, not worth debate as you intend to delete it/start over anyway...as I'm sure no one wants 100 MB of unallocated space just annoyingly 'sitting there' :)
 
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Since Vista, if you partition your drive with the Windows installation disk it will always create a hidden 100 MB partition (for some boot files and other files it considers critical) before the NTFS main partition. It showed up the second time you installed and labeled it because it was already there but it still created another 100 MB hidden partition you couldn't see. If you use a third party app like Acronis, when you reinstall the image it will fail because the hidden partition with the needed boot files was not copied in the image by the 3rd party app.
To avoid this, partition and format your drive (at least the install partition) with GParted or another app and the hidden partition will not be created when Windows is installed. As long as you don't use the install disk to partition and format your disk, Windows will never miss the hidden 100 MB partition and will run just fine without it.
Using the installation disk is different than using disk management inside of Windows.

michael clyde
 

USAFRet

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Since Vista, if you partition your drive with the Windows installation disk it will always create a hidden 100 MB partition (for some boot files and other files it considers critical) before the NTFS main partition. It showed up the second time you installed and labeled it because it was already there but it still created another 100 MB hidden partition you couldn't see. If you use a third party app like Acronis, when you reinstall the image it will fail because the hidden partition with the needed boot files was not copied in the image by the 3rd party app.
To avoid this, partition and format your drive (at least the install partition) with GParted or another app and the hidden partition will not be created when Windows is installed. As long as you don't use the install disk to partition and format your disk, Windows will never miss the hidden 100 MB partition and will run just fine without it.
Using the installation disk is different than using disk management inside of Windows.

michael clyde
That partition is not "hidden" within the Disk Management window.
 

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