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nairnlit
1 Copper

Dell Inspiron 15 5567 - partitions

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I have just been setting up a new Dell 15 5567 running Windows 10.  I am aiming also to add a Linux OS in a dual-boot setup.  On checking the 1TB hard drive, I see that there are already FIVE primary partitions.  In the order they are listed in Disk Manager, they are:

Disk 0 partition 1     500MB     EFI System partition      (which obviously has the Windows Bootloader)

Disk 0 partition 4     461MB     Recovery partition      100% free

Disk 0 partition 5     12.03GB  Recovery partition      100% free

Disk 0 partition 6       1.12GB  Recovery partition       100% free

OS (CSmiley Happy      NTFS   917.30GB  Boot, page file etc (system)   96% free

I have a basic, simple understanding of partitioning.  But I do not understand why there are three separate recovery partitions, all apparently empty, and all labelled as primary partitions. 

Why are there three?

What are they intended to contain?

Can any of them be deleted, shrunk or otherwise simplified/reorganised in order to free up space in which to install a second OS?

Any helpful advice and explanation would be appreciated...

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Saltgrass
4 Ruthenium

RE: Dell Inspiron 15 5567 - partitions

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The partitions are not empty.  A GPT drive can hold around 256 partitions, so don't worry about the number.  There is even one you can't see.  They are there to allow for a full recovery if something were to corrupt your current install.  Even a Microsoft Update, which is coming on Oct. 17th, can cause such problems.

Before you start messing with Linux, it would be a really good idea to create a System Image backup or at least a Win 10 Recovery drive.  This type of backup can restore your system even if the drive completely fails.

Do the research about your Linux install.  If you do it incorrectly, you may loose your Win 10 boot.  Or if it does work and you decide to remove Linux, you may have problems.

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XPS 2720, Inspiron 17 7779, Inspiron 15 7567, XPS 13 9365, Inspiron 1545, TB16 Dock

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nairnlit
1 Copper

RE: Dell Inspiron 15 5567 - partitions

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Thanks, Saltgrass.  I have already created a Win10 Recovery Disk (on DVD).  I have also read a bit more about UEFI and GPT, and more on installing Linux.  It is pretty clear that MS Windows doesn't look kindly on the idea of dual-booting with a non-MS operating system!

I understand the idea of a recovery partition.  Some other manufacturers (Samsung) have such a partition pre-loaded with a system image or set of recovery tools.  

I also understand that there has to be one small partition in Windows 10 for the EFI boot manager files.  

What still puzzles me is why there are - already on this new computer - THREE "recovery partitions", why Disk Manager shows them as 100% free, and what purposes they serve.  Are all three required in order for a recovery disk or USB drive to restore a corrupted system?

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Saltgrass
4 Ruthenium

RE: Dell Inspiron 15 5567 - partitions

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One is for the Recovery Tools which will allow the system to boot and run those tools if it can't boot the OS.  One is for an image, or OEM configuration files needed to return the system to an OEM state.  The third is probably for the Diagnostics but not sure about it.  

The EFI partition is the where the Boot files are.  If you install Ubuntu and set it up to be a parallel boot using UEFI and not a Dual Boot, will put its files in that same partition.

There is also a 16 MB or maybe a little larger MSR partition you need Diskpart to see.

Again. a GPT drive can hold more partitions than you might ever use.  You can shrink the C partition and use that space.  There is a Linux forum here.

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XPS 2720, Inspiron 17 7779, Inspiron 15 7567, XPS 13 9365, Inspiron 1545, TB16 Dock

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nairnlit
1 Copper

RE: Dell Inspiron 15 5567 - partitions

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Thanks again Saltgrass.  Wise advice and helpful information.  

This is the key:  "...a GPT drive can hold more partitions than you might ever use.  You can shrink the C partition and use that space..."

I was also pointed (by a Linux user) to this thread  in the Dell forums which is equally informative about partitions.

It looks as if dual booting Windows 10 with Linux is not too difficult, but just needs great care during the install and setup process.  I'm off to do some more research in the Linux forums!

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