Hi-- I need to know what was on the OEM partition originally shipped with my Alienware M17x laptop (purchased February 2010). The Alienware tech was not very specific when I asked so I'm thinking it's more of a Dell issue. My hard drive got corrupted after a failed re-install of windows off the recovery disc. When I only formatted the main partition the windows install would hang at the second step on 0%. I ended up reformatting the OEM partition as well as the main partition where windows is installed, and this seemed to get things going. Once windows was up and running, I noticed in the GUI disk management tool that this OEM partition was still there and listed as healthy, but it had no drive letter or file system listed. There appears to be nothing on it based on space available and used. There is no way for me to examine the contents, and when I right-click on it the only option I get is "help", not format, shink, etc. When I tried hitting F-12 on boot up, the dell diagnostics are still there but I need to know what else should be there and if I can get it back (if needed). I believe F-8 no longer works. Perhaps what WAS there was re-installed to the OEM partition when I re-installed windows 7? I'm curious as to how the diagnostics are still there if I reformatted the partition, and this leads me to believe the diagnostics are on the motherboard somewhere or at least NOT on the OEM partition, and that this partition is now empty.
So.... did I really need any of this stuff? If the OEM partition is now blank, can I delete it using Diskpart and then resize from disk management to get that space back? I know how to do this, I just don't want to lose anything I need if it's there. Why is there no label or drive letter, not to mention file system on that partition now (FAT, FAT32, or NTFS)?
As an aside, Alienware is replacing a faulty chip that causes the light fx not to work, but this has nothing to do with the OS. Also, ultimately the goal is to dual boot Ubuntu and Win 7, but I need to get this straightened out first.