Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting rid of EISA OEM Partitions from Most Laptops (Lenovo, Toshiba, DELL, HP etc)

I guess my blog is all about sharing the stuff which i have struggled through and finally found solutions or fixes. This is another one. Recently upgraded a Lenovo laptop from VISTA to WINDOWS 7. Like any other OEM, this one came with a 13 GB partition which was pretty much useless after my upgrade and was using up valuable Laptop Hard Drive capacity. Had a terrible experience with my Toshiba when i upgraded to Windows 7 and had my Boot Sectors royally screwed (which is going to be another post), so didn't wanna take any chances with this one. Firs of all the Lenovo 3000 Y410 came with this QuickKey Recover which was using this EISA (OEM) partition. Also since this hidden partition was a part of the primary partition any playing around would have messed up the Boot Loader. After enough googling i couldn't find a decent post which would outline the process correctly. So i tried something after being absolutely sure that it will work. Below are the details.
  1. Windows 7 (and even Vista) comes with this neat utility to make this Repair Disk. Just go to the System Options in control Panel and buy a CD and create a REPAIR DISK as the first step. This is just in case there is some problem after the changes are made to the primary EISA OEM partition.
  2. Now you can either use the standard DISKPART utility provided by Microsoft or use what i did, ACRONIS DISK DIRECTOR SUITE.
  3. Using DISKPART, make sure that the Partition and Volume is marked ACTIVE always since its the primary partition. If you mess this up, you will get "Missing Operating System" error every time you start your computer and nothing will be able to restore your computer. The only thing that will work is the Original Windows 7 CD with Command Prompt option and using DISKPART on it to make partition and volumes active.
  4. Using Acronis Disk Director or DISKPART, select the EISA OEM partition and Format it to NTFS with Automatic sector size of 4KB. The partition will be formatted and Windows 7 will take 31MB which cannot be merged or extended to any other partition. You will find posts on google telling you to DELETE the partition first and then FORMAT. Don't do that. Just FORMAT will work followed by a RESIZE.
  5. Now using Acronis or DISKPART, resize the partition (C or D) on your drive to reclaim the space from this freed up partition. If using Acronis, don't forget to COMMIT. This will ask you to restart your computer and let ACRONIS do its job.
After this you will have the entire EISA OEM partition (sans 31 MB) added back to available storage on your laptop.

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