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What Is Tiny Partition Unallocated


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#1 awestruck

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 12:01 PM

Often when reinstalling Windows XP I see two or more partitions. One is small (say 12MB) and is unallocated, the other(s) will contain Windows and data. I delete the C: and D: partitions but leave the small one as I don't know what it is for. If I am re-installing XP because of a virus /trojan attack which has wrecked the computer, I worry whether the malware can lurk in the undeleted partition. Should I also delete the small partition? Any advice would be welcome.

Also, how long does a full format take compared with a quick format? Asuming an 8OGb hard drive.

Regards

Awestruck

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#2 tswsl1989

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 12:56 PM

"Unallocated" means that the space is not part of any partition. When partitioning a hard drive, Windows can't always line up the partition boundaries to an appropriate location (I don't know what counts as appropriate). When it can't, a small amount of space is left unallocated, inaccessible to Windows.
I severely doubt that that area could be used by Viruses, Trojans or Spyware.

As far as your question about formatting is concerned, I don't know. I'd guess at twice the time taken for a quick format, maybe a bit more, but that's only a guesstimate.

Regards,
Tom

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#3 awestruck

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 02:02 PM

Than you for the very prompt reply Tsws|1989

That is reassuring. I have a reinstall to do on a friend's infested computer tomorrow.

Regards

Awestruck

#4 Platypus

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 05:52 AM

The small unallocated space is left to allow for possible future conversion to a dynamic disk.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/225822
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#5 usasma

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 06:54 AM

Great link Platypus! Thanks!
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#6 garmanma

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 10:48 AM

Nice to know, now we'll see how long I can remember it
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#7 awestruck

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 11:17 AM

Many thanks Platypus for the link

I reinstalled XP and all seems fine, I did not delete the tiny partition. It was labelled Unpartitioned space not Un-allocated as I thought, sorry about the mis-information. I expect it means the same thing. It was 8MB as in the Microsoft article.

Thanks to everyone

Keep up the good work

Awestruck

#8 tswsl1989

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 02:53 PM

Glad to see thats sorted. Great link Platypus. I've learnt something new :thumbsup:
Tom

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#9 Platypus

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 05:13 AM

Glad to help. I always learn lots on good tech help sites like BC, and I'm happy to return the favour.

Now I'm into my fifties, remembering it all is interesting, garmanma!
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