What partitions can be safely deleted on XPS 9550?

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by Yaogen, Nov 27, 2016.

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  1. Yaogen

    Yaogen Newbie

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    I'm preparing to clean install my XPS 9550 following this guide https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/3sr1jh/windows_10_clean_install_guide/ but came to a point where I'm uncertain what partitions I should keep and which ones to delete. I searched this forum as well and found http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...er-m-2-nvme-ssd-upgrade.787420/#post-10187965 that clearly states that all partitions should be deleted.

    However, as the partition table looks right now I have partitions I don't know what they are and are meant for and thus I'm hesitant in deleting them.


    Name / Total Size / Free space / Type
    Drive 1 Partition 1: ESP / 500.0 MB / 433.0 MB / System
    Drive 1 Partition 2 / 128.0 MB / 128.0 MB / MSR (Reserved)
    Drive 1 Partition 3 / 461.9 GB / 461.9 GB / Primary
    Drive 1 Partition 4: WINRETOOLS / 450.0 MB / 61.0 MB / Recovery
    Drive 1 Partition 5: Image / 12.9 GB / 659.0 MB / Recovery
    Drive 1 Partition 6: DELLSUPPORT / 1.1 GB / 492.0 MB / Recovery

    What are these partitions?
    Which ones can be deleted and what are the consequences?

    Thanks,
     
  2. kent1146

    kent1146 Notebook Prophet

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    Delete all of the partitions.

    Believe me, you are not the first person to reformat a Dell XPS 15. Deleting those partitions are fine. You WANT to tell Windows to install on a completely unpartitioned drive, so that the windows installer creates all of the partitions it needs on its own.

    Partitions 1,2,3 are used by Windows. Wipe them all.
    Partitions 4,5,6 are created by Dell as recovery partitions. Wipe them all.

    Install Windows 10 onto the bare unpartitioned drive.
     
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  3. Yaogen

    Yaogen Newbie

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    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    But what are these partitions? "ESP", "MSR" etc.? Never encountered them before and thus a bit hesitant (obviously) :)
     
  4. kent1146

    kent1146 Notebook Prophet

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    Partitions 1,2 are used by Windows to store boot information, and to store recovery tools & data. One of them started appearing in Windows 7 & 8, and then the 2nd one showed up with Windows 10.

    You never see them because they arne't mounted as drive letters; and you'll never hear about them unless something goes horribly wrong with your computer to the point where you actually NEED to use them.
     
  5. Yaogen

    Yaogen Newbie

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    OK,
    After a clean install I will have only 3 partitions, assuming that the partitions 1 and 2 will be created during Windows 10 install and the 3rd partition is where my "installation" will reside.
    Correct? o_O
     
  6. kent1146

    kent1146 Notebook Prophet

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    Yes

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
  7. kent1146

    kent1146 Notebook Prophet

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    BTW, if you want to know the exact purpose of partitions 1,2,3, you can find it here:
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd799232(v=ws.10).aspx

    Partition 4 is Dell created, for Windows Recovery Tools
    Partition 5 is the Dell-created Recovery image itself (to copy / restore your laptop back to factory condition, in case something goes wrong).
    Partition 6 is more Dell-created recovery tools.
     
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  8. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    I would not rely on those Dell-Windows recovery tools for critical data or even non-critical fun photos, etc. Just not reliable. Get a real recovery solution sorted.

    I have tried using Dell recovery tools several times on my 9550 and never got them to work. Fortunately I have virtually no programs or data on that computer so it failure was not catastrophic, just required clean install of Windoze 10 to get things sorted.
     
  9. Yaogen

    Yaogen Newbie

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    I've successfully reinstalled my XPS 9550.

    I could safely delete all the partitions that I listed in my first post.

    Thanks for your help guys!
     
  10. UHD

    UHD Notebook Guru

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    I did a clean install on my 9550 earlier and was unable to delete all partitions. Was left with three:

    Name Total Size Free Space

    Drive 0 Unallocated Space 628 MB 628 MB
    Drive 0 Partition 1 940.9 GB 940.7 GB Primary
    Drive 0 Unallocated Space 12.4 GB 12.4 GB

    Is there a set order you need to delete them? The delete option was greyed out whilst any of the above were highlighted. I did format the primary partition though just in case.
     
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