Six partitions on Surface Pro after restore

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro' started by Surface User, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Surface User

    Surface User New Member

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    I have just bought a used Surface Pro that is restored back to Windows 8 and then updated to Win 8.1 again, so i have not saved anything to the Surface Pro and have not made any partitions myself.
    I think it looks as i have a lot of partitions that is made by Windows/Surface?
    Also i think it uses a lot of disc space from the hard drive. I have a 128 GB SSD and it says that full capacity is 109 GB and that 19,6 GB is used from those 109 GB. Does this sound normal?

    The partitions i have is:

    1. Recovery partition (800 MB)
    2. EFI-partition (200 MB)
    3. Recovery partition (450 MB)
    4. Recovery partition (350 MB)
    5. Recovery partition (7,62 GB)
    6. Windows C:, primary partition (109,74 GB)

    And obviously the only partition that has a letter assigned to it is the C: partition.

    So my question is does this look normal, if not how should it be? And is there something here i can delete or arrange to fewer partitions, isn't it enough with one recovery partition, not four of them? I just think it looks as a lot of recovery partitions. These partitions were there after the restore.

    I would really appreciate some input on this matter. Thanks.
     
  2. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't have a SP1 but judging from my SP2 and SP3 it looks correct....
     
  3. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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  4. Surface User

    Surface User New Member

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    Okay thanks for the info, that was useful. So does any of you know whats the difference between these different recovery partitions, i mean can it be the case that they are just duplicates and that some of them can safely be deleted? I would imagine one recovery partition would be enough? Why do we need 5 or 6 partitions?
    And it doesn't seem that it is some standard configuration that all Surface Pro has a certain amount of partitions since mine has 6 and "GreyFox7" has 5 partitions, even though he has a SP3 and i have SP1?

    Anybody with a SP1 that can confirm if he also has a total of 6 partitions or some other number of partitions?

    But okay so the disc space it takes up is normal.
    I wonder what the difference between 128 GB and 119 GB of total storage reported by the Windows binary system according to the above text is for, since it leaves a difference of 9 GB.
    Why not sell the hard drive as a 119 GB hard drive, that sounds more fair to me if thats the actual useable capacity?
     
  5. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You can find many explanations and articles on this topic ... It's the way it has always been and everyone follows suit. MS is no different from anyone else, so there is consistency anyway.
     
  6. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't have a SP1 so I cannot confirm the partition layout on that device or in a case where upgrade occurred from Win 8 to Win 8.1.
    From MS documentation this is the current recommendation for a generic Windows disk.
    Recommended Configuration: System Recovery
    The recommended configuration includes a Windows RE tools partition, a system partition, an MSR, a Windows partition, and a recovery image partition.

    [​IMG]
    We recommend that you add the Windows RE tools partition and system partition before you add the Windows partition, and the partition containing the recovery image at the end. This partition order helps to keep the system and Windows RE partitions safe during actions such as removing the recovery image partition or altering the size of the Windows partition.

    Vendors like Dell, HP etc. Will frequently add their own recovery partition in addition to the above and frequently include a auto backup into a partition which gets resized to accommodate Windows partition usage.

    I can only speculate at the moment what the other partition might be but deleting one would be playing Russian Roulette without further info. The large 7GB Recovery Partition can be copied to USB and removed from within Windows though.

    http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/storage-files-and-folders/create-a-recovery-drive
     
  7. Surface User

    Surface User New Member

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    Thanks for that. Interesting.
    Since I'm not the best at computers i need to ask what the WinRE tools and MSR is? Does the WinRE Tools mean Windows Recovery tools?
    Well my partition setup doesn't look like that for sure.

    Is there a way to take a look inside the partitions to figure out exactly what they are?

    Anyway, the partitions are not that big so its not about the space, its more that I'm curious what they are and if they are necessary, and it is also a bit annoying to have four recovery partitions if they are not needed.

    Or i just forget about the whole partitions thing
     
  8. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    The recovery partitions include all you need to recover your system, your extra one IIRC is the Windows 8.1 Update Files....leave them alone unless you need the extra space, but you'll need an external drive with the recovery image on it for any refreshes or resets....
     
  9. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Off the top of my head, Win RE Tools contains the executables and utilities for performing Recovery Operations and Advanced Tools, diskpart etc. System is the boot loader without that you're dead. MSR is a reserved partition MS uses for "stuff" (don't leave home without it). the large 7GB (varies in size between 8/8.1/RT etc.)
    is the actual Image used to perform a Reset or Refresh reinstallation of Windows and this is the one Windows will copy to a USB recovery drive and optionally delete. IIRC this must be after the Windows partition for std Windows tools to recover the space and increase the size of the Windows Partition. Partitions in front of the Windows partition cannot be reclaimed without the use of 3rd party tools at your own risk.
     
  10. New2ToMe

    New2ToMe Member

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    I recently saw similar on the ASUS note 8 I am using right now. I bought it used and the first thing I did was to go the msoft media install tools web page and downloaded the 32 bit .iso. Followed instructions, made the USB and booted it.

    After it was done I used a Partition manager and noticed 6 Partitions, several labeled "Recovery."

    I decided to run it all again and this time I deleted all Partitions instead of accepting the default. Now I have just three Partitions and win8.1 only taking up 11GB.

    OK, how does that relate to the Surface? I have done the same to my SP2. It reduced the total installed size to around13GB from memory.

    Be warned it is a leap of faith using the media restore tool instead of the original download, but to me, worth the effort and slight risk.
     
  11. Surface User

    Surface User New Member

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    Okay, so then i just leave them alone for now as long as I'm not out of space.
    I don't have a partition called Win RE tools, but i guess them tools are located in some of the other partitions since they seems crucial to perform the recovery.

    Then i will copy the 7,62 GB partition to an external place just in case, and let everything be as it is regarding the partitio.

    Thanks for the help.

    P.S "New2ToMe"... That sounded interesting, even though i have space available right now it would be nice to get some more Gigabytes, if i knew what i was doing i would have done that too.
     
  12. New2ToMe

    New2ToMe Member

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    It is simple to do, the warning is just that I have ONLY tested the process on the SP2, an ASUS Note 8 and wife's Lenovo Miix 8. The media update tool is really easy to use, just follow the steps provided.

    The main caveat is that I think msoft only have the 8.1 iso. I believe the 8.0 uses the Activation Keys so it should all work. The "should" is the big one only you can assess the risk of. :)

    {edit}
    Actually, thinking about it, if you have already updated 8.0 to 8.1 then it should all be fine.
     

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