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Understanding hard drive partitions on Lenovo systems with Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8 - ThinkCentre, ThinkStation, ThinkPad

Symptom

This document refers to understanding hard drive partitions on Lenovo systems with Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems.

Affected configurations

The above symptom is associated with but not limited to the following systems:

  • ThinkCentre
  • ThinkStation
  • ThinkPad

Operating Systems:

  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Microsoft Windows 8
Additional Information

Overview:

Lenovo systems with Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems have multiple partitions in addition to the C partition.  The partitions contain critical information that allows your Lenovo computer to operate.  The C partition holds user files.

For Microsoft Windows 7, Lenovo created the Q partition to allow the recovery of the initial operating system and software on the computer to the same state that they were in before the computer was activated.  However, the Q partition can be removed under certain conditions to obtain more hard drive space.  Creating backups and/or reallocating the partitioned space is now streamlined.  Lenovo customers can readily implement the configuration of their choice.

For Microsoft Windows 8, which requires three partitions, Lenovo created the Recovery Partition to allow the recovery of the initial operating system and software on the computer to the same state that they were in before the computer was activated.  However, the recovery partition can be removed under certain conditions to obtain more hard drive space.  Creating backups and then choosing to remove the partitioned space is now an option in Windows 8.


Partition Management:       

For Microsoft Windows 7:

The ability to use the Q partition to recover the original software is critical.  However, if other back up or recovery methods are available, the Q partition may be removed in order to free up additional hard drive space.

NOTE:  Before removing the Q partition, create recovery DVD’s (Windows 7) so the initial operating system and software can be restored, if required.

To view these partitions, choose Start Computer.

The following view or a similar view of the C: and Q: partitions will appear.

NOTE:  Some partitions do not have drive letters so they are not inadvertently modified, therefore, doing so will result in Windows not booting and/or functioning properly.

Below is a view of typical partition information when opening the Computer icon located on the Desktop.

Below is an alternative view of the same partition information.

NOTE:  The system_DRV has no drive letter assigned and is required by Windows, therefore, cannot be removed.

Creating recovery DVD's:

Double clicking the Lenovo_Recovery (Q) in the Computer view will result in the following pop-up window.  Choose either Create Recovery Media or Recover Drive Space.  Creating the backup DVD's or having an alternative backup solution is strongly recommended before Recover Drive Space is chosen.
 
The below window appears when the back-up process is started and will guide the user through the creation of the recovery discs.

Once a back up is created, choosing Recover Drive Space will reallocate the drive space in the Q partition to the C partition.  This is a permanent change.  The operating system and software recovery solution will no longer be available on the hard drive after completing this process.

For Microsoft Windows 8:

Below is a view of the typical partition information when opening Disk Management.

NOTE:  The far left small Recovery Partition, EFI System Partition and Windows 8 operating system partition, is required by Windows 8.  The larger Recovery Partition is the Lenovo created partition.

In order to remove the larger Recovery partition, create a USB recovery key following the steps in the “Useful information for user navigation within Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system” document at the following URL:

    http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail.page?DocID=HT076607

Once the USB recovery key is created, there will be an option to remove the Recovery Partition.


  • Alias ID: SF13-D0057
  • Document ID: HT077144
  • Last Updated :17-6-2014
  • (c) 2014 Lenovo