Deleting the Windows 7 'OEM' partition, and any other utility partitions.
I've had my new laptop for a little while now so I decided to give it a bit of a clean up by deleting downloads, temporary files and moving any recently acquired media files onto my media server. As I have a decent 320GB hard drive I decided I would create a partition to stick my files on, I'm not a fan of the Documents folder, never have been. Anyway...
When I looked in Disk Management I noticed there was a 15GB partition labelled 'OEM Partition'. It seemed to be empty (there were as many bytes available as there were assigned to the partition) though I was unable to access it. My understanding is that this 'OEM Partition' is really a rubbish replacement for shipping a Windows OS installation disk with the laptop. Since I can just use my Windows 7 disk I already have and the licence key is on the bottom of my laptop, I decided I would just delete the partition.
The problem is that you cannot delete utility partitions within Disk Management, it just doesn't give you the option. Don't worry though, this is how you do it...
+ R to open the run window and type diskpart to open MS DiskPart
- Type list disk to display a list of the physical disks on your machine
- Where n (e.g. 0) is the ID of your physical drive, type select disk n
- Type list partition to list the partitions for the drive selected in step 4.
- Where n (e.g. 0) is the ID of your partition drive, type select partition n
- To delete the selected partition type delete partition override
After completing the above steps you should now see in Disk Management that the once unusable 'OEM Partition' is now labelled as unallocated space. You can now just use Disk Management to create a new partition from it or expand an existing partition to fill the space.
This all worked for me so I hope you find it useful but remember I accept no responsibility for anything that happens to you, your data or your computer if you follow any of my advice. If you are unsure or don't have the knowledge to fix anything that could wrong, don't do it - it's as simple as that.