Avoid Hidden Partition in Windows 7

There is a hidden partition created by default in Windows 7. This can be very frustrating, especially for IT administrators who are working with capturing and deploying images with Sysprep and ImageX. The boot files needed for Windows 7 to boot correctly are stored on this 2nd hidden partition. This will show you how to install Windows 7 on one partition.

How to install Windows 7 on one partition

Step 1

First, there is no way to simply delete this hidden 100MB partition in Windows 7; you simply have to reformat. So the first step is to backup your data and boot to the Windows 7 Install CD. (To boot to CD, restart your computer and normally it will be either DEL, F12, or ESC key to select CD-ROM drive, and boot to it)

Step 2

Once you are up to the Windows 7 screen, you will need to select “Repair Your Computer” option.

Windows 7 Startup Repair - Picture provided by About.com

Step 3

Next you will need to select “Command Prompt”.

Windows 7 Command Prompt - Picture provided by About.com

Step 4

In Command Prompt we are going to reformat your hard drive in a certain way so the 2nd partition doesn’t automatically get created when you install Windows 7. Here are the comands:

List Disk (You might have more than one hard drive)
Select Disk 0 (By default your main boot drive will be disk 0, check it)
Create Partition Primary
Select Partition 1
Format FS=NTFS Quick

READ ALSO  Formatting WinPE 3.1 Flash Drive – (DISM)

Step 5

Then simply walk through installing Windows 7 as you would normally. This time the setup will not create the 100MB hidden reserved partition.

You may also like:

Sysprep a Windows 7 Machine – Start to Finis... This is the old version, please see the new Sysprep a Windows 7 Machine – Start to Finish V2. Note - I highly recommend creating a boot or rescue d...
Sysprep a Windows 7 Machine – Start to Finish V2 This is version 2 of a step by step guide on Sysprepping a Windows 7 machine from start to finish. I cannot take full credit on this because my first ...
DISM Tool – WinPE 3.1 Boot Environment This is the new tutorial for the recent release of WinPE 3.1. You can still read the old tutorial here. DISM Tool You will need the following to...
Copy Taskbar Icons Windows 7 Sysprep This is the old version, please see the new Copy Taskbar Icons Windows 7 Sysprep v2. Ok, you can thank a colleague of mine (Dinyero Johnson) for th...
Sysprep Windows 7 – Third Party Anti-Virus I have run into about 20-30 people over the last couple weeks that were having trouble sysprepping and they all narrowed it down to the same thing; th...
  • lorenzo

    How will this affect my bitlocker function. I Have two images im currently working on that dont need bitlocker and this will work fine, but the third image needs to have bitlocker. Any suggestions on how i can use this and avoid imagex errors at bootup with the bmgr? Thanks

  • Paul Kelly


    For the Admin’s who need to keep the hidden partition, please look at 2 page on capturing it with imagex.

    To the itbros, great website,

  • christophe

    W7 SP1 will automatically recreate the (200MB! instead of 100MB) boot partition when you enable bitlocker after deployment


    Respected Sir,
    I had install windows 7.After installation one drive of 50 gb become hidden.I try many options to unhide that drive but failed.Can u help me?
    Please contact me on arpit2110@gmail.com