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  • What are these partitions on this laptop?

    Posted on KYKaren Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Windows 10 version 1909 – November 2019 Update What are these partitions on this laptop?

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      • #2189099 Reply
        KYKaren
        AskWoody Plus

        I would like for someone to explain what these partitions on my laptop are and the purpose they serve (why are they there, what do they do, how do they interact with one another, how to they interact with software, what role do they play in an image backup and restore, etc. — I probably don’t know all the questions to ask here, but I think it’s a beginning).

        diskmgmt_msc-on-7569

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      • #2189106 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        500MB Healthy (EFI System = the Windows boot files for an EFI machine.
        OS (C:) = your C: drive with Windows installed and probably your data.
        504MB NTFS Healthy (OEM = a partition put there by the manufacturer, possibly with some utility files for booting into diagnostics, possibly empty.
        Image = Manufacturer created Windows installation files for restoring to original configuration.
        DELLSUPPORT = diagnostic tools from the manufacturer.

        In the days of small disks we used to clean out the OEM partitions and expand C, these days it’s not worth the hassle.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2189209 Reply
        Lars220
        AskWoody Lounger

        I would like for someone to explain

        Good questions  KYKaren – Here are two links with some decent information about partitions:

        https://www.howtogeek.com/184659/beginner-geek-hard-disk-partitions-explained/

        https://www.windowscentral.com/how-format-new-hard-drive-windows-10

      • #2189213 Reply
        KYKaren
        AskWoody Plus

        And what about this one from my other machine? One of the partition names is different. What
        is WinRETOOLS for? And about the OS (C:) partition here — I have not knowingly used BitLocker to encrypt anything. Is it encrypted anyway? And if so, does that affect the ability to do an Image Backup?

        diskmgmt_msc-on-5482

        Offline: Win7Pro ∙ SP1 ∙ x64
        Online: Win10Pro ∙ 1909.18363 ∙ x64 ∙ i7-6500U ∙ RAM 12GB ∙ SSD ∙ Firefox ∙ McAfee Internet Security ∙ Windows Defender
        Online: Win10Pro ∙ 1909.18363 ∙ x64 ∙ i7-8565U ∙ RAM 16GB ∙ SSD ∙ Firefox ∙ McAfee Internet Security ∙ Windows Defender

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      • #2189224 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        WinRETOOLS is likely the Windows Recovery Environment.  This is accessible via “All settings > Update & Security > Recovery (in the left side menu) > Advanced startup > Restart now”.

        Depending on how Dell has set it up, one of the options could be Windows Recovery or Windows Recovery could be a menu item under Troubleshooting.

        You can try it and see how it goes.  You need not commit to anything, just poke around; you’ll have an option to continue booting into your OS on that main menu.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

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      • #2189533 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Is it encrypted anyway? And if so, does that affect the ability to do an Image Backup?

        It would appear to be encrypted but that doesn’t prevent you doing a backup from within the booted Windows.

        To confirm Bitlocker status.
        If it’s encrypted you must create a recovery USB in case you need to decrypt the disk.
        Bitlocker Recovery.

        When restoring a machine with an encrypted disk, the backup software won’t be able to recreate the disk encrypted. You will need to create a standard partition, restore the files and then re-encrypt – and save a new recovery USB.

        cheers, Paul

        • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul T.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2189593 Reply
          KYKaren
          AskWoody Plus

          Thanks for the link that describes how to confirm BitLocker status:
          Here’s what I found.

          BitLocker

          Offline: Win7Pro ∙ SP1 ∙ x64
          Online: Win10Pro ∙ 1909.18363 ∙ x64 ∙ i7-6500U ∙ RAM 12GB ∙ SSD ∙ Firefox ∙ McAfee Internet Security ∙ Windows Defender
          Online: Win10Pro ∙ 1909.18363 ∙ x64 ∙ i7-8565U ∙ RAM 16GB ∙ SSD ∙ Firefox ∙ McAfee Internet Security ∙ Windows Defender

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      • #2189656 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Bitlocker is installed, disk is not encrypted. No need for a recovery USB.

        Do you have a TPM chip in your machine to facilitate BitLocker?

        cheers, Paul

        • #2189766 Reply
          KYKaren
          AskWoody Plus

          Bitlocker is installed, disk is not encrypted.

          In other words, you are saying that BitLocker is not/has not been securing my files/laptop (or whatever it is supposed to do when activated), right? Is it OK to let it sit there on the laptop inactivated? (Keep in mind that I don’t want to use it). This seems similar to disabling/inactivating IE, even though it is installed.

          I am not sure why you provided the link to Howtogeek to see if I have a TPM chip, but let me say:
          A. I didn’t run tpm.msc to find out if my laptop has a TPM chip, because looking at the screenshot in the link, I did not see an X in the upper-right hand corner to get out of the operations for “TPM Management on Local Computer” without having something inadvertent happen due to my ignorance about this.

          B. I didn’t restart the laptop into its UEFI/BIOS mode either, since I am not sure if I would have to go through the Win10 advanced startup options menu or would have to press a key during startup, (and not knowing what that key-press would be).

          C. But, I did check Device Manager, and there seems to be a TPM chip present. So, this means, apparently, that BitLocker would work the way it is supposed to work, should I ever decide to activate it. See the device manager screen below.
          Device-Manager-Trusted-Platform-Module.

          At this point, you say — although BitLocker is installed, it is not activated (which is what I want). So, following this to the end, can I then conclude that there are not going to be BitLocker complications, should it come down to a need to “restore” with a system image that Aomei has created?

          So that brings me to your last statement:

          No need for a recovery USB.

          Do you mean a Win10 Recovery Drive (the one created on a USB at Control Panel>Create a Recovery Drive)? And you are not referring to the bootable media on a USB that Aoemi creates to use in conjunction with the system image it creates?

          I know a) you think I am stressing out on this issue of being adequately prepared in case installing a CU makes things goes south and I know that you have repeatedly said “simply do this” to make the system image backup with Aoemi. I have done that.

          It’s the “restore” part that has me confused. I don’t want (or need) to do a REAL system-image restore right now; everything is working fine. I simply want to know if everything is set up correctly to work the way it should, IF there is a need to restore.

          Offline: Win7Pro ∙ SP1 ∙ x64
          Online: Win10Pro ∙ 1909.18363 ∙ x64 ∙ i7-6500U ∙ RAM 12GB ∙ SSD ∙ Firefox ∙ McAfee Internet Security ∙ Windows Defender
          Online: Win10Pro ∙ 1909.18363 ∙ x64 ∙ i7-8565U ∙ RAM 16GB ∙ SSD ∙ Firefox ∙ McAfee Internet Security ∙ Windows Defender

          • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by KYKaren.
          • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by KYKaren.
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          • #2189830 Reply
            b
            AskWoody Plus

            A. I didn’t run tpm.msc to find out if my laptop has a TPM chip, because looking at the screenshot in the link, I did not see an X in the upper-right hand corner to get out of the operations for “TPM Management on Local Computer” without having something inadvertent happen due to my ignorance about this.

            It has an X at top right, but How-To Geek’s screenshot is cropped on the right.

            Windows 10 Pro Version 2004: Group ASAP (Pioneer/Chump)

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      • #2189847 Reply
        DriftyDonN
        AskWoody Plus

        Is it possible the partition was created by Backupper” used to image the disk?

        D

        "Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare."

        • #2189981 Reply
          KYKaren
          AskWoody Plus

          Is it possible the partition was created by Backupper” used to image the disk?

          D

          No, I have a snapshot of the diskmgmt.msc screen when I first opened the laptop, i.e., when DELL set it up. The present diskmgmt.msc screen (i.e., after I used Backupper to create a backup system image) looks the same; no change has taken place, not in the number of partitions, the size of the partitions, the names of the partitions, nor the description of the partitions. The only thing that has changed is the amount of free space in the OS (C:) partition, which is smaller now since I have been creating and storing files over the past 7 months, and the amount of free space in the DELLSUPPORT partition, which became smaller after a critical DELLSUPPORT update in 3 months ago. The image partition has the same amount of free space as it did originally.

          Backupper created its backup system-image file on an external hard drive.

          Offline: Win7Pro ∙ SP1 ∙ x64
          Online: Win10Pro ∙ 1909.18363 ∙ x64 ∙ i7-6500U ∙ RAM 12GB ∙ SSD ∙ Firefox ∙ McAfee Internet Security ∙ Windows Defender
          Online: Win10Pro ∙ 1909.18363 ∙ x64 ∙ i7-8565U ∙ RAM 16GB ∙ SSD ∙ Firefox ∙ McAfee Internet Security ∙ Windows Defender

      • #2189997 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        you are saying that BitLocker is not/has not been securing my files/laptop

        Correct. Anyone can read the files on your hard disk by booting from USB / DVD.

        can I then conclude that there are not going to be BitLocker complications, should it come down to a need to “restore”

        A restore puts files back on the disk no matter what BitLocker is doing. The complications arise if the disk is encrypted via hardware – generally SSDs only.
        As your disk is not encrypted you don’t need to do anything special to restore.

        Do you mean a Win10 Recovery Drive

        No, it’s a BitLocker recovery. Basically a copy of the encryption key.

        I simply want to know if everything is set up correctly to work the way it should

        You need a recovery / restore boot USB from the backup software.
        You need the backup files.
        To test your restore, boot from the recovery USB and connect the backup disk. Check that you can select the backup to restore and select the internal disk / partition as destination.
        You will not damage your existing environment performing this test.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2190007 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I don’t understand why your Bitlocker’s status is ‘waiting for activation’ while mine is just OFF.
        Windows 10 Pro 1909 Feb. updates.

        btlckr1

        btlckr

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        • #2190068 Reply
          b
          AskWoody Plus

          I don’t understand why your Bitlocker’s status is ‘waiting for activation’ while mine is just OFF.
          Windows 10 Pro 1909 Feb. updates.

          btlckr1

          btlckr

          Bitlocker waiting for activation apparently means that the disk IS encrypted, but only with an insecure, random key. Bitlocker is “suspended”, due to “pre-provisioning” by the manufacturer:

          Is a volume with BitLocker “Waiting for Activation” encrypted or not?

          Introduced with Windows 8:

          BitLocker Pre-Provisioning

          Thanks to BitLocker pre-provisioning, administrators can enable BitLocker for a volume and encrypt the volume before the Windows 8 OS is installed. In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, BitLocker can only be enabled after the Windows OS is installed.

          During pre-provisioning, Windows 8 generates a random encryption key that BitLocker uses to encrypt the volume before the OS is installed. Microsoft calls the random encryption key a “clear protector” because it’s stored on disk in an unprotected way. After Windows is installed, users can then “fully” protect the encryption key for the pre-provisioned volume by activating BitLocker on the volume and selecting a BitLocker unlock method. Protecting this encryption key takes much less time than encrypting an entire volume.

          New BitLocker Features Speed Up Encryption in Windows 8 [May 28, 2013]

          Microsoft’s documentation:

          If a drive is pre-provisioned with BitLocker, a status of “Waiting for Activation” displays with a yellow exclamation icon on the volume. This status means that there was only a clear protector used when encrypting the volume. In this case, the volume is not in a protected state and needs to have a secure key added to the volume before the drive is fully protected. Administrators can use the control panel, manage-bde tool, or WMI APIs to add an appropriate key protector. Once complete, the control panel will update to reflect the new status.

          BitLocker Basic Deployment: Checking BitLocker status with the control panel

          To turn it off instead of activating it apparently requires use of “manage-bde”:

          Handy Bitlocker tip (If you are ‘Waiting for activation’)

          Windows 10 Pro Version 2004: Group ASAP (Pioneer/Chump)

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2190108 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        KYKaren, according to this Aomei page you can only backup a bitlocker drive via a sector by sector copy, but I suspect this is only if you boot from the aomei USB/disk.
        I haven’t seen you mention having to do this, do you?
        Are you able to backup from within Windows?
        Have you tried to restore a file?

        cheers, Paul

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