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Windows 7 - The hidden partition

May 2016

In systems using the Windows 7 platform, the operating system creates a hidden partition at the time of its installation. The hidden partition is not visible under My Computer as no letter is assigned to it. This partition of around 100 to 200 MB capacity can be accessed through Disk Management. This hidden partition created by Windows 7 contains the Recovery Environment WinRE that is of vital importance, because it allows recovery of the system if any problem is encountered at the time of start up. The hidden partition should not be removed, to prevent loss or damage to the system files, and as well as of the Master Boot Record.

[Windows 7] The hidden partition


  • Upon first installation, Windows 7 will automatically create a hidden primary partition.
  • Its size varies from 100 to 200 MB depending on the total capacity allocated for Windows 7
  • To access this partition, you must go to Disk Management.
    • Note: no letter is assigned to it and this partition is not visible in Computer or Explorer.

Purpose of this partition

  • It actually contains the Recovery Environment "WinRE" which will allow recovery of the system if a problem is detected at startup.
  • "WinRE" is accessed using the line "Repair your computer" in the advanced boot options (activated by pressing F8 at startup).
  • Once this partition is created, it is best not to remove it because it contains system files and boot the Master Boot Record (MBR) that will be damaged or lost.
  • Note: the WinRE environment can also be loaded from the installation DVD of Windows 7 or from any recovery disk created.

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Published by jak58. - Latest update by Paul Berentzen
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