Alert from CNET Staff

 Attention forum users:  We want you to try out the new CNET forums platform! Click here to read the details. Thanks!

Windows 7 forum: Windows 7 hidden boot partition confuses Hiren's boot disk

by: justric February 23, 2010 12:28 PM PST

Like this

0 people like this thread

Staff pick

Windows 7 hidden boot partition confuses Hiren's boot disk

by justric - 2/23/10 12:28 PM

My Windows 7 configuration has a hidden (no name or drive letter associated with it) 300MB partition that apparently is the boot partition as it is the active, primary partition. Also, it is noted as a system partition.

The partition with all the system files, however, is noted as the C: drive and is also a primary partition and a boot partition, but not noted as active (in the Disk Management utility). It's allocated size is the rest of the disk space available, less the 300MB of the hidden partition.

My problem is that this configuration apparently prevents utilities such as Hiren's boot cd, and ERD, from seeing the real windows partition with all the files. I believe those utilities see only the 300MB active partition and therefore cannot access files or perform any tasks on the partition that has the files and information I need to access.

I discovered this while trying to reset the administrator password. I tried Hiren's first, because it has never failed me yet. It sees one Windows partition that has zero files, and has no way, that I can find, to point to a different partition where the files are.

Since the Hiren's utility did not work, I tried several others and all experienced the same issue. None of them could see the real partition, only, apparently, the small one that does not contain any system files, other than boot files I guess.

So I am stumped and cannot figure out how to get past this without re-installing Windows 7 and attempt to prevent the creation of the hidden partition. That is not an option for me in this particular case.

For reference, this is specifically a Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit install on a virtual machine (VMWare). I don't believe the fact it is on a virtual machine to be a factor in this issue. I have used these utilities many times on Windows XP virtual machines and have never had a problem.

Does anyone have an idea on how I can get past this issue and get these utilities to see the real Windows partition instead of the small, hidden one? Any ideas will be welcomed.



Forum Icon Legend

  • UnreadUnread
  • ReadRead
  • Locked threadLocked thread
  • ModeratorModerator
  • CNET StaffCNET Staff
  • Samsung StaffSamsung Staff
  • Norton Authorized Support TeamNorton Authorized Support Team
  • AVG StaffAVG Staff
  • avast! Staffavast! Staff
  • Webroot Support TeamWebroot Support Team
  • Acer Customer Experience TeamAcer Customer Experience Team
  • Windows Outreach TeamWindows Outreach Team
  • DISH staffDISH staff
  • Dell StaffDell Staff
  • Intel StaffIntel Staff
  • QuestionQuestion
  • Resolved questionResolved question
  • General discussionGeneral discussion
  • TipTip
  • Alert or warningAlert or warning
  • PraisePraise
  • RantRant

You are e-mailing the following post: Post Subject

Your e-mail address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the e-mail and in case of transmission error. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose.

Sorry, there was a problem emailing this post. Please try again.

Submit Email Cancel

Thank you. Sent email to


Thank you. Sent email to


You are reporting the following post: Post Subject

If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language

Spam: Advertisements or commercial links

Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users

Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content

Sorry, there was a problem submitting your post. Please try again.

Submit Report Cancel

Your message has been submitted and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.


Your message has been submitted and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.


You are posting a reply to: Post Subject

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to the CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to CBS Interactive Site Terms of Use.

You are currently tracking this discussion. Click here to manage your tracked discussions.

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

Sorry, there was a problem submitting your post. Please try again.

Sorry, there was a problem generating the preview. Please try again.

Duplicate posts are not allowed in the forums. Please edit your post and submit again.

Submit Reply Preview Cancel

Thank you, , your post has been submitted and will appear on our site shortly.