Hard drive partitions found. Can not view files in them. How can I?

#1
Hello. I opened CMD and ran diskpart. I found 4 hidden drives I did not know about. One of these partitions I am not able to open because I do not have permission to access it. The other three say they have content stored in them. For example, 200MB free of 500MB. I open these partitions and there is nothing stored in them.

How can I open the partition requiring permission and how can I view the files stored on the other 3 partitions?
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
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#2
They are concerned with your system boot, startup and recovery. The contents should not be changed in any way or you may find your system becomes unbootable or your system recovery becomes corrupted. You should have burned a set of recovery disks for your system which will enable you to recover from any problems with your hard drive and if you have not already done so I strongly recommend yo do so now (especially if you are using diskpart to investigate your hard drive)!
 


#3
How am I able to view the files in them? 3 of them say they have content in them (200 MB free of 500 MB) . I open them and nothing is there.
 


#4
They are concerned with your system boot, startup and recovery. The contents should not be changed in any way or you may find your system becomes unbootable or your system recovery becomes corrupted. You should have burned a set of recovery disks for your system which will enable you to recover from any problems with your hard drive and if you have not already done so I strongly recommend yo do so now (especially if you are using diskpart to investigate your hard drive)!

How am I able to view the files in them? 3 of them say they have content in them (200 MB free of 500 MB) . I open them and nothing is there.
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
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#5
The nature and purpose of these partitions depends on your system. Is your system using the old mbr or the uefi system? Which version of Windows are you using and did it come with that system preinstalled or did you install from a retail Windows disk?

If you just want raw access to them you could look at them by booting to a Linux Live cd.
 


#6
The nature and purpose of these partitions depends on your system. Is your system using the old mbr or the uefi system? Which version of Windows are you using and did it come with that system preinstalled or did you install from a retail Windows disk?

If you just want raw access to them you could look at them by booting to a Linux Live cd.
The nature and purpose of these partitions depends on your system. Is your system using the old mbr or the uefi system? Which version of Windows are you using and did it come with that system preinstalled or did you install from a retail Windows disk?

If you just want raw access to them you could look at them by booting to a Linux Live cd.
I am using Windows 8.1 and the system is using uefi. System was pre-installed.

Here is a screen shot of my drives:
 


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whs

Extraordinary Member
#7
You should leave those system partitions/files alone. Even if you cannot see them, they are there and serve a purpose. If you muck around with them, you are liable to brick your system.

The EFI partition contains the bootmgr, the small recovery partition has recovery tools and the large recovery partition contains a factory image of your OS.
 


Last edited:

patcooke

Microsoft MVP
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#8
There is really nothing of use or interest to the user in those partitions but if you do access them I strongly advise that, in addition to burning the recovery disks I mentioned earlier you make a full backup of the entire drive including all the hidden partitions using something like Macrium Reflect or Acronis True Image at the same time creating rescue disks to boot the imaging system in the event you find your system becomes corrupted or even unbootable.
 


#9
There is really nothing of use or interest to the user in those partitions but if you do access them I strongly advise that, in addition to burning the recovery disks I mentioned earlier you make a full backup of the entire drive including all the hidden partitions using something like Macrium Reflect or Acronis True Image at the same time creating rescue disks to boot the imaging system in the event you find your system becomes corrupted or even unbootable.
I am suspicious of those partitions as I can not see their contents. I have known of a lot of computer trickery in the past where files stored on a computer on hidden partitions shouldn't be there. The files are not apart of the computer system.
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
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Microsoft MVP
#10
The files are not apart of the computer system.
They are - they are part of the uefi boot process and system recovery. You have no need to worry about them. If you really want to look in there a linux live cd will probably give you easiest and full access to their contents but such full read/write access may cause you problems and you should make full backups before proceeding as I recommended above.
 


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