Unknown Partition Question


New Member
It seems that when I got my computer, it had one partition. Then I dug into administrative settings and discovered that I really had four. One was Windows 7 (C:\), which I labeled, one was HP_TOOLS (P:\) and contains a "backup of the bios", one was SYSTEM_ (V:\) which contains a copy of various files and folders in C:\ and the last one (which I deleted recently) was Unknown (Q:\) which I discovered contained my Office 2010 Home and Student demo files that shipped with my computer, but I couldn't delete it so a MS fix-it did the job and I was able to install MS Office 2013 Pro Professional.

My question is, what are HP_TOOLS and SYSTEM_ doing there?


Well-Known Member
It contains Hardware diagnostics, which may be important for diagnosing a problem, especially if the pc is under warranty.


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Windows Vista and newer will always have at least two partitions.

On Legacy Systems
  • System Reserved (Contains a bootmgr, backup boot sector (MBR) and boot (BCD store)
  • C:\ your Windows install (plus any programs etc)
On UEFI Systems
  • EFI System Partition (Same as system reserved, but for a EFI system and contains signed boot files)
  • C:\, again your Windows install
Optional partition on some Windows systems (Windows Recovery), which contains the WinRM or windows recovery media image

OEM specific partitions: Some OEMS HP most definitely will contain another partition which has a system restore image and tools to factory reset the system back to the OEM image. HP_TOOLS is HPs.


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Most of those HP hardware diagnostics do not do an adequate job, and are not necessary if the computer is out of warranty, as referenced by RichM (you'll want to keep those intact in case you need to do an in-warranty troubleshooting with an HP tech to issue an RMA repair). They can be removed if you want, but personally I tend to keep them there. That's just me. I rarely use them, as they don't do as good a job as custom or open-sourced developed or fee-based tools. And, Win7 can have as many as 7 partitions total, Win10 can have even more. If you use Macrium Reflect to perform Image backup, you can tell the backup software to backup ALL the paritions. If you upgrade your drive to an SSD or your original HDD fails and you replace it with an identical or larger capacity drive, Macrium can put them all back for you.


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