What Is The Purpose Of A Service Partition?

seekermeister

Honorable Member
#1
My IBM ThinkCentre M52 has a small (3.46GB FAT32) partition labeled IBM_service (EISA Configuration) placed after the C: partition. Exactly what function(s) does it serve? The drive that it is on is quite small (80GBs), so I'm considering replacing it with a larger drive, but I'm wondering if that service partiton would be required for the new installation to be compatible with the rest of the hardware?
 


#2
Does it have an assigned drive letter?

My guess is, that it's the recovery partition to recover the HDD to factory condition.
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#3
I found this article:

http://www.mydigitallife.info/disable-and-remove-thinkpad-hidden-service-partition/

which answers most of my question, but outside of it being able to restore the system to factory defaults, would it be required in any fashion for an OS to just run properly on this hardware?

EDIT: I'm thinking that this would be the same in a ThinkCentre, as it would be in a ThinkPad.
 


Last edited:

seekermeister

Honorable Member
#4
Does it have an assigned drive letter?

My guess is, that it's the recovery partition to recover the HDD to factory condition.
No drive letter. Yes, that is a function of the partition, but is there anything more to it? If I clone the drive to a larger drive, would the clone drive also have the service partition as well?
 


#5
I'm not sure.....? Can you post a screen shot of you disk management window, show all your drives.
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#6
No drive letter. Yes, that is a function of the partition, but is there anything more to it? If I clone the drive to a larger drive, would the clone drive also have the service partition as well?
A clone is just that.... a clone. You pick a soure and a destination and everything comes over all the roses and all the thorns.
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#8
A clone is just that.... a clone. You pick a soure and a destination and everything comes over all the roses and all the thorns.
And the source must always be the entire drive, not just a partition?
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#10
Okay, if I make an image of only the C: partition, then place that on a new drive, without the service partition, would it work as well as the original on an IBM ThinkCentre? I know that it wouldn't have the recovery utilities that IBM placed in the service partition, but I can use other means to accomplish their purpose. It's just that I got an impression from reading that the partition has additional functions to make it work on this machine.
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#11
My best guess, given the information that you have provided thus far, is that if you imaged your C drive and then recovered that image to a new larger drive, it would likely work as you are hoping.
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#12
Thanks, I'll give that a shot then.
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#13
Just make sure when you perform the recovery, in the interest of avoiding confusion and potentially assorted other problems, disconnect all drives except your new larger drive to which you intend to apply the image and the external where you've stored the image. That should keep it simple and problems at a minimum.
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#14
Yes, that is SOP for me.
 


seekermeister

Honorable Member
#15
Being somewhat lazy, I decided to try an alternative method to what we have discussed...Simply putting a new hard drive into it with the OS already installed an functioning on my desktop. Actually, I tried twice, but apparently the first drive either wasn't working properly, or trying to run it in the ThinkCentre damage the OS, because it was running Kubunto 13.4, and was running properly when I put it into storage not too long ago.

The second drive I was certain of, since I have been having it run properly up to date. However, in the ThinkCentre the flying windows never even got to meet, before it would recycle back to the BIOS screens in a continuous loop. To double check the drive, I put it back into the desktop and it ran as it did before. Actually I'm running it now.

At this point, I'm wondering if the problem was just having the wrong drivers installed, or if I have feared, that the machine just isn't compatible with a non-IBM hard drive? I guess the only way to find out is to try recovering an image to another drive, because I have True Image Plus Pack, which is supposed to be able to make an image that will run on dissimilar Machines.
 


#16
So you can format the drive which does'nt have the windows file.
 


BIGBEARJEDI

Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
#17
Seeker,
I think you're heading in the wrong direction about the Service Partition. That's not for the IBM recovery; it's for IBM internal diagnostics used to test the CPU, GPU, RAM, USB ports, Video, drives, etc. And the fact that it's an EISA configuration is a dead giveway that' it's used for diagnostics. Both IBM and Compaq used this routinely back in the 80s and 90s and into the early 2000's before IBM sold of their computer division Lenovo to the Chinese.

So, yes, you can delete the Service Partition and keep the OS partition, or reinstall the OS from Recovery Discs it should run normally. If your ThinkCentre was actually made in the US before the sale of Lenovo, it should work this way. It worked that way back in the 90s when I worked at IBM and I maintained both PCs, Servers, and Laptops for the SoCal division (TSS). If your ThinkCentre came with XP originally this is probably the case. If it's a newer ThinkCentre PC made after 2005, that may not work, I've never tried removing the Service Partition from one of the newer Chinese Lenovo PCs or laptops. Our Field Engineers would often remove the SP (Service Partition) routinely as we always got issued tiny hard drives and they would routinely squeeze 5 different OSes onto the laptop hard drive; often 40GB or less. So they needed every byte they could get.

<<<BIGBEARJEDI>>>
 


This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.