Easily Get Rid Of The Pesky OEM Partition

The Windows Disk Management utility (available in Computer Management) is a very easy to use tool for basic partition creation and deletion on secondary drives. However, it struggles whenever there is a partition with an ‘unknown’ or ‘foreign’ format, such as on OEM utility partitions. Using Disk Management, you can delete/format all other partitions on the drive, but just not those.

To easily remove these partitions without having run special software or boot to a hard drive utility, use the Diskpart tool included with Windows. The process would go something like this:

  • >list disk (a list of all the hard drives will be displayed)
  • >select disk # (where # is the disk number from the list which has the unknown partition)
  • >list partition (a list of all the partitions on the selected disk will appear)
  • >select partition # (where # is the partition number of the unknown partition)
  • >delete partition override (it should now be gone)

Once you do this, if you open Disk Management, you should see the previously un-deletable partition is now gone. This is a handy way to save you some time (and software installs) when you need to do this really simple task.


  1. For the non-tech user out there:

    For the computer-literate folks out there that have already created their backup media and have a tested-working restore path in-pace for disaster recovery, this is a great idea. I know almost NOBODY who is prepared in this fashion… Even in the corporate world where systems primarily use imaging utilities to recover quickly.

    Different example, my wife has an HP laptop that was built in this fashion. The first thing I did when we received it was create and test the recovery media feature. It works, and we know it works. We also know that the OEM partition is the source of the “tools” necessary to create the recovery media.


    I have seen numerous instances where the utility partition on a computer from Dell, HP/Compaq, Gateway, Acer etc. keep the ability to run a “system restore” in these areas. Non-tech-users rely on it and do not even what it is or what it does.

    For the non-tech user who has NOT done things like create backup/recovery media (vendors rarely ship recovery media anymore), this advice is rather poor.

    While I am a fan of regaining every possible MB or space on a hard drive, I also believe that the utility/oem partition was created for a reason. I have found them useful over the years.

    • Jason Faulkner says:

      Considering you have to do several “know what you are doing steps” to get to this point (i.e. remove the hard drive from the source system, slave it to another system, etc.), it goes without saying that only people who know what they are trying to do would go through these steps.

      I use this trick all the time to pull HD’s from older systems to repurpose them on new systems. There is no need to keep the OEM partition on a machine I’m not going to use anymore. Besides, most restore disks (easily downloadable if you have lost yours) will rebuild this partition for you anyway if you ever need to go back.

  2. archer9234 says:

    The OEM partitions where created so they wouldn’t ship a Windows disc with your PC anymore. It’s BS. I bought a PC, I have a right to a windows disc. Not just the key. So I’ll just download the disc. And whip the OEM OS restore partition wasting my HDD.

  3. Nice Tricks, Thanks for sharing.I succesully managed my OEM Partition.

  4. Good Help

  5. thanks dude. it works !

  6. Erik Wetterskog says:

    Good tip for removing the useless OEM partitions on my on-chip Sandisk SSD. After upgrading my principal drive to an SSD, this drive is acutally slower than the original and hence better used as a conventional storage, although small.

  7. Sorry for not proof-reading the above post. I should also clarify that the disk I am attempting to wipe clean is from my Win8 HP laptop (Vision A8), and I am trying to perform the format using my older desktop computer (Acer, AMD Phenom Quad) which is running Win7. I had partitioned the laptop drive for multi-boot (before discovering Win8 would not let me install another OS without a fight), allocating a partition respectively for each WinXP, Win7, Win8, and Linux. I have since formatted all those partitions and maybe another factory partition (if I recall) but am stuck with one or two partitions, including the OEM recovery. Currently it won’t even let me boot to a Windows setup CD… instead it tries to recover what I formatted. I just bought this laptop a few months back and haven’t even really used it because I could not stand Win8 and all the HP nonsense clutter. Anyway, I will browse around for a solution, but please let me know if anyone has a solution to propose. Thanks for reading.

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