Help - Function of Dell Studio 1537 partitions ?

oldcpu oldcpu at
Sun Dec 20 09:16:54 CST 2009

I have Linux (openSUSE-11.1) setup on dual boot with MS-Vista on a Dell
Studio 1537 laptop.  My wife is "fed up" with Vista, and has asked that
I replace Vista with WinXP on this Laptop.  I would like to do this over
the Christmas holiday break.

Please, can someone explain to me the function of the two Dell /dev/sda1
and /dev/sda2 partitions ?

This laptop was purchased with MS Vista installed, with 3 primary
partitions (small /dev/sda1 (called "Dell Utility" ),10GB  /dev/sda2
(unknown - appears to be some sort of Dell backup/recovery partition ?
), /dev/sda3 (MS Vista which had the remainder of the 250GB drive,
although I have subsequently reduced this to 69GB ).

Again, I note /dev/sda3 is the 69GB MS Vista partition (I reduced it to
69GB when I installed Linux (openSUSE-11.1)).  I also believe it may be
in /dev/sda3 where I should plan on installing winXP. 

Currently I have Linux in /dev/sda4 (divided into extended partitions,
with /dev/sda5 (swap), /dev/sda6 (root), and /dev/sda7 (/home) for Linux
and it works well. I plan to keep Linux when Vista is replaced by WinXP

Can I remove and merge /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, and /dev/sda3 and replace
them with one partition for WinXP ? 

Or am I better OFF keeping /sdev/sda1 (Dell Utility) ?  and am I better
off to keep /dev/sda2 (some sort of Vista ?? recovery) ? and only put
winXP on /dev/sda3 ?

Thank you,

aka oldcpu

p.s. for information, here is some output from Linux commands showing
the contents:

Output of:   df -Th

Filesystem    Type    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda6     ext3     20G  7.9G   11G  43% /
udev         tmpfs    2.0G  260K  2.0G   1% /dev
/dev/sda7     ext3    131G   61G   63G  50% /home
/dev/sda2  fuseblk     10G  5.1G  5.0G  51% /windows/D
/dev/sda3  fuseblk     69G   39G   31G  56% /windows/C

Output of:  fdisk -l 

Disk /dev/sda: 250.0 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x08000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1          18      144553+  de  Dell Utility
/dev/sda2              19        1324    10485760    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3            1325       10247    71673997+   7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4   *       10248       30401   161887005    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5           10248       10509     2104483+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda6           10510       13120    20972826   83  Linux
/dev/sda7           13121       30401   138809601   83  Linux

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