12479 unallocated sectors -- Dell MediaDirect?
After successfully dualbooting my tower I thought I'd do the same to my new laptop. It is a Dell Inspiron E1505 that comes with a minimal boot media center thing called "mediadirect" that I didn't care to keep, especially since support for this came in the form of a fairly miserable partition layout. I decided to junk the whole setup and start clean.
I deleted all the partitions and installed Vista x64 over the entire disk. I then resized the NTFS partition to about 60GB leaving the rest unallocated.
I booted my Gentoo LiveCD and created the following partition layout:
1 is Vista
Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 10769 86498304 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 10770 10777 64260 83 Linux
/dev/sda3 10778 11027 2008125 82 Linux Swap / Solaris
/dev/sda4 11028 14593 28643895 83 Linux
2 will be /boot
3 will be swap
4 will be /
Now, when I enter 'v', fdisk tells me there are 12479 unallocated sectors. I know there is often a small amount of unallocated sectors due to different types of HD geometry or something like that, but 12479 seems outside the range of the normal "fudge factor".
The strange thing is, even though these are all 4 primary partitions, the MediaDirect button still manages to start the MediaDirect program (which promptly crashes) !!
Now, I learned from this site:
Understanding the Dell MediaDirect Partition
...that mediadirect has some super-hidden area at the end of the disk that most software can't touch. Perhaps that is the source of the 12479-sector discrepancy?
How do I recover this space? This is pretty important since this "feature" seems to trash my partition table whenever it is used.
Edit: the Gentoo installer reports a 1 MB unallocated space between sda1 and sda2 -- it also reports an unallocated space of negative 1 MB before sda1! WTF? The installer hangs a short way into copying files (might be a seperate problem)
Vista still boots fine.