A Partition editing question for the absolute experts .. !

Hey all ... So I just got this new ASUS 1001P Eee PC Netbook and found that there are several partitions in the system .. Two are detected in Windows but there are another 2 which seem to be hidden (I found them using the partition editing software) .. So in total there are four partitions .. Also I'm assuming one of these two partitions is for this 'Express Gate' feature (browse the internet at boot time basically, using a very small and quick linux based OS) thing and the other is for the Recovery stuff ..

Now suppose I want to combine the first two partitions and leave the hidden ones as they are, how would I do this ? .. I fear that if I erase the first two partitions and make a new partition covering the first two, then the Express Gate and Recovery features might not work, even if I didn't touch their partitions ... How do I dice the first two partitions but also keep functions of the third and fourth partitions intact ?

I can probably try to combine the first two partitions together in Windows (using Partition Magic or something) without explicit formatting, but what if I DO need to erase -> combine -> format the first the two partitions .. How do I ensure the functions of third and fourth partitions keep working and are unaffected ?

ASUS has recently started to NOT include recovery discs OR make an method available in the netbook for us to create the recovery discs ourselves .. So basically if I screw up, then the third and fourth partitions may leave me forever, which I would really like to avoid ..
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More about partition editing question absolute experts
  1. I can't give you constructive advice, but I do want to warn against something.
    If each of those partitions is bootable, and has a partition boot record (tiny little OS loader), then combining the files would eliminate your ability to ever run one of them. If you can boot into them, then don't try to combine the files.

    You could do it with a good enough boot manager and lots of practice, but sticking two boot loaders into one partition is something that I haven't seen since Microsoft allowed DOS to boot under NT's loader.
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