I'm wondering if when I partition my new hard drives in my new PC, can I safely MOVE the 'hidden' Dell partition that is on the hard drive?
I dont want to get rid of it or anything, I'm sure it's there for a reason, I just want to move it down the line from the first part of the disc.
Possibly putting the swap file in the first partition, then the os in the second....ect.
Are you talking about the 39MB Dell diagnostics partition? That's the partition that usually comes first in the list on Dell computers. However, if you need the diagnostics, then you cannot safely move those 39MB.
If you don't need it, or don't want the Diagnostics, than by all means delete it. If you have a Dell Resource CD that came with your computer, that CD will contain all the same diagnostic utilities, and you can boot from it just as you would the Dell partition.
Alternatively, you can clone you entire hard drive with a program like Norton Ghost, and the diagnostic partition should work on your new drive, but I can't guarantee that.
In general though, I've almost never had to use the Dell utilities, I'd be more worried about messing up your Recovery Partition which is located at the end of the hard drive and is at least 2GB in size. That should never be moved, unless you have a very good reason.
On the Dell that I have from 2003 it doesn't have a partition at the end of the drive, just a 31 mb EISA Configuration at the front...but I'm not sure how my new XPS 9000 will be configured. Anyway, I guess I will just leave the partitions where they are and add my own partitions around them; shouldn't be too hard with 500GB HD. I'll put a swap file at the front of the 2nd hard drive.