Emulating OEM Partitions with DISKPART

Sometimes I get tired of trying to find pristine systems in our Computer Depot to test out system imaging scenarios. The main reason I need clean, un-touched systems is that no one wants to subject their production computer to experimental re-deployment. However, another frequent need for fresh systems is that we need computers with the OEM utility partition still in tact so that we can ensure that new images will apply consistently to different partition schemes.

Enter DISKPART, WinPE, and VMWare. We now can create fake OEM partitions on virtual machines, and redeploy on demand without disrupting anyone’s routine.

Here is the procedure:

  • Boot VM Guest to WinPE ISO file (you can use a WDS Discover image)
  • When WinPE is loaded (with or without WDS discovery client), press SHIFT-F10
  • At the command prompt, type diskpart, then follow this script:
  • select disk 0
  • clean
  • create partition primary id=DE size=78 (Partition ID “DE” is a Dell OEM partition. DISKPART will hide it for you automatically.)
  • select partition 1
  • format fs=fat quick
  • To verify your partition, enter display partition
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