I'm sure that my recovery cds are able to reinstall the hidden partition (it happened in the past).
So my hypotesis is:
1. If I delete all partition without creating any new partition, the cds will create the hidden partition along the IBM_PPRELOAD partition;
2. If I delete all partition and create a new single partition, the cds will install the IBM_PRELOAD stuff in that single partition without creating the hidden partition.
Am I right?
Partially correct. Not sure about step 2. This is how I remember step 2...
2. If I delete all partitions and create a new single partition, the cds will delete new single partition and create IBM_PRELOAD partition without creating the hidden partition.
One thing that I do know for sure. Using FDISK, I created two partitions on my 92GB HDD -- a primary partition (C:) for Windows XP and application install programs and a secondary partition (E:) for my application data.
After I ran the Windows XP T30 Recovery CDs, (besides not creating a hidden system partition) my beautiful secondary partition was GONE.
I purchased Norton Partition Magic and used DOS bootable version to create a secondary partition.
(When you move on to Windows 7, Do NOT use Norton Partition Magic with Windows 7, use Windows 7's Disk Management instead).