Thursday, September 29, 2016

How Can You Fix - Disk Management Cannot Assign Drive Letter to OEM Partitions?

Disk Management Cannot Assign Drive Letter to OEM Partitions


I've searched through this site and Google to find out about OEM partitions and their incompatability; in all situations, Microsoft technical specialists have been unable to pinpoint the cause.

However, during my own struggle, I was able to both reproduce the problem, and found a workaround.
In posting this, I hope I can help others with a similar situation, and perhaps for Microsoft to post a fix for Disk Management.

The Problem

I have an old Lenovo laptop with a hard drive that I wanted to swap hard drives with, in the hopes of getting a larger capacity for it.
However, it has three partitions; IBM_Preload [Healthy (Active, Primary Partition)], and IBM_Service [Healthy (OEM Partition)].
However, whenever I right click on the drive, this happens:

(Note that the hard drive is missing a label, and there is nothing listed except "Help")

The Testing

After some research, I discovered that this is an issue that has occurred a few times on this site.
With an empty external hard drive to play with, I decided to try to access the drive somehow else.
After cloning the OEM Partition to the empty external
drive using a hard drive cloning program, I was able to copy the hard drive perfectly, including the modifiable OEM Partition format.
This new copy also has the same flaw in that I couldn't right click the partition to change its parameters, as shown here:

(The Active part was added later, though it made no difference on how it responds)

The Solution

Using a tool called
TestDisk that I came across
thanks to another thread here, I did a scan, and using it, I found out that it is running a "Compaq Diagnostics" partition, or some variation of such.
Using the tool, I changed it to FAT32.
After this change, it revealed its name, and showed up as this:

(Note that although I clicked on the lower part of the screen this time, this bug happens whether I click at the top of the page, or the bottom)

At this point (as shown), I had the drive letter changed to I, and I was able to access the drive.
With the opportunity to test this without risking data, I wanted to share this troubleshooting with everyone, in the hopes that this gets fixed in the future,
in case someone's drive ends up somehow switching to "OEM Partition", or they have a recovery drive they want to access.
And Microsoft, please look into this as soon as possible, as I believe this affects all Windows operating systems since Windows XP!

For those who need to use TestDisk, it's very simple to use, but be absolutely certain you have the right drive selected; having the wrong drive selected may damage your data! I recommend leaving it to an IT Professional if you don't have a strong grasp
on using DOS-styled IT tools such as TestDisk.

Anwsers to the Problem Disk Management Cannot Assign Drive Letter to OEM Partitions

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Manually editing the Windows registry to fix Error Disk Management Cannot Assign Drive Letter to OEM Partitions

Caution: Unless you an advanced computer user, we DO NOT recommend editing the Windows registry manually. Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall Windows. We do not guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

  • Click the Start button.
  • Type "command" in the search box... DO NOT hit ENTER yet!
  • While holding CTRL-Shift on your keyboard, hit ENTER.
  • You will be prompted with a permission dialog box.
  • Click Yes.
  • A black box will open with a blinking cursor.
  • Type "regedit" and hit ENTER.
  • In the Registry Editor, select the Error 0x9C-related key (eg. Windows Operating System) you want to back up.
  • From the File menu, choose Export.
  • In the Save In list, select the folder where you want to save the Windows Operating System backup key.
  • In the File Name box, type a name for your backup file, such as "Windows Operating System Backup".
  • In the Export Range box, be sure that "Selected branch" is selected.
  • Click Save.
  • The file is then saved with a .reg file extension.
  • You now have a backup of your MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION-related registry entry.

Recommended Method to Repair the Problem: Disk Management Cannot Assign Drive Letter to OEM Partitions:

How to Fix Disk Management Cannot Assign Drive Letter to OEM Partitions with SmartPCFixer?

1. Download Error Fixer . Install it on your computer.  Click Scan, and it will perform a scan for your computer. The errors will be shown in the scan result.

2. After the scan is done, you can see the errors and problems need to be repaired. Click Fix All.

3. The Repair part is done, the speed of your computer will be much higher than before and the errors have been fixed. You can also use other functions in SmartPCFixer. Like dll downloading, junk file cleaning and print spooler error repair.

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