Computers sold with pre-installed Windows 7 have a small "System Reserved" boot partition at the beginning of the disk which is not really necessary as Windows can boot alone or alongside Ubuntu without this. So I've decided to remove it from a couple of machines which went OK (except the extra effort of moving/resizing partitions to the left and sometimes having to repair Windows boot manager).
In one of the machines, however, I was surprised to see that the new partition numbers start from 2 in GParted. And the output of fdisk -l is like this:
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sdb2 * 2048 52426751 26212352 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT /dev/sdb3 52426752 942684159 445128704 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT /dev/sdb4 942684160 976773119 17044480 12 Compaq diagnostics
It took me some time to discover that the reason for this was the fact that somehow a zero-size invisible partition was left after I deleted that partition as seen in the output of sfdisk -l below:
Device Boot Start End #cyls #blocks Id System /dev/sdb1 0 - 0 0 0 Empty /dev/sdb2 * 0+ 3263- 3264- 26212352 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT /dev/sdb3 3263+ 58679- 55416- 445128704 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT /dev/sdb4 58679+ 60801- 2122- 17044480 12 Compaq diagnostics
Apart from the unseemly partition numbering, I'm curious to know how I can ged rid of this weird partition?