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Windows 7: Imaging & automated recovery partition

09 Aug 2010   #1

win7, xp
Imaging & automated recovery partition

Ok so my situ is i work for large gaming company and in previous deployments\rollouts of xp we used to have the harddrive partitioned in 2.
1 - XP
2 - recovery partition (Automated, created with ping software)
We created this setup as the users need to be able to hit the recovery partition on boot to have a clean install of xp after finishing there game testing.

Now that Windows 7 has come along i need to have a setup on 1 harddrive as:
1 - xp
2 - Windows 7
3 - recovery


1 - xp
2 - recovery
3 - Windows 7
4 - recovery2

I have managed to do the sys prep & image of both os's and get the option of
1 - xp
2 - Windows 7
3 - recovery

on boot up. But i cannot seem to get the recovery partition to be automated or contain both os's with out screwing up the mbr.
I need to have a automated (no disc to be inserted) recovery partition as there are thousands of users and would take up too much time for the IT department.
Even if I could get it to recover from the network that would be good??
I have spent weeks trawling the net\forums but to no avail.
Can anyone advise please?
Thanks in advance.

system specs vary .

My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Aug 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP


What I would try is install Windows 7 first with the 100mb System Reserved partition which is assigned when you format the HD during install.

Next in Disk Mgmt. shrink Windows 7, then install XP which will remove System Active temporarily from Windows 7's 100mb Sys Reserved partition. So recover System Active MBR to SysReserved by marking it active, then run Startup Repair from Windows 7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD up to 3 separate times with reboots.

From Windows 7, type "backup" into start box and cue up a Windows 7 System Image to find out its size. Include in the image XP partition. Shrink Windows 7 again to make a Primary partition large enough to store this image.

Now boot computer and by tapping F8, access the WinRE Recovery console which 100mb SysReserved places on Advanced Boot Tools menu. Select "Recover Using an Image" and test that either or both OS's can be reimaged from the stored image using the utility. In some cases lower RAM will restrict the ability of WinRE to load itself into RAM sufficiently to reimage entire HD, at which point it will request reboot from Repair CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2010   #3

win7, xp

But how would that work with the whole sys prep - new sid issue? as i need to take a copy of the image after sys prep and cannot go back into Windows 7 before that?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Aug 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP


You would have to create and store the image after installing the Dual Boot if you want to use the method suggested.

You would then need to image the whole finished job to reimage to other HD's instead of using Sys Prep.

You asked how it could be done so that Users wouldn't need to use a disk and this is the only way I know, using WinRe to reimage HD from Advanced Tools menu accessed by tapping F8 at bootup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Imaging & automated recovery partition

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