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Windows 7: System restore points saved to recovery partition, possible damage?

09 Mar 2014   #11
eddie1170

windows 7 64 bit
 
 

I thought it looked odd to. That is just after a fresh reinstall using the recover partition so that is how it always has been since I got the laptop 2 years ago as I assume the partition never changes.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Mar 2014   #12
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

The only way you can be POSITIVE the recovery partition will work is to attempt to recover with it.

I would NOT want to assume it will work, only to find out it won't when I get in a jam and actually need it.

You say you have separate Dell recovery disks. I'd much rather rely on them than a possibly good possibly bad recovery partition.

Actually, my preference would be to rely on neither. You can always do a clean install of Windows assuming you have a valid Product Key and are willing to do without whatever extra loveliness Dell may have included in the original OEM install---none of which is liable to be noteworthy. A clean install will leave you without a recovery partition. Death, where is thy sting? You'd still have the recovery disks from Dell if ever absolutely necessary.

But in your shoes, I wouldn't assume that recovery partition will work. You could test it to find out, but if it fails, what is your Plan B??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2014   #13
eddie1170

windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Thats very true. I'll have to find the discs and install manually when I have time. I guess then I could create my own system image. I'm only just after using the recovery to restore my laptop that I am using right now and it seems ok. It has been that since then that system protection was writing to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Mar 2014   #14
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by eddie1170 View Post
Thats very true. I'll have to find the discs and install manually when I have time. I guess then I could create my own system image.
Sounds like a better plan, given where you are now. Macrium Reflect Free Edition is an excellent imaging app for that purpose. Learning curve not steep, well designed, quick. Make an image every month or so and hope you never need to restore them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2014   #15
eddie1170

windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Thanks very much for your help. Over the past few days I have learnt to be cautious about relying upon the recovery partition alone. Thanks again.


EDIT: I have just been thinking about ho to keep system images. I know this would require an external hard drive, would I be able to use the hard drive for other backups? I guess I mean is the system image one file or a selection of files and folders that you wouldn't want to tamper with or accidentally alter?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2014   #16
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by eddie1170 View Post


EDIT: I have just been thinking about ho to keep system images. I know this would require an external hard drive, would I be able to use the hard drive for other backups? I guess I mean is the system image one file or a selection of files and folders that you wouldn't want to tamper with or accidentally alter?
It would not require an external drive. Internal is fine. The image file is just that--a file. Like any other. You could put whatever else you want on that same drive or in that same partition. I just keep mine in an ordinary folder on D called "images".

It's probably best to keep them on an entirely different physical drive rather than just on a separate partition on the same drive as C. Because if the entire drive fails, you don't want to lose your image files as well as C--if you did, you couldn't restore. My D drive is a different physical drive, not just another partition on the same drive as C.

The image file only becomes "a bunch of files" AFTER it is restored--at which point it is a bootable partition, if all has worked as expected.

What you can't do is restore an image to the same partition that the image file resides on. That is: if you make an image of C, don't store it on C. You can't restore from C to C. Store it on D, E, or F.

No, you wouldn't want to tamper with it, but that's easily done. Just as easily avoided as not tampering with a Word document or a JPEG. They take up quite a bit of space--roughly 40% of the occupied space of the partition imaged (if you have an 120 GB C partition with 50 occupied, the Macrium image file using standard compression would be somewhere around 40% of 50 GB aka 20 GB).

I keep 3 images: one made shortly after C is installed and one for each of the last 2 months. I just made a March image and deleted my January image. The 3 I have are March, February, and the old one from 2011 when I last installed Windows.

I back them up to another drive just like any other valuable piece of data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2014   #17
eddie1170

windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Thanks very much for the reply, I think I might use the same methods once I made a fresh reinstall. So how can windows see and write to the recovery partition in the system protection menu if it does not have a drive letter?

EDIT: I just downloaded Macrium, it seems that the recovery partition does have a drive letter assigned to it. What would be the difference from creating a system image using the windows option as opposed to Macrium?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2014   #18
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by eddie1170 View Post
What would be the difference from creating a system image using the windows option as opposed to Macrium?
Both should work, but Macrium is more flexible and considerably more intuitive and easier to understand.

Did you get it here?

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

But you need to get the peculiarities of your setup ironed out before you make an image of any type. As it is now, you've got some goofy things going on with System Restore, which disk is marked "system", which is marked "active", etc.

Get the kinks worked out (maybe through a clean install or through a recovery using your recovery disks (not the recovery partition) and then start thinking about Macrium.

You could of course make an image with Macrium right now, but if you later restored that image, you'd be right back where you are now---unexplained stuff going on with System Restore, etc. Macrium isn't going to "correct" anything. All it can do is bring you back to the state you were in at the time the image file was made--which could be a good state or a bad state. You need to get to a good state.

You could also do nothing now and just plan to rely on your recovery disks (not the recovery partition) if you ever get in a bad jam. Personally, I'd be antsy about relying on either the recovery disks or the recovery partition. I like to have an official ordinary Windows installation disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2014   #19
eddie1170

windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Yes I got it from the official website just to get a good look at it and get a feel for it. Going to do a fresh reinstall the next time I have a few days and create an image of the fresh install like you suggested as my new backup. After that then back it up every so often.

I know that windows is working fine now, the problem is that I do not trust that it has been done right. Sometimes mild OCD can be beneficial in the long run haha.

Thank you very much for your help and advice!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2014   #20
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Seems normal practice for Dell to use the recovery partition as system. I wouldn't be concerned about that.

Always a good idea to make your own images. Best free imaging program is FREE Backup software for Windows 7, 8 and Server 2008 R2, 2012
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 System restore points saved to recovery partition, possible damage?




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