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Windows 7: Advice on fixing deleted recovery partition [Toshiba]

12 Aug 2012   #1
timtadams

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Advice on fixing deleted recovery partition [Toshiba]

Hi all,

I deleted my recovery partition before realising it was the recovery partition.


That 11.26GB unallocated was the recovery partition.

I was installing Ubuntu as a dual boot, and wanted to install it on its own partition. But I already had 4 primary partitions (the 1.46GB bootable recovery partition, C:, E: and the 11.26GB partition with the recovery files). So i shrunk C:, deleted the 11.26GB partiton and created the new primary partition. I later discovered it had the recovery files.

Ubuntu installation needed some other partitions and it must've converted E: to a logical drive.

I have installed the MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition v7.5
The results of a full quick scan:


Double clicking the HHDRECOVERY partition (unallocated space) shows the recovery files:


However, doing a full scan of the unallocated space also shows a small partition labeled "Boot":


Double clicking that drive shows the following:


However, that folder does not appear to contain any files. There was a [+] to the left of the folder, but clicking it just made it disappear since there was nothing to show. I'm not sure if I can just ignore this tiny section or not.

I am just wondering if anyone has any recommendations on how I should proceed. I have not ever attempted partition recovery or used this program before and feel like I only have one shot at this and don't want to screw it up, if it is even possible.

Also, yes I did create recovery discs, I think I've done it twice, but I'm not sure where they are. I've had a good search but haven't found them. Although I've other places yet to search but so far not the opportunity. I know using these discs, if I find them, will reinstall recovery partitions.

My laptop is a Qosmio F60 running Windows 7 Home Premium SP1.

Thanks
Tim


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
12 Aug 2012   #2
gregrocker

 

You can try restoring the HDD Recovery partition using PW Partition Recovery Wizard, but it may have lost its hotlink to run at boot or even from Win7 if you're still running the Factory Preinstall.
Partition Wizard Partition Recovery Wizard - Video Help.

But most tech enthusiasts won't even run the bloated factory preinstall, preferring to get the vastly superior Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 following the steps in the link to get a perfect reinstall. If you do this you can back up your files (as you should have already) delete all partitions, even follow the recommended steps to Dual Boot Ubuntu - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki.

However the safest method for Dual Booting is always on separate HD's, unplugging the other HD during install to boot only via the BIOS Boot Menu key.

Let us know how it goes, as we will see you through it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2012   #3
timtadams

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks for reply.

It wasnt originally such a mess. Originally there was only the 1.46GB and 11.26GB recovery partitions, C:, and E: which i used for storage. Ubuntu wanted a SWAP partition so I gave it one. The 8MB free space is due to installation of Ubuntu.

Here is maximized disk manager:


I'm still running the Factory Preinstall.

Sorry my post was so long, as such I can understand that you may have missed there part where I stated:
Quote:
Also, yes I did create recovery discs, I think I've done it twice, but I'm not sure where they are. I've had a good search but haven't found them. Although I've other places yet to search but so far not the opportunity. I know using these discs, if I find them, will reinstall recovery partitions.
I would prefer to run a clean install as I usually tend to uninstall a heap of stuff upon reinstallation of Windows 7, however downloading a 3GB iso hasn't really been an option till recently. Thanks for those links. And yes, I have backed up all my stuff to an external HDD. I just updated it yesterday.

I currently have no problems booting Ubuntu or 7.

I'll let you know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

12 Aug 2012   #4
gregrocker

 

If you want to keep what you've got you can resize C into any of the other adjacent partitions since there seems to be no content on them until the Logical, and/or create new partitions in all or part of the space.

These systems with no System partition always bother me because if the System boot files are correctly written to the Active partition then there should be a System flag signifying this. We have to assume the System boot files are on the 1.46 Active partition, so before deleting it I'd move System boot files to C by marking C Active then running Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until it is marked System Active.

None of this will restore the hotlink to Recovery Partition although it might still be intact once you restore it - you can test it to see.

You can use free Partition Wizard bootable CD to mark Active, Rebuild MBR, delete, resize as you wish. Partition Wizard Move/Resize Partition - Video Help.

I've never seen PW CD fail to restore a lost partition so it should also be able to put it back into the Unallocated space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2012   #5
timtadams

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Well I just dove in and started messing with partitions. I can install clean 7 as you said, as well add Ubuntu, and figured the original installation isn't too important anyway. I managed to screw it beyond being bootable, so I just installed Ubuntu.

Anyway, I finally got a chance to use my recovery discs and reconverted to the out of box state.

Now I am going about testing how I might be able to recover a deleted recovery partition.
Using the partition manager I unhid the HDDRECOVERY partition.
Attempting to access the recovery by holding the zero key upon booting resulted the partition failing to properly boot before windows started to load.
Reinstating the partition as hidden allowed the recovery partition to properly boot.

Using the partition manager I deleted the recovery partition and applied changes. I then used the partition recovery wizard to restore the partition. At this point the partition was not hidden. It was successfully hidden. I was then able to successfully boot into the recovery partition.

I am yet to test what happens if I delete partition from within windows. Laptop is currently being set up which takes a while, so am posting from phone. Although I guess deleting in windows would be the point of no return.

Either way I'll update when I get the chance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2012   #6
timtadams

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I don't want to intrude, but a little update

I tried further partitioning. I shrunk C drive, created a logical partition containing two extended partitions. Deleted HDDRECOVERY and booted into the Partition Wizard. Converted extended partitions into primary partitions for added complications (I don't really know anything about partitioning so am just trying different stuff). Deleted one so I had room for a fourth primary position, ran partition recovery wizard to get HDDRECOVERY back and set it to hidden.

Was still able to boot into recovery.

This leads me to think that either creation and changing of partitions for Ubuntu or the changes to GRUB during Ubuntu installation that were responsible for the inability to access HDDRECOVERY for recovery purposes.

I'll be installing Ubuntu again soon so I'll try to see where it goes bad.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2012   #7
timtadams

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quick question, I want to create a Macrium image of the whole HDD, after a fresh installation simply because i'm sick of waiting hours for the thing to configure itself.

If I wipe the whole hdd will restoration of the Macrium image restore the recovery partitions and the ability to boot into recovery / access hddrecovery for creation of backup media?

[edit]
To answer my own question, it seems yes, Macrium restores recovery partitions which will work.

After imaging every partition to external HDD I rebooted and deleted every partition including recovery. Booted Reflect CD and restored HDD.
Windows loaded fine, naturally. Initial attempt to run Recovery Media Creator resulted in a time out error, maybe because system was still busy loading crap, but the second attempt it started fine.

However, trying to boot into recovery by holding zero key failed. I was instead prompted to boot Windows 7. However, subsequent attempts at booting into recovery worked.

Even if recovery partitions could not be restored to a bootable state, taking a Macrium image after factory reset is much preferable to performing factory reset every time simply because Macrium only takes less than 30 min while factory reset takes in the order of 3 hours due to 'configuration'. And with Macrium image of whole HDD at initial startup your recovery discs are pretty much redundant.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2012   #8
gregrocker

 

So since you've demonstrated that you are an eager Tech Enthusiast, why would you want to run the factory pre-install which most enthusiasts consider a corrupted install larded with sponsored bloatware and useless factory utilities that duplicate Win7's superior features?

You should save your factory backup image and Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 following the steps to get a perfect,vastly superior install.

After setup when it's running best make another backup image to use in place of future reinstalls.

The factory image will probably never be needed again unless you want to sell the machine to someone who wants the crapware. There are such people, who have yet to become Tech Enthusiasts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2012   #9
timtadams

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Yeah, i've been planning on doing the clean install the last few days, just been really busy. I still want the factory install because it will have all the drivers specific to all my hardware like USB Ports, wireless, HDMI, etc.

I did just do the clean install and not even the wireless was working. I didn't even bother checking anything else, I just immediately put the Macrium image of the factory install back on and will be backing up drivers etc. As far as I understand 32 bit drivers won't work in a 64 bit environment so I'll be backing them up from both 32 and 64 bit versions.

Ubuntu seemed to work fine when I initially installed it, both when installed to hdd as a dual boot and when installed on a flash drive via virtualbox. Bit disappointing for Windows that it can't even get wireless working.

Can you recommend any programs for driver backup and installation? I've used DriverMax but not in this context.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Advice on fixing deleted recovery partition [Toshiba]




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