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Windows 7: Assign another drive letter than original (D:) to Recovery partition?

21 Oct 2012   #1
tronje

Win7 64 bit
 
 
Assign another drive letter than original (D:) to Recovery partition?

Hello,

having to configure a new HP laptop with pre-installed Win7, I need to create some extra logical drives to organize things better.

Unfortunately, the usual OEM scenario applies: all four possible primary partitions are already happily taken by the manufacturer:
  1. SYSTEM (no drive letter),
  2. (C:),
  3. Recovery (D:),
  4. HP_TOOLS (no drive letter).
(Why can't they just make one partition Extended to begin with...)

However, this thread and similar ones here contain excellent info*, so I know already what can be done. I don't want to touch SYSTEM, and don't want to remove Recovery or HP_TOOLS; so the only option for me seems to be to turn (C:) into an extended partition, then shrink, then add logical volumes as required.
Sounds feasible enough**.

The one remaining question I have is rather simple:
  • Is it possible to then assign another drive letter than the original (D:) to the Recovery partition?
The point being that I'd like the user (not me) to be able to use drive letters C:, D:, and E: (with Recovery being e.g. R:), so that she is not confused by, and always has to think about, having to "skip" D:

On this forum I found some statements saying no it shouldn't be done (because then the F11 boot into recovery won't work any more), while others say yes, it can be done with no ill effects.

Any "authoritative" answer to this?
Would it even be possible to remove any drive letter from Recovery, so as to make it "invisible"?

Thanks for any tips!

Tronje

*Sincere thanks to "Brink", the "Bare Foot Kid", and all the other experts for their hard work sharing their knowledge!
It's very valuable for us Win7 beginners, and much appreciated.

** Except perhaps for the sligthly ominous mentioning of "Boot" for (C:) in the "Status" column of the Win7 disk manager (besides "Page File" and "Crash Dump").
C: is not marked "System" or "Active" (only SYSTEM is), but why then the "Boot" designation?
Does this kill after all the idea of turning (C:) into an extended partition?
(This has been asked before on the forum, but apparently there was no reply.)


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
21 Oct 2012   #2
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello Tronje, and welcome to Seven Forums.



The Recovery Manager in Windows 7 and at boot/startup (F11) uses this Recovery (D) partition to start the factory recovery process. Removing the drive letter from the Recovery (D) partition would cause you to no longer be able to open the Recovery Manager in Windows 7. I'm not sure if at boot/startup (F11) would still work or not. You would have to test afterwards to see. If not, then you would need to add the drive letter back.

Changing the drive letter of the Recovery (D) partition could cause you to no longer be able to open the Recovery Manager in Windows 7. I'm not sure if at boot/startup (F11) would still work or not. You would have to test afterwards with both methods to see. If not, then you would need to change the drive letter back to (D).


http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...ndows-7-a.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #3
tronje

Win7 64 bit
 
 

Many thanks for the fast response, Shawn; this is valuable information and does help indeed. (E.g. I wasn't yet aware that the F11 trick is a Win7 thing, and not HP-specific.)
I'll study the documents you linked to, and then decide what to try and/or test.

For the record (and for later generations searching this thread for insights ):
In the meantime I found yet another approach here (look for the post by Mariusz W. from 22nd May 2011, 10:06 AM). It comes from the Linux world, but the partition calisthenics are the same for everyone, I think.

The gist:
  • Copy the HP_TOOLS partition to a safe place
    (careful! may be FAT32; see link for details, how to do it);
  • then delete it from the hard disk;
  • now there are only 3 primary partitions left,
  • thus you can create an extended one in addition;
  • then create logical volumes in the new extended partition as required, and copy the HP_TOOLS back to one of them (again, check out the details, esp. about volume name!)
If that works (no guarantees, haven't tried it yet myself), it would have the advantage that one can leave alone the C: partition, too (no need to convert to Extended); seeing that the OS lives there, this is is very probably a Good Thing.

Of course this approach does not solve my original issue either to get the D: drive letter "out of the way" (i.e. assigning the Recovery partition something other, e.g. R: ).

Cheers,
tronje
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

21 Oct 2012   #4
edwar

7 x64
 
 

Why not just create a set of system disc and Wipe the drive then reinstall. Then you can make any partition changes you like.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #5
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tronje View Post
Many thanks for the fast response, Shawn; this is valuable information and does help indeed. (E.g. I wasn't yet aware that the F11 trick is a Win7 thing, and not HP-specific.)
I'll study the documents you linked to, and then decide what to try and/or test.

For the record (and for later generations searching this thread for insights ):
In the meantime I found yet another approach here (look for the post by Mariusz W. from 22nd May 2011, 10:06 AM). It comes from the Linux world, but the partition calisthenics are the same for everyone, I think.

The gist:
  • Copy the HP_TOOLS partition to a safe place
    (careful! may be FAT32; see link for details, how to do it);
  • then delete it from the hard disk;
  • now there are only 3 primary partitions left,
  • thus you can create an extended one in addition;
  • then create logical volumes in the new extended partition as required, and copy the HP_TOOLS back to one of them (again, check out the details, esp. about volume name!)
If that works (no guarantees, haven't tried it yet myself), it would have the advantage that one can leave alone the C: partition, too (no need to convert to Extended); seeing that the OS lives there, this is is very probably a Good Thing.


Of course this approach does not solve my original issue either to get the D: drive letter "out of the way" (i.e. assigning the Recovery partition something other, e.g. R: ).

Cheers,
tronje
Using that method could be risky to just create an extended (logical) partition. If you like, I find that using METHOD TWO in the tutorial below is much easier to do that.

Partition / Extended : Logical Drives
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #6
tronje

Win7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Using that method could be risky to just create an extended (logical) partition. If you like, I find that using METHOD TWO in the tutorial below is much easier to do that.
Well my thinking was that if things go wrong, it's "better" to mess up the HP_TOOLS than the C: partition, because the former is "optional" from OS point of view whereas C: is vital.
Not true?

Besides, this approach does not need third-part tools (though I realize that using those may actually be a good idea, because safer against user error).

Cheers,
tronje
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #7
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Well, actually since this store bought computer, all of the default partitions are vital to be able to do a factory recovery with them.

Before doing anything, I would recommend to create a set of recovery discs (DVD) or USB to have as a backup in case a mistake is made.

HP PCs - Creating Recovery Discs or Saving a Recovery Image to a USB Flash Drive (Windows 7) - c01867124 - HP Business Support Center
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #8
tronje

Win7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
create a set of recovery discs (DVD) or USB
Absolutely!
Perhaps even an full image (once I got rid of all the nagware etc...).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #9
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Even better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Assign another drive letter than original (D:) to Recovery partition?




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