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Windows 7: Strange (to me) default partitioning & related questions

03 May 2014   #1
Rick1441

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Strange (to me) default partitioning & related questions

Since these questions could relate to any of several different areas, I'll put it under General Discussion.

In Windows 7, I am used to a default partition structure that looks like this (read BOTTOM-UP, i.e., the first partition is SYSTEM_DRV):

Strange (to me) default partitioning & related questions-typical.jpg

But my new Dell Inspiron 15R-5537 with Windows 7 Home Premium came with this default partitioning (again, read BOTTOM-UP to get the partition ordering):

Strange (to me) default partitioning & related questions-dell.jpg

It is confusing that in the Dell there is no small "reserved" partition (like SYSTEM_DRV in my first example) that includes "System" in the Windows description. Instead, "System" appears in the Windows description for the 22GB RECOVERY partition.

Does that mean that if I removed RECOVERY (not that I'm planning to actually do that) the system would fail to boot or have other problems?

Also, when I use non-Windows software for imaging, I include the reserved partition in the image. Does this mean that for the Dell I would have to include that big RECOVERY partition in the image to make the image usable for successful restoration to the computer's state during the most recent image? And even if the answer is "yes, but you only have image RECOVERY once since it doesn't change," isn't it possible that the contents of RECOVERY change with Dell's automatic updates?

Thanks in advance for any opinions and insights. Since Inspiron is such a common model, I'm surprised I couldn't find anything about this after quite a bit of Googling.




Attached Thumbnails
Strange (to me) default partitioning & related questions-typical.jpg   Strange (to me) default partitioning & related questions-dell.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
03 May 2014   #2
Sir George

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Rick1441 View Post
Since these questions could relate to any of several different areas, I'll put it under General Discussion.

In Windows 7, I am used to a default partition structure that looks like this (read BOTTOM-UP, i.e., the first partition is SYSTEM_DRV):

Strange (to me) default partitioning & related questions-typical.jpg

But my new Dell Inspiron 15R-5537 with Windows 7 Home Premium came with this default partitioning (again, read BOTTOM-UP to get the partition ordering):

Strange (to me) default partitioning & related questions-dell.jpg

It is confusing that in the Dell there is no small "reserved" partition (like SYSTEM_DRV in my first example) that includes "System" in the Windows description. Instead, "System" appears in the Windows description for the 22GB RECOVERY partition.

Does that mean that if I removed RECOVERY (not that I'm planning to actually do that) the system would fail to boot or have other problems?

Also, when I use non-Windows software for imaging, I include the reserved partition in the image. Does this mean that for the Dell I would have to include that big RECOVERY partition in the image to make the image usable for successful restoration to the computer's state during the most recent image? And even if the answer is "yes, but you only have image RECOVERY once since it doesn't change," isn't it possible that the contents of RECOVERY change with Dell's automatic updates?

Thanks in advance for any opinions and insights. Since Inspiron is such a common model, I'm surprised I couldn't find anything about this after quite a bit of Googling.
You don't need the System Reserved partition; see the following link;

What is the System Reserved Partition? - 4sysops

HTH
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 May 2014   #3
Rick1441

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Thanks. Do you think the description for the 22GB RECOVERY partition as 'System" means that it includes everything that is included in the typical small system-reserved partition (in addition to all those GBs of Recovery-related files)? Also, why would it be that most of the 3rd-party imaging programs I've used caution that it is important to image the system-reserved partition and include it in any restore? Are they being overly cautious, or perhaps assuming that BitLocker might be in use?

Also, if the system partition is not needed, why does Microsoft state, "When you turn on your computer, it uses information stored on the system partition to start up?" (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...#1TC=windows-7) Is that information also on the boot partition (C)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

03 May 2014   #4
Sir George

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Rick1441 View Post
Thanks. Do you think the description for the 22GB RECOVERY partition as 'System" means that it includes everything that is included in the typical small system-reserved partition (in addition to all those GBs of Recovery-related files)? Also, why would it be that most of the 3rd-party imaging programs I've used caution that it is important to image the system-reserved partition and include it in any restore? Are they being overly cautious, or perhaps assuming that BitLocker might be in use?

Also, if the system partition is not needed, why does Microsoft state, "When you turn on your computer, it uses information stored on the system partition to start up?" (What are system partitions and boot partitions? - Microsoft Windows Help) Is that information also on the boot partition (C)?
The recovery partition has everything needed to restore the computer to pristine condition, which includes the ability to boot the OS. When imaging a disk it is good practice to include the system partition, if it's there; your guess as to the exact reason is as good as mine. MS defaults to using the system partition, it is part of the information provided in the link I posted;

"As it happens, the System Reserved partition is an unlettered system drive that is automatically created by Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012 during a clean installation."

You can override the default as an option during the installation.

HTH
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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