well in lots of forums i have checked and could not find a proper answer. there are 2 cases, I will explain the both;
1. If you have installed windows 7, installed and using all your favorite programs and now you want to merge the recovery partition with the system partition and want to keep your system and settings without any change. Then follow steps;
a. get your system hdd partition (usually it is c
completely copied to an external drive. (I used norton ghost 5.0, do not forget checking the copy options, read help section very well, see my notes at the bottom), also make a recovery cd (not windows recovery cd, norton ghost recovery disc or your own program's)
resume reading and applying following instructions (go to 2, then b), 2. if you are clean installing windows 7,
when you insert windows 7 installation cd, at a stage it will ask you which part of hdd you want to install os, click advanced, you will see the partitions delete them make then unallocated, then choose the larger one and choose format. format will ask you the size which you want to format, choose the max size (i.e for a 150 gb total hdd, write 150 000 mb). Formating will automatically keep a system partition (around 200 mb) and the rest will be your c: drive... according to the setup instructions complete the rest, you are done. the ones should go on following steps who wants to merge hdd partition after windows 7 installation,
b. okey after win 7 installation cd you have a fresh win 7 installed in your system with a complete c: drive. Now put the norton recovery disc into the cd tray (or your own copying program's recovery cd) and resart. Recovery will offer you some options, choose recover my computer, show your recovery point in the external drive (actually it is in a folder somewhere between your system hdd' copy folders). Your hdd will be copied back to your merged drive. It is done!
p.s. 1. while my experience with norton ghost 5.0 I paid attention to the copying drive-to-drive options as follow;
*check source for file system errors (check)
*check destination for file system errors (check)
*set drive active (for booting os) (check)
*disable smart sector copying (check)
*copy mbr (check)
do not forget to check these options while you copying hdd to external hdd and vice versa...
2. If your computer does not start after all and/or asks for win 7 installation cd, do it, choose repair (99% your startup section needs to be changed because of hdd change) and everything should be perfect after repair... good luck