There is a tutorial on this site to create a windows 7 recovery partition ( sort of ).
You went for a better method - and I would do it differently as well - however, the tutorial is a simple way that most people could manage.
It is a straightforward idea that is well known and has been around quite a while.
Severed took the trouble to write it up here Recovery Partition - Create
I understand why you hadn't come across anything - that kind of thing is not so common on "general" windows forums, or laptop forums.
However, those of us who are interested in creating portable windows, building winpe images , installing to usb drives , etc - hang around more specialist forums. There are plenty of methods in these places. Some people have even written apps. to do it for you. They are not particularly simple, though.
it's USUALLY successful ..mark the restore partition as active, forcing the system to boot to that partition.
Yes that often works.