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Windows 7: Possible loss of data on Recovery Partition

23 Jul 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Possible loss of data on Recovery Partition

Bought an ASUS UL30A laptop a few years ago with Windows 7 OEM. There is no drive for CD's or DVD's and I do not have an external optical drive. The default setup is 485GB worth of space on the SATA for the OS and a 15GB recovery partition.
Over time I noticed that some programs (or portions of them anyway) were showing up in the recovery partition and if memory serves me, almost the entire 15GB of space on that partition was used. Now when I click on properties of the Recovery partition it shows that only 107MB of space is used and 14.8GB is free space. I have absolutely no idea what happened to all of the 'programs' and other data that was on that partition but it's as if that partition was formatted (which I did not do).
My basic question is this: This OEM notebook with no recovery discs and no way of playing them has 107MB of data and it's for Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable. One other .exe (SIW.exe) is in a Programs folder, but that's it. I run CCleaner every week just to get rid of cookies, clean the cache of the browsers, etc., but that's it. No program runs on a maintenance schedule and am at a complete loss as to what happened to that recovery partition (nothing was lost on the partition that contains the OS). Any ideas on what MAY have happened and is there anything I can do to get the Recovery OS data back? Though I do not have discs, I do have the following info from small keyfinder program:

I'd really appreciate some solid ideas on the best approach at this time because if the system crashes right now, I'm cooked. If a SysRestore is possible, I would have no idea of how far to go back.
Thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Jul 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder... didn't find the key for reinstall!! The product key is on a Certificate Of Authenticity (COA) sticker on laptop. Please find it.... and don't post it!

Why didn't you make a recovery drive on usb stick?

You don't need the recovery partition at all! You only need a valid product key. Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2013   #3
Microsoft MVP


No need to worry about running Recovery. The factory preinstalled Windows 7 is the worst possible install of Windows 7 one can have, larded with bloatware and useless duplicate utilties that interfere and have better versions built into Windows 7.

So you'll be much better off and finally get to enjoy real Windows 7 when you do a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 . Everything you need is in the link. As Kaktussoft says use the Product Key on the COA sticker pictured in the tutorial.

As to the Recovery partition (which I would delete during the reinstall) as long as it doesn't have a drive letter nothing can write to it, and it should have some free space on it anyway. You can test it by making the Factory Recovery media which should have already been made.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Jul 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Thank you very much for the replies. I do not nee to do a new install at the moment (although what what said is so true about the lardware on the OEM). With the product key from the COA, will it allow me to download the necessary files and put them on a thumb drive without installing and how big of a drive will I need? I've got a blank 4GB thumb that I could use.

Again, thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jul 2013   #5
Microsoft MVP


Yes, Steps 1 and 2 of Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 will create a bootable flash stick installer for your licensed version of Windows 7. Then follow the steps closely to get and keep a perfect install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

OK. Time for a little ignorance. Downloaded the x64 with media refresh and the Ei.cfg Removal Utility. Does the packed.iso go directly to the thumb drive or does it have to be unpacked and then moved to the thumb. In all my years on a computer this is the first time I've ever worked with an iso.

Thanks for the help. This will save my bacon if the situation should arise.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP


Are you following the steps to get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7?

2. Burn ISO to DVD or write to USB flash stick (minimum size of 4GB required) using Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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