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Windows 7: lenovo recovery after SYSTEM_DRV wiped?

10 Nov 2015   #1
up2trix

Windows 7 Pro
 
 
lenovo recovery after SYSTEM_DRV wiped?

I have an old circa 2010 low end Lenovo ThinkPad that I am going to sell or donate.

Before doing that, I wanted to ensure that it contains no sensitive information. So, I decided to wipe its sole hard drive and reinstall it to factory condition using the Lenovo Recovery partition. (I assume that the Lenovo recovery tool alone is not going to do any partition wiping during restoration, but will leave file remnants behind that are recoverable.)

To do the wiping, I made a bootable GParted USB flash drive. Booting with that flash drive and running GParted revealed that my laptop's drive had 3 partitions:
  1. /dev/sdb1 SYSTEM_DRV (few GB?)
  2. /dev/sdb2 Windows7_OS (most of the drive)
  3. /dev/sdb3 Lenovo_Recovery (several GB at the end)
I thought that only that final Lenovo_Recovery partition needed to be preserved, so after I quit GParted, I opened the Terminal app and used the linux shred command to wipe the first 2 partitions.

Upon reboot of the laptop with the flash drive now removed, I thought that I would be able to access the Lenovo recovery program by pressing F11 during boot. No such luck: instead of getting the recovery program, the BIOS immediately printed the error "Missing Operating System".

The reason, I am now sure, is that the Lenovo recovery partition is not, in fact, sufficient: it actually depends on software in that first SYSTEM_DRV partition; I should not have erased that.

Given that I have wiped the SYSTEM_DRV partition, and I have no backup of it, is there any way forward? In particular, I assume that I need to restore the SYSTEM_DRV partition, so is there any way to do that?

If not, no biggie, this laptop will definitely be a donor in that case. But if I can easily recover it, I will.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
10 Nov 2015   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

That was probably your system reserved partition, there was no need to wipe it. It contained the system files, and may have been marked Active.

You can try marking the windows partition Active and running startup repair, it may work it may not.

If you are going to sell or give it away, I would just format the entire drive and reinstall windows.

Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2015   #3
up2trix

Windows 7 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
That was probably your system reserved partition, there was no need to wipe it. It contained the system files, and may have been marked Active.

You can try marking the windows partition Active and running startup repair, it may work it may not.
Thanks for your prompt reply.

I doubt that merely marking the partition as Active will work: a link in my original post claims that the system files on it, like the Windows Recovery Environment, are required to boot and do anything, even to run the Lenovo Recovery program.

Furthermore, how can I mark a partition as Active if I cannot even boot into Windows? My understanding is that you need Windows to be running to do that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

10 Nov 2015   #4
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

You are correct, but I also said you have to run startup repair.

You can mark the Partition Active using Diskpart or a Partition Wizard Boot CD.

You can mark other partitions Active from within windows, but first you`d have to be in windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 lenovo recovery after SYSTEM_DRV wiped?




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