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Windows 7: What is the "recovery partition"?


14 Dec 2009   #1

Windows Vista HP 64-bit, Windows 7 P 64-bit, Leopard 10.5.8, Windows 7 P 32-bit
 
 
What is the "recovery partition"?

I did a clean install of Windows 7 Professional on a drive that originally contained Windows Vista Home Premium. This was over two months ago, and the Windows 7 installation seems to be working fine. But about 10 GB of space on the C: drive is taken up by a "recovery partition." My sense is that this was created in case I want to recover my Vista installation, in which case it's of no more use to me after thoroughly testing Windows 7. But is this what the recovery partition is, and if so how do I get rid of it to reclaim the disk space?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Dec 2009   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Yes, it cotains the program that would restore Vista as you got it from the factory.

If you have the recovery discs, you may not need the partition as well.

Vista is a valuable part of the pc. E.G. If you want to sell it - you may want to put Vista back on.

If you still wish to remove it, use a 3rd party app. like the free Partition Wizard:

http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2
 
 

In addition to the above, Some manufacturers include the use of the shipped operating system as a pre-requisite for warranty claims.

So it may be a good idea to keep this partition at least until the system is out of warranty
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Dec 2009   #4

Windows Vista HP 64-bit, Windows 7 P 64-bit, Leopard 10.5.8, Windows 7 P 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Vista is a valuable part of the pc. E.G. If you want to sell it - you may want to put Vista back on.
Thanks. I created a factory install disk, so I don't really need the partition for anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2009   #5

Windows Vista HP 64-bit, Windows 7 P 64-bit, Leopard 10.5.8, Windows 7 P 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Yes, it cotains the program that would restore Vista as you got it from the factory.

If you have the recovery discs, you may not need the partition as well.

Vista is a valuable part of the pc. E.G. If you want to sell it - you may want to put Vista back on.

If you still wish to remove it, use a 3rd party app. like the free Partition Wizard:

Free Download Partition Wizard
I tried to boot to a Partition Wizard disk and got the warning that resizing the system partition in Windows 7 would cause the system to be unbootable. Looks like that's *not* the way to go. I mean I don't want a 10GB separate drive, I want to reclaim that partition as part of the system drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2009   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Please post back a screenshot of your full Partition Wizard map so we can better advise you. Use the Snipping tool in the Start Menu, attach file using paper clip in reply box.

If Resizing Windows 7 partition to take in the Recov partition's deleted space causes Windows 7 to become unbootable, then this can be repaired by booting into the Windows 7 DVD repair console and running Startup Repair 3 times to repair and possibly rewrite the MBR.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2009   #7

Windows Vista HP 64-bit, Windows 7 P 64-bit, Leopard 10.5.8, Windows 7 P 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Please post back a screenshot of your full Partition Wizard map so we can better advise you. Use the Snipping tool in the Start Menu, attach file using paper clip in reply box.

If Resizing Windows 7 partition to take in the Recov partition's deleted space causes Windows 7 to become unbootable, then this can be repaired by booting into the Windows 7 DVD repair console and running Startup Repair 3 times to repair and possibly rewrite the MBR.
I think I uploaded the screen shots. If so, you can see that the partition listed in Disk Manager isn't even seen in Partition Wizard. What next?


Attached Thumbnails
What is the "recovery partition"?-partitions-wizard.png   What is the "recovery partition"?-patitions-dm.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2009   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Looks like PW is seeing Windows 7 DISK0 as DISK1 but not seeing its Recov Partition. It also is reporting that it is Logical, but I can't see the Disk Mgmt detail to confirm that. I get the feeling there is some instablity as I have never seen PW report with such variance.

An OS can be on a logical partition however it cannot be marked active. But apparently that is not a problem since it is System partition anyway. Do you have any performance issues? You could rightclick on that drive in PW and Modify>Set to Primary, but I dont know whether that would then make the Recovery Partition visible.

There are times when an accidental Logical partition must be converted to Primary, such as when it needs to be marked active to be System partition to take the MBR. However since it already is System, I am not sure I'd advise that since there can be performance compromise from converting (if there isn't already from the strange config it's got: System Logical but not Active?!)

I would be looking for a Primary partition already marked active, or which can be marked active, before advising you to go ahead and delete that Recov Partition. That way you would know for sure that resizing into the deleted Recov space would be recoverable if it should lose the boot. Startup Repair will almost always work in that scenario when run 3 times, if not then manually running bootrec and bootsect commands.

But there are multiple problems here that make it too iffy to advise you to go ahead. Perhaps converting Windows 7 drive to Primary as it should be to be marked active System drive, might clear things up enough to see the Recov partition in PW. Then it would be more of a sure thing to mark Windows 7 active (it should already be, if it were a Primary part), delete the visible Recov partition, Resize Windows 7 into the deleted space, then if necessary run Startup Repair 3 times to repair the MBR in Windows 7.

I leave you to mull over these things, ask any questions, let others advise. I always go on performance, so you may want to go by that alone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2009   #9

Windows Vista HP 64-bit, Windows 7 P 64-bit, Leopard 10.5.8, Windows 7 P 32-bit
 
 

I can't make any changes to the C drive other than to assign it a different drive letter. I can't make it "active" or "primary." (Note that the drive is dynamic.) It appears that the primary partition on that drive is, in fact, the recovery partition??

The only performance problem I've noticed is a tendancy for my system to freeze lately, so that I can still see everything but the mouse is frozen, the keyboard unresponsive, and the date/time frozen. I have to just do a hard reboot. I haven't determined what's making my system freeze, but it may not have anything to do with this. I've run check disk on the C drive, and it seems OK. No bad sectors, files, or anything. The "spanned/failed" drive refers to a couple of old IDE drives that I removed from the drive bay so air can circulate better, and just haven't taken it off of the manager.

Has my system been corrupted, and if so what do I do??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2009   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

Well that is a substantial performance problem.

Can you look at the detail I cannot see in the screenshot on the C: drive in Disk Management and confirm it is logical? Normally it would say so.

It may be unformatted simple volume.

Do you get "Modify: Set to Primary" when you righclick on C: in PW?

Was your Windows 7 partition part of the failed Spanned drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 What is the "recovery partition"?




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