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Windows 7: I aligned my partitions and botched Windows Recovery!

27 Jan 2010   #21
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I am more and more lost. Why are you chasing that "recovery partition". I don't have such a partition on my C and never missed it. What is it supposed to do for you. If I recall right, certain OEMs install that. But if you installed win7 from an installation disk, it would not be there.
And Btw, the alignment you cannot see in Disk Management, but Win7 puts it there.
And if you are worried about recovery from a crash at a later time, do imaging. That will save your bacon.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2010   #22

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Why am I chasing this recovery partition? Biggest reason: so I can actually use my system image backups!

As I explained before, if I have to use a DVD/CD to access this recovery partition, the whole image process is WORTHLESS. Why? need TWO discs for this process to work, at least if you do it the way Windows does. One to access the recovery partition which has the interface to do the restore and ANOTHER disc with the actual image. But, issue is, mate, that I CANNOT eject the first disc to put the second in. Physically and electrically impossible (no driver for the eject touch-sensitive key nor a manual eject button).

Save my bacon. LOL. That's funny that you mention images. I made a backup full system image two nights ago. Thought it would save my "bacon". But, OH, keep reading.

So, I ran through the stupid Win7 installation again. This 100MB partition IS normal procedure. 99% of all alignments I've seen had some 100,000K number while mine is 64K. I wondered why: it's because of this recovery partition! This is NOT some OEM feature for backups. IT IS A STANDARD INCLUSION ON ALL WINDOWS INSTALLATIONS.

Please, if you would, hit F8 on boot. Do you see something called "Repair Your Computer"? You should. THAT is the recovery partition.

So, I ran the setup again and lo behold, I have correct alignment AND the recovery partition. Alas, the problem STILL existed that if I ever wanted to do an image (and now I have to so I can get all the data that got wiped from the format/install) that it could not be done through a DVD/CD because of the issue outlined above. It must be through some other medium...say a hard drive. But, I thought to myself, what this happens again? Where BOTH partitions are screwed and can't be accessed? So I spent at least an hour figuring out how to get this recovery partition on a flash drive. The guide on this forum's tutorial section is wrong, it doesn't work if you just make a DVD System Repair and copy the files. There are some extra steps involved that I'll have to discuss on that thread later.

Long story short: my image..........IS BROKEN, throws an error barely two seconds in. Would you FUDGING BELIEVE IT?! I'll edit this post again when I can write the error code down without throwing my pen against the wall.

^ (infinity)

At least, though, this is happening when I'm off school. At least I'm figuring out the stupidity and IDIOCY of making image backups when it doesn't matter too much: they FAIL just like every thing else with computers. "If something can go wrong, OH IT WILL."

I did nothing wrong with making the image. I formatted the disc, ran through the backup (which took five hours+ and I had to hide the lights on my laptop so my roommate wouldn't be disturbed because he had a final the next day). It completed successfully, no signs AT ALL of any issues.

This is the only appropriate time I've had in my life to say this: FML.


I'll be back after I don't want to kill a kitten anymore so I can actually try to salvage this situation I'm in.


Error code is: 0x80070057 "The paramter is incorrect"

Whatever that means. :/ Still Googling.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #23
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

1. a 64K alignment is correct - seems to be optimal for performance
2. I never had such a "recovery partition" - and i have 5 systems. No idea where you get that from
3. making an image to a CDs is the last thing I would do. Why don't you get an external disk. I make images every second day to two external disks and one internal disk. That would be quite a job with CDs.
4. if you want to make a bootable flash drive, you cannot just copy the files, try this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jan 2010   #24

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

1. The alignment is correct, but it's still missing the very much needed partition
2. You've never seen "Repair Your Computer" on the F8 boot menu? Never? Hmm...interesting, I've seen it plenty of times.
3. It's not actually CDs. It's a single 50GB Blu-ray DL 2x rewritable disc. External disks: pricey...maybe they're worth it now?
4. No, obviously just copying the files is not going to do anything! I realize that. But the guide on this site is incomplete some way (but it certainly includes more than just copying files). Just copying the files from the System Repair Disc after the steps is NOT going to create a system recovery environment that is bootable.

But that's all beside the point: the error is the most cryptic POS error I've seen in my life. It applies to at least ten different programs (all MS-related, though) and it has numerous workarounds, yet none that apply to me.

Well, the obvious question: is there a program I can use to restore this image to my hard drive other than Windows? It's obviously made using the Windows System Image tool, but any other program that can force it? Because, something somewhere went wrong and no one in the world knows how. Unless someone can offer insight?


P.S. Could it be that I'm trying to restore an 7 Ultimate backup onto a 7 Pro install? Both are 64-bit....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #25

WIN 7 x64

Maybe you can check this, concerning the F8.
When you run "bcdedit /enum all", do you have this in the result?

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {e722eeaa-2e41-11de-9d5e-b7e65a6ea740}
device ramdisk=[\windows\system32\winload.exe]\Recovery\e722eeaa-2e41-11de-9d5e-b7e
path \windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows Recovery Environment
inherit {bootloadersettings}
osdevice ramdisk=[\windows]\Recovery\e722eeaa-2e41-11de-9d5e-b7e65a6ea740\Winre.wim,{
systemroot \windows
nx OptIn
winpe Yes
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #26

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Is that directed at me?

If so, yeah, I definitely see that.......

Googling the error seems to show me that there may be something wrong with the permissions on the backup. Or that my hard drive controller drivers are out of date. Just updated them and trying the permissions thing.


Well, son of a gun. I just realized there is NO NEED for this recovery partition. The whole thing has been a sham. You want to know why?! Because, if you access the recovery partition via the hard drive, it says it can't restore images because you are trying to restore an image to the drive the recovery partition is on. So, jump drive recovery partition it is. I knew this yesterday, but I couldn't make sense of it.

Obviously, the error has then only occured with the jump drive method (because you can't even make it past step 1 with the hard drive method).

Still can't restore the darned image with the jump drive, though, same stupid error: 0x80070057 "the parameter is incorrect". I'm going to remake the recovery environment on the jump drive, this time I'm going to use my own jump drive and some trash, half-broken one. :/


I think I figured out the reason why your setups didn't have the recovery environment: if you create your own partitions in Windows 7 installations, it fudges up the 100MB partition. The only way, I think, that you can get it is to have just all unallocated space. Anything but that will result in just Windows and not the recovery partition. :/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #27

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

OK, wait. I think I figured it out.

When I made the backup, I do not think I had the recovery environment. It's not that I think aligning the drive got rid of it: I simply don't think I had it to begin with.

So: idea! What if, ahem, what if I removed the recovery partition all together? Like in my fresh install now? Just wiped to off and extended my current partition to that size? Think that might be causing the issue?

I have no need for it now. :/

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #28

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

There is a certain amount of space before the start of the first partition, which is what is referred to as the offset. Vista and W7 use a default offset of 1024k, meaning there's 1024k of empty space before the partition. Starting at 1024k means that the partition starts at the beginning of the third block, since blocks are 512k (512k x 2 = 1024k).

The goal is to not start a partition in the middle of a block or a page. That way, you don't split any boundaries. If you split a page (4k) section, then 2 writes are necessary to write the page instead of 1, doubling the work. It will happen repeatively every 8th page, reducing overall performance and I/O commands. Blocks have a similar performance hit but not to the same degree as pages. It's easy to align to both.

Alignment has to be done when the partition is created. There are tools such as a gparted boot CD that can change alignment after it's created, but it's not 100%. Sometimes, you can lose your data with that method. It's best to fresh install and correctly create the partition at the beginning.

If you're running Vista or W7, the alignment is done automatically by the OS as long as you use the installation DVD to create the partition. WinXP is another story because it will not align a partition correctly by default. Extra steps are involved. The easiest way to align a WinXP OS volume is to get the downloadable Vista Recovery DVD and create the OS partition before the installation of WinXP. The partition created by the Vista Recovery DVD will be the same as the Vista Installation DVD and will be aligned at 1024kb by default which is a valid alignment for todays hardware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #29

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

All right. Thank you for the information. The benefits of aligning are numerous.

However, I think I've moved a bit past that part. Do you know anything about if restoring an image will affect alignment? I've already wiped the drive and did a new installation; trying to get my image back on my drive, but I've run into some roadblocks.....

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #30

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

as long as you imaged the entire disk with the alignment then you should be ok to reimage if necessary
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 I aligned my partitions and botched Windows Recovery!

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