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Windows 7: Lost Dell factory recovery partition

21 Jan 2014   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
Lost Dell factory recovery partition

Hi Guys can I ask for a little help please
My Dell Vostro laptop was running Windows 7 (64 bit) professional but a few months ago I made a backup of the windows partition with True Image Plus 2013 as a back-up, I then upgraded to windows 8 all was working ok for a while but I decided Windows 8 was not for me and decided to use the true image backup I had made of windows 7.
I booted my computer with the true image boot cd and selected the relevant backup image file, all was ok until One second from completion and then true image said the restore had failed.
I then tried to boot my computer but the MBR was missing I then tried to use a Windows 7 system dvd to repair the MBR but it would not work.
I then found out that when the restore failed it had destroyed my windows partition and my factory recovery partition, and a partition I had my data stored on, so now I am unable to restore my computer with the factory restore option.
Fortunately I had made some rescue dvd and I have my computer working again but I would like the recovery partition back working if I can
I you look at the disk management screen shot I have attached you can see that I have a partition with a size 750.0 MB and 750MB free.
But now I am using Macrium to make my backups and when I run a back-up it reports that a partition is called Recovery and it is 750.0 MB with 212.0MB used and 537.0 MD free please see second screenshot
Can anyone tell me whatís going on and can I get the recovery partition to work again

Attached Thumbnails
Lost Dell factory recovery partition-screenshot010.jpg   Lost Dell factory recovery partition-screenshot011.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

The 750mb partition contains the files needed to boot windows. It is quite large because there may some oem tools on there as well.

You don't have an actual recovery partition containing the files needed to reinstall.

You can make one easily enough. It doesn't need to be a separate partition , you could use your data partition for that and still keep all your stuff on there.

I would use the latest installation media for that.

You can get it from here: Windows 7 Direct Download Links -

Or you could use what is on your recovery discs if you really want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2014   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

Thanks for the advice
I understand what you are saying but I am troubled and don't understand just what has gone wrong with my hard drive.

I thought the Windows 7 system reserved partition was typically around 100MB and not 750MB it was never that big before true image made a mess of my computer.

Also I think the factory recovery partition was about 750MB or somewhere around that size, and if you look at the second screenshot the one with the Macrium backup details it clearly show that 750MB partition is called Recovery and not system reserved.

So if this is a windows system partition how did it get called Recovery that's what is puzzling me


PS. Yes I know I can just use the recovery cd I have made and I have a spare unused windows 7 dvd with the serial number not used so I could just use that if needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jan 2014   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1

I was thinking the same way you are. One other thing I noticed is that not any of your partitions are marked "System" which is needed to boot. Are you able to boot OK? Everything else looks OK. The 750 MB does not look like the System Reserved. You don't need the Recovery Partition if you have a Macrium Backup. I backup my Macrium every week so it stays current. Hang in there and someone else will come along that can shed more light on this problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2014   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

Hi bigmck thanks for the reply,

Yes my computer boots ok with no problems at all.

I'm not sure if there was a system reserved partition before I had this problem, but there was a hidden recovery partition and the main OS partition.

I had split that and made a data partition so if I had to reinstall windows at any time I would not loose my data.

When I decided to ditch windows 8 and return to windows 7 that my computer came with I just thought I would just restore an image of the windows 7 OS partition with true image.

All when ok until the very last second then true image reported restore failed and that also destroyed all the partitions, the only way I could get the laptop working again was to use the recovery DVFD I had made when the computer was new.

And now I have this strange partitions setup

I don't understand how according to Macrium says it is called recovery

I have tried to look at the partition with Diskpart and the recovery partition macrium shows is not showing at all

I am lost now
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2014   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

"Recovery" is just the label, it could be called anything.

Some oem machines have various tools on there - possibly winre.wim as well.

The partition containing the os files needed for installing would have been much bigger.

The "recovery" partition you see there will have a special partition type to stop users messing with it. That is why it looks strange in disk mgmt, which doesn't report the used space.

If you want to create your own recovery partition, you can. Just create a partition, copy the contents the dvd onto it. Copy the highlighted files/folders and paste onto your home made recov partition.

Lost Dell factory recovery partition-recov-part1.jpg

Then you register the OSIMAGE with the path to the FOLDER containing install.wim. In your case it will be driveletter:\sources

At elevated command prompt:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\SIW2>reagentc /setosimage /path W:\sources /target c:\windows

Directory set to: \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partition8\sources
REAGENTC.EXE: Operation successful

C:\Users\SIW2>reagentc /enable

REAGENTC.EXE: Operation successful


My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2014   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

Wow thank you I will have a try at that

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2014   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1

SIW2 -- His Disk Management in message #1, it doesn't seem to have a "System" partition. I don't see how it boots without that. Any ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2014   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Looks like diskmgmt is not reading and labelling the oem partition type correctly. It also reports 100% free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2014   #10

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

The easiest way to explore what is in your 750MB partition is with
Best Free Partition Manager Freeware and free partition magic for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista and Windows XP 32 bit & 64 bit. MiniTool Free Partition Manager Software Home Edition.
then use explore partition. You are likely to find bootmg and BCD in there which would make it the "system" partition.
I notice D: is missing which could have been your recovery partition. If you restored Windows with the Dell DVDs you may have deleted the recovery partition.
If you have the restore disks you should be fine. I would make a second copy.
Dell have a good reputation for providing restore and clean install disks if needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Lost Dell factory recovery partition

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