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Windows 7: Recovery partition help

23 Mar 2010   #1

Recovery partition help

Hello, I recently bought my HP laptop. The original operating system on this laptop was Vista, however the shop I bought it from installed Windows 7 RC before I bought the laptop. When my RC version expired awhile ago, i bought 7 Professional and did a clean install. My laptop has always had 4 partitions, 3 large ones and one small one named RECOVERY. It's about 14 GB in size with only 2GB left of free space. I never really knew what it was or worried about it. However, now I'm wondering if it's necessary to keep it. Do I need these files? Can I just delete the partition and allocate the space to another partition? Any help would be appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #2


Is a RECOVERY partition necessary? If so, how can I make a new one? The one I have now was on the computer before I installed windows 7 Pro. That means that the RECOVERY partition on my computer at the moment is useless. Is that correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #3

Win 7

Is there anyway you can make a recovery disk/factory disk
in your current os as most have that facility.

The current recovery isn't useless as it will restore it's factory settings as new
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Mar 2010   #4

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

Hello caleman,
Yes, if you no longer need vista, the recovery partition is useless. That partition is put there by large OEMs like HP, Dell and Lenovo to enable the customer to recover to factory-default state should something go wrong with the installed OS (Earlier, OEMs used to provide recovery disks but very few like Dell and Gateway do so now). It operates in conjunction with a Function key like F10, although the recovery can also be carried out from within Windows such as by using HP's Recovery Manager.
FYI, the recovery partition you have right now can still be used to re-install the factory vista your machine came with by marking it active in the Disk management window in Win7 and then re-booting, again a key like F11 may be required. It is advisable to make recovery CDs before wiping out Vista, IDK whether you did that. It is also advisable to backup your vista activation with a utility like Orev's ABR tool, IDK whether you did that either. In any case, if you dont intend to use vista any more, it'll be safe to wipe that partition.
There is no straight forward way to make an OEM type partition for your current OS, however you can use Acronis to image your system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #5


ok, thank you. a few more questions.

1. I plan on re-formatting the drive to clear it of everything. Once that is completed, how can I delete the partition and move the 14GB to one of the other partitions? or will that happen automatically?

2. Once I did the clean install of Windows 7 Pro and installed a few key programs, I made an ISO file of my system and saved it to another empty partition. Is that my new recovery? If something goes wrong with Windows 7, I can use my system image file to reset my system, correct?

3. Since I made an ISO file after installing windows 7, do I need to keep my original windows 7 installation files? I chose to download my Windows 7 and not purchase the product in store. Therefore I don't have any backup CDs. Then I copied the files to my USB stick and ran the clean windows 7 pro install from my USB. My question: since I've made a disk image already, do I need to keep my original windows 7 installation files or not? I would like to clear them from my USB stick. Is that recommended or not? Should I always have a backup of my windows 7 installation files on hand? I used macrium reflect disk imaging and backup.

I think I've become confused. Thanks for your help so far.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #6

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

You do not need the recovery partition unless you plan to return the computer to the like-new state.

Two things you need to do:
1. complete Windows Backup to an external USB drive
2. Make a System Repair Disk

For 1:
Control Panel | Backup & Restore | in the left-hand task pane, select "Create a System Image"

For 2:
Almost the same as 1: except select "Create a system repair disk"

Interuption: must run, will get back with more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #7

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

1) If you delete all the partitions and reformat the hard drive, everything on it will get nuked including the vista recovery partition. FYI, you can nuke that partition from within win7 also, if you are able to see it in Disk Management.
2) Follow Karlsnook's advice.
3) Are you one of the Digitalriver downloaders? In that case (or even otherwise) you can create a bootable dvd from your downloaded files and free up your flash drive. In fact, the Digitalriver iso is available for download. Of course it will work only with a proper key, so make sure you dont loose the key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #8

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Ok now to truly wipe that hard disk clean.

You can use that System Repair Disk you made or you can use your Win 7 on the USB/

With the System Repair Disk:
Boot up from the System Repair Disk and choose Command Prompt from the menu you get.

With the Win7 USB/DVD, boot from it and when you get to that first dialog asking you to hit the Next key, use Shift + F10 key combo to get to a command prompt.

The command prompt will be X:>
You actually have a mini-version of Win7 at this point loaded into ram dr8ve assigned the drive letter X.

You will use the DiskPart program now.

For the following enter the command shown and then hit the Enter key after each one.
List Disk This will show disks on your system
select disk 0 (assuming 0 is the numeral assigned to your hard drive)
detail disk (this will help confirm that you made the correct selection)
clean all (will write zeroes to entire disk--get coffee, this will take awhile)
exit (after the clean finishes. will exit from DiskPart)
exit (will exit from command prompt)

A format does not overwrite your disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #9

Windows 10 Pro x64

actually there is a way to make a OEM recovery style partition: Recovery Partition - Create you can even use the old partition used for your vista install if you follow the guide posted above by karlsnooks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #10


Thanks for all the help everyone. Here's what I'm going to do.

1. format my current recovery partition.
2. Delete my old backup image file I created with Macrium Reflect.
3. Make a new backup image file using Macrium and place it into the my RECOVERY partition.
4. do a windows backup and place it on a USB.
5. burn a system repair disk using windows backup & restore

Am i on the right track here?

After I do all of this, will it ever be possible that I would need to use my original Windows 7 Pro installation files? Or can I delete them? Or should I also make a bootable DVD from those files?

Thanks for your replies.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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