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Windows 7: Questions: UEFI, restore partition, Q:, install disc, recovery disc

23 Dec 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit service pack 1
Questions: UEFI, restore partition, Q:, install disc, recovery disc

Hello world!

I just got a new laptop with Win7 64 bit home premium and that's all good that this
OS came installed on there and I'm using it, but for my teaching activities I'll need
to get into some Linux OS in a multiboot configuration. So I will want to eventually
need to be able to fix this when the HD fails, well because we know that ALL HDs
will eventually fail, right? So this is a 'remanufactured' ASUS K55A, and the one piece
of paper that came with it says the HD has been reformatted and there is no recovery
partition so I should promptly make up a recovery DVD set, which I did (4 DVDs).

So I used the disk management to shrink the C: down to it's minimum, like 150Gb, due
to what it said was some files that could not be moved. That's probably OK. Then I
deleted the D: and made a new D: of about 350Gb which leaves the unassigned space
all looking to be contiguous (like 188Gb). In looking on there, I see the UEFI partition
of 200Mb, which is cool, and then there are these two mysterious partitions: a 25Gb
recovery partition with no listing of it's filesystem nor any drive letter, hanging out in
the never never land and not in the early (leftmost) part of the disc, and there is this
protected Q: drive that apparently has MS office on it 'in case' I want to buy it. There
is the 'reduced with ads' MS office already working and that is all I would ever want.

1) In reading up I see there is a lot of headache going around with Win 8 and UEFI but
I believe that UEFI is a good thing for me wanting to run multiple OS, and I don't have
the problems that Win 8 is causing, but with Win 7 64 bit I do have UEFI so this should
work out in my favor. But as of right now, the Linux distros are playing catch up on the
UEFI thing so momentarily things are in patch-around land. Am I right on this deduction?

2) What should I do about this restore partition, which it says is 100% free? I don't think
I really have any interest in using it as there is probably not an advantage for me once I
have got a bunch of OS successfully loaded and running? It looks like it won't delete!

3) What about this Q: drive, which it says is protected and contains 0 bytes and is not
visible in the Computer Management > Disc Management. Is this the area of C: that
could not be moved when I shrunk it down? Is it being used when I run the 'reduced
with ads' MS office? Again I don't have any interest in buying MS Office, like ever.

4) So I have this 4 DVD set, which will put my computer back like it was, although I will
never really want that, because it will eventually mean reinstalling like all the other OS
I put on there after I install them. The last computer I bought came with two disc, one
was a Windows install disc and the other one had all the drivers for that Gateway laptop.
I used them once, after a Trojan horse attack from a radical Hawaiian website ate my OS
(it took ALL DAY to reinstall XP). There was also a 'boot floppy' that I think I might have
used. So I really need to get the equivalent of those three, isn't that right? How do I do it?

5) So the big question involves all those issues, I think really. This UEFI is a necessity for
64 bit OS, but it has the capability to boot up to 128 OS and represents a much needed
evolution over MBR. So I would really not want to go back to that older paradigm, but it
looks like everyone who is multi-booting with Linux is having problems using UEFI right now.
There is this EasyBCD, but I don't think that is really on board with UEFI just right now
either. So it looks like everyone is chainloading and patching around with both MBR and
UEFI and grub or grub2 or whatnot. What's my best option, wait for things to get better?
Microsoft got it right with Win 7 46 bit, and then things went off course with Win 8, right?

thanks so much - PJ
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 10 Pro x64 ; Xubuntu x64

Hi PJ,

You covered several areas, so I'll start with some suggestions:

1. Since you already burnt (and checked?) the recovery DVD's, that recovery partition is no longer required, so you can remove it. Everything you need to restore the computer back to its factory state will be contained on those 4 x DVD's - store them safely.

2. For the Linux distro's, given that this is a UEFI boot, I would run them in a virtual machine using either free VirtualBox or free VMWarePlayer (my personal preference is for the latter).
Linux - Install on Windows 7 Virtual Machine using VirtualBox

3. If you never plan on using Office, uninstall it, then remove the Q: partition.

You should also consider a clean OEM install at some point - it gets rid of all the bloatware that the OEM's come with:
Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

Lastly, keep this handy if you choose to clean install under UEFI:
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP

Windows 10 Pro x64 ; Xubuntu x64

Just to add - UEFI isn't a requirement to run multiple OS's - you can bypass that:
cant install windows 7 in the preinstalled windows 8 laptop
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Dec 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit service pack 1

That's awesome, thanks and G'day mate!

1) Yes I checked the DVD's as they were burnt (option checked yes) but have not tried to use them. I don't know how to remove the restore partition - delete is not available within Disk Management for that partition like it is for the others (C: or D:).

2) I like that idea, would like to get to know VMWare, but I am a music professor, and this is all about running music recording applications. This is hardware intensive operation, and a virtual box will complicate the audio latency in a significant way I'm afraid. If I do everything just right, I can exceed commercial software latency, and at that point it will be worth a try in a virtual machine, but I don't have a lot of faith frankly. I am going to have to figure out how to get UEFI to boot into other operating systems.

3) I don't need the full paid version of MS Office, but use what I have on here for free to convert the occasional .DOCX file to a .DOC file or to edit a .DOCX as part of business correspondence. I prefer Google docs. I was curious where this Q: is located, since Disc Management won't tell me, and if I am using it or not. Probably OK to just leave.

I'm really averse to spending the time to do a clean install, but that day will come and I will do it when I have to, and I am OK with that. Probably will happen during my learning curve with Linux when I eat the whole disk someday. I'll be looking into those threads at that time so thanks in advance!

- PJ
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 10 Pro x64 ; Xubuntu x64

No worries mate.

The Linux/UEFI world is a bit vague at the moment, so I can't offer much there.......

What you could try before you get much further with setting up your system is this:

Dual Boot - Windows 7 and Linux

It will work for the major distros, bu its meant for MBR - I really have no idea how well it works, if at all, under UEFI, or the consequences if it doesn't. Have a long think about it before you try.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit service pack 1

I want to use UEFI, it is a good thing, once everyone else stops bypassing it.

This forum keeps sending me e-mail. How do I make it stop?

- PJ
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 10 Pro x64 ; Xubuntu x64

No worries then.

The email is a default subscription to this thread. Turn it OFF here:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Dec 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP


Few tech enthusiasts will run the bloated factory preinstallation which throttles Win7 from its native state, so I'd strongly consider the Clean Reinstall Colin linked. In that case you probably have all you need with the Recovery Disks in case you wanted for some reason to reset the factory condition, so you can delete the Recov Partition using the installer during reinstall.

You also have tutorials showing how to do the reinstall in UEFI mode and how to Bypass UEFI to Install WIn7 in which case you could delete all partitions and wipe the HD to reset it to a familar MBR disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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