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Windows 7: Can't create recovery media "Windows 7 only allows one copy"

22 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home 64
Can't create recovery media "Windows 7 only allows one copy"

Tried searching for the Lenovo x230 has a partitioned 13gb. It says you can recover this disk space if you create recovery media; however when I do that it says..."Windows 7 only allows one copy of the operating system." Anything that I can do? I actually don't even plan on recovering the space but just want a backup in case the partitioned drive fails.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2012   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate


Just create an image to use, have a look through the information in this tutorial at the link below for some additional ideas and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

Imaging with free Macrium

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2012   #3
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit

The advantage that you will get with using the solution Bare Foot Kid suggested (one I use all the time) is that the image you make NOW, can be restored later exactly is it exists today. In contrast, if you make a restore image using the OEM-provided utility, when you restore later using that, your PC will revert back to the condition it was in when it left their factory -- including ALL the bloatware and NONE of the Window updates your have applied or any of the applications you have installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Aug 2012   #4


Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map and listings:

1. Type Disk Management in Start Search box.
2. Open Disk Mgmt. window and maximize it.
3. Type Snipping Tool in Start Search box.
4. Open Snipping Tool, choose Rectangular Snip, draw a box around full map and all listings.
5, Save Snip, attach using paper clip in Reply Box.

Tell us what is on each partition, what you want to do exactly and we will give you the steps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home 64

Thanks all for replying! Attached is the image. What I want to do is transfer what is on the Lenovo recovery drive Q and put it on my external hard drive L. Lenovo gives me an option to do that and then has an option to recover that disk space; however when I do it, Windows stops it and says "Windows 7 only allows one copy of the operating system."

The main reason I want to back up is because I have an SSD and have heard some stories of failure with no warning. Also of course in case of a virus or computer problem. The complete imaging solution is not a bad idea, but I think I can make room for both on my external hard drive once I can figure out a solution to this problem. Also, I never hibernate the computer, either sleep, deep sleep (rare), or turn off. I'm thinking of turning off hibernate and recovering the space on the hibernation partition as well, okay to do?

Attached Thumbnails
Can't create recovery media "Windows 7 only allows one copy"-capture.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2012   #6


Hi Alan -

It would help to see a screenshot of the error message moved over so we can see what you're trying to run at the time. The error is not known in Win7, but sounds more like Lenovo being asked to generate another set of Recovery disks. Please clarify.

Your Lenovo Recovery partition runs from boot with the assist of the 1.46 gb boot partition so they both need to remain intact and undisturbed on the HD in order to run Factory Recovery, unless Lenovo now provides another option to save Recovery to external besides generating Recovery disks.

You can also always run WIn7 backup imaging to save a backup image of your current state of the first two partitions. This built-in Win7 backup imaging also comes into play if you choose the best method of all which is to replace the inferior pre-installed Win7 with a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7. Then Backup Imaging can become your own custom Recovery of a much leaner and better performing Win7 without the preinstalled bloatware and useless duplicate utilities which have better versions built into the Win7 OS.

Mull over these options and ask back any questions needed to help decide.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home 64

Here is a screenshot of the error. Actually I don't see too many programs that I would not maybe find useful, and since I've already been setting up all my programs and settings the way I like, I prefer not to start over. Do you all think I would get the same issue if I attempt to backup the Q drive with the Macrium utility? Okay to delete Hibernate drive?

Attached Thumbnails
Can't create recovery media "Windows 7 only allows one copy"-capture2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

That is not a message from Windows - it is deliberate limitation Lenovo have set on their recovery app.

I would think you could get around relatively easily, if you wish.

HP do the same kind of thing.

Not all oem's do that.

The solution with HP is to delete a couple of files , typically:


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Hibernate is a file, not a drive.

You get rid of it with a command. I think it's power -cfg off

That will save you some space on C----equivalent to the amount of your RAM.

Some swear by hibernation, but it's pointless if you shut down instead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2012   #10


It looks like a warning box that comes up when you try to delete the Recovery partition.

Have you actually tried generating your Recovery media from within the Lenovo programs at Start>All Programs? That might work. The error message might only refer to trying to copy or delete the partition itself.

If you haven't already made the Recovery media and it errors similarly when you try to do so, it may be a defect which will allow Lenovo Tech Support to send you Recovery media.

I'd like to be able to say that saving a backup image will work, but there is no guarantee that it won't lose it's ability to boot from Windows or it's hot key even if re-imaged onto the HD. It's best to have the Recovery media in hand before deleting it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can't create recovery media "Windows 7 only allows one copy"

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