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Windows 7: Recover/restore Windows 7 System Recovery Options after dualboot

27 Jul 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Recover/restore Windows 7 System Recovery Options after dualboot

This situation is a bit messy but anyways:

So I dualbooted Windows 8 Developer Preview with my OEM Windows 7 Home Premium years back and removed it thereafter, together with restoring the MBR and everything. So now, whenever I press the F8 button at startup to access the Advanced Boot Options, it shows the usual Windows 7 black-and-white options.

^ After pressing F8 key at startup, this shows. (thanks to SevenForums for the image)

The problem comes when I select the "Repair Your Computer" option, which shows me the Windows 8/Technical Preview "System Recovery Options", instead of the Windows 7.

^ this shows up (thanks to EightForums), instead of...

^... this. (thanks to SevenForums)

While I have created the Windows 7 System Repair Disc to access my Windows 7 options, this bugs me a little as the "refresh" and "reset" options don't apply to me, several options like System Restore doesn't work and my OEM options to access the recovery partition isn't there. Furthermore, I'm prepping for the upcoming Windows 10 upgrade and am worried that the upgrade will further mess up the current situation.

So, is there any way that I can recover/restore the Windows 7 System Recovery options?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2015   #2
Microsoft MVP


Please post back a screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image.

Tell us which partition had Windows 8. Did you correctly delete that partition which is how an OS is best removed?

Do you remember how you "restore[d] the MBR" exactly? Did you move the System boot files to Win7 or its System Reserved partition, and how? Has Startup Repair been run from 7 disk and what did it report?

If you deleted or formatted the Windows 8 partition and it's System Recovery Options remain then was the remaining System Reserved partition originally for WIndows 8 and only updated when Windows 7 was installed? This is the only way I can think of that Win8 SysRecovOptions would remain.

Seeing the screenshot and knowing the answers to these questions should make correcting this possible if the boot manager isn't corrupt. Keep in mind that any factory installed Win7 is a grossly inferior install to begin with, larded with bloatware and duplicate factory utilities that have much better versions built into Win7. Most tech enthusiasts choose to Clean Reinstall Windows 7 with the Product Key on the COA sticker.

As a last resort if you've lost Factory Recovery via F8 and that is the method to boot Recovery for your model, you didn't make the Recovery disks, but Recov partition is still intact, we could show you how to Boot Recovery Partition using EasyBCD to set the rig back to factory condition. Then you can Clean Up Factory Bloatware
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

This is my current setup:

Recover/restore Windows 7 System Recovery Options after dualboot-disk.png

This is the oldest screenshot I can find of my setup, but this is one year after I removed the Windows 8 Developer Preview:
Recover/restore Windows 7 System Recovery Options after dualboot-manage-3.png

Yup, I followed the guide here to remove the partition by deleting the Windows 8 partition and extending the Windows 7 partition.

If I'm not mistaken, I ran the Startup Repair from the System Repair Disc I created earlier (my version of Windows is preinstalled - I don't have the discs) to restore the MBR. It reported success I think. I might also have used the EasyBCD tool to restore the MBR.

It's the Windows 8 Developer Preview, thus it shouldn't been preinstalled but installed by me. Windows 7 is definitely preinstalled.

Thanks for the recovery and reinstalling options. I don't have the installation ISOs & discs though, which will make reinstalling a bit difficult, but I still have the recovery discs.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jul 2015   #4
Microsoft MVP


Run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times from the System Repair Disk no matter what they report. Post back any findings.

It's hard to know for sure (unless you do) whether Recovery was originally marked Active which is how some OEM's make them bootable in case you want to Recover. You could try moving the Partition Marked Active to Recovery and then run a few Startup Repairs if necessary to see if it picks up Win7 boot files there and starts. It shows in blue link how to move Active flag back if OS won't boot.

There are some other options to try in Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start including Rebuilding the BCD in Step 5 and constructing a System Reserved partition from Step 10.

Using Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console from Repair CD you could also explore to see if there is indeed a Boot folder on Recovery proving it is intended to be the System partition, delete the Boot folder in C and replace it with the pristine copy I've zipped up below which you'll need to first extract to flash stick.

Before attempting any of the fixes besides Startup Repair I'd save a backup image of C using Macrium Imaging - Windows 7 Help Forums .

If you'd like to Clean Reinstall Windows 7 it discusses how to find reinstallation media in Step 1. We can help you. If upgrading to Windows 10 refreshes System Recovery Options as I'd expect then you can also wait to do the Clean Reinstall with the ISO which MS plans to provide once you do the in-Place Upgrade that secures your license.

You could also run Recovery from your disks to replace everything including the Recov partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Recover/restore Windows 7 System Recovery Options after dualboot

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