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Windows 7: How can I create a recovery partition (Bootable)?

16 Feb 2018   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
How can I create a recovery partition (Bootable)?

Hi all,

Following some new rules for selling second hand laptops in a store, I now need to prep laptops with a recovery partition.
For those that come into repair where the original recovery partition is intact (and does not require a drive change), it's all good.

For those that have had the recovery removed or had a new drive, I now need to create a F11 style recovery partition.

So far these are what I have explored:

1. Aeomei Onekey recovery. Excellent and does the trick BUT the free version keeps a 3 second windows boot menu on top of the F11 3 second delay. Pro will resolve this but that means $29 for every laptop repaired and so this is not feasible. Technician licence on paper does the trick and we might get a sign off for the $500 but there are still issues that once the laptop sells, even if we uninstall it, the recovery will still contain it so once a customer recovers it, they technically have a fully working technician licence of one key.

2. Macrium reflect: This also seems "ok" but far too advanced for the general customer to use. Unlike Onekey, there are too many menus and what not. It also is reliant on the windows boot menu over an F11 style recovery.

3. EasyBCD: Similar to above.

Are there any easy to use (for both the technican and end customer) that can do what Onekey does but over a free licence ?
What I love about Onekey is it does it all end to end. Creates the partition, puts the backup in it, keeps partition hidden too and it's an easy to use interface for the end customer - backup...or restore.

The requirements are simply that it should be able to restore back to a state where windows is installed, drivers are installed and the laptop is in OOBE state.
What I am doing with OneKey is hitting the ctrl+shift+f3, entering audit mode, setting it it to quit, running Onekey to image and once restored, it restores it back to this state which is perfect.

Just that 6 second delay that is causing the issues!

Thanks all

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2018   #2

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring

Hi Again AJ,

Not something i play around with, but have a read of this and from what i gather its all freely available

How to create a Recovery Partition with a HotKey Functionality when Systems is Booting up like DELL, HP.???? - Win7PE -

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2018   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

You could setup a custom bcd action to load the onekey recovery. It will respond to a key press during post.
Similar to pressing F8 for winre.

Custom sequence must be consecutive, the first one is 0x54000001
Check bcd first and if 0x54000001 already exists ( probably an oem entry )Then you need to use 0x54000002.

If you have the Guid already
bcdedit -set {bootmgr} custom:0x54000001 {GUID}
bcdedit -set {bootmgr} customactions 0x1000044000001 0x54000001

The scan code ( purple )in above example is 4400 = F10

Scan codes:
Key	 Normal    Shifted   w/Ctrl    w/Alt

		F1	  3B00	    5400      5E00	6800
		F2	  3C00	    5500      5F00	6900
		F3	  3D00	    5600      6000	6A00
		F4	  3E00	    5700      6100	6B00
		F5	  3F00	    5800      6200	6C00
		F6	  4000	    5900      6300	6D00
		F7	  4100	    5A00      6400	6E00
		F8	  4200	    5B00      6500	6F00
		F9	  4300	    5C00      6600	7000
		F10	  4400	    5D00      6700	7100
		F11	  8500	    8700      8900	8B00
		F12	  8600	    8800      8A00	8C00
To create the whole entry - E.G.

for /f "tokens=2 delims={}" %%g in ('bcdedit.exe /create /d "Recovery" /application osloader') do (set GUID={%%g})
echo %GUID%

bcdedit.exe /SET %GUID% device ramdisk=[R:]\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions}
bcdedit.exe /SET %GUID% path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
bcdedit.exe /SET %GUID% osdevice ramdisk=[R:]\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions}
bcdedit.exe /SET %GUID% systemroot \windows
bcdedit.exe /SET %GUID% winpe yes
bcdedit.exe /SET %GUID% detecthal yes
bcdedit.exe /SET %GUID% nx OptIn
bcdedit.exe /SET {globalsettings} extendedinput 1
bcdedit.exe /SET {BOOTMGR} custom:0x54000001 %GUID%
bcdedit.exe /SET {BOOTMGR} customactions 0x1000044000001 0x54000001
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Feb 2018   #4

Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit

Torchwood: Once again thank you for pointing me to the right place/s. I have tried the GrubOS route on a VM since you posted. I am getting an error but thats for me to sort out- if I can hide the boot menu but still use F6 to recover, that could work/do the trick.

SIW2: I think the issue might be with this method is that when a recovery is done, it will revert/override the custom bcd with the onekey version.
For instance, I set the boot loader to not show the menu at all in Windows (under system) to test. I then backed up the image and did a restore. Up until the restore, I saw no menu as expected. Post restore, it put the menu back on and I was back to the 3 second delay etc.

I suppose this is to prevent any "hacking" as the 3 second delays is in a way advertising their product as it's free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How can I create a recovery partition (Bootable)?

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