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Windows 7: Recovery Partition - Create

Recovery Partition - Create

How to Create a Windows 7 Recovery Partition
Published by severedsolo
25 Jan 2010
Published by

warning   Warning

This recovery partition will only be available to you assuming that your bootmanager is in tact, if it becomes corrupted it will be inaccessible just like your copy of windows, another good reason for hanging on to the original disk

Note   Note
it is recommended that you allow windows to create the 100MB System reserved partition upon installation if you plan to do this or you will have to repeat it everytime you reinstall

1. Download Easy BCD 2.0 from here: EasyBCD 2.0 Beta Builds - The NeoSmart Forums (you will need to register on the forum first)

2. open disk management, (type "partition" into the start menu its the first option that comes up)

3a Right click a partition with free space, and click "Shrink Volume" when it asks you to select how much space to shrink by allocate 4GB or 4096MB

3b Right Click the Unallocated Space and Click "New Simple Volume"

4. click ok through the next few screens, i recommend assigning it letter Z:\ so you dont get confused and accidentally delete it or save other files here

5. place your Windows 7 DVD in your drive and go to Computer, right click and then click Open
NOTE: At this point please make sure you have "hide protected operating system files" DISABLED as it occasionally corrupts the copy, to do this press alt in any explorer window, then click tools>folder options>views>hide protected operating system files.

6. Copy the entire contents of the DVD to your Z:\ Partition

7. open Easy BCD and click "add/remove entries" click the tab labelled WinPE,
When it asks for a path browse to "Z:\sources\boot.wim" and click ok, then click "add new entry"
NOTE: At this point there is a good chance easybcd will tell you that the operation failed, just click ok and do it again, from what i can see this is simply its way of asking if your sure, and it will work 2nd time around.

8. thats it your done, when you reboot you will have 2 options, Windows 7, and NST WinPE Image, NST WinPE image is your recovery partition and will act as if you'd put the disk in.

Note   Note
It has come to my attention that Windows has an annoying habit of corrupting the Recovery Partition, especially after Disk Cleanups and Defrags. To get around this Open Disk Management (type it into the start menu) and right click your Recovery Partition, remove the letter so that windows cant see it any more. (Don't worry it will still boot, this just stops Windows from writing files to it)

information   Information
This tutorial is the intellectual property of (c)2009 Martin Joy a.k.a severedsolo and is only authorised to be hosted on This tutorial is not to be copied without my explicit consent and when consent is granted the original author must be credited along with a link to this tutorial

25 Jan 2010   #1


Nice option!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 10 Pro x64

no problem, im thinking of doing a similar one explaining how to get rid of the old Vista recovery Partition and linking to this tutorial to explain how to replace it with a Win 7 one, would anyone be interested in that?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Mar 2010   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

That's a good idea.

Makes it easy to replace that recovery partition when you get a new OS.

I make a partition that will hold an image of my hard drive, and keep a recent copy there as well as on my external hard drive. Makes it faster when I re-image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Mar 2010   #4

Windows 10 Pro x64

have given it an update to work around an issue i found, also just to confirm, deleting ei.cfg will unlock it for all versions just like from the disk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2010   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Easy doesn't ask for the dvd anymore - it comes with boot.sdi already included.

It could be handy - I would reaffirm , that it doesn't replace the need for external bootable recovery/installation media.

This "recovery" partition relies on 7 boot management system and is subject to similar potential problems.

You can always use the name dropdown in Easy to rename it Recovery , or whatever you want - that will be what you see on the boot menu description.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2010   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


How about integrating users own 'bloatware'? AV, Office etc.?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2010   #7

Windows 10 Pro x64

SIW2 - thank you have deleted that step as it is now irrelevant, renaming it doesnt work, although everything recognises it as the new name, the actual bootloader entry will still read NST winPE Image, there is a warning at the top stating that it is not a substitution for the original installation media, i do not see the point of stating it twice

Kari - Great idea, Unfortunately, i dont have the technical expertise to write this into the guide, if anyone would like to fill me in on how to do this ill happily include it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Hmm, interesting. But what would be the advantage of this approach over writing an image of your OS partition to a seperate partition on one of your drives (preferably another drive than where the OS resides) after you are all done with your installation. That would also cover Kari's comment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2010   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Recovery Partition - Create-easy-winpe-2010-03-10_014410.jpg

there is a warning at the top stating that it is not a substitution for the original installation media, i do not see the point of stating it twice
LOL - touchy...

Adding info that it is reliant on the boot management process - not just the health of the HD.

Nevertheless, it can be a useful addition. It allows reinstall of a clean o/s , e.g. onto another partition - can be useful if you have a problem getting into the original installation.

Not sure what advantage it offers over an image , as whs says.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Recovery Partition - Create

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