Copy the recovery partition from a old HD to a new one

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by AlexC, Aug 1, 2012.

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  1. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

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    Here's the problem:

    I need to replace an old laptop HD for a new one.
    In this old HD there's Acer recovery partition (hidden), that i want to copy to the new HD and boot from it in order to install the OS with all factory defaults.

    My plan:
    1- Create a partition, with the same or larger size than the recovery partition, in the new HD.

    2- Use Macrium Reflect linux CD to create a image from the recovery partition to a external hard drive.
    Notes:

    a)i never used macrium live cd to create an image, so i don´t know if its possible;

    b)i don´t know if i need to remove the hidden attribute from the recovery partition before creating the image.

    3- Use Macrium Reflect linux CD to recover the image from the external HD to the new HD, set it as active and boot from it.


    this may work? is there another way?
    thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  2. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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    You can only restore an image using the Linux recovery disc,you'll need the WinPE media (paid version) to create one.

    Perhaps you might consider a different approach? Presumably the recovery partition is a few years out of date now,so when you restore to factory settings it'll probably require a large number of updates and/or service pack(s).Also there's usually a lot of bundled junk included,so by the time you set everything up you'll have taken as long as a clean install.

    My approach would be to create an up to date image of your system,from Windows,onto your external drive.Then attach the new drive and restore the image to it.Ignore the recovery partition and just create a small,secondary partition on the new disk.Then you can use this to store an up-to-date recovery image for any issues in future.

    IMO using an imaging utility such as Macrium,negates the use of any vendor recovery partitions.
     
  3. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply andyman35.

    The old Hard Drive have some bad sectors and won't boot, however i was able to recover the personal data to a external HD. My point was to save some time, but as you said i probably wont...

    Anyway i´m curious to know if it works, since that may be useful specially because people normally won't get a recovery disc when buying a new computer. I´ll try out Active Boot Disk to image the recovery partition.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  4. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    I don´t know about Acer recovery partitions, but in the case of Dell computers, it´s generally recommended not to touch the partition in any way, because it can be easily become "corrupted" (useless).

    In particular, in the Dell case, the partition must not be imaged. If the need arises, it is better to copy it sector-by-sector.

    Anyway, as stated above, the best practice is to forget these partitions and create regularly images of the system partition.
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I would say it's worth a shot. I've done quite a few "factory restores" using broken recovery partitions on various systems. Once triggered manually (force booting to them) they all worked as expected.

    I would suggest that you keep the layout of the partitions the same, if possible. For example, if the recovery partition is located at the end of the old drive, place it at the end of the new drive. It may also be necessary to create the other partitions so they exist on the drive.
     
  6. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I ended up by doing a clean install with Windows 7: the recovery partition contained a 3 years old image of Vista and besides that i was afraid that the image was damaged. Thanks!
     
  7. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Good point Robin, especially with Dell. On my Dell laptop, what I did after i got Win7 Pro and formatted the Vista partition and installed Win7, i booted outside Windows and manually deleted all the folders, etc. within the recovery partition, as it was now useless for me and contained Vista, plus the fact that the new MBR removed the ability to boot from the recovery part, so maybe that was why I was able to delete the recovery data, and now I just use it for my paging file for Win7 and some data storage, but the recovery partition from Dell can be a real bugger to mess with, so you make a good point.

    At some point I would like to get rid of it, but it is only 10GB and I didn't want to cause a problem so i have just kept it. I think the recovery part deletion problem happens for some when they do not remove the hidden aspect of it first before either formatting or deleting it, but not sure if I am correct in that, so I just let mine alone LOL
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Jim,

    If I remember correctly a Dell laptop comes with 3 partitions. An 80 MB Diagnostic partition. A Win7 partition and a Recovery partition. Dell put the Win7 booting files in the Recovery partition so it is the System, Active partition. As you mention, you just can't delete the Recovery partition as Win7 won't boot without booting files.

    What I do is copy the booting files into the Win7 partition, make the Win7 partition Active, delete the Recovery partition, resize the Win7 partition smaller and create a Data partition in the unallocated space. My eldest son has a Dell laptop and he prefers the new partitioning arrangement over the default Dell arrangement.
     
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