Creating a custom recovery partition - Windows 10

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by napoleon1815, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. napoleon1815

    napoleon1815 Registered Member

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    Hey all,

    I mostly work on servers but have been tasked with our company's laptop images. The goal is to roll out Windows 10 to the laptops AND instead of using the factory OEM recovery partition they want to store the company image in a similar hidden partition and come up with a way to hit a key at boot up to bring up a menu to restore the image (we have a lot of remote people so being able to reset a system like this would be helpful).

    I am not sure how to go about this or what image products to use for this. I am not a developer or programmer so looking for something more or less self-contained. Hope this make sense!

    Thanks.
     
  2. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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  3. napoleon1815

    napoleon1815 Registered Member

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    @Arvy Thanks. I did look at that and it is what I am looking for. My only concern is I think it only live snaps your laptop and puts the image in the partition. I would need to snap an offline image that is syspreped so when it restores, sysprep continues. Will see if it's possible.
     
  4. Arvy

    Arvy Registered Member

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    Sounds like you'd probably need to do some fiddling with reagentc to get the desired entries (notably <ImageLocation path=... />, <PBRImageLocation path=... /> and/or <PBRCustomImageLocation path=... />) into your active ReAgent.xml file. This TenForums item may be helpful.

    The methodology used by Windows 10 itself also employs a $PBR_Diskpart.txt file and a $PBR_ResetConfig.xml file to specify certain operational details in its own creation of UFD (or DVD) recovery setups for using Reconstruct.WIM restorations. Unfortunately, never having tried what you're trying to accomplish with a hidden partition on the machine's own system drive, I can't offer any useful suggestions about that part of it. Seems like a rather questionable approach, but that just one person's opinion.
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    napoleon1815,

    I do something similar with my test computer.

    I assume your laptops have Win10 installed on a GPT disk. You could create a 100 MiB FAT32 partition containing IFL, setup to do an auto-restore. Your image would be in a NTFS partition with the Partition Type changed from Normal Data to Linux Data. This hides the partition from Win10. The drive letter of the IFL partition would be removed to hide it from Win10.

    To restore the image you would enter the UEFI BIOS via a key press and select IFL from the Boot Menu. IFL would boot, run the auto restore and boot into the restored Win10.

    The only difference with what I'm doing is my image is on HD1 instead of HD0. But that makes little difference.
     
  6. napoleon1815

    napoleon1815 Registered Member

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    @Brian K Thanks! Appreciate the feedback. I might give that a try!
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    You could change the Partition Type guid of IFL from Normal Data to Linux Data. That would be better way of hiding the partition than removing the drive letter.

    Of course doing this entire exercise on multiple laptops is a far greater challenge than what I've done on a single computer.
     
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