Hidden Recovery Partition On Windows 10

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by puff-m-d, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I just upgraded my Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit to Windows 10 Pro 64 bit. I have already deleted the old Windows installation files and as I was doing this I discovered a new hidden partition with no name identified in Disk Management as "450 MB Healthy (Recovery Partition)". I still have the "System Reserved 350 MB NTFS Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)" and "Windows (C:) 595.39 GB NTFS Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)" from Windows 8.1. This is a standard BIOS boot system. I have always left the "System Reserved" partition alone even though I think I have read that you can delete it, but I do not mind leaving it.

    My question is about this new "Recovery Partition". According to Disk Management, it has 450 MB free of 450 MB total, so what is this partition for? There is no option that I can find to delete it so the unallocated space could then be added to the "C:" partition... I do not mind leaving it there since it is not a lot of space but if it is just an empty partition, should I leave it alone or should I recover that space? I figure if it is OK to remove it, I would have to use a third party partition tool since I see no way to do anything with it in Disk Management... Any ideas and/or suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  2. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Kent,

    I haven't seen this with a MBR system but it happens every time with a UEFI system upgrade. The partition contains the Recovery Environment, WinRE.wim. Don't believe Disk Management when it says the partition is empty.

    Do you have TBOSDT? That will show you the files.
     
  4. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    That partition is not empty. I opened up ShadowProtect SPX and it's showing the partition as 450 MB with 118.6 MB free, so something is definitely in there.

    Not sure if it's related, but I cleaned up after the Windows 10 upgrade and, for some reason, I can't delete the $Windows.~BT directory. It's pretty strange because that directory contains a sub-directory named "NewOS" and it doesn't appear to contain any files. I've tried taking control, permissions, and the whole enchilada, but no dice - can't delete it.
     
  5. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    thats why i always do a second clean install after the upgrade i run diskpart clean the disk fully then run the install and it normally does not make that UNLESS its a uefi system
     
  6. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    You have two options:

    Either boot through WinPE of any backup software and use the file manager from inside WinPE to delete this file

    or

    Open a cmd window, browse to your target directory and use command rmdir /q /s directoryname
     
  7. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    I saw a file, which was hidden when viewed in Explorer, called "bootmgr". Is that a problem?
     
  8. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    My suggestion would be to backup your entire HDD with all the partitions. Then use a partition manager to delete and merge these partitions with your system C partition. Then use the boot corrector option from either the backup software that you have or the partition manager, to ensure your system boots properly. make sure your backup software and the partition manager are both Windows 10 compatible, otherwise they will not understand Windows 10 boot loader.

    Things can go wrong so only do so if you feel up to it. You can always restore your HDD from the backup if something goes really wrong.

    This reserved partition is used by MS for bitlocker drive encryption. If you ever feel like encrypting your entire HDD you will need this partition and in that case I would just let it be.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  9. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    No!!! don't delete bootmgr! It will make your system unbootable!
     
  10. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Well, that was my first thought. I just can't figure out why bootmgr would be stuck in that particular directory (C:\$Windows.~BT\NewOS).
     
  11. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Bootmgr is usually in the root of your C:\. I am not sure why it is located inside the Windows folder, but then I am not familiar with this new upgrade to Windows 10 process. The reason you can not delete the directory is that your bootmgr is located inside it and it is a locked file. You will have to boot from a WinPE disk outside of Windows to delete this file, but I would recommend against it, because if this is the bootmgr for Windows 10 then your system will no longer boot.

    If you still want to try deleting it. Make a backup image of your system, then delete this file. If your system does not boot after deleting this file then use the backup software's boot correction option to restore your Windows 10 boot loader. But first make sure your backup software is Windows 10 compatible, otherwise it will not understand Windows 10 bootloader.
     
  12. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    I am going to take your advice, unequivocally. Perhaps some additional light will be shed on this over the next several days or so. After the upgrade, there were a ton of folders inside that $Windows.~BT directory and they all wound up being deleted, the sole exception being the "NewOS" folder (which, according to what I saw, contains bootmgr).
     
  13. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Well, this turned out to be a matter of an inadequate clean-up job after the W10 install. I simply overlooked checking a box in the "Clean up system files" section of Disk Cleanup. After I did so, that directory ($Windows.~BT) was deleted. Just thought I'd follow up in the event anyone else encountered the same issue.
     
  14. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hello,

    An update on:
    I decided to do a clean install of Windows 10 using the media creator tool from Microsoft to create an ISO which I burned to a DVD. Bear in mind that I had previously upgraded to Windows 10 using the media creator tool directly without creating boot media or an ISO and Windows 10 had activated successfully. I booted into the Windows 10 install DVD and used the advanced options to delete the three partitions on my "C:" drive so the install would be "fresh and clean". I was asked twice during the install to enter my key, which I left blank and skipped. Windows 10 installed in like a quarter of the time it took to do the upgrade and went very smooth with no issues at all. On first boot into Windows 10, upon checking on Windows activation, Windows had activated successfully. I now have only two partitions on my "C:" drive: "System Reserved 500 MB NTFS Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)" and "Windows 595.68 GB NTFS Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)". The "Recovery" partition was not there and the C volume had gained the extra space.
    Thanks Brian for that note. I observed when making an image using Macrium Reflect that that partition indeed was not empty.

    In conclusion based on my experiences with the differences between the "upgrade" and "fresh" installs: When doing the "upgrade" install, either more space is needed in the "System Reserve" partition and/or the "Recovery" partition is needed to rollback to whatever version of Windows you are upgrading from. It does seem in either or both cases that Windows 10 does need a larger "System Reserved" partition as it went up in size from 350 MB to 500 MB, so there is also the possibility that the "Recovery" partition was created in order to provide more space.

    In the end, I am very glad that I decided to go ahead and do a clean/fresh install of Windows 10. After reinstalling all of my software, my used space on my "C:" partition went down significantly. Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit used 27 GB of space while Windows 10 Pro 64 bit is only using 19 GB of space (8 GB lower or 30 % less) . The "upgrade' install of Windows 10 after removing the Windows 10 installation files and the old Windows 8.1 files was 25 GB (2 GB lower or 7 % less than my Windows 8.1 install but 6 GB or 30% higher or than the clean/fresh install). I will probably never know the definitive answer of the new hidden partition on my Windows 10 upgrade but I am pleased with the clean/fresh install that I now have as it is running snappier and smoother than my "upgrade" install was and has the added benefits of consuming considerably less disk space plus one less partition.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  15. wshrugged

    wshrugged Registered Member

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    Thanks for reporting your experience in detail, puff-m-d. Very helpful.
     
  16. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hello wshrugged,

    You are most welcome ;) as I am happy to be helpful :) !
     
  17. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

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    I have a Windows USB Recovery Drive for 8.1. with the recovery drive copied onto it. Would that drive still work to restore Win 8.1 on a W 10 Upgraded PC?

    I do not have a second USB stick large enough ATM to make a new Recovery Drive for W 10, but I would be fine to revert to 8.1 if necessary, to use my 8.1 Recovery Drive. I would of course like to make a new Recovery Drive for W 10. but not at the cost of losing my 8.1 RD if it would still would work on W 10.
     
  18. mackyman

    mackyman Registered Member

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    hawki,
    I am in a similar situation like you. My son was messing around on my windows 10 computer and now it's moving slow.I tried to restore I thought there was no way to recover on windows 10. And if there is, what would be the best way to do it? I noticed you said you need a USB stick large enough to make a recovery drive for windows 10. I purchased a Sandisk 32GB and I hope that's large enough. Are you able to tell me where I can learn how to recover? I read some on the help section but I'm worried Something might go terribly wrong. Is there a third party software that I could buy that makes it easier to reinstall windows? I don't care if I have to pay for a program to avoid a big headache.
    Thank You
     
  19. Paul Ruzicka

    Paul Ruzicka Registered Member

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    I am having a similar problem with my Windows 10 64-bit system.

    I decided to install a new, bigger hard drive and clone my C: drive onto it. I noticed though that my C: drive has 6 separate partitions for some reason.

    300 MB recovery partition
    99 MB EFI system partition
    929.87 MB C: drive boot
    450 MB recovery partition
    350 MB recovery partition
    350 MB recovery partition
    I have no idea how I got so many!

    I'd prefer the new drive to not have so many partitions when I clone it, but I have no idea if I should try to first delete some of the partitions prior to cloning (and if so, which ones), or to just try and clone only certain partitions onto the new drive (and again, if so, which ones).

    Can anyone help me out here?
     
  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Paul,

    You also have a seventh partition which you can't see from Windows. A Microsoft Reserved partition of 128 MiB. Your OS is installed in UEFI mode and the partitions are normal. The 450 MiB Recovery partition is probably the one associated with Win10. The other Recovery partitions are from earlier Windows versions.

    What was the first Windows on this computer? Win8?

    What larger hard drive size are you planning on using? Which imaging software are you planning on using?
     
  21. Paul Ruzicka

    Paul Ruzicka Registered Member

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    I upgraded from Windows 8.1, although I might have even upgraded to that from an older Windows as well, such as Vista.

    My current C: drive is a 1TB drive. I'm trying to clone to a new 2TB drive, using Macrium Reflect.

    So would it be safe to somehow remove all of the other partitions except the 929.87 MB boot and 450 MB recovery partition? Or should I do something else? I'd like to get as much new, useable space on the new drive as possible!
     
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Paul,

    I wouldn't advise deleting any partitions for the time being, in case you delete the wrong ones. Partitions 2, 3 and 4 are essential and I'm not sure which of the others aren't needed. The Microsoft Reserved partition (not seen in Disk Management) probably follows the EFI system partition.

    I'd create an Entire Drive image of your 1TB HD. Remove the HD and install the 2TB HD. Boot the Macrium boot media in UEFI mode and Restore the image to the 2TB HD. We can sort out resizing the Win10 partition later. Make sure Win10 on the 2TB HD is operational before you expand the partition. At this stage we can investigate which Recovery partitions aren't needed.
     
  23. Paul Ruzicka

    Paul Ruzicka Registered Member

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    You would advise doing it through a drive image rather than cloning it?
     
  24. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Definitely. Far greater chance of making a mistake when you have two HDs with the same OS connected.
     
  25. Paul Ruzicka

    Paul Ruzicka Registered Member

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    Just curious...how would the mistake be made? I already have the new, larger drive inside my PC as drive E:. Can't I more easily then clone C: to E: and then swap the drives?

    (sorry if this is a dumb newbie question!)
     
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