Windows 10: Why Two Recovery Partitions??

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  1.    25 Oct 2017 #51

    Windows has a habit of creating extra recovery partitions. You don't really need them if you have a Windows recovery disk to boot from.

    I delete old recovery partitions as follows (backup your PC first!):

    1. Run reagentc / info from an admin command prompt. This tells you the location of the recovery partition.
    2. Use MiniTool Partition Wizard Free to peruse the contents of the recovery partition and confirm which is the current one from the file dates.
    3. Delete old recovery partitions at the end of the drive. I would leave old recovery partitions at the start of the drive alone in case you make your PC unbootable by moving the boot partitions.
    4. Move the wanted recovery partition to the end of the drive and extend the C: partition to use any spare space.
    5. Reboot and run reagentc /info to check the recovery settings. You might need to use reagentc /enable to reset it.
    6. Select Restart+ Shift key to check the recovery options are operational.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.    25 Oct 2017 #52

    I saw a case where an upgrade to 1709 had repeatedly failed, and there were maybe 10 or more Recovery partitions...!

    Also just wondering if the old Recovery partition is retained in case the user restores the previous version.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    25 Oct 2017 #53

    In Disk Management when looking at the 'C' Drive partitions, I see in the top section, Disk 0, Partition 1, 2 and 5. Clicking on each one hi-lights the relevant partition in the image below it.

    Why doesn't it show Partitions 3 and 4 in either the top section or the Drive image of Disk Management? The only way to view that seems to be by entering the Command Prompt and entering diskpart to take a look.

    Lastly,..why doesn't Disk Management show which partition is the 'Active' one? Again, the only way to find that out is by doing Command Prompt and entering reagentc /info.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 23
    Windows 10 Pro 1703 x64
       28 Oct 2017 #54

    Fyi, I just noticed a (new) 2nd recovery partition on my system after updating Windows 10 Pro from 1607 to 1703 this week.

    What is weird is that the new one is not 450MB like the first one, but is 854MB instead.

    I only noticed this because I was updating my Macrium Reflect backup definition file, and I noticed an extra, unchecked partition on my Windows drive. I assume it was unchecked because the partition wasn't there when I created the backup definition in 1607.

    When I ran the command "reagentc /info" I determined that my new partition (Disk 0 Partition 5) is my active RE now.

    The definition in Macrium was still backing up the now inactive RE on Disk 0 Partition 1, and excluding the newly active one.

    So went ahead and adjusted the Macrium definitions to include all partitions on my Windows drive. Not gonna poke this thing, just leave it alone, LOL!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 8,142
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       28 Oct 2017 #55

    cereberus said: View Post
    I think it might behave differently when the 4 primary partition limit is reached. I seem to remember it working slightly differently, but cannot remember off top of my head how.
    My test machine was OEM Win7 before upgrading to 10 (1511). All four mbr partitions were already in use...

    Interestingly, I've since discovered how my other system manages to boot to the recovery environment despite having no recovery partition (apparently the free upgrade to 10 was unable to find anywhere to put one, being an MBR which already had four partitions). The Windows RE location is shown by reagentc as:
    \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partition3\Recovery\WindowsRE

    But partition 3 is my C: drive. The files that would normally be found in the recovery partition are instead in the hidden and inaccessible C:\Recovery folder, along with a 0 byte hidden file at the root of C: called $WINRE_BACKUP_PARTITION.MARKER
    How does Windows boot to advanced recovery option e.g. command prompt? (post #16)

    Advanced Startup works just as it would with an actual recovery partition, and continues to do so since upgrading to 1607, 1703 and now 1709.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    28 Oct 2017 #56

    zzzoom said: View Post
    Fyi, I just noticed a (new) 2nd recovery partition on my system after updating Windows 10 Pro from 1607 to 1703 this week.

    What is weird is that the new one is not 450MB like the first one, but is 854MB instead.

    I only noticed this because I was updating my Macrium Reflect backup definition file, and I noticed an extra, unchecked partition on my Windows drive. I assume it was unchecked because the partition wasn't there when I created the backup definition in 1607.

    When I ran the command "reagentc /info" I determined that my new partition (Disk 0 Partition 5) is my active RE now.

    The definition in Macrium was still backing up the now inactive RE on Disk 0 Partition 1, and excluding the newly active one.

    So went ahead and adjusted the Macrium definitions to include all partitions on my Windows drive. Not gonna poke this thing, just leave it alone, LOL!
    The latest build can create a larger recovery partition. You can use MiniTool Partition Wizard with care to delete any old 450MB recovery partitions, move the new one to the end of the disk and extend the C: drive to use up any free space (see my post 51 above.

    Reflect doesn't always check the right recovery partition so I know check and edit any backup definition files after a feature update.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 3,454
    3-Win-7Prox64 2-Win10Prox64
       29 Oct 2017 #57

    Hi,
    I'd guess because it is a hidden partition
    If you check to see in folder and search options if you're set to see hidden folders files and drives it might show up
    Otherwise use free minitool as I said earlier to see and delete them if you want too
    Best Free Partition Manager for Windows | MiniTool Partition Free
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    29 Oct 2017 #58

    You can see from my example the corresponding drives/partitions and how they are referenced in the two programs.

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    29 Oct 2017 #59

    I noticed the increase recovery partition size too before I deleted it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 14,401
    Windows 10 Pro
       29 Oct 2017 #60

    Just to clarify this topic:

    If WinRE partition is set as partition 1 for instance when letting Windows Setup to partition disk, it can't grow (expand) when it needs more space while upgrading. Therefore it is better to manually partition a GPT disk placing WinPE partition after C: drive.

    Because WinRE partition can shrink C: and expand backwards, it can now grow when needed, growing from original 450 MB upgrade by upgrade, every time shrinking C: drive:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Screenshot from DISKPART - How to Partition GPT disk Installation Upgrade Tutorials

    However, in 16XXX builds there was an issue that made upgrade completely ignore original WinRE partition in upgrade process and create a new one for each upgrade:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This issue should be fixed now, at least I have not seen that happening again.

    Having said the above, those users letting Windows setup partition the disk will also in the future get additional WinRE partition created after C: partition if continuously upgrading; at some point there's not enough space left in original WinRe partition at the beginning of the disk and when it can't grow when upgrade requires it, a new WinRE partition will be created.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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