Recovery Drive vs Recovery Partition vs PE Rescue Disk, confused.

  1. SoFine409's Avatar
    Posts : 1,084
    Win10 Pro
       #1

    Recovery Drive vs Recovery Partition vs PE Rescue Disk, confused.


    After I did a clean install of Win10 about a year ago, I created a USB Recovery Drive. I also have a Norton Security Recovery Drive and I’ve created USB Bootable PE Rescue Disk by Kyhi. I also use Acronis to create regular full disk images and I have a USB Bootable Acronis Rescue Drive.

    With the USB Recovery Drive and the USB Bootable PE Rescue Disk by Kyhi, do I still need to keep the Recovery Partition that Win10 created when I did the original install? Are the files in that partition used by the system to create the USB Recovery Drive?

    Also out of curiosity I executed the “reagentc/info” command and I see that the Windows RE status is disabled. Did creating the USB Recovery Drive do that or is something else going on? If I keep the recovery partition then do I need to re-enable it and if so how do I do that?
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  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 24,054
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Hi, you don't need the manufacturer's recovery partition unless you planned to restore the PC to as bought e.g. to sell it on.
    You could create a disk image of it and save it on an external disk, then delete it from your PC.

    Windows RE: Suggests you have a corrupt or missing partition - System Reserved. Note that Disk Management does not show this 16Mb partition. You need a 3rd party partition manager to see it.

    See this (lots of technical detail):
    Just a moment...

    And do a couple of checks to see if it really is missing.

    Thread where this problem was resolved:
    Can't enable Windows Recovery Environment

    For interest:
    Windows RE statue Disabled - Microsoft Community
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  3. SoFine409's Avatar
    Posts : 1,084
    Win10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    dalchina said:
    Hi, you don't need the manufacturer's recovery partition unless you planned to restore the PC to as bought e.g. to sell it on.
    You could create a disk image of it and save it on an external disk, then delete it from your PC.

    Windows RE: Suggests you have a corrupt or missing partition - System Reserved. Note that Disk Management does not show this 16Mb partition. You need a 3rd party partition manager to see it.

    See this (lots of technical detail):
    Just a moment...

    And do a couple of checks to see if it really is missing.

    Thread where this problem was resolved:
    Can't enable Windows Recovery Environment

    For interest:
    Windows RE statue Disabled - Microsoft Community
    Hi dalchina,
    The PC original came with Win7 but after upgrading to Win10 I installed a new larger SSD and did a clean install of Win10. Because of some errors that I made during the install, Win10 was installed without a SRP. I assume that when this happened, Win10 created a Recovery Partition since there was no SRP. FYI the boot files are on the OS partition. I realize that kind of a non-standard way to set everything up but it functions without a problem. I should have attached these with my original post to explain things a little better.
    This is my disk/partition layout:
    Recovery Drive vs Recovery Partition vs PE Rescue Disk, confused.-diskmgt.png
    This is the result of the "reagent /info" command:
    Recovery Drive vs Recovery Partition vs PE Rescue Disk, confused.-reagentc.png
    And this is the contents of the Recovery Partition:
    Recovery Drive vs Recovery Partition vs PE Rescue Disk, confused.-recoverypart.png

    So what I'm thinking is that as long as I have a USB Recovery Drive and a full image of the Recovery Partition. especially if its non-functional, it will do no harm to get rid of it. I'm basically looking for opinions.
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  4. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 13,185
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    A Windows 10 recovery drive created by Windows will do the same thing the 450mb recovery partition will - it's just harder to get into it.

    You can try to enable your existing recovery partition by running the following commands in a command prompt (admin):

    reagentc /setreimage /path \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partition2\Recovery\WindowsRE
    reagentc /enable
    reagentc /info
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  5. SoFine409's Avatar
    Posts : 1,084
    Win10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #5

    NavyLCDR said:
    A Windows 10 recovery drive created by Windows will do the same thing the 450mb recovery partition will - it's just harder to get into it.

    You can try to enable your existing recovery partition by running the following commands in a command prompt (admin):

    reagentc /setreimage /path \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partition2\Recovery\WindowsRE
    reagentc /enable
    reagentc /info
    Hi NavyLCDR,
    Thanks for the help.
    I was able to set the path OK but the Boot Configuration Record Data couldn't be updated. I assume that reagentc couldn't find it since it resides on the OS partition and not in the SRP where it normally would be.
    Recovery Drive vs Recovery Partition vs PE Rescue Disk, confused.-capture11.png
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  6. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 13,185
    Windows 10 Pro
       #6

    Could be. That's about where my expertise ends!

    Anyway, if you can't enable it, it isn't doing any good anyway.
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  7. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 24,054
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #7

    For clarification after re-reading and seeing your partition layout.. I realise you were referring to the Recovery partition Win 10 created. This is needed to support automatic recovery and troubleshooting options. So you don't need it when all is well.. but it's there to support, well, recovery.

    It is worth reading through the links I posted- you may find an answer there. Lots of detail, and a case resolved as an example.
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  8. SoFine409's Avatar
    Posts : 1,084
    Win10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #8

    dalchina said:
    For clarification after re-reading and seeing your partition layout.. I realise you were referring to the Recovery partition Win 10 created. This is needed to support automatic recovery and troubleshooting options. So you don't need it when all is well.. but it's there to support, well, recovery.

    It is worth reading through the links I posted- you may find an answer there. Lots of detail, and a case resolved as an example.
    Hi dalchina. Thank you for getting back to me about this. I did in fact read all the links that you provided as well as more that I found. It was all very informative. As a matter of fact I worked on this for many hours last night but was never able to get the recovery partition functional. From what I've learned the AU somehow damaged the links to the recovery partition. Not having a SRP where it (the AU) could update the recovery files may have been a factor. AU was definitely not without issues. All things considered I'm not very worried since I have a functioning USB Recovery Drive and full system images.

    However, I am curious about this issue. I'm fortunate that I have another similar model PC (Dell 8700) with a normal SRP and a functioning recovery environment so I've been poking around both systems looking for answers. I may try later today to do a clean install on the problem PC and then restore the OS but eliminating the boot files from it so as not to duplicate the SRP boot files. I think it might fail be a variety of reason but I have a new image that I can use to restore to if it does. If I make any breakthroughs I shall repost for all to see and learn.
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  9. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 24,054
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #9

    Ok, thanks.
    To save you reinstalling programs and reconfiguring:

    An in-place upgrade repair install may fix it. That keeps all programs and most settings. (Tutorial in the Tutorial section).
    Make sure there's enough unallocated space on your disk - 500Mb, say, as another Recovery partition is created (Don't ask me why). I say 'may' 'cos that's normally thought of as repairing Windows system files. But as I've noted, it creates a new recovery partition, so should fix the problem.

    Another approach you might like to be aware of that would definitely fix it:
    a. Create a disk image of your C partition (Windows etc).
    b. Wipe all related to Windows and C: - keep any data partitions of course.
    c. Clean install Windows.
    d. Restore your disk image in place of the newly created Windows partition
    e. Run Startup repair.
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  10. SoFine409's Avatar
    Posts : 1,084
    Win10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #10

    dalchina said:
    Ok, thanks.

    Another approach you might like to be aware of that would definitely fix it:
    a. Create a disk image of your C partition (Windows etc).
    b. Wipe all related to Windows and C: - keep any data partitions of course.
    c. Clean install Windows.
    d. Restore your disk image in place of the newly created Windows partition
    e. Run Startup repair.
    That's exactly what I'm doing as I write this. Fingers crossed!

    UPDATE: Your plan worked save for one slight hitch. Windows startup repair did not fix the boot issues. It might have been that the restored OS image still had some of the leftover boot files and WinRE partition marker in place. So I booted from Kyhi's RE Rescue disk and deleted the offending files/folders from the root of the OS partition:
    - the entire "Boot: folder
    - the ReAgentOLD.xlm in the Recovery folder
    - the $WINRE_BACKUP_PARTITION.MARKER a zero byto file
    - the BOOTSEC.BAK file

    Then I used Macrium boot repair to select the OS and boot partitions and that rebuilt everything. I also had to use reagentc to map the location of the WindowsRE folder on the System Reserved partition so I could create a USB Recovery Drive but that was easy thanks to NavyLCDR's post. I now have a fully functional system with the correct partition layout and all of my data in apps in place. So great!

    I was going to do this a few weeks ago but I thought it was too simple to work. And it wouldn't have had I not spent some time looking at the differences in the files between the problem PC and the other PC with the correct partition layout. This was a real adventure and I learned a lot. Your help and encouragement was invaluable.
    Bob
    Last edited by SoFine409; 04 Jan 2017 at 18:27.
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