WinRE/Recovery partition in W10 system created from MS-supplied media Solved

  1.    6 Days Ago #1

    WinRE/Recovery partition in W10 system created from MS-supplied media


    I am rather confused by a 'heated discussion' I’ve been having in another forum , and wonder if anyone can help clarify matters for me.

    Every Windows 10 system I’ve seen (albeit not a vast number) has (unless people have deleted it/them) had at least one ‘recovery’ partition. Whilst many of them will have OEM partition(s), even if they don’t, I’ve always seen at least one, often with a name relating to WinRE (or sometimes just ‘recovery’).

    For example, the Lenovo E560 laptop on which I’m writing this has a partition called “WinRE_DRV” (and no other ‘recovery’ or OEM partitions) and examination of its contents (which requires a bit of use of diskpart) shows that it essentially just contains WinRE.

    I’ve never undertaken a ‘clean install’ of Win10 myself, but everything I’ve read (e.g. in the tutorial in this forum) seems to indicate that if one installs Win10 from MS-supplied media (e.g. MCT-derived), this will result in creation (and population) of a recovery/WinRE partition.

    However, I’m being told by someone who builds Win10 systems using MCT-derived MS media that he has never experienced such partitions being created. He denies ‘doing anything’ to stop the partition being created, and is suggesting that ‘this simply does not happen’ when one installs Win10 with MS-supplied media. - and is telling me that “I should not believe everything I read on the Internet” (which seems to include this forum#s tutorials!).

    I am therefore confused. I can but assume that what this person is saying is correct in terms of his personal experience, but I don’t know how to reconcile those experiences with everything else I am reading. Can anyone clarify what the situation/truth actually is? Thanks.

    Kind Regards, John
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    6 Days Ago #2

    Hi,
    BIOS/MBR-based hard drive partitions | Microsoft Docs
    UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions | Microsoft Docs

    (That's from MS- see the graphic).

    That said, there are some variants of this in practice in the case of MBR installations.

    Note that the Recovery partition (and some others) have no drive letter. Thus they do not appear in file explorer. Perhaps your friend has never used Disk Management or a full partition manager (3rd party).

    Sometimes the Recovery partition created as part of the Windows installation contains the designation 'OEM'. This is unclear to me, and has no apparent correlation with an OEM license, for example.

    Lenovo's designation is unique to them, I believe.

    The Recovery partition supports:
    - automated repair
    - booting to advanced startup options such as System Restore, Safe Mode, Command Prompt...
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    6 Days Ago #3

    dalchina said: View Post
    Hi, BIOS/MBR-based hard drive partitions | Microsoft Docs
    UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions | Microsoft Docs (That's from MS- see the graphic).
    That said, there are some variants of this in practice in the case of MBR installations.
    Thanks for your rapid response. I'm already familiar with those documents and, having quizzed the person and discovered that he was talking about MBR installations, only the first is immediately relevant.

    However, most of that is about custom creation of partitions, which he denies that he does - he seems to be talking about the partitions created by default when using Windows Setup on a blank drive. The only apparent mention in the above article of default partition creation says "If you install Windows using a bootable USB key made by Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD), it creates the following layout by default: a system partition, a Windows partition, and a recovery tools partition.", but I don't know what 'ICD' is, or whether this statement is relevant to the discussion in question - he simply says that he installs from an ISO obtained via the MCT.

    Do/can/could the "variants of this in practice in the case of MBR installations" to which you refer affect the default partition creation by Startup?

    Note that the Recovery partition (and some others) have no drive letter. Thus they do not appear in file explorer. Perhaps your friend has never used Disk Management or a full partition manager (3rd party).
    He is well savvy about such things, and I don't think will have missed a partition which is there. He is essentially denying that WinRE exists anywhere on the systems he builds.

    As I'm sure you know, as soon as one allocates a drive letter (using diskpart), the partition becomes visible in File Explorer (and in all Windows applications/utilities), although one cannot 'see' within the partition, or access any of the files, until one has got rid of all the S and H attributes (of both folders and files).

    Sometimes the Recovery partition created as part of the Windows installation contains the designation 'OEM'. This is unclear to me, and has no apparent correlation with an OEM license, for example. Lenovo's designation is unique to them, I believe. The Recovery partition supports: ... - automated repair - booting to advanced startup options such as System Restore, Safe Mode, Command Prompt...
    Indeed, and my understanding is that those are all 'tools' of WinRE. As I said, the partition on my Lenovo contains only WinRE (WinRE.wim, an .sdi file and a tiny XML one).

    I think what I probably need is more detailed information on the default behaviour of Windows Setup in this respect (from a Microsoft source, since I doubt he would 'believe' anything else, even if that!) - but I have been struggling to find any such information.

    Thanks again for your interest.

    Kind Regards, John
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. topgundcp's Avatar
    Posts : 2,443
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       6 Days Ago #4

    There are 2 types of windows installation: GPT and MBR.
    On fresh install of Windows 10
    For MBR: Windows will create 2 partitions:
    1. 550 MB System Reserved partition which contains both: WinRe.wim (Recovery/Diagnostic) and BCD used to boot Windows and marked as "Active"
    2. C drive


    For GPT: Windows will create 4 partitions
    1. 500 MB Recovery Partition which contains: WinRe.wim
    2. 100 MB EFI Sysytem parttion which contains BCD
    3. 16 MB MSR partition (Microsoft Reserved parttion)
    4. C drive.


    So who ever gives you the info. He must have installed Windows using MBR disk type in which WinRe.wim is embedded in System Reserved partition.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    6 Days Ago #5

    topgundcp said: View Post
    There are 2 types of windows installation: GPT and MBR. ... On fresh install of Windows 10
    For MBR: Windows will create 2 partitions:
    1. 550 MB System Reserved partition which contains both: WinRe.wim (Recovery/Diagnostic) and BCD used to boot Windows and marked as "Active"
    2. C drive
    OK - so (particularly given that he has told me that he's referring to MBR) ...

    topgundcp said: View Post
    So who ever gives you the info. He must have installed Windows using MBR disk type in which WinRe.wim is embedded in System Reserved partition.
    Right. Can that System Reserved partition be made 'visible' (so that I can demonstrate to him that he does, indeed, have WinRe.wim) - or is it like the MSR partition on my laptop (see below)?
    topgundcp said: View Post
    For GPT: Windows will create 4 partitions
    1. 500 MB Recovery Partition which contains: WinRe.wim
    2. 100 MB EFI Sysytem parttion which contains BCD
    3. 16 MB MSR partition (Microsoft Reserved parttion)
    4. C drive.
    That's essentially what I have on my Lenovo laptop, other than (presumably because Lenovo have 'customised' it) that the Recovery partition is 1000 MB (and called WinRE_DRV, and essentially contains just WinRe.wim) and the 'System' partition (second one in your list) is 260MB, and has two first-level folders ("EFI" and "boot"). I cannot examine the MSR partition, since diskpart says that it cannot assign a drive letter because "the partition contains no volumes".

    Kind Regards, John
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    6 Days Ago #6

    reagentc /info

    Run in a command prompt with admin rights will tell you if a winre.wim file is registered and what partition it is in.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    6 Days Ago #7

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    reagentc /info .... Run in a command prompt with admin rights will tell you if a winre.wim file is registered and what partition it is in.
    Many thanks - that's very helpful. It certainly works in my (GPT) machine.

    Kind Regards, John
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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