Windows 10: Recovery partitions on SSD Solved

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  1. Posts : 41
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       11 Jan 2016 #1

    Recovery partitions on SSD


    I purchased a Dell Inspiron 15 7000 with a 120GB SSD and a 1TB hard disk. I have the OS on the SSD (C:\) together with the programs. So far I have installed Office 365 and little else. I have moved the data directories from C:\Users to the D: drive.

    The laptop came with no CDs or OS disks and Dell tell me none are available so I have created a recovery USB disk. At the end of that process it informed me that I could now delete any recovery partitions on the boot drive to create extra disk space. On trying this the option failed "Unable to delete partition". The reason for doing this is to recover the drive space used by 3 of the 5 partitions on the SSD. They take up over 32GB of the 120GB I bought. I've never needed to use a recovery partition and would have no issue with having to do a full install from CD or USB in future.

    Why would I want 32GB of data sitting on the fastest and most expensive disk space if it's never going to be used?

    Disk Management does not have a "Delete partition" option for any of the SSD partitions. Would a re-install from the recovery USB stick allow me to delete all partitions on the SSD before re-installing or would they just get created again?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2.    11 Jan 2016 #2

    You can delete it through diskpart. From command prompt enter

    • diskpart
    • select disk 0
    • list partition


    You will see something like this
    Code:
    DISKPART> select disk 0
    
    Disk 0 is now the selected disk.
    
    DISKPART> list partition
    
      Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
      -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
      Partition 1    Recovery           500 MB    20 KB
      Partition 2    System             200 MB   500 MB
      Partition 3    Reserved            16 MB   701 MB
      Partition 4    Primary             32 GB   717 MB
      Partition 5    Primary             55 GB    33 GB
      Partition 6    Primary             23 GB    88 GB
      Partition 7    Unknown            619 MB   112 GB
    Then you can delete the ones at the end you don't want with

    • select partition 5 (or whatever number - compare the sizes)
    • delete partition override
    • select partition 6
    • delete partition override
    • etc.


    Once you are done you can expand you C partition using disk management. Best to not delete any partitions before your 85GB C partition.
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  3. Posts : 1,179
    Windows 10 Home
       11 Jan 2016 #3

    norman said: View Post
    I purchased a Dell Inspiron 15 7000 with a 120GB SSD and a 1TB hard disk. I have the OS on the SSD (C:\) together with the programs. So far I have installed Office 365 and little else. I have moved the data directories from C:\Users to the D: drive.

    The laptop came with no CDs or OS disks and Dell tell me none are available so I have created a recovery USB disk. At the end of that process it informed me that I could now delete any recovery partitions on the boot drive to create extra disk space. On trying this the option failed "Unable to delete partition". The reason for doing this is to recover the drive space used by 3 of the 5 partitions on the SSD. They take up over 32GB of the 120GB I bought. I've never needed to use a recovery partition and would have no issue with having to do a full install from CD or USB in future.

    Why would I want 32GB of data sitting on the fastest and most expensive disk space if it's never going to be used?

    Disk Management does not have a "Delete partition" option for any of the SSD partitions. Would a re-install from the recovery USB stick allow me to delete all partitions on the SSD before re-installing or would they just get created again?

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	58286
    Hi, Norman. Assuming you just described having created factory restore media using Dell Backup and Recovery on that recovery USB disk, I would rate the factory restore partition myself as unnecessary at this point.

    I'm a bit mystified by you having 2 recovery partitions that are so huge and would expect the 11.61 GB partition at the end of the disk to be be the actual Dell factory restore partition.

    I would recommend

    1) Make a full disk image to an external drive using Macrium Reflect Free or a reliable equivalent.

    2) Download the current Win10 build (10586) iso of the correct edition from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/softw...load/techbench and burn that iso to a DVD or use Rufus to create a bootable USB drive, mount the iso and copuy everything from the mounted iso to the USB.

    3) Perform a clean install using the bootable install media you created in 2), using the options in the install to delete all partitions. Note that with truly clean install you will have to reinstall 3rd party programs (including Office) and restore any valuable data you wiped out in the clean install.

    The result should be a more compact and "textbook" partition arrangement with only around 566 MB taken up by partitions other than your OS.

    P.S. Yeah, I see lx07 responded as I composed my response, no qualms on my part with his advice - you've got some options. If you directly delete your active recovery partition, though, you'll be missing access to advanced startup and troubleshooting options (WinRE Tools). You can verify which partition is the active recovery partition by executing "reagentc /info" from an elevated (admin) command prompt.
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  4.    11 Jan 2016 #4

    As I think has been addressed, the drive layout you show did not come from Dell. I just got one and it was like yours but the very large recovery partition after the OS partition is an anomaly.

    Dell doesn't send out recovery media because the factory image is in the last partition and works with the Dell Recovery options or Factory Reset options to reset the drive back to the original state. If you moved the OS to the SSD or you have upgraded to 10586, it may no longer work.

    As mentioned, Windows 10 can be downloaded and installed to the SSD as a clean install if you want. As long as you show Windows 10 is activated or shows an electronic entitlement on the activation setting page.

    If you want to see what is in the 20 GB partition you can use the mountvol command in an administrative command prompt and find the Volume descriptions. Look for ones, probably the second one, and copy the entire volume description, including the back slashes and paste into a RUN box. You will need to have the View options in Explorer set to see hidden and Protected System files

    \\?\Volume{80c3805a-7a88-4044-9a00-d364e568b71e}\
    C:\
    \\?\Volume{b04225c7-c99f-491e-836f-e4552a8f4eba}\
    *** NO MOUNT POINTS ***
    \\?\Volume{6d462cd5-22eb-46af-8a15-d167d4671400}\
    *** NO MOUNT POINTS ***
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  5. Posts : 41
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       11 Jan 2016 #5

    I've spent 3 hours on the phone to Dell this morning and been passed from pillar to post before I gave up.

    The complete story is as follows.

    I bought the laptop which came with NO disks. There was a menu option to download Dell's Backup and Recover software. I downloaded and installed the software and also upgraded it to the "Premium" version for the extra functionality. I ran it for the first time and it asked where I wanted to save the backups. I elected for a Dell Portable Hard Disk (1TB) that I bought with the laptop. It ran the backup and when I checked the portable I could find no system backup but it had created a boot sector on the portable and I assumed put the image in the recovery partition on the boot drive.

    The next day I got the message that there was an updated version available and that I should install it, this I did. On completion of the install it informed me I should do another system backup as the first would not be any good for a recovery. I did another system backup. This too did not show on the portable hard disk. At this point I decided to cut my losses and uninstall the Dell Backup software. It asked whether I also wanted to delete any images it had created and I answered yes. The software is now gone but the recovery partition(s) remain.

    I will use Macrium to create an image on the portable and try a re-install from scratch if there is no easy way to delete recovery partitions from the SSD. BTW can the recovery image and Macrium boot disk both be on the portable?
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  6.    11 Jan 2016 #6

    norman said: View Post
    I've spent 3 hours on the phone to Dell this morning and been passed from pillar to post before I gave up.

    The complete story is as follows.

    I bought the laptop which came with NO disks. There was a menu option to download Dell's Backup and Recover software. I downloaded and installed the software and also upgraded it to the "Premium" version for the extra functionality. I ran it for the first time and it asked where I wanted to save the backups. I elected for a Dell Portable Hard Disk (1TB) that I bought with the laptop. It ran the backup and when I checked the portable I could find no system backup but it had created a boot sector on the portable and I assumed put the image in the recovery partition on the boot drive.

    The next day I got the message that there was an updated version available and that I should install it, this I did. On completion of the install it informed me I should do another system backup as the first would not be any good for a recovery. I did another system backup. This too did not show on the portable hard disk. At this point I decided to cut my losses and uninstall the Dell Backup software. It asked whether I also wanted to delete any images it had created and I answered yes. The software is now gone but the recovery partition(s) remain.

    I will use Macrium to create an image on the portable and try a re-install from scratch if there is no easy way to delete recovery partitions from the SSD. BTW can the recovery image and Macrium boot disk both be on the portable?
    Your partitions are a bit wonky.

    You only actually need the EFI and OS partitions to run windows 10, but if you delete the recovery partitions, you cannot reset pc from recovery menus ie you would need a clean install (or image backups - always a good plan anyway). You would not be able to get back to old os without a clean indtall either.

    You could delete the three partitions marked recovery using Easesus Partition Manager Free (or use tool here Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums).

    Strongly recommend you follow advice so far ie backup data (recommend an image backup) and do a clean install deleting all partitions which will create a good partition layout.
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  7. Posts : 41
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       11 Jan 2016 #7

    Thanks to all 4 of you.

    I downloaded EaseUS partition manager and this showed me what each of the partitions were used for. I was then able to extend the OS partition with the 20GB recovery partition. It wouldn't allow me to further extend it to the 11GB partition as they were not contiguous. It did allow me to move the WINRETOOLS partition to the end and then merge the unallocated partition with the OS.Attachment 58301Attachment 58302

    Thanks again.

    Norman
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  8. Posts : 41
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       11 Jan 2016 #8

    BTW I did do a full disk image with Macrium first and saved it to the portable. I'll do another when I'm happy that all is well with the system.

    Thanks again
    Norman
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 1,179
    Windows 10 Home
       11 Jan 2016 #9

    norman said: View Post
    BTW I did do a full disk image with Macrium first and saved it to the portable. I'll do another when I'm happy that all is well with the system.

    Thanks again
    Norman
    Sounds like a good plan, norman.

    norman said: View Post
    ...BTW can the recovery image and Macrium boot disk both be on the portable?
    You asked about using the portable for rescue purposes - you could have used the portable for that but it would've been easier to arrange before sending an image to it. That being said, I can't overemphasize the importance of having a bootable DVD or at least a small sized USB flash drive with the Macrium Reflect created WIndowsPE based rescue program on it. Creating that USB or DVD from the Windows Macrium interface is fairly straightforward and we can support you on that as need be - just give a shout.
    Last edited by Word Man; 11 Jan 2016 at 13:44. Reason: Added quote of OP's boot disk question.
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  10.    11 Jan 2016 #10

    Word Man said: View Post
    Sounds like a good plan, norman.

    You asked about using the portable for rescue purposes - you could have used the portable for that but it would've been easier to arrange before sending an image to it. That being said, I can't overemphasize the importance of having a bootable DVD or at least a small sized USB flash drive with the Macrium Reflect created WIndowsPE based rescue program on it. Creating that USB or DVD from the Windows Macrium interface is fairly straightforward and we can support you on that as need be - just give a shout.
    The MRF recovery environment is included in the excellent recovery iso from this forum

    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums
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