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  1.    30 Apr 2016 #1
    Join Date : Apr 2016
    Florence, Italy
    Posts : 51
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    Clean Installation - Recovery Partition Position


    Hi everyone,
    this is my first post and I wish to deeply thank you for giving newbies like me the chance of being here.

    What I did
    I performed a clean (fresh) installation of Windows 10 on different PC's, specifically two Lenovo laptops, Z50-70 and Yoga 2 13 (Home 64 bit), and a HP ProDesk 400 (Pro 64 bit).
    As all machines came with Windows 8.1 pre-installed, the first thing was to Upgrade all systems to Windows 10 to avoid any later activation problems.
    Then I used a bootable USB key prepared with the Media Creation Tool made available by Microsoft here:
    Get Windows 10

    What happened
    During the clean installation, having chosen "Custom: Install Windows only", I was asked "Where do you want to install Windows" (images refer to the installation performed on the Lenovo Z50).
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    Hence, I took the chance of getting rid of the mess of partitions, mostly useless, which affects, to a different extent, all pre-loaded PC's, and that includes recovery partition(s) added after upgrades to more recent OS's. Kindly note that to revert to factory settings one must first create an external recovery drive because after having deleted the recovery partition(s) this will no longer be possible. I confirmed deleting
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    and I obtained a very nice single Unallocated Space
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    where I created a New partition. As a matter of fact, Windows Setup, diligently and without any further prompts, created the "default partition layout for UEFI-based PCs [...]: a system partition, an MSR, a Windows partition, and a recovery tools partition". (Source: UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions, Microsoft).
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    The only difference being that the Recovery partition is the first one and not the last one...
    The rest of the installations went on regularly and everything works just fine now.

    Why am I puzzled
    In the above mentioned article about UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions the Author, where it gets to the Recovery tools partition, states that "We recommend that you place this partition immediately after the Windows partition. This allows Windows to modify and recreate the partition later if future updates require a larger recovery image."

    Which makes perfectly sense to me!

    And, in fact, he shows the following as the already mentioned "default partition layout for UEFI-based PCs":
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Questions

    1. Is the position of the Recovery Partition really important or the array set by the Windows Setup media should be considered as fine?
    2. Is there any possible ways of setting a different position for the Recovery partition through the Windows Setup process, considering that the instructions about where positioning the Recovery Partition are embedded in the Microsoft official media against what the very same Microsoft states?
    3. In the Clean install of Windows 10 on the Microsoft Community forum, a Contributor clearly put up a
      "WARNING: When clean installing Windows 10, do not create a recovery partition on the Hard Drive. Doing so will cause Windows 10 Operating System to display "Windows is not Activated" in Computer Properties, forcing you to go into Disk Management, and delete the Recovery Partition, and Extend it to your C:." In your experience, is this true? For sure not in mine.


    Thank you all in advance for your co-operation.
    Last edited by Lmbrt; 16 May 2016 at 13:07.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    30 Apr 2016 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Lmbrt View Post
    Is the position of the Recovery Partition really important[/B] or the array set by the Windows Setup media should be considered as fine?
    Position of the recovery partition does not matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lmbrt View Post
    ]Is there any possible ways of setting a different position for the Recovery partition through the Windows Setup process
    No. Windows setup is going to pick where to put it and you can't do much about it.

    WARNING: When clean installing Windows 10, do not create a recovery partition on the Hard Drive. Doing so will cause Windows 10 Operating System to display "Windows is not Activated" in Computer Properties, forcing you to go into Disk Management, and delete the Recovery Partition, and Extend it to your C:.
    Complete nonsense. Recovery partition(s) have nothing to do with Windows activation.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    30 Apr 2016 #3
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 6,448
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    Position of the recovery partition does not matter.



    No. Windows setup is going to pick where to put it and you can't do much about it.



    Complete nonsense. Recovery partition(s) have nothing to do with Windows activation.
    100% agree. Totally ignore the statement about activaton - complete bol**cks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    30 Apr 2016 #4
    Join Date : Apr 2016
    Florence, Italy
    Posts : 51
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter

    Thank you very much for your answer.
    ------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    Position of the recovery partition does not matter.
    Copy that.

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    No. Windows setup is going to pick where to put it and you can't do much about it.
    Fair enough. I just wonder if we may follow the instructions reported in UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions on how to "configure drive partitions by using Windows PE and DiskPart scripts" and, in particular, the provided CreatePartitions-UEFI.txt file.

    rem == CreatePartitions-UEFI.txt ==
    rem == These commands are used with DiskPart to
    rem create four partitions
    rem for a UEFI/GPT-based PC.
    rem Adjust the partition sizes to fill the drive
    rem as necessary. ==
    select disk 0
    clean
    convert gpt
    rem == 1. System partition =========================
    create partition efi size=100
    rem ** NOTE: For Advanced Format 4Kn drives,
    rem change this value to size = 260 **
    format quick fs=fat32 label="System"
    assign letter="S"
    rem == 2. Microsoft Reserved (MSR) partition =======
    create partition msr size=16
    rem == 3. Windows partition ========================
    rem == a. Create the Windows partition ==========
    create partition primary
    rem == b. Create space for the recovery tools ===
    shrink minimum=500
    rem ** NOTE: Update this size to match the
    rem size of the recovery tools
    rem (winre.wim) plus free space **
    rem == c. Prepare the Windows partition =========
    format quick fs=ntfs label="Windows"
    assign letter="W"
    rem === 4. Recovery tools partition ================
    create partition primary
    format quick fs=ntfs label="Recovery tools"
    assign letter="R"
    set id="de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac"
    gpt attributes=0x8000000000000001
    list volume
    exit

    This would create the partitions according to the suggested "default layout" (i.e. with the Recovery partition as the last one) and then maybe it would be possible to perform a clean install of Windows 10 based on the previously set array.
    Q: Does it sound like a waste of time or worse?

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    Complete nonsense. Recovery partition(s) have nothing to do with Windows activation.
    As I said, "For sure not in mine".
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    30 Apr 2016 #5
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Lmbrt View Post
    Q: Does it sound like a waste of time or worse?
    What benefit would you get from it? What benefit would you get from the recovery partition as the last partition on the hard drive or the first or the second or the third?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    30 Apr 2016 #6
    Join Date : Apr 2016
    Florence, Italy
    Posts : 51
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    What benefit would you get from it? What benefit would you get from the recovery partition as the last partition on the hard drive or the first or the second or the third?
    I'm quoting: "This allows Windows to modify and recreate the partition later if future updates require a larger recovery image." (Source: UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions, Microsoft)

    Please, don't shoot the messenger.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    30 Apr 2016 #7
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 1,929
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10

    Because if the recovery partition is LAST,
    It allows it to be modified, enlarged, overwritten or even removed and merged
    without effecting the other partition layout,

    ie
    Shrink C to enlarge Recovery
    Delete recovery to expand C

    The reason the Recovery Image Partition was last, was so you could remove it and gain freespace on C
    The reason WinRE was before C was to make it harder to remove..

    Once you create a Recovery Drive the (old) image partition can be removed..
    Also WinRE can be removed, the issue with removing RE, is you will no longer have WinRE as a fall-over...
    And would then require setup media or recovery media to repair the system
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    30 Apr 2016 #8
    Join Date : Apr 2016
    Florence, Italy
    Posts : 51
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter

    May I draw your attention upon the fact that in the Windows 8/8.1 environment there were, in fact, two partitions deputed to recovery:
    - WinRE at the beginning (of the partition list, i.e. the first one).
    - Recovery at the end (of the partition list, i.e. the last one).
    (Source: Recommended UEFI-Based Disk-Partition Configurations, Microsoft)

    But this not the case in Windows 10 where there is only one Recovery partition (if you have two that is probably because you perform an Upgrade and not a clean installation) that:
    A- Windows Setup puts de facto at the beginning.
    B- UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions (Microsoft) recommends to put at the end.

    To put it bluntly: who's right? Microsoft's right or left hand?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    30 Apr 2016 #9
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Lmbrt View Post
    I'm quoting: "This allows Windows to modify and recreate the partition later if future updates require a larger recovery image." (Source: UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions, Microsoft)

    Please, don't shoot the messenger.
    Why would I shoot the messenger? All I did was ask a question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lmbrt View Post
    To put it bluntly: who's right? Microsoft's right or left hand?
    Microsoft changes the way they do things with each edition and build of Windows. Here's the deal, you install Windows 10 onto a clean, un-formatted , un-allocated hard drive with no partitions on it whatsoever, Windows setup is going to put the recovery partition where Microsoft themselves have decided to put it.

    If you don't like where they put it, then it is fairly simple to load up MiniTool Partition Wizard free and shrink the C: drive partition, copy the Recovery partition to the end, expand C: drive partition to fill the space at the beginning and reset WindowsRE with the reagentc /setreimage and /enable commands. The big mistake, in my humble opinion, was creating a partition after you deleted all the partitions on the hard drive during the installation process. In my humble opinion, just install Windows to the un-allocated space and let Windows decide where it wants to setup the partitions.

    And yes, recovery works very differently in Windows 10 then it did in Windows 8/8.1. That's why the native Windows 10 recovery partition is only 500 MB in size instead of 3+ GB in size.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    30 Apr 2016 #10
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    Penn's Woods
    Posts : 1,288
    Windows 10 Home

    Quote Originally Posted by Lmbrt View Post
    May I draw your attention upon the fact that in the Windows 8/8.1 environment there were, in fact, two partitions deputed to recovery:
    - WinRE at the beginning (of the partition list, i.e. the first one).
    - Recovery at the end (of the partition list, i.e. the last one).
    (Source: Recommended UEFI-Based Disk-Partition Configurations, Microsoft)

    But this not the case in Windows 10 where there is only one Recovery partition (if you have two that is probably because you perform an Upgrade and not a clean installation) that:
    A- Windows Setup puts de facto at the beginning.
    B- UEFI/GPT-based hard drive partitions (Microsoft) recommends to put at the end.

    To put it bluntly: who's right? Microsoft's right or left hand?
    1) The article you reference in your OP is premised for creating and deploying systems with custom recovery images.

    2) A clean Win10 install does not conform to that degree of flexibility but it does put the small WinRE partition up front.

    3) you are still perfectly free to set up a recovery image of your own - if your PC manufacturer hasn't already provided a PBR image or, even if they had, if you wish to replace it with one of your own (custom) making.

    It seems to me that what you compare as one versus two "recovery partitions" is really just not distinguishing the difference between the two.

    WinRE is a much smaller and purposeful partition that MS has apparently deemed important enough to have up front in a kind of quasi-unassailable position (if I may call it that, being followed by the EFI system partition and the MSR, then the OS) for the purpose of supporting and serving the average user with advanced boot and troubleshooting options.

    The second "recovery partition", out at the end is, to me, for a distinctly different purpose, i.e., as a mere place holder or protected storage location for a recovery image - whether it be of your own making or the OEM's (this position taken by OEM is seen quite often at this forum, most notably for Dell and HP machines, probably others I can't recall) - you may or may not wish to have one and, to less interested users, its presence may or may not be noted entirely or cared about - until it's needed.

    Above is just my attempt at rationalizing the Win10 install default partitioning (which, obviously, MS has decided to exclude a "recovery image partition" from in favor of the manufacturer or the user making use of that position) which has only a WinRE partition which they chose to put first. I will note, however, that I've seen both the WinRE tools AND the recovery image together in that last partition position - it could have been that these were originally Win8/8.1 systems upgraded to WIn10, not sure.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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