Windows 10: HP Recovery Partition - Software needed?

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  1.    02 Dec 2016 #1

    HP Recovery Partition - Software needed?


    Hi,

    I have the Pavilion 15 with a SSD + HDD. The HP Recovery Partition is on the HDD.

    For my own comfort I deleted the SSD Partition and did a clean Windows 10 install, from an image grabbed on microsoft.com.

    I left the Recovery Partition AS IS.

    My questions are:

    - In the event of a problem, how do I access the Recovery Disk?

    - In the event of a problem, do I need HP software to access the Recovery Disk?

    My follow up questions are:

    Since I'm fond of clean window-installments, is it possible for me to format the HDD Recovery Partition and make "my own" recovery disk?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    02 Dec 2016 #2

    alexeliasson said: View Post
    In the event of a problem, how do I access the Recovery Disk?
    Then only way now might be if the UEFI (bios) has a built in recovery function. But that is pretty unlikely.

    alexeliasson said: View Post
    In the event of a problem, do I need HP software to access the Recovery Disk?
    Yes.

    alexeliasson said: View Post
    Since I'm fond of clean window-installments, is it possible for me to format the HDD Recovery Partition and make "my own" recovery disk?
    Yes. Assuming the computer is UEFI (and it looks like it is), format the HDD using GPT partitioning (which it should be already). Create a FAT32 primary partition at the end of the hard drive. I like it to be 5.5 GB or larger to allow for some wiggle room. If you want to store a backup image of the SSD there, then it will have to big enough to hold that. Download the correct ISO file, I like to get mine from here:
    Windows 10 ISO

    Mount the ISO file, copy the files and folders from the mounted ISO file to the FAT32 partition on the HDD. Now when you go into the boot override menu of the UEFI, you should see the HDD listed with UEFI OS on it - which will be Windows setup.

    In my recovery partition, I like to replace \Sources\boot.wim with the boot.wim file from Kyhi's recovery drive (see my quote in the middle of the OP):
    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums

    Then when I select the HDD as the boot device, it boots into Kyhi's recovery environment instead of Windows setup, but I can still run setup.exe from the same partition to start Windows setup.

    If you make your recovery partition large enough, you can save an image created with Macrium Reflect to it and just restore the image with Macrium Reflect, if you boot into either Kyhi's recovery drive or a rescue disc you create with Macrium Reflect.
    Macrium Reflect Free


    The procedure is pretty much the same for a computer with legacy BIOS, but the HDD will be partitioned using the MBR partitioning instead of GPT, the recovery partition can be a primary NTFS or FAT32 partition, and the recovery partition must be marked as active.

    Also look at the dism /online /export-driver procedure to save third party drivers not included in vanilla Windows 10 to a folder on the recovery partition:
    DISM Driver Servicing (.inf) Command-Line Options
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    02 Dec 2016 #3

    Your answer is excellent! I'm really greatful. Thanks...

    The HDD Partition - lets call it G: - is today 20GB and is marked as 'HP Recovery'.

    I'm thinking of deleting that one and make an Image of my current newly installed Windows 10. Working drivers and everything. That should be of great help in case I'm traveling or such.

    Would you say that's enough of a backup - or should I make another partition with the Windows 10 image on it, with boot capabilities? Such as the method you mentioned above. Perhaps this is not needed, if I create an image of my system today?

    Follow up, an image of todays setup - is that "bootable"/recoverable on its own?

    Lets say my C: crashes and I can't enter windows. I have a windows 10 image created on the mentioned G: (20GB ~). Can I in dos/startup install that system image on it's self?

    If so - do I create that image with a windows application or use 3rd party software that you previously recommended?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    02 Dec 2016 #4

    With regards to your first two questions, if I could also add... I've called HP, on numerous occasions, to request they send me the "Recovery Software". If its under warranty they usually send for free, if not its less than $15. This includes really fast shipping, even when they ship to Canada.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    02 Dec 2016 #5

    All right. So. That HP Recovery disk will not work if I don't have the software installed on C:? Do I understand this correctly? Or do you mean that software is only for creating new disks?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    02 Dec 2016 #6

    alexeliasson said: View Post
    <snip>- In the event of a problem, how do I access the Recovery Disk? - In the event of a problem, do I need HP software to access the Recovery Disk?
    My follow up questions are:
    Since I'm fond of clean window-installments, is it possible for me to format the HDD Recovery Partition and make "my own" recovery disk?
    When you can't boot into the Recovery Partition, it's still possible to access the Recovery Partition by hand to explore its files and folders. The partition will include the factory image that can be restored. However, there's usually manual work in finding and rebuilding that factory image based on how HP chose to store it in the partition. End goal is to finally create an install.wim file for the factory image. Next, that install.wim needs be installed. Easiest way, i think, is using a Windows USB install flash drive. Overwrite the install.wim on the flash drive with the factory image install.wim. Then use the flash drive to install.

    On the other hand, if you plan on doing a clean windows re-install why do you want the factory image??? If it's a clean Windows reinstall you won't get the OEM bloatware contained in the factory image

    /* EDIT */
    Usually you only need use Disk Management to assign a drive letter to the Recovery Partition. Then you can open it to explore. You're looking for one or more files with extension .wim or .swm. Sometimes, I've seen HP put them in a folder named "preload".
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    02 Dec 2016 #7

    Normally, today's computers have two provisions for factory resets back to the factory software which use the factory recovery partition. The first provision is within Windows itself, there will be an option under advanced troubleshooting to do a factory reset. The second provision is software either part of Windows itself or manufacturer provided that will make a factory USB flash drive (or DVDs) for restoring the factory software. The USB flash drive created, or obtained from the manufacturer as in Caledon Ken's post, would be bootable and restore the entire computer - including the recovery partition itself and should not require anything to be on C: drive or a recovery partition on the hard drive.

    Since you have done a clean install you have broken the link between those provisions and the factory recovery partition. As ComputerGeek mentioned in his post, it is sometimes possible to reestablish those links, and in Windows 10 it's easier to do so than in previous versions of Windows. But personally, I would not bother trying.

    When I get a brand new computer with factory software on it, what I do first is boot the computer from a USB flash drive or DVD with Macrium Reflect Free on it. I create an image of everything on that computer and stash the image file on my NAS. Then I play around with the factory software for a couple hours and have never found anything in it that I did not want to live without, so then export the drivers using the dism command, wipe everything off the computer and start over with vanilla Windows. Then I create my own recovery partition if the computer has two drives installed, or a recovery USB flash drive if it has only one drive installed. When it comes time to sell the computer, return it under warranty, or whatever reason, I restore the factory image I made when it was new. It's obviously too late, @alexeliasson to make an image of the factory fresh software, but you can still create an image of the recovery partition if you really want to.

    Now to your questions, @alexeliasson. The backup image is not bootable by itself. It needs the bootable restore software for whatever method was used to create it. If Windows 10 built in imaging, you need a Windows 10 installation USB flash drive or DVD to boot from to restore it. If Macrium Reflect, then you need a Macrium Reflect rescue USB flash drive or DVD. I like to keep two images, one is kept in my own recovery partition on the computer and one is kept on my NAS (Network Attached Storage drive). That way if something messes up only the current Windows installation, I can quickly restore from the image stored on the computer. If the physical drive(s) go bad due to hardware failure, I have the image stored on the NAS to restore to a replace SSD/HDD.

    Since it requires something bootable to be able to restore the image anyway - to me it makes no sense to not just include the full and current Windows setup files from the Windows 10 ISO file from MS anyway. As I stated, I replace the boot.wim file in the normal Windows setup files with the boot.wim file from Kyhi's recovery tools and now, if I have an image to restore, I have just about everything I could possibly need in one package. Kyhi's recovery tools contains Macrium Reflect, so I can restore the image. I can also run setup.exe from the same drive to re-install Windows if I don't want to restore the image. After re-installing Windows, I can mount the backup image file and pull individual data files from it if I want to.

    There have been way too many problems reported with Windows built-in imaging and backup in order for me to trust it, so I use Macrium Reflect Free. It has proven to be much more reliable and flexible than Windows built-in imaging.

    Now, here's a little hint. On most UEFI systems, your bootable partition must be FAT32. A FAT32 recovery drive/partition has one drawback - it has a 2TB file size limit. If you create a single file backup image of your computer, it is going to be way over 2TB. So, you can either have a separate storage location formatted as NTFS (or NAS, which is usually Linux based) to hold the big single file. Or make sure your FAT32 partition is big enough to hold the image and if you use Macrium Reflect as your backup/restore, when you select the FAT32 partition to save the image to it will split the image into several consecutive files that will fit within the 2TB single file limit.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    02 Dec 2016 #8

    Your answers are completely gold, thanks

    And, allow me to apologize for my ignorance. I'm getting on track tough.

    To give you guys some background: I travel for 3-4 month's per year. At some places I can't access wifi or/and the bandwidht I need. Also, I try to travel light which means I don't want to carry CD's or USB sticks.

    So. I have a setup with 128 GB SSD + 1000 GB HDD. I could easily spare 20-30 gb on that HDD for recovery purposes.

    Let's produce a circumstance I could relate to. Let's imagine my C: crashes and/or there's a severe Windows 10 error. I would like a configuration where I could boot my laptop, enter the Recovery Drive, press some buttons and that image would install on C:.

    I dont' care about personal files and such (I'm using G Drive/Onedrive).

    That image will contain a clean install with windows 10 + common used software. Actually, that image should be an exact replication of how it looks like now. Currently 23 gb is used on c:/.

    It sounds like I need to go trough lots of software to make this is happen. Is it that uncommon to want a bootable recovery drive? Who wants an image on a recovery drive that is only bootable if you carry an USB stick?


    Perhaps you gave me the answer aldready, and I simply didn't get it. I'll read it again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    02 Dec 2016 #9

    Re-read my post #2
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    02 Dec 2016 #10

    Haha.



    All right, update.

    I did a partition of 32 GB - fat32 - with the title e:\ with my HDD disk.

    I did an image of my Windows 10 system with Macrium Free.

    I downloaded an Windows 10 Iso to an USB with the original Microsoft USB app.

    I have copied all these stuff to e:\

    What's the last things I need to do to make it appear in the boot-list in the case of an accident?

    Sidequestion: Why do I need an Windows 10 image + Current system image. I can't say the space is killing me, just seems unneccessary?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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