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  1.    21 Sep 2015 #11
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 1,388
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15

    Quote Originally Posted by WhyMe View Post
    1. When you are faced with a total hard drive failure the recovery drive is useless and serves no real purpose.
    No that's not right - a recovery drive (with the Backup System Files option selected) can reinstall Windows onto a new blank hard drive.

    Also, if you save your software into a Provisioning Package first, the Recovery Drive can reinstall your software for you.

    To answer the original question, my experience is that they are machine-specific; for instance the recovery drive seems to include the drivers for the machine that created them. If the drivers aren't ones which Windows finds automatically, this can be a distinct advantage.

    So the advantages of a Recovery Drive (with System Files) over a 'vanilla' Windows ISO are that it includes the right drivers and also can include your software.

    The disadvantage is that it doesn't always work - I have a machine where it won't create a Recovery Drive with System Files whatever I try, and I know I'm not the only one.

    A full image with something like Macrium is still my recommendation though.
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  2.    21 Sep 2015 #12
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 1,388
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15

    Quote Originally Posted by mrgeek View Post
    This drive ...{snip}... is basically a copy of the recovery partition with Windows updated system files.
    I don't think this is correct - it works fine without there being a Recovery Partition and can still reinstall Windows.
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  3.    21 Sep 2015 #13
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 834
    Windows 10 Home

    When Microsoft says this - "4. When itís done, you might see a Delete the recovery partition from your PC link on the final screen. If you want to free up drive space on your PC, select the link and then select Delete. If not, select Finish."
    then I'm led to believe that this is no different than the 8.1 recovery drive creation process where I can create a usb and then delete the recovery partition for more disc space. After deleting it, of course, the usb should work w/o a recovery partition, it basically replaced it and incl the mfr's device drivers, etc. All I know is that I have created recovery drives from the Control Panel for 2 laptops and upon checking properties, they are not the same, even though both are HP's, thus leading me to believe these are device specific although each will lead you to OS reset/reinstall.

    So, basically, we agree on your prior statement - "To answer the original question, my experience is that they are machine-specific; for instance the recovery drive seems to include the drivers for the machine that created them. If the drivers aren't ones which Windows finds automatically, this can be a distinct advantage."

    I do use Acronis TI 2016 for system images and have a 'universal' one which, if my computer dies, I should be able to mount onto a new, clean machine and have it ready to use the same as the one it was taken from. This is the OS plus preferred programs and settings so I only do one every few months vs a more frequent one on my everyday device. It's one, though, I hope I never HAVE to use.
    Last edited by mrgeek; 21 Sep 2015 at 10:53.
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  4.    21 Sep 2015 #14
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 1,388
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15

    Quote Originally Posted by mrgeek View Post
    When Microsoft says this - "4. When itís done, you might see a Delete the recovery partition from your PC link on the final screen. If you want to free up drive space on your PC, select the link and then select Delete. If not, select [COLOR=#505050][FONT=WOL_Bold]Finish."
    then I'm led to believe that this is no different than the 8.1 recovery drive creation process where I can create a usb and then delete the recovery partition for more disc space.
    I'm pretty sure that it is a different process to 8.1, because even on a PC with no Recovery Partition, it can create a Recovery Drive that can re-install Windows, which I don't think Windows 8.1 can do. (Also the Windows 8.1 version isn't so flaky!)

    If there is a recovery partition then I'm not sure what it does, and also I'm not sure if a PC which came with Windows 10 OEM behaves differently from a PC with an earlier version which was upgraded. My understanding is that Recovery Partitions aren't the recommended way for OEMs to setup a PC in Windows 10.
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  5.    21 Sep 2015 #15
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 834
    Windows 10 Home

    "I'm not sure if a PC which came with Windows 10 OEM behaves differently from a PC with an earlier version which was upgraded."

    David, I am doing a remote session later with a laptop that I gave someone that had Windows 10 OEM (flashed, not upgraded) so I will check if it has a recovery drive. I'm pretty sure it did, as I created and gave the person a recovery drive usb, just in case. I made it from the Control Panel>Recovery link, as prev posted. I tested that it would boot but did not go farther than that. Will let you know what I find.
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  6.    21 Sep 2015 #16
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    I'm in the ghetto
    Posts : 705
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by WhyMe View Post
    ...When you are faced with a total hard drive failure the recovery drive is useless and serves no real purpose...

    ...To be honest, I'm 99% certain that everything you can do with a Recovery drive can also be done with a USB Windows Installation Disk. (The 1% doubt comes from never having used a Recovery or installation disk for this purpose as I always have backups and images)...
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    No that's not right - a recovery drive (with the Backup System Files option selected) can reinstall Windows onto a new blank hard drive.
    Thanks for correcting me. I didn't know a Recovery Drive had a 'Backup System Files' option. Does that option also backup all installed programs, documents, videos, photos etc etc? If not, then I would still definitely recommend using a proper backup program (plus it's associated bootable rescue disk).

    Thanks again for improving my knowledge of the Recovery Drive function. I have edited my earlier post accordingly
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  7.    21 Sep 2015 #17
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 834
    Windows 10 Home

    " I didn't know a Recovery Drive had a 'Backup System Files' option. Does that option also backup all installed programs, documents, videos, photos etc etc? "

    Yes, the little check box in lower L corner. The Windows 10 usb recovery I created was about 25gb. Recovery Drive does NOT backup anything other than system and drivers. Docs need to be backed up separately or Programs via total system image.
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  8.    21 Sep 2015 #18
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    I'm in the ghetto
    Posts : 705
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by mattcraw View Post
    Thanks for the detaile reply. In regard to valuable files, photos and other data, yes I'm very careful in backing these up in other ways (both cloud and external hdd). In terms of the System Image - To safeguard the abililty to get a clean install do you suggest that I create a system image immediately after a clean install and related updates have been completed (i.e. before the system has had time to get clogged with other rubbish)?

    Basically what i'm hearing you recommend is to have 1. a good clean system image and 2. a USB Windows Installation Disk (which I got when upgrading to Win10) for more general or specific use on other machines or when a particular system image is not needed? Does that cover me for the main eventualities? Thanks again for the help
    Hi again

    Firstly please note that I have been corrected on the full functionality of Recovery Drive. I have subsequently edited my earlier post

    As for your additional questions:
    I personally create a system image immediately after a clean install once all updates have been installed, all drivers have been installed from the relevant manufacturers, and after I have set up Windows to work how I want (notify before downloading updates, disable driver updates, the desktop look, browser and email setup etc etc) ie the basic setup. Then once I've installed all required programs I then create another image. The reason I do two images is so that if any of installed third-party programs, games, satellite tuners, blu-ray playback software or whatever causes real problems with Windows, I can return to the basic setup easily and then re-install third-party programs one-by-one to see where the problem lies. Once I know everything is working fine and functioning correctly, including all third-party programs, I can then do a third image and delete the previous two.

    Yes and yes for the questions in your second paragraph. Regular images and backups plus a Win10 USB installation disk will provide excellent protection of your data plus the ability to troubleshoot via Windows Advanced Startup Options. Most eventualities are covered
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  9.    21 Sep 2015 #19
    Join Date : Aug 2015
    I'm in the ghetto
    Posts : 705
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by mrgeek View Post
    " I didn't know a Recovery Drive had a 'Backup System Files' option. Does that option also backup all installed programs, documents, videos, photos etc etc? "

    Yes, the little check box in lower L corner. The Windows 10 usb recovery I created was about 25gb. Recovery Drive does NOT backup anything other than system and drivers. Docs need to be backed up separately or Programs via total system image.
    Thanks!
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  10.    21 Sep 2015 #20
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 1,388
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15

    Quote Originally Posted by mrgeek View Post
    Recovery Drive does NOT backup anything other than system and drivers. Docs need to be backed up separately or Programs via total system image.
    Actually you can make it include programs by creating a provisioning package.
    Quote Originally Posted by Me View Post
    Also, if you save your software into a Provisioning Package first, the Recovery Drive can reinstall your software for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by mrgeek View Post
    David, I am doing a remote session later with a laptop that I gave someone that had Windows 10 OEM (flashed, not upgraded) so I will check if it has a recovery drive. I'm pretty sure it did, as I created and gave the person a recovery drive usb, just in case. I made it from the Control Panel>Recovery link, as prev posted. I tested that it would boot but did not go farther than that. Will let you know what I find.
    Thanks for mentioning - I'd be interested to know what you find out.

    Have a look in C:\Recovery\Customizations (NB this might be hidden/system/etc. so you might need to look via an elevated command prompt or similar). My understanding is that OEMs should start using that folder to hold their software and customizations, in a Provisioning Package (*.ppkg) file.
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