Windows 10: Creating a Recovery Drive . . . Is it Machine Specific?

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  1. Posts : 104
    Dual boot: Win 10 Home; Win 8.1 Pro
       21 Sep 2015 #21

    I wasn't going to bring this up, but I'm having a difficult understanding what @DavidY is saying. I have ... well let's stick to one. I bought a new HP laptop that comes with a Recovery Drive. When you look at the disk you realize that it's no more than a 20 GB recovery partition on one disk. There is only one hard drive in the computer. On the day that this one hard drive fails (and it will eventually), how will I be able to use the recovery partition? How will the recovery partition protect me from anything, or allow me to install anything once this disk fails?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    21 Sep 2015 #22

    PlatypusKnight said: View Post
    I wasn't going to bring this up, but I'm having a difficult understanding what @DavidY is saying.
    Apologies.
    PlatypusKnight said: View Post
    I have ... well let's stick to one. I bought a new HP laptop that comes with a Recovery Drive. When you look at the disk you realize that it's no more than a 20 GB recovery partition on one disk. There is only one hard drive in the computer. On the day that this one hard drive fails (and it will eventually), how will I be able to use the recovery partition? How will the recovery partition protect me from anything, or allow me to install anything once this disk fails?
    I'm thinking of the USB Recovery Drive that you can create yourself (well, if it works) using the method in this Tutorial.
    Recovery Drive - Create in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    If the function to Create a Recovery Drive (with Backup System Files option selected) works OK, you'd have a separate USB stick which could reinstall Windows even if you completely replaced the disk in your laptop because the original disk failed.

    As mentioned above there are other ways to backup your system (and they will probably be more reliable than the current version of the Create Recovery Drive feature) but the Recovery Drive does have some merits.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    21 Sep 2015 #23

    DavidY said: View Post
    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.

    David, just as I remembered, the Win10 OEM has a recovery partition D (see screen when I click recovery folder). There is also a C: Windows/Provisioning folder which I presume contains the mfr customization and an elevated command prompt verifies that (see screen cap). I see the Provisioning folder is 12gb. I forgot to check the D partition size but I do remember the recovery drive took up most of a 32gb stick so I'm wondering now if it copied both D and the Provisioning folder because I think D was about 20gb. I'll try to remember to do that on my next remote session with this machine.

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    You might also be interested in this How-to-Geek article written before the official Windows 10 release date speculating on the new refresh/reset in Windows 10 which differs from 8.1 and supposedly will do a refresh including all Windows Updates already done, so as to save hrs of updating from the time of purchase, as in 8.1 and eliminates need for a Win10 ISO - Bloatware Banished: Windows 10 Eliminates the Need to Ever Reinstall Windows on New PCs
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  4.    22 Sep 2015 #24

    mrgeek said: View Post
    David, just as I remembered, the Win10 OEM has a recovery partition D (see screen when I click recovery folder). There is also a C: Windows/Provisioning folder which I presume contains the mfr customization and an elevated command prompt verifies that (see screen cap). I see the Provisioning folder is 12gb.
    Thanks for checking this. That usmt.ppkg file contains the OEM's software, which is included when you Create a Recovery Drive and also if you do a Reset, it will use that file to reinstall your software. It's all quite different to Windows 8.x.

    The best bit is that you can make this file yourself on a PC that you upgraded to Windows 10.

    I'd expect D: might be a bit smaller than a Windows 8.x equivalent, because the software is there and may not need to be in the Recovery Partition (although HP may have included a full image on D: as well, I guess).
    mrgeek said: View Post
    You might also be interested in this How-to-Geek article written before the official Windows 10 release date speculating on the new refresh/reset in Windows 10 which differs from 8.1 and supposedly will do a refresh including all Windows Updates already done
    Yeah I think I'd seen that one. I read up on a lot of it and tested a few scenarios when I did my Tutorial on Provisioning Packages - it does seem to work.
    Last edited by DavidY; 22 Sep 2015 at 07:01.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 104
    Dual boot: Win 10 Home; Win 8.1 Pro
       22 Sep 2015 #25

    DavidY said: View Post

    I'm thinking of the USB Recovery Drive that you can create yourself (well, if it works) using the method in this Tutorial.
    Recovery Drive - Create in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    If the function to Create a Recovery Drive (with Backup System Files option selected) works OK, you'd have a separate USB stick which could reinstall Windows even if you completely replaced the disk in your laptop because the original disk failed.

    As mentioned above there are other ways to backup your system (and they will probably be more reliable than the current version of the Create Recovery Drive feature) but the Recovery Drive does have some merits.
    Ahh. Now I understand. I was fairly certain we weren't talking about the same thing. Thanks David for taking the time to educate. Kudos to you sir.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 9
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       24 Aug 2016 #26

    I realize that this is an older thread, but so far is the best info on the topic that I could find. I just wish to ask a question to clarify one aspect of this that I did not see elaborated on earlier ...

    If you create a recovery USB drive using the tool in Windows 10, and copy the system files, is it then tied to that PC's edition of Windows (Home, Pro, etc.) and/or architecture (32/64), as well as machine specific drivers (ex: laptop vs desktop)???

    If true, then it could not be used to refresh Windows 10 on a different PC, right?

    I made two recovery drives after installing Windows 10 on my laptop and desktop, which have different editions of Windows 10.

    I did boot the desktop from the laptop recovery drive and was able to access the advanced troubleshooting menu. So it looks like I could restore from my external image drive if I wanted to do that. It is probably what I would do anyway.

    But If I just wanted to try refreshing Windows while keeping my files and stuff, do I need use the PC specific recovery drive?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    24 Jan 2017 #27

    I'm curious about 32/64 bit thing as well. Can a recovery drive made on one OS be used on the other?

    Cheers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 9
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       24 Jan 2017 #28

    I would think 32/64 bit would be a showstopper. I am only using 64 bit now, so not a problem here. Just to be safe, I made a specific recovery thumb drive for each of my two Windows 10 systems. One is Pro edition desktop, the other is Home edition laptop. Different hardware & drivers on each.

    It seems that I can boot either system with either recovery drive, but did not attempt any of the repair or recovery functions. I suppose if your hardware is covered by the built-in Windows drivers, you might get lucky. I decided not to chance it. Picked up a pair of thumb drives for $10. Cheap insurance
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    24 Jan 2017 #29

    Thanks zzzoom.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    30 Jan 2017 #30

    Confirmed that a Recovery Drive is 'bit specific'... but is it 'machine specific' as well? Are drivers etc. from the computer used to create the Recovery Drive?

    Just wondering so that when I lose one of my Recovery Drives ( inevitable), can I use, for example, a 32 bit Recovery Drive on a computer that was created on another 32 bit computer? My hunch is that the answer is 'no' since this particular laptop requires a minimum 32GB USB whereas another used 8GB.

    Cheers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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