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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I apologize in advance for the newbie question. Please be kind.

    I have a Dell Inspiron running Vista, that came with a Recovery partition. What is that partition for? What does it contain? Is it any use to me? Under what circumstances might I use it? And finally, since my Windows installation has undergone many changes over the last two years, can I do without it?

    Thanks.

    Roger

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Roger,

    Welcome to the lounge.

    A recovery partition is a portion of your disk drive that is set aside by the manufacturer to hold an image of your system as it was shipped from the factory. On Dell machines pressing Ctrl+F11 at boot time will initiate the recovery procedure and will return your machine to the state it was in when you took it out of the box. This should be viewed as your LAST resort when you have system problems as it will wipe out all your data and programs.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  3. #3
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    Thank you, RetiredGeek. That explains it perfectly. So since my machine has been updated many times, and I do frequent backups, I could delete the Recovery partition altogether? Is this even possible when it precedes the OS partition on the disk? Can I just remove it and then expand my C: volume backwards to use the free space?

    So many dumb questions!

    Roger

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    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Roger, have you got recovery disc's for your OS ?
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  5. #5
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    No, I don't have recovery disks. I do have the Vista backup disks, from regular backups, and images of the C: drive.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Then do not delete the recovery partition. Leave it well enough alone. You may find yourself in need of it one day.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Shuttleworth View Post
    No, I don't have recovery disks. I do have the Vista backup disks, from regular backups, and images of the C: drive.
    Roger,
    Hello.... You might consider (and be better off ) using a 3rd party imaging program.. With backups of your present OS (if all is well )... you could then delete the "recovery partition" and backup to a external \ internal hard drive ( much better choice ) Unless the prospect of returning to "day one " excites you. Macrium Reflect offers a free program to do this , http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp and there are several threads on this forum you can search for info on this. I have used this program with success on Vista, and "7", 32 and 64 . Regards Fred
    PlainFred

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  8. #8
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    Does your Dell have the option of creating backup DVDs/CDs from the recovery partition? My HP laptop came with such a partition and came with instructions on creating backup DVDs, which I promptly made. It is best to have a set of backup DVDs just in case something goes wrong (like it did on my daughter's laptop where she accidentally wiped the drive).

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I'm with Fred. Make your own recovery disks or as I do a recovery Image on an Ext HD. This way when you make further changes in your OS you just create a new Image. An Image is far superior to the Recovery Partition as this partition contains the factory Image with all the junk the manufacturer sees fit to include. Since most of us get rid of most of this junk, why have an image with the junk included. Use tips in the Security and Backup forum to create Images of your PC. It only takes about 1/2 hour, and restoration usually only takes 15 minutes or less. This Image brings your PC back to exactly where it was when the Image was created, which has all your installed apps and customizations included.

    Plus, once you upgrade to a newer OS (Win 7) the info in the Recovery Partition is obsolete anyway. These are 2 trains of thought here: 1) why waste the disk space for an out of date, obsolete Recovery Partition, 2) If you ever want to get rid of the PC, this partition allows you to wipe the OS and bring it back to factory fresh. My feeling is that I will not be giving my PC away, but if I do, I do have installation disks. Since you do not, either make these disks from the Recovery Partition or don't worry about it. You can always get rid of personal info manually.

    Make your own Images and dump, then recover the Recovery Partition.
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  10. #10
    3 Star Lounger
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    Could I jump in here with a related question? I'm in the same situation as the original poster. I have a recovery partition on a 3 1/2 year old Gateway computer that was shipped with Vista, and I am now running Windows 7, so my recovery partition is totally obsolete. Here's my question, and the answer seems obvious, but I've done "obvious" things before and run into trouble, so I just want to verify. To delete the partition, I simply click "delete volume" in Disk Management. Correct? Then I can reclaim the unallocated space either for C drive or as an empty partition?

    Fafner

  11. #11
    Gold Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fafner View Post
    Could I jump in here with a related question? I'm in the same situation as the original poster. I have a recovery partition on a 3 1/2 year old Gateway computer that was shipped with Vista, and I am now running Windows 7, so my recovery partition is totally obsolete. Here's my question, and the answer seems obvious, but I've done "obvious" things before and run into trouble, so I just want to verify. To delete the partition, I simply click "delete volume" in Disk Management. Correct? Then I can reclaim the unallocated space either for C drive or as an empty partition?

    Fafner
    Fafner,
    Hello... yes, you are correct... This is what i would do ..
    1. Using Imaging software such as mentioned "Macrium" or other 3rd party, image your recovery ( Vista ) and save it somewhere. Ex: another internal or external HD (USB type etc.)
    2. Then Image your "7" and save that one as well, just for fun and practice with imaging and you never know if some day you might want to play with Vista like i do for experimenting.
    3. Then partition or reclaim the resultant free space as you want ...depending on your needs. If somehow you "mess up " you will now be able to "recover" your OS ( 7 or Vista ) Regards Fred
    PlainFred

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  12. #12
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fafner View Post
    To delete the partition, I simply click "delete volume" in Disk Management. Correct? Then I can reclaim the unallocated space either for C drive or as an empty partition?
    Fafner
    Wrong, if you do it that way, you will have an unallocated partition that does not show in 'My Computer'
    As I have never used a partitioning app. I suggest going through the motions of pretending to do an OS installation, any will do. Once you get to the point where it asks where you want to install, highlight the recovery partition and select delete, now exit and you will be done safely.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  13. #13
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Fafner,

    Check out this thread.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  14. #14
    New Lounger
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    Thanks to all for your help. I appreciate it.

    Roger

  15. #15
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    One other option is simply reformat the partition as NTFS and then it will show as a "New Volume" in Computer. That's what I did and use it for storing seldom used documents and files.

    Unless you have to have the partition merged this is a quick simple solution.

    JB

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