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  1. #1
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    Need help with Windows Vista drives

    I am an old person that is new to this game. I have a Vista system. When I first got it, I had 2 drives? A "C" drive and a "D" drive (recovery drive). After years of use, my recovery drive drive showed that it was full---pie chart was a solid color. I right clicked on it to clean it, but apparently deleted it. It is not in my recycling bin or anywhere else that I can find. What did I do and how can I get it back..or do I want it back. Thanks in advance for your help.

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  3. #2
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    The only reason you would need the recovery drive is if you needed to do a factory restore -- that is, to bring your computer back to its original Vista setup.

    If you want to do a factory restore, you can piece things together without the contents of the recovery drive, but it will take more work to do it.

    You may have a set of DVDs which contain the same stuff as your recovery drive.

    If you plan to move to Windows 7 or 8, then you really don't need the recovery drive, because it will put you back to the original Vista install.

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    perrysooz (2014-01-28)

  5. #3
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    More importantly you should have an external drive that you use to back up your files and take a system image. The external drive can then be stored in a fire proof location when not in use. Use one of the free backup programs, or buy one that does what you need.

    cheers, Paul

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    perrysooz (2014-01-28)

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    I appreciate the info, however, what did I do? Can't I use all that space for productive work or storage or something? It's just bugging me that I just made all that disappear and have no idea where it went. I do appreciate your help. By the way, I do have a backup of my system on 3 CDs (and the original DVDs that came with the system) so I'm not worried about getting everything back, I'm just trying to find out what I did to make everything go away. Thanks again. Perry

  8. #5
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    Thanks Paul, I'll check out your free backup programs. I am just curious as to what happened to all that recovery space. I am planning to upgrade to Windows 7 (windows 8 looks really complicated to me) and I appreciate your input. Perry

  9. #6
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    Your recovery drive is probably a separate partition on the hard disk. You can view disk and partition information in Disk Manager.
    1. Click Start > Run
    2. Type: diskmgmt.msc
    3. Press Enter

    cheers, Paul

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    perrysooz (2014-01-29)

  11. #7
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    Where did you learn about diskmgmt.msc? Book, online or just generally smart? This is the kind of stuff I want to learn about.

  12. #8
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    Pls post screenshot

    I am just a bit concerned that the D: drive may not have been what other posters assume is an OS recovery drive. Usually, in my experience, recovery drives do not appear as a drive letter in My Computer. Can you recall what files were in that drive? Was it always 'full' (solid colour in My Computer)? A recovery partition would not fill up over time -- or shouldn't!

    One possibility is that the partition was used by a backup program that came with the computer. It may be referred to as a 'vault' or something similar. If it filled up, the program may have been running automatically at intervals, in which case we would expect it to throw a wobbly next time it tries to run.

    Would you follow PaulT's instructions to get into diskmgmt.msc -- or right-click My Computer, point to Manage, then expand Computer Management (Local) > Storage > Disk Management? Make the window large enough to show the information clearly and make a screenshot (press Alt-PrtScr) and paste the image into this forum.

    Oh and PaulT probably found out his little gem (which was new to me too) by reading forums

  13. #9
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    I've haven't run into this situation but maybe a system restore will work?

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    Hi perrysooz,

    If your other partition was labelled ‘(D) Recovery Drive’ (typical of HP/Compaq) then it probably was the manufacturer’s ‘back to factory settings’ re-installer partition that you’ve zapped. Nevertheless, I’ve never seen one you could delete without using a proper partitioning tool to change its status. Normally the recovery partition content remains static in size but I have seen some HP Vista systems where the HP updater automatically downloads and adds new diagnostic tools so it may well be just that process that has put the recovery partition into the red. If only all these ‘we know better’ proprietary manufacturers just stopped blocking new systems up will all their unnecessary extra junk we’d be a sight better off.

    Warning: what comes next has the potential to wipe your drive if you are too trigger happy!

    Whether you want to try to recover the lost partition or just extend the C partition into the vacant space, you’re going to need a good partitioning tool. Download and install the superb freeware version of Partition Wizard from this link:
    http://partitionwizard.com/partition...FesSwwodrzEAfQ

    If you know how to burn an ISO cd I’d also download the bootable CD version from this link:
    http://partitionwizard.com/partition...otable-cd.html

    There’s very good online help on Partition Wizard's website so have a look through that before you try using it. From experience, I find the CD version safer and quicker to use but you should be able to get the same results out of the Windows installed version.

    In essence, once you have PW up and running, you’re going to need to do one or the other of below.

    Recover the deleted partition: RightClick on the drive and choose ‘Partition Recovery’. A wizard will open and try to recover the deleted partition. If you haven’t messed about too much since you deleted it there's a good chance it will be recovered. Whew!!

    Expand C into the deleted space: Make sure you have fully defragged C first. Then RightClick the C partition and choose ‘Move/Resize’. Pull the slider into the unused space and OK it.

    In both of the above examples nothing will actually take place (pending operations) until you click the 'Apply' button at top left.

    Unless you have the backup set of 3 dvds for a Vista re-install I’d have a go at getting the Recovery Partition back, otherwise you're going to need to buy Win7 if you ever have to re-install the OS. You could always use PW to reduce the size of the C partition, by say 5GB, and then expand the Recover Partition by 5GB into the new blank space so that it comes out of the red - if you don't do that you will be endlessly nagged about the partition being full.

    Hope the above will help sort things out for you but as my wise old secretary wife always says, ‘If in doubt, leave out’.

    Cheers, Chris
    Industrial electrical engineer, running a system building/repair business in Cornwall, UK, for the last 14 years.

    Built my first computer in 1978 - in the days when you had to hand-solder in all the components!
    Until Windows 8, I thought we were still moving forwards!

  15. #11
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    I found "diskmgmt.msc" not from reading forums, just from being curious. I've spent the last 20 years poking around computers and systems and drop in here in an attempt to pass on some of my otherwise redundant knowledge.

    cheers, Paul

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  17. #12
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    I took a screen shot of my computer mgmt screenComputer mgmt.jpg. Hope I did this correctly, like I said, I'm not to good at this. Thanks for your help.

  18. #13
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    That shows what appears to have been D: but is now unallocated space. You are unlikely to be able to recover the data that was there.
    I would buy (scrounge) a USB disk and use one of the free backup programs to create an image and data backups on the USB disk. Then you can recover from disk / machine failure.

    cheers, Paul

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  20. #14
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    Thanks,Chris. I'll print this out for use at a later date. I don't have confidence in my abilities at this time. But I do have my 3 backup dvds. ie, I'm in doubt, so I'll leave out. Thanks again.

  21. #15
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    Invaluable help Chris. You Brits are spot on!!!

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