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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Garrisonville, Virginia
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Can I safely remove a "RECOVERY (D:)" drive?

    64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 o/s, upgraded from Vista

    My Dell desktop machine is currently running on the above o/s, and please note that Vista was factory-installed but I have upgraded to Windows 7. Ever since upgrading, I have had a second hard drive indicated that is labelled as "RECOVERY (D" and is shown as coequal to the normal C drive. I am told that the 7.45 GB in contents of this drive are backups of my old Vista hard drive and files, and this appears at least on the surface to be true because the 7.45 GB has never changed, and the date on all of the files is just about the time I upgraded from Vista.

    Do I still need this "recovery" file after all of this time? If not, is there a safe and reliable means of not only removing it but also returning the space used to my C drive and making it that much bigger once again? In short, I would like to eliminate the D drive and have my C drive become that much bigger as the sole drive. This "recovery drive" for Vista (if that is what it is) is never going to be used again, not after all this time, and I have a reliable backup system online and can recover all important files and reinstall software (including Win7 itself) if a need arises, so in a few words I am asking what the need is to keep this 7.45 of space when it will not be used for anything?

    This is purely an issue of my knowing it is there, and nothing more. The "D drive" is not causing a problem otherwise, so if there is any risk in returning to a single larger C drive, then I will listen if someone tells me not to worry about it being there. I am in not the slightest danger of using up my 750 GB of overall HD space, so that is a non-issue as well. It is purely a case of my knowing that a chunk of hard drive space is being used by files that are not likely to be needed again, if my information is correct. And on a side note, my laptop and my wife's identical desktop both have the same "D" drive, and they appeared when they were upgraded from Vista as well so depending on what response I get here, it may lead to doing it in three machines instead of just one.

    David E. Cann

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Slough, Berkshire UK
    Thanked 56 Times in 52 Posts

    recovering hard drive space.

    You could down load Mini Tool Partition Magic. Make the boot disk from instructions in program. Then boot using this boot disk. You could then delete the unwanted partition (don't delete the 100MB reserve partition if there as this is needed for booting to win 7) and expand the C drive space to use this space all in one operation once clicked on apply. If yours was a dual boot may need to boot to the windows disk after and complete a start-up repair to put the MBR back. Once get to boot from win 7 partition may need to go to msconfig / boot tab and check that only win 7 is listed delete the vista from list if there.

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  3. #3
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Thanked 215 Times in 202 Posts
    David ,
    Hello... The "D:" partition may have been there all along ..Just hidden. Some manufactures place the OS on "Recovery D:" sometimes hidden from view... If it were my PC i would "Image" the partition, and keep it if for "just in case" few examples..

    1. Wanted to give away the PC ..i could then re-install to factory set up

    2. Some Imaging programs like Macrium Reflect Free you can open the Image and copy folders and files out of it to use on your "New OS"..Ex: you want the Vista Realtek audio manager back ( not on "7") or to use some favorite gadget that "7" no longer has available etc....

    3. Or even "Dual boot"

    PS: Yes you can easily recover the space ( use a Free 3rd party partition manager)

    Post back if you need more "Info" happy to help... Regards Fred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Northern California
    Thanked 168 Times in 112 Posts

    Before attempting any partitioning task, make sure you know which partition your system is booting through. Open the Disk Management snap-in and check which partitions are designated as your "System" and "Boot" partitions. If they're separate and you inadvertently delete the "System" partition, you could break things. The "System" partition is the one that contains the boot manager.

    Dell's Vista and Win7 computers come shipped with a partition labeled "Recovery" of about 8-16GB preceding the OS partition. (Aside: there may or may not also be a small, 50-100MB DellUtility partition in front of the Recovery partition.) IIRC, on Dell's Vista systems the OS partition is the "System" partition, from which its boot manager will boot either the OS partition or the Recovery partition. Dell's Win7 machines that I've seen take the opposite approach--the Recovery partition is "System" (through which the boot manager then boots either the OS or Recovery partitions).

    If you upgraded your Dell from Vista to Win7, chances are it's still using the Vista scheme and the OS partition is both "System" and "Boot", so removing the Recovery partition shouldn't kill the machine's ability to boot.

    However, remember that the Recovery partition *precedes* the OS partition, so to delete it and merge its space into the OS partition actually requires two steps: one to slide the OS partition in its entirety forward to take up the slack--after which the slack will be behind the OS partition, and then a second step to expand the rear of the OS partition to bring the slack inside the OS partition. Depending on the tool you use, it may pretend to be one operation but it's really two operations, and involves moving every single byte of the OS partition. It's not as straightforward as it would have been if Dell had put the Recovery partition behind the OS partition.

    Unless you're comfortable working with partitioning tools, it may not be worth the risk. Besides, like Fred, I see value in keeping the ability to restore the OEM system. If you sell or give away the machine at some point in the future, you can reclaim your copy of Win7 and put the OEM Vista back on.

    Since you don't really need to reclaim that space, I recommend leaving the Recovery partition as is. If it bothers you to see a drive "D:", go into Disk Management and remove its drive letter so it doesn't show up with a drive letter in "Computer". Out of sight, out of mind.


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