Is it even possible?
Example: many new computers come with a built-in application which prompts the user to burn CD/DVD recovery discs as a way to back-up their operating system in the event of a hard drive crash/replacement (out of warranty, of course).
However, even though these discs are being created from a partition on the drive, because this partition is "hidden" (no drive letter assigned- & resists a letter being assigned), I can't seem to find a way to back up this image to an external drive - rather than to 4-6 DVD's. In addition, assuming you can do this, would it be possible to launch the recovery from the external drive afterwards- if so, how?
Answer by jadtechnic · Aug 13, 2012 at 09:03 AM
they are not hidden and the partitions are not asigned letters on the windows partition gives them names backup and recovery most have 2 only one can be deleted the smallest one that is just about 1gb is the boot record delete that and windows wont boot up no more .. they are only not visable in the my computer panel as they are by default set as Hidden like hidden files so they wont accidentily be removed they are your only legal back up of window and recovery ..
just a reminder you the recovery partition will only allow you to make 2 copies so once you have done that you can delete it ..
if you go to any partition program they show up they can be deleted and the volume can be expanded to pull the space together ..
you can delete the recovery and or back up partition no problem the small paprtition that seems pointless is the key dont remove that one unless you are planning on installing linux nand removing windows
Answer by geekomatic · Aug 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I appreciate your concurring that there is/are, indeed, hidden partition(s)- but my query remains:
Is it somehow possible to save this out (in a usable, bootable form) to external HDD vs. a bunch of CD/DVD's?
Answer by Razor512 · Aug 13, 2012 at 02:08 PM
you can backup any type of partition to an external drive, If you have no other info on it or are able to backup the data (as there is a risk of data loss)
you can partition the external drive to have some unallocated space, after which, you can use a program such as gparted to copy over the hidden partition.
Another option that is easier (though not really free), is yo use a program such as acronis true image to backup the partition. The benefit of acronis is it saves the backup as a single compressed file (though proprietary format) and can be easily restored (no repartitioning needed)
I have done backups of factory restore partitions many times with no problem.
(I mainly do it for SSD upgrades since you cant simply copy over the entire drive, if you do, the partitions will not be aligned properly so instead, you must partition the SSD to have enough space for a windows install (4K aligned), then add the recovery partition later.
You can then do a full backup of the SSD and keep the alignment, then test if the factory restore works and if it does then you can restore the backup you made and be happy that you have done a full SSD transfer properly. (PS some computers, eg some HP's will not handle SSD transfer very well, their recoveries sometimes expect a certain size so unless you match the set of sized that the company offers,the recovery will not work (in that case, you need to make your own custom restore disk).
So for a simple rundown to backup a hidden recovery partition
1: backup the data on an external drive or what ever HDD that you have
2: resize the main partition to leave enough space + an extra 500MB or so to make sure there are no problems.
3: use gparted to copy over the recovery partition
4: you are done, if you need to restore that partition, simply use gpaerted to copy over the backup and make sure it is in the same place.
(Ihis only works if you have a bios option for recovery, if a bootloader is used for a recovery then the data needed to boot into recovery is stored in the primary partition (meaning you have to backup both the primary partition and the hidden one, then copy both over to run the restore)
Answer by geekomatic · Aug 17, 2012 at 09:09 AM
No go...Gparted cannot move it for some reason. There are other partitions on this laptop drive- and any one of those can be copied. The one I want (I'm assuming is a recovery partition @ 2.75GB, end of the drive), when chosen, does not have the option to copy. I'm just trying to copy it off to my external HDD. I'm running 8 right now- but I'm undecided what I want to do after the trial period is done (still leaning towards Mint). I just figured I may as well have the original OS as a fallback.
I thought I'd used Gparted before & it wouldn't do it- but I tried the newest download just to see.
Any other thoughts?
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