Windows 10: Old Recovery partition

Discus and support Old Recovery partition in Windows 10 Installation and Upgrade to solve the problem; Hi there! My question is about the Windows Recovery Environment partition(s). Looks like I have one too many! Starting at an offset of 1,024KB,... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Installation and Upgrade' started by Jeeves, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. Jeeves Win User

    Old Recovery partition

    Hi there!
    My question is about the Windows Recovery Environment partition(s). Looks like I have one too many!
    Starting at an offset of 1,024KB, diskpart sees the following.

    Partition 1 EFI SYSTEM 100 Mb Required: No (hidden) FAT32 (Volume #3)
    Partition 2 "old" WIN RE 900 Mb Required: Yes (hidden) NTFS (Volume #4)
    Partition 3 MS RESERVED 128 Mb Required: No (hidden) (No volume)
    Partition 4 WINDOWS 10 92 Gb Required: No NTFS (C: ) (Volume #1)
    Partition 5 "new" WIN RE 450 Mb Required: Yes (hidden) NTFS (Volume #5)
    Partition 6 DATA 118 Gb Required: No NTFS (D: ) (Volume #2)
    Partition 7 W8 RESTORE IMAGE 20 Gb Required: Yes (hidden) NTFS (Volume #6)

    My first disk is a GPT SSD.
    The second disk has data volumes 7 and 8 (NTFS)

    Originally this ASUS notebook came with Windows 8.1, which was later upgraded to 10. Eventually 10 was installed again (clean install). [EDIT: maybe I didn't use the right words by saying "clean install", as I didn't actually format C:, but what I meant is that I installed a brand new copy of Windows without keeping existing applications nor migrating settings]
    I guess the "new" Win Recovery partition was automatically created during Windows 10 clean install.

    reagent /info confirms the current Recovery Environment path is
    (0\4, so it's the fifth partition on the first disk) [EDIT: I stand corrected: it is pointing to the *fourth* partition on the first disk]

    I would like to keep the "new" WinRE, but delete the "old" WinRE
    Partition 2 "old" WIN RE 900 Mb
    and also delete
    Partition 7 W8 RESTORE IMAGE 20 Gb

    How should I remove the "old" RE partition? Can I just delete it in Disk Management and then create a regular volume instead? Or should I keep it and change the partition type in Diskpart?
    I am afraid the new renumbered "partition count" might confuse Windows and Windows Recovery.

    Jeeves, Jan 23, 2016
  2. fg2001 Win User

    I cannot restore any system image which was created in Windows 10 v1709 using Backup and Restore.

    I see from your picture that the current Recovery partition on disk 0 is 450MB, while the size of the recovery partition on the VHDX file is 499MB.

    You will have to see if the data from the old recovery partition will fit on the smaller current partition.

    Maybe you can check the actual occupied and free space on both.
    fg2001, Jan 23, 2016
  3. tommyltk Win User
    Windows 10 Anniversary Update Will Not Install

    Thanks for pointing out the system recovery partition. I found it kept old recovery partition really.

    However, I have no luck. Removing it and enabling with correction, the problem still....
    tommyltk, Jan 23, 2016
  4. topgundcp Win User

    Old Recovery partition

    The 450MB Recovery was created when you upgraded from 8.1 to 10.
    From the partitions layout, I don't see how you did a clean install because if you did, the partitions would be in the following order:
    • 450MB Recovery
    • 100MB EFI System
    • 16MB MSR (128MB in Windows 8/8.1)
    • C Drive
    • 20GB Factory Recovery

    Partition # is starting with 1, not 0. So your 450MB Recovery should be partition 5.

    Disk Management won't allow to delete Recovery Partition. You'd have to use diskpart to delete
    topgundcp, Jan 23, 2016
  5. NavyLCDR New Member
    I would recommend you install and use MiniTool Partition Wizard Free to manipulate all your partitions. For one thing, you can explore a partition (even a recovery partition) and see the files/folders to give you an idea of what that partition contains. Also, if you are unsure, you can use Macrium Refelct Free to make an image of a partition before you delete it.

    MiniTool Partition Wizard | Best partition magic alternative for Windows PC and Server
    NavyLCDR, Jan 23, 2016
  6. cereberus Win User
    The main problem is the msr partition. You can delete the old recovery partition but reclaiming that space is not so easy as the msr partition cannot be moved.

    You can just delete it as it is not really needed unless you want to encrpyt the drive in the future (and maybe dynamic disks).

    You can delete it and recreate it in a new position later but hardly worth the effort (I do not have it on my laptop).
    cereberus, Jan 23, 2016
  7. Jeeves Win User
    Thanks a lot for your replies! I really appreciate it.

    I might have used the term "clean install" incorrectly. Actually I never reformatted C:
    However, I checked after the first upgrade from 8.1 to 10 in August 2015, and there was no new recovery partition then.
    I always check partitions because I backup them with Macrium Reflect.

    I re-installed Windows 10 in September 2015 creating a new "Windows" folder in the existing C: volume, no new format.

    In November 2015 I re-installed it again (it was the November Update build on a pendrive created by the mediacreationtool).
    It was in November I first noticed the new WindowsRE, and the file creation dates say November (see below). I never reformatted C:, but in November I also shrunk the C: volume (I used Disk Management to shrink) and created the new D: data volume, so maybe that has something to do with it. Hmm.

    Yes, I already use Macrium Reflect.
    Here is what the partitions contain

    The EFI SYSTEM partition contains an "EFI" dir, with three subdirs: ASUS, Boot, Microsoft.
    The bcd file in [ESP]/EFI/ASUS dates back to 2014, when Windows 8.1 was first installed.
    The bcd file in [ESP]/EFI/Microsoft/Recovery was created in August 2015 (first upgrade to 10) and last modified in November 2015.
    The bcd file in [ESP]/EFI/Microsoft/Boot was created in November 2015 and last modified in January 2016.

    The "new" WinRE partition only contains Recovery/WindowsRE/ with these files created in November 2015: WinRE.wim, Reagent.xml, boot.sdi

    The "old" WinRE partition contains several directories: Boot, EFI, en-us, Recovery, not mentioning sys vol info.
    The bcd file in [oldWinRE]/Boot was last modified in August 2015.
    The bcd file in [oldWinRE]/EFI/Microsoft/Boot was last created in August 2014 and last modified in November 2015.
    The WinRE.wim file in the Recovery dir was created in August 2014 and last modified in December 2013.

    Yes, I might use Bitlocker in the future. Now I am using VeraCrypt on some Data volumes, but I would like to try Bitlocker on the OS volume.

    As to the old recovery partition, I could reclaim that space (900MB) for a new Data partition. Not a lot of space, I know!
    Anyhow, I would like to be sure that 1) I don't need that partition any longer for my system to work and 2) I am not going to "break" anything if I delete it with diskpart.

    Thanks! *Smile
    Jeeves, Jan 23, 2016
  8. topgundcp Win User

    Old Recovery partition

    Different manufacturers such as ASUS, HP, TOSHIBA etc... configure the partition sizes and scheme differently so that they can add their own recovery tools, diagnostic tools and some even set up the partition as OEM partition then when you upgrade to Windows 10, additional Recovery partition is created, making them a mess.

    Based on what you described above. If it were my PC then here's what I'd do to get the partitions layout correctly as if it is a fresh install which contains only the partitions that I mentioned above: 450MB Recovery, 100MB EFI System, 16MB MSR and C drive.
    Since you've already had the backup image of your current Windows disk then it is safe to reconfigure your Windows 10 partition scheme using strictly with Macrium.
    • OPTION 1:
      Wipe out the whole disk and do a fresh install to get the first 3 partitions ie. 450MB Recovery, 100 EFI System, 16MB MSR then use Macrium boot disk to replace the fresh install C-Drive with the C-Drive from your Backup then D-Drive after the C-Drive.
      OPTION 2:
      To save time re-installing fresh Windows 10 from option 1, you can download the template of the first 3 partitions from here: - Google Drive
      From Macrium, select the template then restore to current Windows drive with the template. Again, within Macrium, select your backup image, copy your C-drive from the backup image then Data partition after C- Drive
    • From Macrium, click on "Fix Windows boot problem" then reboot your PC

    Once done. You should have a partition scheme as follows:
    450MB Recovery
    100MB EFI System
    16MB MSR
    C: Drive
    D: Drive

    IMPORTANT: The procedure must be done using Macrium Boot Disk since you cannot perform the steps while Windows is running.
    topgundcp, Jan 23, 2016
  9. cereberus Win User
    I would not delete that msr partition if you want to use bitlocker. Not worth it for just 900MB. Just make that a small data partition and use it for say additional backup of valuable data eg treasured photos etc.

    I tried deleting msr partition which was empty, and recreating using dispart commends, and it did create a new partition but it is shown as 100% full, and I am unsure if this is a problem or not. Since I do not need it, no big deal but in your case ....

    Of course, if you try topgundcp's suggestion, this is all a red herring.

    In fact, I am going to do same on one of my PCs which is a bit mangled.
    cereberus, Jan 23, 2016
  10. topgundcp Win User
    Just in case you don't know how to copy a partition from source to destination with Macrium:
    • Click on 1 then click on 2
    • Drag 3 from source and drop to destination

    Old Recovery partition [​IMG]
    topgundcp, Jan 23, 2016
  11. Jeeves Win User
    Thanks a lot for posting detailed instructions! In you screenshot I noticed you have Macrium Reflect V6. Therefore I guess you imaged the partitons in with Macrium Reflect V6. I am asking because I am using V5 currently, but only MR V6 can restore V6-created images, so I think I should install the new version in case.
    Jeeves, Jan 23, 2016
  12. cereberus Win User
    Yes you need version 6. You will need to create a usb recovery drive of course.

    Note: version 6 will allow you to create a dual boot pc so you can boot from Macrium without using a usb stick (not nuch use here until OS is rebuilt. It also supports differental images in free version as well now.

    FYI - I used the above method and it worked first time.

    My mangled pc is nice and tidy now - thanks topundcp!
    cereberus, Jan 23, 2016
  13. topgundcp Win User

    Old Recovery partition

    Thanks for reporting back. This would benefit other people and justifies that the method works.
    FYI, apart from being a reliable backup software, Macrium can be used as a partition manager as good as any other partition manager such as Mini tool, AOMEI partition etc... if not better and faster. In addition, it is safer because to use this method you would need to create a backup image first so if things go wrong, you can restore it.
    Before doing anything, make sure that you can open the backup image that was created in V.5 with V.6
    topgundcp, Jan 23, 2016
  14. cereberus Win User
    Yeah - been a long term user of Macrium. I knew you could sort of do this, but I did not have a spare pc to do a clean install, short of messing around putting it on a data drive, disconnecting main drive etc so I get boot sectors in right place etc.

    Out of interest do you know if it is possible to do an eufi install on a vm (I have only ever seen legacy bios). This is purely out of interest, not and desire to do so. Similarly can you create a dual boot vm?
    cereberus, Jan 23, 2016
  15. topgundcp Win User
    Been a long time since I use VM. Prefer to run in real environment. However, I did help somebody in Win 8 Forums to create a VHD from his Windows 8 UEFI backup image using Macrium then run in VM.
    Here's the video:


    As far as I know, you cannot run dual boot in VM
    topgundcp, Jan 24, 2016

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