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Remove Hidden Boot Partition

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edbro:
My wife's laptop came with a recovery partition, a hidden os boot partition and a Win 8 partition. The machine doesn't have an optical disk or recovery CDs. I have an image of the Win partition and I'd like to delete the big recovery partition. It seems the only way to do that is to wipe the entire disk using diskpart; ordinary partition tools won't touch it. This would wipe out the hidden boot partition so, my question is can I restore the Win 8 image on a fresh drive and get it to boot? Is there a way to move whatever is necessary in the hidden boot partition to the main Win partition and reimage?

I'm thinking all this isn't doable and I can't afford to remove the recovery partition before I know I can get a bootable solution from an image.

f0dder:
Hmmm, partition tools won't touch the recovery partition? That sounds quirky! - it definitely should be possible. If nothing else, I would expect that diskpart is able to remove it - it usually isn't too fuzzy? If that fails, I'd be really surprised if cfdisk (or similar) on Linux wouldn't be able to nuke it.

You say you have an image of the Windows partition... can't you make an image of the boot partition as well? I'd definitely try to leave it in place, as it's nice to have... and since you don't have any bootable Windows media, I dunno how you'd get the Windows partition bootable.

I guess you could grab the Win8 Enterprise ISO from Microsoft, and use that to create a bootable USB stick - you might be able to use that to perform a boot repair. But you obviously shouldn't do an install with it, since you don't have an enterprise license (not talking morals here, simple matter of fact "for what I know, it won't work with a non-enterprise license key" :) ).

edbro:
Well, I was able to delete just the recovery partition using diskpart. Earlier I was under the impression that I had to wipe the entire physical disk. So, all is good with the world again.

f0dder:
Well, I was able to delete just the recovery partition using diskpart. Earlier I was under the impression that I had to wipe the entire physical disk. So, all is good with the world again.-edbro (January 13, 2013, 07:23 PM)
--- End quote ---
:Thmbsup:

<rant>
I really hate the OEMs for doing that crap - sure, it's a relatively fast and convenient way to do recovery (the same mechanism has been used for first-time install on the machines I've seen it on), but it's really crappy not offering any kind of install media, but requiring you to create it yourself from the recovery partition.

Especially because of the second thing I hate about the OEMs: all the value-removing crap they add to the Windows install. First of all, it of course sucks bigtime and it takes ages removing enough that you have something that's almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a clean Windows install. Second, it means the recovery image is ├╝berbloated, and spans a gazillion DVDs >_<
</rant>

Carol Haynes:
You can make the windows partition the boot partition and remove all the others. It is risky though!

First create a System Recovery CD (from the Backup & Restore applet). Next use a third party partition tool from a boot disk and delete the partitions you don't want (I have never seen an OEM recovery partition that cannot be deleted). Resize remaining partitions you left behind to use the space.

Next boot from the Windows Recovery CD and choose repair your computer. Once into the repair tools menu use

bootrec /RebuildBcd

from a command prompt

That will find your existing Windows 7 installation and rebuild the BCD Boot folder on the Windows partition (since there isn't a boot partition).

Three points:

1) I don't recommend this (better to keep a separate boot partition IMHO)
2) Make sure you have a whole drive image before doing it in case anything goes wrong.
3) Don't blame me if it goes wrong ;)


Originally I had Windows 7 dual booting with Windows XP - the boot partition was XP - I used this method to remove the XP installation and expand 7 to the full disk.

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