Normally you cannot access the Recovery Partition, which is what I think you are referring to. If you can access the D: drive and see files and can save as well, it is NOT your recovery partition, it's just another drive. Which, if you have data on it, should get backed up in some way.
Making an image is usually easy as well as quick. I have restored a HD that died in less than 30 minutes.
You can check under Disk Management as well, to see what kind of partition your D: is.
Right Click My Computer, Left click Manage.
Under Storage, there is Disk Management.
Hope this helps.