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Windows 7 Partitions: Which One(s) Should I Image For Recovery?


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#1 LouieChuckyMerry

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:05 AM

Hello again, and as always thanks for anyone willing to assist me in my time of ignorance; I appreciate it. My HP Pavilion dv4 2040us running Windows 7 has been treating me well for the last almost two (2) months, and as I've tweaked her to my own preferences and installed the bare minimum of useful programs, I was wanting to make an image using Macrium Reflect Free Edition so that I could recovery quickly and easily to this state if it ever came to that. My question: when I open Macrium it shows four (4) partitions:

1 - System; Active; 199.00 MB; NTFS
2 - HP Pavilion (C:); Primary; 284.614 GB; NTFS
3 - Recovery Partition (D:); Primary; 13.180 GB; NTFS
4 - HP_Tools; ; 99.34 MB; FAT32 (LBA)

and I'm not sure which I need to image in order to recover as hoped above. It seems obvious to me that I should image my C: and D: drives, but do I need the two smaller ones? Should I simply image the disc so that all is good to go if I have to recover? And, out of curiosity, what are those two (2) very small partitions functions? Thanks again for your time.

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:34 AM

If you want to image the system so it can be returned to a condition where the HP recovery procedure works, even if the hard drive has to be replaced for failure, then image the entire hard drive with all four partitions. It will not make the image that much larger. If you don't want to preserve the HP restore capability if the hard drive gets corrupted, then they could be excluded.

As a minimum, you need the first and second partitions - the System partition contains system bootup files and space for some Win7 functions like Bitlocker if you ever use it, and C: of course has everything else.

Edited by Platypus, 27 January 2010 - 08:36 AM.

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#3 LouieChuckyMerry

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:39 AM

Thanks a bunch for the help. Just so I've got it straight, 1 & 2 go together and 3 & 4 go together? And if I've already made a set of recovery discs then I could simply image 1 & 2 and forget about 3 & 4. Sorry for the extra questions, but I want to be sure.

#4 keyboardNinja

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:27 AM

Yes, the OS uses the first two (boot files and operating system, respectively), and the other 2 are the recovery stuff (the HP partition uses the Recovery partition to restore the C: partition if things head south).

If your C: drive won't boot, you can use the recovery partition to restore to the factory image, or use your backups of C: to restore to the last backup. The only way you would lose the 3rd & 4th partitions would be a physical hard drive failure or a complete format of the drive. There is no need to image them if you have recovery disks anyway.

Did I make sense? :huh:
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#5 Platypus

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:46 PM

Sounds like keyboardNinja has covered it pretty well.

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#6 LouieChuckyMerry

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 02:11 AM

See typed the blind man, and thank you both very much for your kind help.

#7 keyboardNinja

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:12 AM

You're very welcome. :huh:
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