Why so many Recovery partitions

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Hey guys, hope I'm posting in the correct area. 

I have a question regarding the partitions on my Inspiron 17. I had done a reset using the Dell Recovery when my dad gave me his laptop he bought 2 years ago. I wanted to wipe it clean. After it was done, I checked the windows version and it was 1607. I decided to use the Windows Media Creation tool to reinstall Windows with the newest version instead of downloading all the updates. When I got to the step where it asks "Where do you want to install Windows", I had multiple Recovery partitions 

 

Drive 0 Partition 4: 869MB/458MB Recovery 

Drive 0 Partition 5: Image 10.3GB/533MB Recovery 

Drive 0 Partition 6: Dell Support 1.1GB/485MB Recovery 

 

Those are the partitions, in order. Can someone explain why there are 3 Recovery partitions (including an unnamed one)? What would happen if I were to delete them?

Thanks for the help! 

 

 

 

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5 Replies
JOcean
5 Tungsten

Re: Why so many Recovery partitions

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Recovery partitions can be created manually, created at the factory, or they can be auto created each time a major update is installed. You can delete them if you like. The only drawback is that if you need to restore from the factory image, there will be no image to restore from. But if you clean install, you can always create a recovery drive later. And deleting all the partitions will free up space, as you really do not need all those partitions. https://www.partitionwizard.com/partitionmagic/delete-recovery-partition.html https://www.howtogeek.com/139710/remove-your-pc%E2%80%99s-recovery-partition-and-take-control-of-you...




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jphughan
5 Rhenium

Re: Why so many Recovery partitions

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The first one is a Windows Recovery partition, which has been standard on Windows installations since Vista. Even if you delete it, Windows will recreate it when you upgrade to the next release of Windows 10. The second partition contains an image of your system as it arrived from the factory if you ever want to restore it from that state. I'm not sure what the third one is since I always wipe my hard drives and start with a clean install when I get new systems, but I've seen it on multiple Dell systems. A long time ago, Dell used to have a partition that contained diagnostics, but that's embedded into the firmware now. I suppose it could be a partition containing a small bootable environment that has remote access tool that works even outside of Windows to allow Dell Support to access your system during troubleshooting?
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Re: Why so many Recovery partitions

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With the Windows Media Creation tool, what incentive is there to keep the image partition? I have zero desire to reinstall all of that bloatware that comes from the factory. Is the only reason to keep it around so that I could recover from that if for whatever reason I had no access to WMC tool?
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jphughan
5 Rhenium

Re: Why so many Recovery partitions

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The Dell image would include drivers and pre-installed applications for your system that would not be part of a generic Windows 10 installation. That said, if you're comfortable reinstalling everything you want on your own from a clean install, I agree you don't have incentive to keep the image partition. However, even if you delete it, unless it's placed directly after your Windows partition, you won't be able to just extend your main Windows partition to start using that free space. You'd either need to image your system and perform a custom restore to change the partition layout, or else use a live repartitioning tool.
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Re: Why so many Recovery partitions

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Thank you very much! I sincerely appreciate your help. Your answers were exactly what I was looking for. 

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