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RonnieSP
1 Copper

Recovering the RECOVERY partition

A friend of mine has an interesting problem with his Inspiron 1721 laptop:

The hard drive has an unrecoverable error that prevents the system from booting into Vista.  While the RECOVERY partition seems to be ok, I can't really "recover" the system to the bad partition, so I picked up a new drive (320GB vs 120GB on the original drive). 

So here is the question - How can I "recover" the system onto the new drive? 

I would certainly like to preserve the DIAG and RECOVERY partitions on the new drive so that they are available if this happens again - I tried backing up those partitions from the old drive and restoring them to the new one, but the F8 boot into the RECOVERY partition doesn't work (I have the partition named "RECOVERY" and it is NTFS formatted - am I missing something?)

If I were able to boot into the RECOVERY partition on the old drive and restore to the new one, would it install the DIAG and RECOVERY partitions there?

This machine had 2 HD bays, so I would assume that it would be easier to do if I had both drives installed, but Dell has this HD adapter to hook it in (does anyone know the part number so I could order it?) - right now I am hooked up through a SATA <--> USB adapter and I can see both drives without any problems.

Any ideas?  I would appreciate any help I can get.

Thanx
-Ronnie

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5 Replies
8 Xenon

Re: Recovering the RECOVERY partition

You're not going to be able to do what you want to do - just install Windows manually and configure the system on the new drive.  When that's done, purchase a copy of Acronis True Image and use your external drive to make your own image backups.

Even the restore process ONLY recovers the C: partition - it will not restructure the drive to as-shipped.

 

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RonnieSP
1 Copper

Re: Recovering the RECOVERY partition

Thanx for the reply - I appreciate the help

I am using True Image to do all of this - I allocated an 80 MB FAT-16 partition, a 10 GB NTFS partition (RECOVERY),
a 285 GB NTFS partition (OS) - I was hoping to be able to boot off of the RECOVERY partition and then factory restore the OS partition

I have already made the image backups (above partitions except for the OS) onto an external drive and restored them to the new drive - is
there any reason you can think of why it won't boot into the recovery partition?
-Ronnie

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8 Xenon

Re: Recovering the RECOVERY partition

If TrueImage can read the restore file, you may be able to restore the C: partition.  You won't be able to restore the boot sector that's needed to boot the system from the recovery, though.

I don't know if TI can read a WIM file.

 

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RonnieSP
1 Copper

Re: Recovering the RECOVERY partition

Ok - I was not able to restore the C partition, so I deleted all of the partitions and did a full install using the Vista system disk (allowing the Vista installer to create the partition). 

For some reason, however, the Vista install never completes the installation - it winds up rebooting and I wind up with a blank screen with an active mouse cursor (no disk activity whatsoever).
Re-running the Vista installer and choosing "repair" winds up  permanently "searching for problems".

I have run full diagnostics and there seems to be no issues with the machine itself.

Could this be a partition limitation?  Should I try creating a smaller one?

Any ideas?

Thanx
-Ronnie

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RonnieSP
1 Copper

Re: Recovering the RECOVERY partition

OK - I think I've got it figured out (although I could use some further explanation if anyone knows about this)  emoticon.Smile.title

I was doing some further research, and I read a message about someone who had a similar problem that turned out to be a BIOS setting for the hard drive.

I realized, of course, that the only thing that I had changed in this system was the drive itself, so I went into the BIOS to see how it was set up.  On this machine, the BIOS was set for AHCI mode and, based upon some of the research I've been doing, you need special drivers it (Advanced Host Controller Interface -   http://www.intel.com/technology/serialata/ahci.htm).  From what I am reading, AFTER the OS is set up and the drivers are installed, you can then switch the BIOS to this mode.  I have not researched the full benefits of using AHCI and whether this is correct, etc. - Any info on this would be greatly appreciated.

Anyway, I changed the mode to ATA - on this machine, however, that required me to disable the Flash BIOS first (not sure why, or what the implications are for that either - anyone have more info on this as well?).  After making that change, lo and behold, the machine booted right into Vista - now I can set up the rest of it.

-Ronnie

p.s. ejn63 - thanx for the help

 

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