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View Full Version : What to do about hidden recovery partition?



octiceps
11-23-2011, 06:51 PM
I recently got a G73JH-BST7 and reinstalled the OS on it by using a burned Window 7 DVD to get rid of the ASUS bloatware. During that reinstallation I noticed that there was hidden ASUS recovery partition on my hard drive that I wasn't able to see through Windows Explorer. The partition is about 30GB and contains all the ASUS bloatware and drivers installed by the factory so that I can use it to recover my computer to the original factory state if needed.

I was wondering what everyone else here has done about this ASUS recovery partition?

I want to just delete it and recover the 30GB of space back into my main partition since I don't see the need to ever return to the original factory install. Is deleting this partition safe to do?

If so, what are the steps I have to take to delete it? I certainly don't want to have to reinstall my OS again. :-(

JRd1st
11-23-2011, 06:55 PM
I deleted the partition and merged the space with the adjoining partition.

thegreatest
11-23-2011, 08:33 PM
I have the same problem but the 30gb partition is before the main partition so the Windows Device manager won't let me extend the primary partition. Is there a good free program I can use to merge them? All of the programs I found require you to purchase them to merge.

JRd1st
11-23-2011, 08:37 PM
Look in my New Drivers sticky. :D

thegreatest
11-23-2011, 08:41 PM
I had that one but merge is not supported by the home version and you have to pay for full. Any other ideas? Or am I doing it wrong? lol

JRd1st
11-23-2011, 08:58 PM
You tried Computer Management >> Disk Management? (Built in to Win7)

I use Acronos Disk Director, but that's a pay utility...

thegreatest
11-23-2011, 09:03 PM
Yes that's what I tried but the unallocated space is before the drive I want to merge it to. The extend volume option is greyed out as you can see in this picture:

http://tinypic.com/r/96e3b7/5

BrodyBoy
11-23-2011, 09:05 PM
Once Windows is installed on the drive, it's a little harder to go back and delete that hidden "X:" partition. You need a third-party partitioning tool, like Partition Wizard (http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html). On the other hand, that isn't taking much space on an otherwise huge hard drive, so if you don't want to go the trouble, it's not that big a deal.

(Is it really 30Gb? All of the hidden partitions I've seen on Asus machines have been 25Gb....seems odd that it'd be different.)

thegreatest
11-23-2011, 09:07 PM
No I looked at it and it is a little over 21GB. I just want to fix it to help my OCD. Is there a good program to use? And do I want to merge them? Or extend?

From what I've seen none of the free programs include the merging feature. You have to get the paid version to merge partitions.

Also Brody, there is a picture from Disc Management in the post above yours.

JRd1st
11-23-2011, 09:13 PM
Extend works when there's no data on the other partition where the space comes from. I like Acronis Disk Director, but tje paid version of Partition Wizard Pro looks good for the price. Face it, sometimes ya just gotta pay . . . :(


I'm thinking that you may need to copy your windows partition, merge or extend out of windows, then copy your Windows partition back. You'd have to use the ISO/DVD version of some utility to do that.

. . . . this is why you just do this when you get the notebook to begin with. lol

BrodyBoy
11-23-2011, 09:17 PM
Well, not to make your OCD worse.....but even if you merge it, you're not putting Windows at the beginning of the drive, where it should be. :( To thoroughly resolve that problem, here's how I'd go about it:


Save a system image of your C: drive (onto a set of DVDs or an external hard drive, and don't forget to make a recovery disc)
Boot from your Windows Installer disc
Clean and re-format your hard drive
Use the recovery disc to restore the system image onto the newly-formatted hard drive



PS: To be clear, Windows won't use that space before it on the hard drive, even if you merge it. It wants to be the first thing on its partition.

thegreatest
11-23-2011, 09:18 PM
I'm looking to get an SSD to put the OS on soon, so would it be easier to fix this then?

BrodyBoy
11-23-2011, 09:21 PM
I'm looking to get an SSD to put the OS on soon, so would it be easier to fix this then?
Absolutely. Don't bother with any of this now..... You'll be re-tasking that drive as a data drive anyway, right?

thegreatest
11-23-2011, 09:24 PM
Yea I will be.

I was just bored today and I was thinking this would be an easy fix. Thanks for the help guys.

Muzz
11-23-2011, 11:16 PM
I've used EASEUS Partition Master to merge the four partitions that came with my laptop into three. It works well and easy to use if you decide to go that route. My C drive indicates a 25GB partition next to the 675GB main, but it has a blue bar above it, not black. It appears the recovery partition could be formatted but it's not something I'd personally attempt at this point. I would show a screen shot but not sure know how to do it. I can only get 'Print Screen' to copy to word file.

JRd1st
11-23-2011, 11:30 PM
Snipping tool makes screen shots. :D

Muzz
11-23-2011, 11:49 PM
http://i43.tinypic.com/5yteaf.jpg

Thanks JR! I was just going to PM you but you saved me the trouble. :D

JRd1st
11-24-2011, 12:35 AM
Probably because it's a hidden partition. Look in the instructions for the program.

If you're going to do a full clean install on your future SSD, the just leave this alone. I think being in front of the System partition complicates matters.

You should be able to clone this over to the SSD, though. But you should resize this (the system) partition to the same size as the SSD, first.

octiceps
11-24-2011, 01:22 AM
Is it really 30Gb? All of the hidden partitions I've seen on Asus machines have been 25Gb....seems odd that it'd be different.

My bad. I was approximating. It's exactly 25GB on mine too.

BrodyBoy
11-24-2011, 01:25 AM
I've used EASEUS Partition Master to merge the four partitions that came with my laptop into three. It works well and easy to use if you decide to go that route. My C drive indicates a 25GB partition next to the 675GB main, but it has a blue bar above it, not black. It appears the recovery partition could be formatted but it's not something I'd personally attempt at this point. I would show a screen shot but not sure know how to do it. I can only get 'Print Screen' to copy to word file.
Third-party utilities are handy for more sophisticated tasks, but for future reference, just merging and extending regular partitions is easily done directly in Disk Management. No extra software needed.

Once Windows is installed, deleting and trying to merge the hidden partition isn't really worth the trouble, though. If you really decide you want to recover that space, you'll need to image Windows, reformat, and then recover the image back to the drive. Windows otherwise wouldn't use the space before it on the drive.

fostert
11-24-2011, 01:25 AM
I had the same problem with the Windows Disk Manglement tool: wouldn't let me merge the space at the front of the drive after deleting the ASUS recovery partition. As some have noted here I use Hiren's Boot CD (freely available) to boot a live mini-Linux system, and run gparted (which is the free Gnu version of PartitionMagic). It is quick and always succeeds at merging partitions, even those Windows DM complains about.

octiceps
11-24-2011, 01:43 AM
OK everybody. Here's what my Windows Disk Management looks like:

http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/9097/capturembn.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/535/capturembn.jpg/)

The first, unnamed partition that is highlighted is, I'm assuming, the ASUS recovery partition. The strange thing is that all 25GB of it is apparently free, at least according to this image. Wouldn't most of it be occupied if my original factory install is on there?

It's weird because I've never tampered with the recovery partition, but I know it works because I've recovered my laptop using that partition before.

If I want to backup the contents of the recovery partition onto blank DVDs, can I use a utility such as ASUS AI Recovery Burner to do it? I'm thinking it may be a good idea to keep a backup of the partition somewhere just in case.

After, backing up the recovery partition, can I just use the Windows Disk Management to delete it and merge its hard disk space with my main C: partition?

Sorry for asking all these questions. I'm a Windows 7 noob and have only been using it for 3 weeks. :o

octiceps
11-24-2011, 01:55 AM
Once Windows is installed, deleting and trying to merge the hidden partition isn't really worth the trouble, though. If you really decide you want to recover that space, you'll need to image Windows, reformat, and then recover the image back to the drive. Windows otherwise wouldn't use the space before it on the drive.

OK so I just read this^. So you're saying that even if I delete my recovery partition in Windows Disk Management, I still won't be able to merge the unallocated disk space from that to my main C: partition? I would have to reinstall Windows and format the partitions during the installation process to merge it?

BrodyBoy
11-24-2011, 02:00 AM
The first, unnamed partition that is highlighted is, I'm assuming, the ASUS recovery partition. The strange thing is that all 25GB of it is apparently free, at least according to this image. Wouldn't most of it be occupied if my original factory install is on there?

It's weird because I've never tampered with the recovery partition, but I know it works because I've recovered my laptop using that partition before.
It's a hidden partition, so its contents don't show there.


If I want to backup the contents of the recovery partition onto blank DVDs, can I use a utility such as ASUS AI Recovery Burner to do it? I'm thinking it may be a good idea to keep a backup of the partition somewhere just in case.You can't back it up in exactly the same way as other partitions. It's locked and hidden, and meant to be accessed only through the F9 BIOS switch. It can't just be moved around and used from other locations.


After, backing up the recovery partition, can I just use the Windows Disk Management to delete it and merge its hard disk space with my main C: partition? No...that's kind of what this whole thread has been about. Because it's locked and hidden, Windows Disc Management can't manipulate that partition like it can regular user partitions.


-------------


OK so I just read this^. So you're saying that even if I delete my recovery partition in Windows Disk Management, I still won't be able to merge the unallocated disk space from that to my main C: partition? I would have to reinstall Windows and format the partitions during the installation process to merge it?
Windows expects to be at the front of its partition, as I understand it, so it uses the space after it on the drive. That 25Gb wouldn't get used. So yes, there are ways to merge that partition, but it really only makes it look better in Disk Management.

fostert
11-24-2011, 02:20 AM
"OK so I just read this^. So you're saying that even if I delete my recovery partition in Windows Disk Management, I still won't be able to merge the unallocated disk space from that to my main C: partition? I would have to reinstall Windows and format the partitions during the installation process to merge it?"

It can be done seamlessly though by disk partition tools other than the windows one.

octiceps
11-24-2011, 02:37 AM
Well thanks for the info BrodyBoy and others. I think I'm just gonna leave my laptop as is and not worry about the messing with the recovery partition. Just seems like too much hassle for that tiny bit of hard drive space.

Cat
11-24-2011, 06:10 AM
What if all of this stuff is installed on an SSD? It's taking up 25GB of valuable SSD space, so I'd like to get rid of it, but not if I can't use the space for something else.

BrodyBoy
11-24-2011, 06:25 AM
What if all of this stuff is installed on an SSD? It's taking up 25GB of valuable SSD space, so I'd like to get rid of it, but not if I can't use the space for something else.
If it's an SSD, you're right....that space is more valuable. I would image the OS drive, completely reformat the SSD, and restore the image.

Cat
11-27-2011, 02:42 PM
I managed to use EASEUS Partition Master to put the unallocated recovery partition memory on my OS partition (the other software in the driver sticky couldn't do that in the free version, unless I missed something). I had to create a txt file named EpmStart with the text EpmStart in it in my Windows folder to avoid the process automatically aborting on reboot, though. Not sure why.

JRd1st
11-27-2011, 02:47 PM
I believe the Partition Wizard bootable ISO should be able to do it.

fostert
11-27-2011, 04:29 PM
Well thanks for the info BrodyBoy and others. I think I'm just gonna leave my laptop as is and not worry about the messing with the recovery partition. Just seems like too much hassle for that tiny bit of hard drive space.

25GB is 25GB, IMHO its worth it especially since this essentially useless partition is sitting on the fastest part of the drive. And, again its something that will take you 1/2 hour to do, and costs $0.00. Was the very first thing I did after seeing the weird way ASUS partitions up the 2 HDDs in my new G74: boot Hirens, load mini-linux and start gparted, wait 1/2 hour, done.

Certainly up to you though. :)

Cat
11-27-2011, 08:04 PM
I believe the Partition Wizard bootable ISO should be able to do it.

Too much of a hassle to burn a DVD just for that. Same reason I don't bother with reformats to fix computer problems. I don't like things taking time and I don't like having to reinstall and reconfigure a bunch of stuff.

JRd1st
11-27-2011, 08:10 PM
Oh well, if that's your atitude then I guess its too much trouble to help you.... :shrug:p

BrodyBoy
11-27-2011, 08:13 PM
25GB is 25GB, IMHO its worth it especially since this essentially useless partition is sitting on the fastest part of the drive. And, again its something that will take you 1/2 hour to do, and costs $0.00. Was the very first thing I did after seeing the weird way ASUS partitions up the 2 HDDs in my new G74: boot Hirens, load mini-linux and start gparted, wait 1/2 hour, done.

Certainly up to you though. :)
1/2 hour?? Too much trouble.

Repartition in Disk Management = ~90 seconds. Delete System Reserved partition in Windows Setup = ~3 minutes. Done in 5, time leftover for lunch! :0)

JRd1st
11-27-2011, 09:08 PM
1/2 hour?? Too much trouble.

Repartition in Disk Management = ~90 seconds. Delete System Reserved partition in Windows Setup = ~3 minutes. Done in 5, time leftover for lunch! :0)

Just letting you know that the bootable ISO of The freeware PArtition Wizard is a nice program, and there are no limitations as there are in the windows version. It's a lot like Acronis Disk Directer bootable ISO. Can't beat that for the cost of a CD ROM . . . :)

Cat
11-27-2011, 10:24 PM
Oh well, if that's your atitude then I guess its too much trouble to help you.... :shrug:p

Too late for that. With all the links and whatnot you guys have thrown around you already did. :p

Deleting the partition and merging the unallocated data with the C drive took about 30 seconds. It was finding out how to actually get it to work that took time. Laziness for me is an artform. If you think about it, the whole reason technology is being developed is so that we can be more lazy and carefree. :p

Oneiros
07-23-2012, 10:26 PM
After reading all of these methods of merging the hidden recovery partition and failing miserably (somehow corrupted my OS partition and Windows wouldn't load) I used my backup DVD to restore everything again - including the hidden partition unfortunately. I then did a bit more research and found out that it takes even less than 30 seconds to fix this problem. Here are the steps so that anyone else searching for a solution to this issue can save themselves a headache.

1. Click Start and do a search for Ai Recovery and open the program.
2. Check the box for "Delete local drive's backup of factory state Windows."
3. Click OK.

That's it! - no restart required, no lengthy backup or restore process needed. And yes 25GB is a big deal when you're using a 120GB SSD.

Tzone.1q
08-22-2013, 09:54 PM
i deleted my hidden recovery partition on a G53SW i need hep recovering it

kimiraikkonen
10-02-2016, 10:46 AM
Just letting you know that the bootable ISO of The freeware PArtition Wizard is a nice program, and there are no limitations as there are in the windows version. It's a lot like Acronis Disk Directer bootable ISO. Can't beat that for the cost of a CD ROM . . . :)

Partition Wizard Bootable of Minitool doesn't offer "merge" feature for "free" edition as can be seen here:
https://www.partitionwizard.com/comparison/partition-wizard-bootable-cd.html

So, how can we merge the unallocated free space that came from recovery partition with the OS (C:) or DATA (D:) partition here?