Renaming Vista Recovery Partition Drive Letter - Bad Idea?

By phkhgh
Feb 28, 2009
  1. Finally got the Vista partition shrunk to ~ 51 GB (new HP OEM ver) using Vista Disk Manager. They also have a "recovery partition" (D:\) w/ a copy of the recovery disk. Made a set of recovery disks using their wizard.

    I'd like to create some more partitions between C:\ & the recovery partition, requiring renaming the recovery partition drive letter. If I ever did use the Recovery Manager, would renaming the drive letter of that partition render it useless?

    If doing this w/ Vista Disk Manager isn't a good idea, what other options would you suggest? Use Partition Magic in XP, but won't support Vista.

  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Why do you need to change the drive letter? The partitions (and their respective drive letters) need not be in any order. Create partitions as you like and just assign them OTHER then D.

    In fact: advise you choose letters towards the end of the alphabet. That's because if you use removeable media (e.g. USB drives) Windows automatically selects the next available drive letter. Is better to let Windows have E through P (is plenty for it). Start assigning your drive letters anything from Q to Z

    Also note: Are you sure the recovery parition is assigned D????
    => Typically, recovery partitions aren't assigned ANY drive letter (typically, not always)
    => Are you sure D isn't your CD/DVD player?
  3. brucethetech

    brucethetech TS Enthusiast Posts: 229

    the recovery partition is assigned to D on my HP as well. I dont think it matters though since the recovery function that utilizes that partition isnt carried out in windows. You can actually delete, reformat, and use the extra 10GB of space once you get a working backup of your system. (think about it, what good is a recovery partition if your HD dies?)
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    1. As for HD failure, that's exactly the reason why people should create backup CDs (surprisingly many people don't) is just my comment to anyone reading and an "Atta boy" (or girl) to phkhgh for doing so

    2. As for keeping or deleting the recovery partition itself, I see good arguments either way. Certainly, the recovery partition doesn't help on HD failure and one may want the extra disk space and simply want to delete and reclaim the space but one should also consider
    • There are many reasons for needing recovery ASIDE from HD failure where having the recovery partition available can just be down right handy
    • Some vendors have included simpler and additional recovery functions then what you find on the standard recovery CDs that you create (one should check their recovery options to see)
    • Especially for laptop users: If other then HD failure, you have recovery options always available as you travel and needn't worry about Murphy's Law and realizing you need those CD's you just left at home
    • And if anyone isn't well organized, how long would it take you to find those CDs at home when you finally need them? ;)
  5. phkhgh

    phkhgh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    1st, thanks everyone. Got late so had to read replies this AM.
    Could call HP, but it'd likely take ?hrs to get to someone that could answer this question w/ any confidence.
    Well, "need" vs "want."
    1) With the new PC, that's 3 I'll be maintaining - to some degree. Call me crazy, but I'd like my "Programs partition" to be same letter on all... AND if possible, drive letters to be in order - but may not be possible.

    2) Didn't mention it, but after shrinking C:\, the large unallocated space is between C: & D:..

    Windows wants to name 1st new partition "J:\, after C:\ (& before D:\).
    That's one reason I asked about reassigning the letter for D:\recovery partition.

    3) Yes, I'm positive the recov partition is D:\ - plainly labeled.

    True, but don't see the real advantage in windows assigning a temp USB letter of E: vs Q:, as opposed to having D: (or E:/) assigned to my program files & E: to My Documents, that I'll use every day. Not a necessity, just easier to keep up w/.

    4) Will install a 2nd disk for BU (if master drive fails) & storage purposes.
    Probably wouldn't hide 2nd disk, & would assign partitions higher letters than disk 1.

    Exactly the reason I'd like to move the recovery partition to a 2nd disk. Since I've never used HP's recovery manager, no idea if it would then work when needed. It could be very handy vs using the BU DVDs. No idea if when using HP Recovery Manager, if it gives chance to select a drive (if it doesn't find the file at default D:\)

    Are you saying HP's recovery function would somehow find the recovery file/partition if it was renamed or moved to another disk? Seems unlikely. I could delete it as mentioned, but can see how it might be handy in some cases. I WOULD do a full restore w/ the new recovery DVDs, before deleting the partition, to be sure!
  6. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    The simple answer here is!

    Don't move it!

    Copy it 1st to another location so it is safe, then remove it from original location etc. Something don't work put it back!

  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Excellent idea, but i'd take it one step further.
    Copy original. Then CHANGE the original's drive letter and partition name of original (vs. delete)
    Then copy original back and prove HP finds it and it works (i.e. you just "logically delete" the original before knowing things for sure
  8. phkhgh

    phkhgh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Good ideas.

    I will copy the recov partition to another partition (even on same disk), then rename the drive letter of original. See if HP's recovery mgr process finds it or lets me point to it.

    If doesn't work, short of some other solution (besides just deleting it & relying on the backed up recov DVDs), may have to live w/ drive letters in odd order (C:, J:, K:, D:, etc). **I WILL test the BU recovery DVDs before deleting the recov partition.

    My guess is there's some registry value telling the HP recov prgm the drive letter. If so, I'm comfortable altering registry entries.

    Also entirely possible the HP prgm controlling the "automatic" recovery process is on same D:\ recovery partition. If so, shouldn't matter if partition is moved / drive renamed, but would have to change the link target in windows that launches the recovery. Likely a setting in registry.

    Guessing lots of HP owners have fooled w/ this & know exactly what will & won't work.
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    That's not sufficient!!!

    I'm fairly confident the drive letter isn't what's important (and like i said many recovery partitions don't even have a drive letter assigned)

    You need to change the partition's label! to either match or not match (depending on whether you want the recovery partition found or not found). Labels are ultimately how Windows knows what it's looking for. Even if it should find drive D when it wants to run recovery I'm 100% certain it wouldn't use it for recovery unless it has the proper label. Windows always look to match labels (not just drive letters).

    Remember all those annoying times Windows asked for something, you insert a CD and it tells you it's the wrong CD? :D
  10. phkhgh

    phkhgh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Now, the recovery partition is named: "Factory_Image (D:)"
    It shows as Primary, but not Active & of course not System or Boot.

    You're saying (likely) if the recovery drive was changed to "Factory_Image (Q:)" that the HP recovery prgm (not Vista restore) would still find & be able to use it?

    I wasn't planning on changing volume label, unless I'm not understanding exactly what you mean.

    Yes, I remember those annoying times.
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    No, what i'm really saying is
    1) I don't know exactly how HP recovery goes searching for its recovery partition
    => The "search process" is totally up to any system vendor's implementation
    => e.g. would it only search the C: drive? would it possibly search other drives?
    2) What i am certain of: No matter the partition search order and whether HP only looks on the local drive (which is probably the case) and/or other drives: you can be 100% certain the search process won't find the recovery partition if the partition label doesn't match
    3) Easy way to know one way or other:
    => Copy the partition to other drive first. Do not assign it ANY drive letter. Leave the label as is
    => Modify the label of original partition (just append a digit at the end of the current name)
    => Now reboot and try the HP recovery process. See if it still finds the recovery partition on other drive or not then decide what to do next
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