22 July 2010

Windows 7: Create a recovery partition

This is a tip that helps you to easily create a bootable "recovery" partition:

After some testing with Windows 7, it is probably possible to create a hidden partition, allowing access to all repair tools, and the ability to completely reinstall the system,therefore no need to use DVD or USB key.

To begin with, you'll need:
  1. A PC functional
  2. A blank hard disk, (that intended to receive the recovery partition)  
  3. Your DVD of Windows 7. (or iso file to extract the content)

Preparation of hard disk

The disk drive must be partitioned into two. Consider a partition of about 3.5GO, at beginning of the disk, so that this partition can contain all the files from the DVD and one for the system partition.

Copying files

Once the partitions of 3 to 4 GB created, simply just copy the entire DVD on this partition, and make this partition bootable.

Prepare of the partition to make it bootable

Open the command prompt and run this :


cd /boot  

bootsect /nt60 X:

(x being your partition)

A message "boot code was successfully updated on all targeted volumes" should appear.
Then check that the partition is marked "active" in disk management.
If necessary, right click on the partition and "mark partition as active"

Now mount the HDD in the PC and boot.
  • The PC will automatically launch the installer from the partition and add an entry "Windows setup" in the entries in bcd. (so no need to use third party software to edit the boot entries)
  • Everything is done automatically!
  • You now have a PC with a recovery partition that lets you reinstall new Windows 7 in case of problems.


This is a trick that has been created and verified using the full version, and Home Premium
7.7600 RTM of Windows.