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Windows 8/8.1/10 Too Many Recovery Partitions

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When you upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 or to Windows 10 or if you are like me you are on the Insider Program you may find yourself with many 450MB recovery partitions.  With a traditional disk that may not be a problem but with relatively smaller SSD's every byte counts.
When you upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 or to Windows 10 or if you are like me you are on the Insider Program you may find yourself with many 450MB recovery partitions.  With a traditional disk that may not be a problem but with relatively smaller SSD's every byte counts.
 

DISKPART> list par

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Recovery           450 MB  1024 KB
  Partition 2    System              99 MB   451 MB
  Partition 3    Reserved            16 MB   550 MB
  Partition 4    Primary            241 GB   566 MB
  Partition 6    Recovery           450 MB   242 GB
  Partition 7    Primary            234 GB   242 GB

DISKPART> exit
C:\WINDOWS\system32>reagentc /setreimage  /path \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk2\partition6\Recovery\WindowsRE
Directory set to: \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk2\partition6\Recovery\WindowsRE

REAGENTC.EXE: Operation Successful.

C:\WINDOWS\system32>reagentc /info
Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) and system reset configuration
Information:

    Windows RE status:         Disabled
    Windows RE location:
    Boot Configuration Data (BCD) identifier: 7a2440f5-3ad9-11e5-90c4-f43257c25fe8
    Recovery image location:
    Recovery image index:      0
    Custom image location:
    Custom image index:        0

REAGENTC.EXE: Operation Successful.


C:\WINDOWS\system32>reagentc /enable

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Either run diskpart (as an administrator) or start diskmgmt.msc and take a look at your boot drive
2015-12-19_7-17-18.pngHere you see I have three recovery partitions. The first task is to find out which one Windows is using. To do this we run the tool reagent.exe as an administrator with the parameter info. Authors note: I originally had seven recovery partitions a few months ago and ended up deleting the wrong one.

A separate WinRE partition is created only by Windows 10 in both BIOS/MBR and UEFI/GPT modes. Every version of Windows 10 has their own recovery partition which is not removed after the 30 day's for Disk Cleanup of your Windows.old folder. So if you started with Windows 10 10240 and are on the Fast Ring you have the following:
10525 Fast Ring August 18th,
10532 Fast Ring August 27th,
10547 Fast Ring September 18,
10565 Fast Ring October 12   Slow Ring Oct 16,
10576 Fast Ring November 5   Slow Ring Nov 9 GA Nov 12 Version 1511 (2nd GA Release)
11082 Fast Ring December 16th

So you probably have a bunch of recovery partitions without even knowing it.
 

reagent /info

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Here are my results:
C:\WINDOWS\system32>reagentc /info
Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) and system reset configuration
Information:

 

    Windows RE status:         Enabled
    Windows RE location:       \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk2\partition5\Recovery\WindowsRE
    Boot Configuration Data (BCD) identifier: 7a2440f5-3ad9-11e5-90c4-f43257c25fe8
    Recovery image location:
    Recovery image index:      0
    Custom image location:
    Custom image index:        0

REAGENTC.EXE: Operation Successful.

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I'd like to visually see what this is so I go to the diskpart tool
diskpart (again from an elevated command prompt)

I have several disks so I use the 'list disk' command
 

C:\WINDOWS\system32>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.11082.1000

Copyright (C) 1999-2013 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: DJOHNSON-W10

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online         2794 GB      0 B        *
  Disk 1    Online          931 GB      0 B        *
  Disk 2    Online          476 GB  1024 KB        *
  Disk 3    Online         2794 GB      0 B        *
  Disk 4    Online         1863 GB      0 B        *
  Disk 5    Online          931 GB      0 B
  Disk 6    Online         2794 GB      0 B        *

DISKPART>

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We see that disk 2 (476) GB is my SSD (the smallest of the hard drives), so now I want to see which partition reagent referred to:
 

DISKPART> select disk 2

Disk 2 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> list partition

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Recovery           450 MB  1024 KB
  Partition 2    System              99 MB   451 MB
  Partition 3    Reserved            16 MB   550 MB
  Partition 4    Primary            241 GB   566 MB
  Partition 5    Recovery           450 MB   241 GB
  Partition 6    Recovery           450 MB   242 GB
  Partition 7    Primary            234 GB   242 GB

DISKPART>

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I could just delete from diskpart that partition by selecting the partition and deleting it but it is a protected partition:
 

DISKPART> select partition 5

Partition 5 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> delete partition

Virtual Disk Service error:
Cannot delete a protected partition without the force protected parameter set.


DISKPART> delete partition override

DiskPart successfully deleted the selected partition.

DISKPART>

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I had originally thought that delete partition would work but ended up having to go into the help 'help delete partition' where it showed me the correct syntax was 'override':
2015-12-19_7-37-23.pngSo now I can extend my Windows 10 partition by selecting partition 4:
 

DISKPART> sel par 4

Partition 4 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> extend

DiskPart successfully extended the volume.

DISKPART>

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So now I've recovered the 450MB. We have to fix up reagentc to point to the correct location:
 

C:\WINDOWS\system32>reagentc /setreimage  /path \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk2\partition6\Recovery\WindowsRE
Directory set to: \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk2\partition6\Recovery\WindowsRE

REAGENTC.EXE: Operation Successful.


C:\WINDOWS\system32>reagentc /info
Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) and system reset configuration
Information:

    Windows RE status:         Disabled
    Windows RE location:
    Boot Configuration Data (BCD) identifier: 7a2440f5-3ad9-11e5-90c4-f43257c25fe8
    Recovery image location:
    Recovery image index:      0
    Custom image location:
    Custom image index:        0

REAGENTC.EXE: Operation Successful.


C:\WINDOWS\system32>reagentc /enable
REAGENTC.EXE: Operation Successful.

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Comment
2 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Ralph Scharping
So in the end we still remain with two partitions.  Can we do the same thing again to end up with only one?
0
 
LVL 84

Author Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
My intent was to recover the (450mb of space x 7) from 3GB used to just 450MB.
If you don't want the recovery partition you can certainly remove it. But you will lose the functionality that it performs. If you have made a recovery disk or recovery USB drive then you don't need it.

The original disk had the normal EFI partitions, windows 8.1 and then windows server 2012R2 with the disk space fully partitioned. Each upgrade of the operating system carved out 450MB before the WS2012R2 partition

I think you could use the recovery partition the one at the far left by simply using the recovery agent command line tool.

reagentc /setreimage  /path \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk2\partition1\Recovery\WindowsRE
Directory set to: \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk2\partition1\Recovery\WindowsRE
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