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Gateway Recovery Partition not accessible

Posted on 2011-04-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a computer that I need to repair and would like to recover to factory default using the built in hidden recovery partition. However, somebody else already worked on this and changed the boot sector so that "Repair your Computer" is not an option when using the "F8" windows startup menu. If the "repair your computer" option were available I would be able to select "recovery manager" as per this link:

http://support.gateway.com/s/software/microsof/vista/7515418/7515418su531.shtml

The recovery partition itself is intact and can be viewed if the drive is slaved to another computer.
I need to know how to repair the boot sector so that I can get the "repair your computer" option back.
I do not have any recovery media from Gateway and the option to create the media is no longer available because the previous person just installed Vista 32bit over the original Vista 64bit installation, which is also what wiped out the boot sector.

So, is it possible to repair, recreate or do anything to get what I want?

Thank you in advance for looking at this request.

Craig
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Question by:Craig
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35452008
The recovery partition itself is intact and can be viewed if the drive is slaved to another computer.
I need to know how to repair the boot sector so that I can get the "repair your computer" option back. <- an you check and see the file extension of the recorvery source file. it should be a file with .wim extension.
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 35452449
Craig you didn't mention which model this is but have you tried using Alt+F10 as the computer is going through the POST process?  The support page you linked to doesn't apply to all Gateways.
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Author Comment

by:Craig
ID: 35453725
Jackieman - There is a whole directory structure with folders like: Boot, I386, Program Files, Program Data, Sources etc. In the "Preload" folder is a file called "base.wim" which is 2.84 GB. All the folders in the root are hidden with the exception of "Recovery" which has an executable called info.exe which just displays the "PC Angel" warning screen about not deleting or changing any of the files on this partition. Obviously Gateway uses the PC Angel system as their restore mechanism, but I don't know how it works.

Masqueraid - It is a model FX4710-UB802 and alt+f10 just brings up the hardware boot menu same same as just F10 - CD Rom, HDD, Network etc.
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 35453929
My mistake Alt+Fn+F10
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Author Comment

by:Craig
ID: 35454003
Masqueraid -

There is no "Fn" key on a PC. There is on laptops, but this is a desktop computer. There is a "Ctrl", "Alt" and "Windows" keys.
I have tried Ctrl+F10, Alt+F10, Ctrl+Alt+F10 and they all do the same thing - bring up the hardware boot menu.
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 35454071
I thought that too but Gateway list it on the support page for your model of desktop (see "Support Documents")
http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/FX/1015696R/1015696Rnv.shtml

Anyway back to the .wim plan ...
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Author Comment

by:Craig
ID: 35454195
Masqueraid - the documentation mentions "Alt+F10", but that only works when the boot sector isn't broken. That is the problem I am facing.

What is the .wim plan? I have not heard back from Jackieman.

I have checked into placing an order for the recovery media on Gateway's website, but it is currently not available and should be available in one to two weeks if I want to wait.

Well, I don't want to nor can I wait.

So, the .wim plan?
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Accepted Solution

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Jackie Man earned 2000 total points
ID: 35454215
You need to start the computer with a WinPE CD (which has imagex tools) and run the following command in command prompt.

imagex /apply d:\preload\base.wim 1 c:\

Then, use Bcdedit,exe commands below to configure the boot store.

Bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=c:

Bcdedit /set {default} device partition=c:

Bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=c:

Finally, type exit at command prompt to restart computer and your computer will be brought back to the factory condition.

Source: http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_Vista/Q_26702221.html
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Author Comment

by:Craig
ID: 35454226
Jackieman - thank you for monitoring this thread and replying. I will try what you suggest and get back to both of you.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35454234
It is 4:30am in my local time and I just wake up and see your replies in my iPhone.
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Author Comment

by:Craig
ID: 35454235
Jackieman - is there a place I can download a winPE CD image to burn? The MS instructons for creating on talk about having the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK) CD which I don't have.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35454269
Google for waik.
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Author Comment

by:Craig
ID: 35454301
Jackieman - I am downloading it now and will get back to you later. Thank you.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35454329
Waik is not win pe.

You need to create win pe from waik.

Google for the intruction for creating win pe from waik.
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Author Comment

by:Craig
ID: 35454345
I understand thank you.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Craig
ID: 35746613
Thank you very much. This indeed did exactly what I needed it to do. I really appreciate your help.
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Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35746711
Glad to know that you have solved the problem. Cheers!
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