Access HP Restore Partition

I have an HP Pavilion DV7 that I'm planning on doing a restore of soon.  I'm trying to take a current image using Windows 7 Backup and Restore but it keeps failing.  I'm pretty sure it's successfully backing up all of my main drive (c:) but it's failing when it gets to the HP restore parition.  I'm unable to view anything on this drive, I just get a warning that it's the restore partiton and not to change anything.

Could this be what is causing the image creation to fail?  
Is there a way to get access to this partition?

The backup is going to an external hard drive.
LVL 15
Who is Participating?
MereteConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I don't know if you can include the hidden partition with a back up Tim, that restore partition is meant to be burnt to a set of DVD's
It contains a Ghost image so it will not work without burning it to DISC
To access it you Press and hold the "Ctrl" key and press "F11"  at boot, because of the structure it's not accessible with in windows

Inside the Dell PC Restore Partition
Dell computers now come with two hidden partitions: a Utility partition and a Restore partition. DSR (Dell System Restore) is a feature that
returns a computer to its "as-shipped" state, through the use of these two specialized partitions.

If it helps more indepth
Inside the Dell PC Restore Partition
pgm554Connect With a Mentor Commented:
If the restore partition is anything other than an NTFS format,the backup will not work.
Seen it many times.
rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
First of all make sure you have run the HP utility that allows you to create a recovery DVD set. This set is important if you want to sell the PC in it's original state, or if the HD dies, as then you can restore it back to how it was when you bought it. When you have those DVD's store them in a safe, dry place.

If you want to clone/image the recovery partition, use a 3rd party utility for this. Very good is CloneZilla included on the PartedMagic LiveCD. Also paragon's backup and recovery (the free version should be fine) will do. I'd also suggest on using the paragon backup utility as your backup tool (not the windows built-in tool), as it makes compressed images of the backup, which the windows tool doesn't. That way you can have more version of the backup on your external disk.
Free Tool: IP Lookup

Get more info about an IP address or domain name, such as organization, abuse contacts and geolocation.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
lasly i had the same problem; i downloded the paragon rescue kit, and set the recovery partition to active
on a reboot, it started the recovery
Gerwin Jansen, EE MVEConnect With a Mentor Topic Advisor Commented:
Do you know what brand of harddrive you have in your DV7? Seagate for example have a free version of Acronis available that let you create a full backup of your harddrive, including the recovery partition. Otherwise I'd suggest that you use CloneZilla (see rindi's comment above), manual is here:
Darr247Connect With a Mentor Commented:
If you're unable to access HP's restore menu with F11 (not Ctrl+F11 as Dell used with XP recovery partitions) during the POST screen (before windows starts to load), the base.wim file in the HP Win7 'RECOVERY' partitions is actually a zip file.
You should be able to browse inside it with 7zip.
There will typically be 4 folders in it, named 1, 2, 3 and 4. Browse into "4" and find the RecoveryManager.exe file (should be in a folder named RM)... extract the entire folder that file is in to the main partition on the hard drive, into a folder where you can find it... like, "Recover" for instance.
Exit 7Zip.
Navigate to the C:\Recover\RM folder (or whatever you named it) and run the RecoveryManager program, then select the "Restore to Factory" or "Factory Reset" option (they've used different menus on various models)... that should find the .wim file in the RECOVERY partition and restore the main partition to factory-delivered condition.
hey Darr - isn't my solution much easier?
Hi nobus - That's how XP recovery partitions worked on HPs (just Mark as Active Partition and reboot), but I don't think the Win7 recovery partitions on HPs work like that.
ah - you may have a point there, as usual, iif i may say so
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.