troubleshooting Question

Windows fails to start when Dell Recovery partition became full after latest Windows Updates

Avatar of Tom Skowyrski
Tom SkowyrskiFlag for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland asked on
* Windows UpdatesDisaster RecoveryDellWindows OSWindows 7
5 Comments1 Solution54 ViewsLast Modified:
After the latest Windows Updates, few of our computers are experiencing the following issue: the Dell Recovery partition became full (some have few megabytes or kilobytes free left) and the computers do not boot up with an error message stating Missing OS Bootloader. The startup repair kicks in upon starting the computer and tries to repair as it seems like it identifies the issue and has the solution to it but fails the repair. We tried various System Restore on few computers (including other than the latest Windows Update point) but it fails to restore within seconds. I did not check which Windows Update is causing that yet as I did not have time but keep in mind that we install Dell updates through Windows Updates too through our Solarwinds Patch Management.
I think that the "boot" folder which normally is on System Reserved partition is on Dell Recovery partition and there does not seem to be System Reserved partition present in these cases.
Additionally, when I try to do bcdedit and bootrec commands they fail with the errors stating that there is not enough space.

Now, I have a computer which is in the same Dell Recovery partition situation but still works. So I do not want this one to have the same problem as this cannot be fixed remotely. See attached screenshots. Weirdly I checked one of the others Dell computers and that one's Dell Recovery partition is almost entirely empty and I cannot assign drive letter to it to see content when connecting remotely.

All of the affected computers are Dell Optiplex 3020 SFF with Intel i5, 4GB RAM and Samsung 256GB SSD, very similar intel chipsets if not the same one and Windows 7 Pro x64.

My questions are:
* which folders I can remove from Dell Recovery partition - I do not care about not being able to go to dell factory default partition - but if "boot" folder is there with OS Bootloader I want to keep the files which are necessary for Windows to work (notice that folders Dell and Preload are both 8.46GB on Dell Recovery partition even though the whole Dell Recovery partition is 8.75GB
* shall I copy folders from a computer which has working Dell Recovery partition or System Reserved
* how can I get them going - I am looking for the fast solution as I know I could re-install Windows from scratch because I can save the data to USB disk but with a number computers affacted being spread geografically I just want my customers to be able to work asap.

Thank you in advance for all ideas

Content and sizes   shows all partitions
Tom Skowyrski

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