Removing HP Recovery Partition

Compaq/Presario C306US
August 21, 2007 at 20:23:24
Specs: Windows XP Media Center, Intel Celeron M 430/512 M

My laptop came with an 80 GB HDD; of which 10 GB is dedicated to the recovery partition. Since I have created the recovery discs, I want to get rid of the recovery partition. I can do so by using the recovery program itself. HP provides an option to remove the recovery partition data.

What I need to know is:
- Will the partitions be merged or will I have to do it myself?
- Will the fact that the C: partition is NTFS and the D: partition is FAT32 mean I'll have to take an extra step?
- What software will I need to use? Preferably freeware but trialware is OK as long as it isn't feature-disabled.


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August 21, 2007 at 20:41:38

The D partition would probably have to be reformatted as NTFS. Then to merge the two partitions, you would have to use third party software, such as Norton Partition Magic or numerous other programs, such as from Acronis.

If possible, let us know if this response was helpful or if you need further advice.

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August 21, 2007 at 20:46:43

HP provides an option to remove the recovery partition data.

Where? Please provide the link because I really want to see it for myself to believe it.

BTW this is not how things work with the OEM system recovery. Even though you have already created the recovery discs, they depend on the hidden partition to be present in order for them to work. Removing the partition will invalid the cds. It's your call.


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August 21, 2007 at 21:10:22

I would also add the utility partition is usually misreported. Its at the beginning not end of the drive which presents a major booting issue if missing.

Are you ready for where Microsoft wants you to go today?

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August 21, 2007 at 21:40:07

use hp recovery tool & merge the partitions.
That's it.

Have fun!

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August 21, 2007 at 22:27:48

For the doubters, this is from my laptop's manual:
Deleting the Recovery Partition on the Hard Drive
The PC Recovery Advanced Options menu provides the option of deleting the recovery partition, which will increase space on the hard drive. Delete the recovery partition only if you have already created recovery discs.
CAUTION: After you create the recovery discs, you can increase space on the hard drive by deleting the recovery partition. However, doing this is not recommended. If you delete this partition, you will lose any information that is on the partition, including the PC Recovery software. Thereafter, you must use the recovery discs to access PC Recovery software.
To delete the recovery partition:
1. If you have not already created recovery discs, create them now.
2. Select Start > All Programs > System Recovery > PC Recovery.
The PC Recovery tool opens.
3. Select PC Recovery and click Next. The computer restarts and the PC Recovery tools opens.
4. Click OK.
5. At the System Recovery screen, click Advanced Options.
6. Select Delete Recovery Partition (not recommended) and follow the on-screen instructions.

What I don't know is if it will just remove the data and leave a 10GB D: partition. If I have to merge the partitions themselves, I don't know what software to use or if the different file systems on the partitions will matter.

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August 22, 2007 at 02:23:30

use the disk management snap-in to delete the partition and create a new partition from the unallocated space. format this partition NTFS.

or use partition magic to merge the partition on the fly. now defragment the drive with an 'intelligent' defragmenter (e.g. perfectdisk) that will place the essential files at the beginning of the drive to decrease the system boot time.

i would caution you that tampering with partitions may result in a total loss of data if not all goes according to plan. therefore you should backup your data.

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August 22, 2007 at 04:25:23

There is no need to get personal. Apparently you have not read the entire manual especially why doing this is not recommended.

Quoted from HP Notebook PCs - Using the PC Recovery Solution:

Removing the recovery partition:

One recovery option available, but not recommended, is removing the recovery partition from the hard drive. While this action will free up storage space, the only restore or recovery option available is a compete, destructive reformatting of the hard drive using the set of recovery disks. The options to recover individual drivers or applications, and to reinstall the operating system no longer exist.

Once again it's your call.

Good day.


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August 22, 2007 at 08:06:23

My response #1 was assuming that you were going to delete the recovery partition. I agree with the other posters who suggested that you might not want to do that. If you want to save hard drive space, one option is to use imaging software, such as Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image, to create an image of your C drive to an external hard drive or DVDs if you have a DVD RW drive. After creating the image you should be able to delete the recovery partition, reformat D, and merge partitions without worrying about being able to recover your C drive.

If possible, let us know if this response was helpful or if you need further advice.

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August 22, 2007 at 12:20:08

Besides all the other responses above I would say that with the price of harddrives what they are, doing what you propose is more work than it is worth. If you need more storage spece add another HDrive.

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August 22, 2007 at 12:27:15

I thought of suggesting it the first time but backed off after I noticed the OP PC is Compaq Presario C306US which is a notebook. Notebooks usually do not have any empty bays.


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August 22, 2007 at 12:36:59

I didn't notice this was a Laptop myself.

In that case I recommend Three things. First, verify your restore disks are actually good.
Second, create at least one backup set of CDs.
Third, create an image of your OS partition and if possible create an image of the hidden partition. I am not sure that is possible.

There are folks here on a weekly basis, at least, with issues related to restoring the OS on an OEM computer.

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August 22, 2007 at 13:05:28

I just went through this with my son's HP laptop. Of course, he had not made the Recovery discs, so when his system went to lala land, we were at a loss as to how we could 'recover' it. I finally went back to HP's site and spent a half hour or more poring through the Support screens. I was finally able to find a place to order a FREE copy of the full XP Home Setup CD! With this in hand, you are assured of being able to do any sort of restore, including a Repair install.

He merely reformatted and reinstalled the OS, not bothering with the hidden Recovery partition. It didn't seem to be very large, and he said he had more disc space than he knew what to do with, anyway. Check with HP. Get the FREE setup CD and go from there. Just backup anything you can't live without first. HP seems to be much more user-friendly than some OEM's, tho I understand that Dell does it, too. Hidden partition's really suck.

I hope this helps a bit.


A positive attitude won't solve all your problems, but it will annoy just enough people to be worth the effort.

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August 22, 2007 at 13:26:10

@ XpUser: Sorry, I didn't mean for it to come off as a personal attack. I have no need to restore OEM applications...most of which are trialware and little utilities that I don't use. The only application that came bundled that is of some worth is Microsoft Works. Even that is rumored to be released as a free, ad-supported suite by Microsoft in the future. I may end-up uninstalling the Office 2003 trial and installing OpenOffice anyway. I use freeware alternatives for essentially everything. As for the drivers, I have already updated them without issue and have no plans of rolling back. The only function that may be useful from the partition is the ability to re-install the XP without destroying my documents. Even then, I could just boot a live CD Linux distro like Damn Small Linux, mount an external USB drive, take the documents, files, etc. that I need and then use the recovery discs that I made to do a "destructive" restoration. I've never needed to use my recovery discs with any of my machines nor have I ever used Windows's own System Restore. I don't have anything important on this machine right now. It has been sitting in a box for nearly a year and I just got around to making use of it last week.

As for the discs being functional, the tool that creates them does a data verification prior to closing the session.

Thanks, The Oracle and polynomial.

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August 22, 2007 at 13:36:19

Well, I just ran the tool to remove the partition and it only took literally 2 seconds to complete. The partitions were merged on their own without any intervention from me. Thanks for the advice anyway. :)

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August 22, 2007 at 13:39:58

Then there must currently be lots of space on the harddrive. Why not wait until you run low on space to worry about removing the hidden partition?

Far be it for us to tell you how to use your computer. We just see the repercussions of certain actions.

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August 22, 2007 at 13:48:57

I could've done either of the following:
1. Wait until I run low on space, when I already do have important files or just have amassed files I want. Do a data back-up. Then I run the partition removal tool for the extra space and risk losing data should a partition merge go wrong.
2. Do it now when I really have nothing to lose and space to gain.

I will be needing the extra space soon. I'm going to transfer over 25-30GB of music and install more software.

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August 22, 2007 at 14:00:44

You can also add the partition as a folder to the existing C: partition. Instead of making a lettered drive you make a folder under C: that has all the space that was on the recovery partition.

By the way you should check that your recovery disks work before you delete that original data. Burned CD's and DVD's tend not to last very long. Even archival ones can become damaged easily. Consider a usb or other type of storage.

I read it wrong and answer it wrong too. So get off my case you goober.

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