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HP Notebook: The recovery partition could not be found

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#1
ahmad2080

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[PROBLEM SOLVED.......SEE POST NO.#88 IN PAGE 5]

Hello,

I've searched through the web and came up with no answer. I just found other people who have the same problem.....

i need help generating hp recovery discs from a damaged partition table(I guess).

I didn't know that partition magic is uncompatible with vista, so when i ran the program it asked me to FIX the partition table....'YES' was my answer, then the recovery partition dissapeared. I restored the partition using a tiny file that i found at
www.hp.com ( the file purpose is to fix error in reading free space on partitions, anyway it made the recovery partition show up and i don't know how).

Now i can't build the recovery discs. The Disc creator from hp doesn't recognize the recovery partition. It's curious, because i do have all recovery partition files there, but the disk creator tool doesn't go on. It shows the error message "The recovery partition could not be found"

Beside this the F11 key doen't log me into the recovery manager at start up, it just continues loading the OS.

Anyone knows a solution ?

thanks

;)

Configuration: Windows vista
on hp pavilion dv6-1045ee

Edited by ahmad2080, 09 April 2009 - 01:25 PM.



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#2
DigeratiPrime

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Greets :-)
Well changing the partition table shouldn't affect the data in the recovery partition; not sure what HP software you are using though the actual filenames would help. So you can see the recovery partition as a seperate drive in My Computer? Can you post a screenshot or description of what files are inside the recovery volume?
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#3
ahmad2080

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Greets :-)
Well changing the partition table shouldn't affect the data in the recovery partition; not sure what HP software you are using though the actual filenames would help. So you can see the recovery partition as a seperate drive in My Computer? Can you post a screenshot or description of what files are inside the recovery volume?



Thanks DigeratiPrime I didn't expect such a fast reply....

Yes, the recovery partition appears as a separate drive in MY COMPUTER . I've attached a screenshot of the contents of that partition.

I think HP uses 'Soft Thinks' application CD creator [that's what is written in the description field of the recovery disk creation file].
The subdrives in the recovery partition are blocked. I've attached a screenshot for that too.

The MASTER.LOG file is the only file that I can open. It has these lines in it:

In Master.log:


[Master]
INPVer=4
Win_Size=0
Size=4267943171
Size_Excl=0
Language=English
LangID=00000409
[GENERAL]
InstallationPath=C:\Program Files\SMINST
BLState=-1
BLPrepared=-1
RecoveryFromVista=




In C:\Program Files\SMINST (as listed in the installation path) there are a bunch of files and folders. A screenshot of that has been attached too.

About the HPRM-BCDFix.cmd file in C:\Program Files\SMINST , what does it do? some people solved a similar problem by just double clicking on it, when I tried that (Right click and Run as administrator) it didn't work, some how it's related to the GetKeyboardLayout.exe file.
I'll list the contents of the HPRM-BCDFix.log file [I think it would be useful] :

Sat 03/28/2009- 7:21:25.67-[HPRM-BCDFix.cmd]: START

Determining if we have a SoftThinks Recovery Partition ...

D: Contains SOURCES\RP and MASTER.LOG, will assume this is the WinRE ...

Set the WINRE boot configuration ...

An error occurred while attempting the specified create operation.
The specified entry already exists.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /SET {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdidevice partition=D:
The operation completed successfully.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /SET {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdipath \boot\boot.sdi
The operation completed successfully.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /CREATE {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} -d "HP Recovery Manager" /application OSLOADER
An error occurred while attempting the specified create operation.
The specified entry already exists.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} device ramdisk=[D:]\sources\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions}
The operation completed successfully.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} path \windows\system32\boot\winload.exe
The operation completed successfully.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} osdevice ramdisk=[D:]\sources\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions}
The operation completed successfully.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} systemroot \windows
The operation completed successfully.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} detecthal yes
The operation completed successfully.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} nx optin
The operation completed successfully.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} winpe yes
The operation completed successfully.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} custom:46000010 yes
The operation completed successfully.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /set {default} recoverysequence {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d}
The operation completed successfully.

BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE C:\BOOT\BCD /set {default} recoveryenabled yes
The operation completed successfully.

Get the keyboard locale ...

GetKeyboardLayout.exe
GetKeyboardLayout.exe returned 1111573323


Sat 03/28/2009- 7:21:39.24-[HPRM-BCDFix.cmd]: END


Thanks,


Attached File  RECOVERY.jpg   47.17KB   118 downloads
Attached File  recoveryfolder.jpg   31.82KB   75 downloads
Attached File  SMINST.PNG   116.8KB   74 downloads

#4
jaclaz

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Did the recovery partition (BEFORE fiddling with partition magic and the HP tool) show?

Usually these partitions have a "special" partition identifier that makes them invisible from the "normal" system.

When you press a "special" key, I guess F11 in your case, the identifier is changed in such a way that the partition can be booted.

Read this thread to get an idea about the way it works:
http://www.msfn.org/...on-t108515.html


I'll see if I can find some HP specific info and let you know.

jaclaz

#5
DigeratiPrime

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I would be helpful to see the contents of HPRM-BCDFix.cmd, just open it with notepad and paste the contents here inside [code=auto:0] tags.

There is also a GetKeyboardLayout.exe.LOG file that would help, there appear to be other logs but not as relevant.

It sounds like you have an entry in BCD called "HP Recovery Manager" which you might be able to access by holding F8 as Windows is about to boot through the Advanced Boot Options menu.

The F11 option was probably removed from the MBR.
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#6
ahmad2080

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jaclaz:

Yes, the Recovery partition was there before using PM and HP tool. Thanks for the Link.


I would be helpful to see the contents of HPRM-BCDFix.cmd, just open it with notepad and paste the contents here .
There is also a GetKeyboardLayout.exe.LOG file that would help, there appear to be other logs but not as relevant.

It sounds like you have an entry in BCD called "HP Recovery Manager" which you might be able to access by holding F8 as Windows is about to boot through the <B>Advanced Boot Options</B> menu.

The F11 option was probably removed from the MBR.



HPRM-BCDFix.cmd code:

@ECHO OFF</P> <P>REM 14/08/2008 - REV7 - Removed call of SetWinReLanguage.exe (same EXE as GetKeyboardLayout.exe)
REM 07/08/2008 - REV6 - Change path for GetKeyboardLayout.exe
REM 23/05/2007 - REV5 - Add language detection to WinRE during OOBE by running C:\Windows\Sminst\SetWinReLanguage.exe which will set the Language value in RP:\Master.log
REM 14/05/2007 - REV4 - Add keyboard locale detection by running C:\Windows\Sminst\GetKeyboardLayout.exe which will store the keyboard LCID in RP:\Master.log
REM 29/09/2006 - REV3 - Ramdisk option 'ramdisksdidevice' now points to the BOOT.SDI in WinRE:\Boot folder. No need for this file in the Vista partition anymore.
REM 28/09/2006 - REV2 - Improved logging, different WINLOAD.EXE location and changed /STORE for ramdisk options.
REM 27/09/2006 - REV1 - Initial version.</P> <P>
REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
REM Start the LOG file
REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
SET LOG=HPRM_BCD_FIX.LOG
ECHO. %DATE%-%TIME%-[%~nx0]: START>> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P> </P> <P>REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
REM Determining if we have a SoftThinks Recovery Partition.
REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
ECHO Determining if we have a SoftThinks Recovery Partition ... >> %LOG%
ECHO Determining if we have a SoftThinks Recovery Partition ... 
ECHO. >> %LOG%
ECHO.
FOR %%a IN ( C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ) DO (
		IF EXIST %%a:\SOURCES\RP IF EXIST %%a:\MASTER.LOG (
		
			ECHO %%a: Contains SOURCES\RP and MASTER.LOG, will assume this is the WinRE ... >> %LOG%
			ECHO %%a: Contains SOURCES\RP and MASTER.LOG, will assume this is the WinRE ...
			ECHO. >> %LOG%
			ECHO.
			
			SET WINRE_VOLUME=%%a
			
			GOTO ADD_AUTOFAILOVER_ENTRIES</P> <P>			)
		 )
	  )
IF "%WINRE_VOLUME%"=="" GOTO END
REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------</P> <P> </P> <P>:ADD_AUTOFAILOVER_ENTRIES
REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
REM Set the WINRE boot configuration
REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
ECHO Set the WINRE boot configuration ... >> %LOG%
ECHO Set the WINRE boot configuration ... 
ECHO. >> %LOG%
ECHO.</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /CREATE {ramdiskoptions} /d "RAM Disk Settings" >> %LOG
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /CREATE {ramdiskoptions} /d "RAM Disk Settings" >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdidevice partition=%WINRE_VOLUME%: >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdidevice partition=%WINRE_VOLUME%: >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdipath \boot\boot.sdi >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {ramdiskoptions} ramdisksdipath \boot\boot.sdi >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /CREATE {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} -d "HP Recovery Manager" /application OSLOADER >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /CREATE {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} -d "HP Recovery Manager" /application OSLOADER >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} device ramdisk=[%WINRE_VOLUME%:]\sources\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions} >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} device ramdisk=[%WINRE_VOLUME%:]\sources\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions} >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} path \windows\system32\boot\winload.exe >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} path \windows\system32\boot\winload.exe >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} osdevice ramdisk=[%WINRE_VOLUME%:]\sources\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions} >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} osdevice ramdisk=[%WINRE_VOLUME%:]\sources\boot.wim,{ramdiskoptions} >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} systemroot \windows >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} systemroot \windows >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} detecthal yes >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} detecthal yes >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} nx optin >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} nx optin >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} winpe yes >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} winpe yes >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} custom:46000010 yes >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /SET {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} custom:46000010 yes >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /set {default} recoverysequence {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /set {default} recoverysequence {572bcd55-ffa7-11d9-aae2-0007e994107d} >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%</P> <P>ECHO BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /set {default} recoveryenabled yes >> %LOG%
BCDEDIT.EXE /STORE %SystemDrive%\BOOT\BCD /set {default} recoveryenabled yes >> %LOG%
ECHO. >> %LOG%
REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------</P> <P> </P> <P>REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
REM Get the keyboard locale and Set the language detected during OOBE
REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
ECHO Get the keyboard locale ... >> %LOG%
ECHO Get the keyboard locale ... 
ECHO. >> %LOG%
ECHO.</P> <P>ECHO GetKeyboardLayout.exe >> %LOG%
ECHO GetKeyboardLayout.exe
GetKeyboardLayout.exe</P> <P>ECHO GetKeyboardLayout.exe returned %ERRORLEVEL% >> %LOG%
ECHO GetKeyboardLayout.exe returned %ERRORLEVEL%</P> <P>ECHO. >> %LOG%
REM -----------------------------------------------------------------------------</P> <P> </P> <P>GOTO END</P> <P> </P> <P>:END</P> <P>ECHO. >> %LOG%
ECHO. %DATE%-%TIME%-[%~nx0]: END >> %LOG%


The GetKeyboardLayout.exe.LOG file is empty!!!!
There are other files that might be useful. I'll list the contents of some and attach the others in a doc file :

BI.LOG:
Path of BaseImg.dll : C:\Program Files\SMINST\BaseImg.dll
Version of STODD.DLL : 1.0.0.10
Entering FindISOPartitionRP SearchEntering IsISOPartition
Testing Drive C:\
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
Testing Drive D:\
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0Entering IsISOPartition
End of IsISOPartion : 0RP not found. Trying to mount it.
Error Execute : 3
End of FindRP : 0

SetWinREL.LOG:
GetKeyboardLayout.EXE - 1, 0, 91, 3 - Compiled on Aug 18 2008 10:49:35 - Executed on Mar 28 2009 07:21:34

CDisk::GetDiskNumber : ENTER CDisk::GetDiskNumber(LPCTSTR pszDrive=C:\))
CDisk::GetDiskNumber : CreateFile succeeded on \\.\C:
CDisk::GetDiskNumber : dwRetVal after IOCTL_VOLUME_GET_VOLUME_DISK_EXTENTS: 0
CDisk::GetDiskNumber : RETURNED 0

CDisk::OpenDiskInformation : ENTER CDisk::OpenDiskInformation() - m_dwDisk=0
CDisk::OpenDiskInformation : Free volume found: Z:\
CDisk::OpenDiskInformation : Mount partition 1 on Disk 0 as Z:\
CDisk::OpenDiskInformation : RETURNED \\?\Volume{6105b98d-fea9-11dd-844d-806e6f6e6963}\

Free volume found: Z:\
Mount partition 2 on Disk 0 as Z:\
RETURNED \\?\Volume{6105b98e-fea9-11dd-844d-806e6f6e6963}\

RETURNED 1

CDisk::CloseDiskInformation : ENTER CDisk::CloseDiskInformation()
CDisk::CloseDiskInformation : EXIT

CDisk::CloseDiskInformation : ENTER CDisk::CloseDiskInformation()
CDisk::CloseDiskInformation : EXIT

No recovery partition detected...
RP is .\
Active Keyboard layout code is 00000409
Current language is English
Put in .\Master.log
Wimfltr 32
CGen::CreateDir: Directory created
CGen::CreateDir: Directory created
CGen::DelDir : ENTER CGen::DelDir(CString strDir=C:\Program Files\SMINST\Tmp_Mount)
CGen::DelFiles : ENTER CGen::DelFiles(CString strDir=C:\Program Files\SMINST\Tmp_Mount)
CGen::DelFiles : EXIT

CGen::DelDir : EXIT

CGen::DelDir : ENTER CGen::DelDir(CString strDir=C:\Program Files\SMINST\Temp_ST)
CGen::DelFiles : ENTER CGen::DelFiles(CString strDir=C:\Program Files\SMINST\Temp_ST)
CGen::DelFiles : EXIT

CGen::DelDir : EXIT


-> 28/03/2009 - 07:21:39

In INSTALL_APP.exe.LOG there is aline that says :

void CSmInstApp::GetAppDrvDirectory : ERROR : No D:\I386\ or D:\HP\ found

: The data area passed to a system call is too small.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :wacko:

The F8 idea is briliant ,I don't know why didn't I think about it before. When the advanced boot option page opened I choosed "Repair your computer", then "recovery manager".This opened the same recovery manager window that used to open in the WINDOWS OS. The error message didn't show up...(but it still shows up in the OS).What does all of this mean??


Attached File  Recovery.doc   185.5KB   48 downloads

Edited by ahmad2080, 28 March 2009 - 03:26 PM.


#7
DigeratiPrime

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The F8 idea is briliant ,I don't know why didn't I think about it before. When the advanced boot option page opened I choosed "Repair your computer", then "recovery manager".This opened the same recovery manager window that used to open in the WINDOWS OS. The error message didn't show up...(but it still shows up in the OS).What does all of this mean??


After WinRE loads, can you do a Complete PC Restore?
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#8
ahmad2080

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After WinRE loads, can you do a Complete PC Restore?

Actually I didn't try to do a complete PC Restore......I will have to backup all my data (about 100GB).....

I think that it would work if I tried.

Is this my only and last option to fix the problem???

#9
DigeratiPrime

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I am not sure what you're trying to accomplish anymore.

Can you restate specifically what the "problem" is?

I think you want to create a recovery disc but the hp software is broken, it looks like this software just uses the built in vista backup feature, I have pointed out how to restore from the recovery partition without using an hp recovery disc. You could also create a standard recovery disc from the control panel, it might be missing some customization hp makes to WinRE, but its going to restore the same image anyway.
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#10
ahmad2080

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To be more specific:

I need to know what should be done to restore the precovery partition without doing a complete recovery to the system. What if the recovery process failed in the middle of its progress? then I'll not be able to recover anything at all [no recovery disks and no recovery partition].

There must be a way to get that 'Recovery manager' back to see the recovery partition as before. What exactly did PM do??
How can I undo it??

I want to solve the problem & learn something new.

I don't like to follow:
Do you want the problem to be solved?? YES.........Then recover your whole system.
It's like reinstalling the OS because of an error message that pops up at startup.!!!!!

I want to know why the error message "The recovery partition could not be found" shows up...and how to make it dissapear.

I feel that the problem can be solved easily, but some knowledge is needed....That's what I'm seeking here.

F8 was a great hint, but it'll be my last option to use it.

#11
DigeratiPrime

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If you want to bring back the F11 option, or change the recovery volume attributes you're going to need to modify the MBR. You NEED a recovery disc before you even attempt this because chances are the hard drive will become unbootable. I would reccomend backing up your data to another drive too.
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#12
ahmad2080

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What modifications on MBR do you suggest?
and how can I modify it?

#13
Tripredacus

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Be careful when considering modifying the MBR on any system that uses a SoftThinks recovery partition. Part of the reason why your HP software may be broken is that the SoftThinks software (it has another name that I won't mention) writes information to the BCD, MBR and other files that needs to all work together. Damaging any one of these peices may cause the recovery partition to become unworkable. Another possibility is that your partition does not have its license anymore, or the license is there but the FAT does not see it anymore.

As far as how to fix your issue, I can't help you with that. All I can say is that I've had many experiences with SoftThinks and I have not been able to ever fix a broken partition before without recreating it.
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#14
ahmad2080

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I have not been able to ever fix a broken partition before without recreating it.



Thanks for your reply Tripredacus,

What do you mean by recreating???do you mean formatting the partition and updating the partition table?

#15
Tripredacus

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I have not been able to ever fix a broken partition before without recreating it.



Thanks for your reply Tripredacus,

What do you mean by recreating???do you mean formatting the partition and updating the partition table?


You will not have the ability to recreate the partition. I have this ability because I use the SoftThinks software on a daily basis, which includes the ability to create recovery partitions. I can't get into the specifics with you, unfortunately.
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jaclaz

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@ahmad2080
To put it plainly, Tripredacus is not in a condition to help you without infringing some NDA of some kind, which is perfectly understandable. :)

Some reference:
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=126181
http://www.msfn.org/...ti-t108515.html

What is less understandable :(, at least IMHO, is the need to affirm somehow that he is the only one able to create or re-create such a recovery partition, because he has this advantage of using "Softhinks software on a daily basis", and that "You will not have the ability to recreate the partition".

As I see it, one thing is refraining from publishing/devolving confidential infos, another one is "teasing" or putting down people....:whistle:

I mean, they are, in any case, just a bunch of bytes, so, surely there is a way to re-create them, only it is most probably not worth the hassle.

I wonder what would be the "unspeakable name"? :w00t:

PC Angel?
PC Angel LE?

:unsure:

Have you got a "quickplay" partition (whatever it is) ?

If yes, this may be of interest:
http://regardingit.blogspot.com/

http://forum.noteboo...ad.php?t=132849
http://www.notebookf...727416-848.html

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 31 March 2009 - 10:48 AM.


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DigeratiPrime

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As jaclaz mentions, if you search on google for a minute you will find that HP uses PC Angel, I didnt find anything helpful on that site so I neglected to mention it earlier. Also as jaclaz mentions its just bytes, and any software that can do a block based backup and restore will work. Still this is besides the point, as the MBR is a special area on the disk and not all backup software include it; for example file based images like WIM.
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jaclaz

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Still this is besides the point, as the MBR is a special area on the disk and not all backup software include it; for example file based images like WIM.


Yep :), but from the given links it seems like a "sp" can be downloaded from HP that contains the "mbrinst.exe" that should be able to re-create the "special" MBR. :unsure:



jaclaz

#19
ahmad2080

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So I can't fix the Softthinks software ( or what ever it its) to make the recovery disks. And I can't (won't) mess with MBR to restore F11 function.
What if I restored my system as DigeratiPrime suggested, Will everything return to normal? will I be able to create the recoverydisks & restore the f11 function at booting?

I have another question: What if I made the recovery partition the Active partition?
would that fix anything?

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submix8c

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So I can't fix the Softthinks software ( or what ever it its) to make the recovery disks. And I can't (won't) mess with MBR to restore F11 function.

What if I restored my system as DigeratiPrimesuggested, Will everything return to normal? will I be able to create the recoverydisks & restore the f11 function at booting?

I have another question: What if I made the recovery partition the Active partition?
would that fix anything?

1 - Apparently
2 - Should be able to create Recovery Disks; don't know about F11 function.
3 - If Active, theoretically should work same as #2; also don't know about the F11

Simply "blowing away" the non-Recovery (via diskpart. or any other method) and setting the Recovery (the only partition left) to Active should get you booted into Recovery, which should set your Installation (after Restore) to Factory (just like when purchased). This definitely works and have used it before (as long as Recovery Partition is intact and its 512-byte Boot Record is unaltered - SPECIAL BOOT).

The F11 "trick" is just a way to get into "special boot code" (like many Boot Managers) to get you booted into the Recovery Partition (ignoring the Active Partition bit in Partition Type byte).

HTH (Did this on HP/Compaq XP Home SP1; corrections, folks?)

Edited by submix8c, 01 April 2009 - 08:58 AM.

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#21
Tripredacus

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@Jaclaz, no so much NDA related but more that I do not want to damage our relationship. All of the information I have were from using their software, attempting to image it, and attempting to duplicate the MBR so that we could image with Imagex. No information was provided to me from SoftThinks, other than what our sales rep knows about it, since there is a "glass ceiling" of sorts when it comes to their support department. And that ceiling goes higher if you purchase more products. Unfortunately, we don't move nearly as many units with this software as HP and Dell, so they get preferential treatment over us "little" guys.

Still this is besides the point, as the MBR is a special area on the disk and not all backup software include it; for example file based images like WIM.


Yep :), but from the given links it seems like a "sp" can be downloaded from HP that contains the "mbrinst.exe" that should be able to re-create the "special" MBR. :unsure:

jaclaz


There's some heavy duty knowledge required for that tool. Its little documentation states that you can backup, restore and import new MBR codes onto a drive, but it doesn't work that way. For example, using the tool by itself (it has a GUI if run from a PE) or the CLI and any of the documented switches, it CANNOT read the full MBR that contains the recovery information. As you can see in one of the other threads linked above, it always comes back with not being able to find the recovery partition. I had left myself at the idea that there must be other switches, or the one you download is a slimmed down version meant for the end-user. I was able to recreate a recovery partition with Win PE 2.0 in this thread:

http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=130645

Using the MBR.EXE program to install a custom MBR, but it does not support everything that the SoftThinks software does. As noted before, in addition to the F11 (or F10) option, there are other things it puts in there. One is the key used to install the license, so since I couldn't recreate that, I couldn't use any of the MBR programs I found. Interestingly enough, MBRINST seemed to do the job, but there was no documentation on how to use the blasted thing!

So I can't fix the Softthinks software ( or what ever it its) to make the recovery disks. And I can't (won't) mess with MBR to restore F11 function.

What if I restored my system as DigeratiPrimesuggested, Will everything return to normal? will I be able to create the recoverydisks & restore the f11 function at booting?

I have another question: What if I made the recovery partition the Active partition?
would that fix anything?

1 - Apparently
2 - Should be able to create Recovery Disks; don't know about F11 function.
3 - If Active, theoretically should work same as #2; also don't know about the F11

Simply "blowing away" the non-Recovery (via diskpart. or any other method) and setting the Recovery (the only partition left) to Active should get you booted into Recovery, which should set your Installation (after Restore) to Factory (just like when purchased). This definitely works and have used it before (as long as Recovery Partition is intact and its 512-byte Boot Record is unaltered - SPECIAL BOOT).

The F11 "trick" is just a way to get into "special boot code" (like many Boot Managers) to get you booted into the Recovery Partition (ignoring the Active Partition bit in Partition Type byte).

HTH (Did this on HP/Compaq XP Home SP1; corrections, folks?)


You may find it interesting that the Recovery Partition is also capable of creating the recovery media. By this I mean, boot into the recovery partition (if you can that is) and the software is fully able to create recovery media! The only problem is if you don't have a License Key (its a physical device you connect via USB) or the CD Builder, you won't be able to use it because you see the end-user GUI. And in HP's case, as I noted before, they get to have a super custom version, so there is no way to tell what other goodies they are hiding in there!

Also, I want to reiterate that Diskpart does not see the Recovery partition like it sees the system partition. Some of the settings for the volume are determined by the MBR, not by the information that Diskpart can see. For example, the fact that the volume is hidden is in the MBR, but Diskpart won't say it is hidden. If you try to hide it (and/or unhide it again) with diskpart, you get a situation where either the computer won't boot into Windows (STOP error and also have seen it not be able to find any partitions) or you can't boot into the recovery partition anymore. This is also true of the volume getting a drive letter. So I wouldn't use diskpart on the recovery partition unless you have the ability to test it out before doing it on your life system. This would mean ghosting it and sticking it in a VM or something?

And lastly, also remember that if you do a full recovery, you'll lose all of your data. It may fix all of your issues but just make sure you're cool with that.
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#22
ahmad2080

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Interestingly enough, MBRINST seemed to do the job, but there was no documentation on how to use the blasted thing!


Well, I was able to log in the recovery partition and execute the MBRINST.exe file. It opened a window that had some options in it. I'm not sure what to do exactly(I don't want to mess things up)

I've attached a picture that shows the options in that window.
There are interesting options there. I was going to choose "Show and mount recovery partition" & in partition table field --> " Recovery part. first" and one of the HP F11 choices, but I preferred to ask the experts first…. :hello:
The question now is: Can that tool fix the problem?

Attached File  DSCF2983.JPG   166.25KB   63 downloads


You may find it interesting that the Recovery Partition is also capable of creating the recovery media. By this I mean, boot into the recovery partition (if you can that is) and the software is fully able to create recovery media!

Great news, thanks.

And lastly, also remember that if you do a full recovery, you'll lose all of your data. It may fix all of your issues but just make sure you're cool with that.

If MBRINST.exe didn't fix the problem.......I'll be pretty cool with the full recovery option.

#23
Tripredacus

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Yes, as you can see there, your default option is to install an MBR. There is an MBR.INI file that is used for that. Using CLI, MBRINST can export an existing MBR that can be used to reimport. But it does not get all of the information. As you can see in the screen, it was programmed for SoftThinks. But while the CLI switches do work, I think they aren't supposed to be used by the end-user. There should be at least two (2) MBR.INI files in the recovery partition already, but these do not work if you import those. They are created when the partition is initially created (I have confirmed this) but they again seem to be incomplete. Its like there is a step missing. MBRINST and the MBR.INI files are definately a part of it, but there must be some other thing that is done also.

Let me explain my testing process.

1. Install Windows on a HDD.
2. Install the SoftThinks program. Activate it and create the recovery partition.

note that Ghost can redeploy a hard drive with the recovery partition, because it does a volume copy and preserves the MBR, but you need a license to activate it after it is redeployed.

3. Ghost the drive, and redeploy onto another computer. Actually the same computer, but there is no real difference to Ghost since it replaces the Volume entirely.
4. Capture the MBR file.
5. Format the drive, repeat steps 1 and 2.
6. Image both partitions with Imagex. (I had previously determined how to correctly script diskpart to do this)
7. Use MBRINST to install the MBR from the original.

Now It does install the MBR, or it would say it couldn't find the recovery partition. Even if it is there, set up as x12, etc. So I think something must be done first before installing the MBR. And also, this process the function key (in my case it is F10) does not work. Neither does the R key. The data is present, but it will only boot into Windows. Disk Management sees the other partition as FAT32, no drive letter, and EISA volume. For my usage, this is normal. I understand that on some other computers like HP, you do not even see the partition at all.

So in the end, there seems to be a missing step. It is what stops me from dumping Ghost altogether.
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#24
ahmad2080

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I really appreciate your concern Tripredacus. Actually, your last post was a shock. I thought that I just solved the problem by finding the mbrinst.exe file.

Should I give it a shot and try mbrinst ( It may work with me.. :huh: )? does it have sideeffects?? What options should I choose on the mbrinst screen?
I didn't think that it's complicated like it seems to be. Anyway, there are some other .exe & .cmd executable files in the recovery partition that might be useful. My digital camera (the only way to take screenshots from another comp. )is not with me now.....so I'll attach screenshots of these files later, but let ask in advance if they would make any difference.

#25
jaclaz

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I have found this italian site:
http://guide.pctrio....ot-con-filmati/
Where

QUESTO VALE SOLO PER CHI HA UN COMPUTER HP, DOVE E’ ANCORA PRESENTE LA PARTIZIONE “HP RECOVERY”.

Chi ha cancellato questa partizione o ha un computer diverso da HP deve saltare questo punto.

Se in fase di accensione del PC non appare più la scritta “F11 per ripristino”, fate così per riavere sia la scritta sia la funzionalità di “Hp Recovery”
cliccare START, nella finestra “Inizia Ricerca” scriver CMD e premere Return. così si apre una finestra Command prompt
digitare il seguente comando
C:\windows\SMINST\mbrinst.exe /ini C:\windows\SMINST\mbr.ini /r /q
il pc riparte automaticamente dalla “HP Recovery partition”.
Quando appare la finestra “Benvenuto in Hp PC recovery”, cliccate su “annulla” per uscire.
il PC si riavvia. a questo punto potete notare che appare la scritta “F11 per ripristino” per 5 secondi, prima di scegliere tra Vista e XP.


Basically, in the HP version, some settings are inside the mbr.ini and the command must be invoked with the /ini and with the /r /q command line parameters.

"Full" translation:

THIS IS ONLY VALID FOR PEOPLE WITH A HP COMPUTER,WHERE THE PARTITION “HP RECOVERY” IS STILL PRESENT.

Whoever has deleted this partition or has a non-HP computer must skip this passage.

If when booting the "Press F11 for recovery" doesn't show anymore, do the following to re-enable the feature and the functioning of the "HP Recovery" partition:
Se in fase di accensione del PC non appare più la scritta “F11 per ripristino”, fate così per riavere sia la scritta sia la funzionalità di “Hp Recovery”
click on Start, Run, input CMD and press enter, to open a Command Prompt window
type in the following command:
C:\windows\SMINST\mbrinst.exe /ini C:\windows\SMINST\mbr.ini /r /q
the PC will reboot from the “HP Recovery partition”.
When the window "Welcome to HP PC Recovery" is displayed, click on Cancel to exit.
PC will reboot, and this time the "Press F11 for recovery" should appear for 5 seconds, before booting to thew chooice between Vistra and XP


These probably produce different results than the "quickplay" thingie mentioned before:
http://www.notebookf...727416-848.html

Also the screenshot here:
http://regardingit.blogspot.com/
is different from the one posted by ahmad2080, so there must be several versions of the MBRINST.EXE, of which at least one is the "HP customized version".

The instructions on the Italian site are consistent with these:
http://www.thestuden...ad.php?t=653972
though it seems like the used MBRINST.EXE is the one in the Recovery Partition. :unsure:

@ahmad2080
I hope the above helps :), but do remember that your mileage may vary...:whistle:

jaclaz




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