ahmad2080

HP Notebook: The recovery partition could not be found

211 posts in this topic

@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/board/index.php?showtopic=126181

http://www.msfn.org/board/Create-Recovery-...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.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=132849

http://www.notebookforums.com/post2727416-848.html

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@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/board/index.php?showtopic=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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

post-237972-1238614652_thumb.jpg

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found this italian site:

http://guide.pctrio.com/index.php/xp-vista...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.notebookforums.com/post2727416-848.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.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.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

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes Jaclaz. The MBRINST I had downloaded from HP looks like the one in that blog. Remember that (in my other topics) my SoftThinks software does not come with the MBRINST.exe. The function that it provides is coded into their software via a DLL which exists in the partition.

Bottom line, you can try running MBRINST, but only if you can find the MBR.INI in the recovery partition. Use that as your INI source in the command. But be warned, if something is missing, or the file is incorrect (there are more than one in the partition) you may make it so your partition is not bootable.

Also note that this tool (from the quote) is being run from Windows, and probably not from the recovery partition itself.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
THIS IS ONLY VALID FOR PEOPLE WITH A HP COMPUTER,WHERE THE 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

The instructions on the Italian site are consistent with these:

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=653972

though it seems like the used MBRINST.EXE is the one in the Recovery Partition. :unsure:

I beleive that there are some differences here. The path of mbrinst.exe is completely different so the command given didn't work. Even if I know the correct path, I don't think that it will be accessable.

But if the purpose of that command is to restore mbr from mbr.ini, I can do that from mbrinst.exe right?

But be warned, if something is missing, or the file is incorrect (there are more than one in the partition) you may make it so your partition is not bootable.

I'll try some options in the mbrinst window and report the results.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried the mbrinst as i said...it made no difference. It just kept saying : !warning the recovery partition could not be located.

I tried other .exe &.cmd files......no desired results were obtained..

The only choise left was the full recovery......and because of all this time-wasting I was frustrated...I recovered the system without backing up my files...[ It doesn't matter anymore]

After a while, an error message popped up saying that the MBR is too long like 30 bits while should be 16 or something like that.

Anyway the recovery procedure continiued. What happened next still didn't happen yet. I'm still waiting for the process to complete, so I thought to invest the time and give some feedback on the situation.

EDIT: I'm Screwed.......The recovery process completed and I ofcourse lost all my files. That would have been an acceptable sacrifice if I was able to create the recovery disks, but the problem is still there. Somehow, the partition can perform a complete recovery but lost the link with the softthinks software.

Now I'm done with all my available options. Anybody has a solution to recover the link between softthinks and recovery partition?.....There is only one option left that I'll choose soon : GIVE UP.

Edited by ahmad2080
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now I'm done with all my available options. Anybody has a solution to recover the link between softthinks and recovery partition?.....There is only one option left that I'll choose soon : GIVE UP.

Wait a minute, before giving up. (usually IT IS NOT AN OPTION! :angry: , but I do understand your frustration :))

Can you access the Recovery partition (say it's D:\) and open a command prompt and run in it:

DIR /S D:\ >C:\Recdir.txt

(change D: driveletter accordingly to your setup.

And attach the resulting Recdir.txt file?

I am curious to see what files are in it.

jaclaz

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can you access the Recovery partition (say it's D:\) and open a command prompt and run in it:

DIR /S D:\ >C:\Recdir.txt

(change D: driveletter accordingly to your setup.

And attach the resulting Recdir.txt file?

I am curious to see what files are in it.

jaclaz

The recovery partition is D: too in my case. When i typed that command the result was dissapointing [ACESS DENIED].

I don't know why.

I guess that you are right, It's not an option. :angry:

EDIT: I've lost my mind......totally.

I forget to run cmd as administrator. Any way I attached the results.

me.txt

post-237972-1238762335_thumb.jpg

post-237972-1238762348_thumb.jpg

Edited by ahmad2080
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.