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HP Notebook: The recovery partition could not be found

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#176
red11

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Sorry for another post, but I had an idea:

Is it possible for me to backup my current MBR (that allows for pressing F11 to initiate system restore on startup), do a clean install of Vista on the C:\ partition (and thus overwriting HP's MBR with Microsoft's), and then restoring the HP MBR following the clean install, in essence making the notebook think that all is the same as previous?

Or would Softthink put the nix on this?

Edited by red11, 02 September 2009 - 02:50 PM.



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#177
dencorso

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@red11: Please don't reply to your own posts. Use the edit function instead.

#178
jaclaz

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Also, jaclaz, since you have followed this post the whole way through and I am just now finding it, will the MBRINST method of restoring the F11 functionality work if I do a clean install of Vista on C:\ and don't delete the original Recovery partition (D:)? Or is it a crapshoot because of Softthinks protection measures?


Sorry for another post, but I had an idea:

Is it possible for me to backup my current MBR (that allows for pressing F11 to initiate system restore on startup), do a clean install of Vista on the C:\ partition (and thus overwriting HP's MBR with Microsoft's), and then restoring the HP MBR following the clean install, in essence making the notebook think that all is the same as previous?

Or would Softthink put the nix on this?


VERY good. :)

Those are EXACTLY the two points for which we don't (yet) know for certain WHAT consequences they may carry.

Theoretically the second idea should work, but there is NO guarantee of it.

I would advise you to make a "dd-like" i.e. a "forensically sound" image of your entire hard disk "as is" BEFORE attempting to go along the path you sketched, in the worst of cases, you can always restore the disk exactly asd it is now, and try another method, if that one fails.

Better be safe than sorry. ;)

I mean, you have a GREAT advantage over the other people that posted their problems in this thread, you have a WORKING F11 and Recovery partition, why risking forfaiting this advantage?

Always keep an emergency way out open, whenever possible. :thumbup

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 03 September 2009 - 06:40 PM.


#179
jjawm

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I am currently working on the same problem, with exception that the contents of the recovery partition was deleted. Found out this, first have hp total care installed, then install the hp backup & recovery software, create entire drive backup and create recovery discs usually two or three dvds, then recover using the dvds. From what I've gathered recovering will reload the partition with the necessary software and bootable partition. If it works you'll see me do this, :thumbup , jja

Should get back to you in about a couple of hours, if it works like it is supposed to I'll post links to the software locations, good luck all, jja

Well, bad news, this will not work for a number of reasons, discovered that there are a number of problems with the soft-think (soft-id***) software, the worst being you could lose most of the data backed up with it. Best case you could recover most but not worth the chance. I have a second hp to steal some files & programs from and will approach from another angle.

How ever you have the error screen from some updates (black with the error: winload.exe missing or corrupt in windows/system32/...) you can copy the winload.exe & winloadresume.exe from the windows/system32/boot/ to windows/system32/ folder and it will boot and configure the updates and run.

One problem down and more to go, onward & upward....jja

Edited by jjawm, 13 October 2009 - 03:44 PM.


#180
Tripredacus

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Sorry for another post, but I had an idea:

Is it possible for me to backup my current MBR (that allows for pressing F11 to initiate system restore on startup), do a clean install of Vista on the C:\ partition (and thus overwriting HP's MBR with Microsoft's), and then restoring the HP MBR following the clean install, in essence making the notebook think that all is the same as previous?

Or would Softthink put the nix on this?


It is possible to backup the MBR but reapplying it won't re-activate the partition. Its because their MBRinst.exe does not capture the license string which is put someplace else in the boot sector. Although there are tools that may let you capture the entire boot sector, and this may work. However the problem is that the particular license installed in the recovery partition must match up or identify that string and if it doesn't, then you won't be able to use the partition.
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#181
LaptoniC

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Finally I have managed to create my 2 DVD recovery set :thumbup

My original OS was vista that I never used. I have installed Windows XP which disabled recovery partition and F11 key. I have tried everything but couldn't fix until today. I have installed Windows 7 after Windows XP. My recovery partition was intact, but of course MBR was damaged. I was able to fix the MBR by using Windows 7 recovery option. I booted the recovery partition however it gave me error 100a that can't find recovery partition. I have downloaded Enhanced HP Backup and Recovery Manager for Microsoft Windows Vista which has all the tools we need. I started Restore7.exe but create recovery DVD option was not available. I browsed C:\Windows\SMINST\ directory and saw CD Creator.exe I tried with that one and it said recovery partition couldn't found. After you install Windows 7, windows hides HP_RECOVERY partition. First off all I set a drive letter for that partition. I tried again and it still says that recovery partition couldn't found.

Enough is enough!Finally it p***ed me off and called OllyDbg and IDA to the rescue. I found out that CD Creator.exe checks every fixed harddisk for recovery partition. First It reads drive by 200h(512) bytes which is size of MBR. Then it compares BYTES at 0000001F0 with RECOVERY string. If it finds that means your recovery partition is intact and you can see all the options. So your option is either patch CD Creator.exe at that point to force that compare or edit your MBR and add RECOVERY string to that position. At first I did the first one and it worked. Then I researched little bit further and found a nice workaround. After all we are not bad guys aren't we?. If you add

[Debug]
ForceRP=G:\
to STRCDC.ini, you can force the recovery partition to any drive you want. Problem solved!

After I created DVD set,I tried to make ISO images it said that, I can't make any more set. C'mon man! I have already the DVD I can make images of it why you are bugging me? In order to remove that message remove below files from your recovery partition and C:\Windows\SMINST\ directory.

hpboot.sys,hpcd.sys,RCBoot.sys

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#182
meshmesh_beik

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hello
i have exactly the same ahmed's problem when i installed the partition magic , now i want 1 of 2 things my recovery partition come back and be working. or creat recovery disk for my notebook.
i have read all of most important posts in this topic, and iam really confused :wacko: cuz i dont know which way i should choose :( and i dont know how MBR is work and dont know from wher i can get it and the same for hdhacker
i think i found an easy soliution posted by jaclaz #106 , so mr jaclaz would this soliution work with me ? if i download the mbldr.exe and followed the steps which u shared will it work with me ? :unsure:
or
download the hdhacker
and poste the ahmed's second friend code on the hdhacker , will that work with me ?? :unsure:

notice : i dont know from wher i can download hdhacker and also dont know ahmed freinds code

SO PLZ AHMED AND JACLAZ SOME ONE TELL ME WUT DO I DO AND HELP ME WITH DOWNLOAD LINKS AND REQUIRED CODES CLEARLY

notice: my notebook is HP Pavilion dv6-1205ee - windows vista home premium 32bit - my hard disk is 320 gb

plz help me i know that u offers many solutions before but iam really dont know which one i choose :o and how i can do it, so plz clear for me the soliution :( way

thats my email if some one would help me live : (meshmesh_cika@hotmail.com) plz guys hurry cuz my system is hanging up and i think it willnot work soon

sorry for disturbing

MesHMesH BeiK

#183
LaptoniC

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Create the recovery DVD set by using my method and then install vista by using your recovery set. Everything will back to factory state.
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#184
meshmesh_beik

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Create the recovery DVD set by using my method and then install vista by using your recovery set. Everything will back to factory state.


thankx laptonic for help but iam sorry i didnot understand ur method if u would help tell me steps to do cuz iam not very proffesional at computer like u :blushing: so just tell me clear steps 1 . 2. 3. to follow it
and do u have any idea about jaclaz method is it workaround
thx

#185
LaptoniC

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For my method to work your recovery partition must be intact. It means it must have all the necessary files.

1. Download and install Enhanced HP Backup and Recovery Manager for Microsoft Windows Vista
2. Is your HP_RECOVERY partition has a letter like D:\ E:\ F:\ G:\ if so go to step 4.
3. Go to Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management then click Disk Management. Find your recovery partition and set a letter by right clicking and choosing Change Drive Letters and Path For example G:\
4. Lets say that you have a recovery partition at G:\ drive. Go to C:\Windows\SMINST\ directory and open STRCDC.ini file and go to end of this file and you will see a [Debug] section change it like below
[Debug]
ForceRP=G:\
We are basically saying that my Recovery partition is at G:\ drive. It must be the letter of your recovery partition that we found out in previous steps.
5. Open CDCreator.exe which is also at C:\Windows\SMINST directory. Then either burn the DVD set or create iso files.

In case of errors;
1. Is your Recovery partition is really there? Check for size etc to confirm.
2. If program says can't make more than one set then delete below files
hpboot.sys,hpcd.sys,RCBoot.sys
from your recovery partition and C:\Windows\SMINST\ directory
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#186
meshmesh_beik

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For my method to work your recovery partition must be intact. It means it must have all the necessary files.

1. Download and install Enhanced HP Backup and Recovery Manager for Microsoft Windows Vista
2. Is your HP_RECOVERY partition has a letter like D:\ E:\ F:\ G:\ if so go to step 4.
3. Go to Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management then click Disk Management. Find your recovery partition and set a letter by right clicking and choosing Change Drive Letters and Path For example G:\
4. Lets say that you have a recovery partition at G:\ drive. Go to C:\Windows\SMINST\ directory and open STRCDC.ini file and go to end of this file and you will see a [Debug] section change it like below

[Debug]
ForceRP=G:\
We are basically saying that my Recovery partition is at G:\ drive. It must be the letter of your recovery partition that we found out in previous steps.
5. Open CDCreator.exe which is also at C:\Windows\SMINST directory. Then either burn the DVD set or create iso files.

In case of errors;
1. Is your Recovery partition is really there? Check for size etc to confirm.
2. If program says can't make more than one set then delete below files
hpboot.sys,hpcd.sys,RCBoot.sys
from your recovery partition and C:\Windows\SMINST\ directory


dear laptonic
disk management shows the recovery partition ( not healthy ) that mean i cant change the letter of the prtition or see its proprteis but i didnot mess with my recovery partition before and i didnot delete any files from it i just installed partition magic then it made my recovery partition un availble
so could u help with this info feel free if u couldnot
thx again for ur assisting

#187
LaptoniC

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Try to rescue partition with partition recovery programs. CDCreator doesn't care the file system so much it just needs the files. Unless you can find a way to get those files to healthy partition, there is nothing we can do about it.
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#188
meshmesh_beik

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Try to rescue partition with partition recovery programs. CDCreator doesn't care the file system so much it just needs the files. Unless you can find a way to get those files to healthy partition, there is nothing we can do about it.


thankx 4 keeping assisting laptonic
but ahmed faced the same problem and i think he have the clear soliution for this problem and i think jacles too have some soliution i hope they help me they might resolve my problem
at all dear laptonic thx very much for helping me as much as u can i abreciate so

#189
Tripredacus

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Try to rescue partition with partition recovery programs. CDCreator doesn't care the file system so much it just needs the files. Unless you can find a way to get those files to healthy partition, there is nothing we can do about it.


thankx 4 keeping assisting laptonic
but ahmed faced the same problem and i think he have the clear soliution for this problem and i think jacles too have some soliution i hope they help me they might resolve my problem
at all dear laptonic thx very much for helping me as much as u can i abreciate so


Ahmad also had to do a lot of hard work to get his situation resolved. There were only ideas and hints from Jaclaz and myself since neither of us had access to that particular system. Ahmad didn't have the luxury of having a step by step process to follow. In fact, so much was done with that project that determining the correct workflow to resolve similar situations may well be impossible. If you read the entire thread, you will in fact find the part where the MBR was busted by using a (likely incorrect) tool from HP. So his initial problem had ceased to exist and became something else entirely.
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#190
drasal

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I have an Alienware m15x that I have been trying to get the recovery partiton working again for the past few days ever since I put in my PartitionMagic CD in and booted the PC to try to solve a problem.

I had the recovery partition intact but could not access it through the F10 key. I was, however, able to restore the system if I marked the partition active. At first I tried your STRCDC.ini edit, but it must have been patched in the version that was on this PC. So I eventually downloaded the HP version you linked, installed it and surpisingly it did not do any checks to see if the PC was really an HP.

After this installed, I tried editing the file again and pointing to the recovery partition and it created my recovery DVD! I then deleted the recovery partition off the hard disk and let the DVD recovery re-create it, and now my problem is solved!

I tried so many other ways to fix it but I just could not get back that boot sector code that the SoftThinks program put on. I eventually had to resort to creating a recovery DVD and letting it rebuild the partition.

If anyone else has this trouble, I highly recommend you don't attempt to go after fixing the MBR or boot sector unless you have it backed up. I wasted an entire weekend tinkering with TestDisk and other partition editing utilities trying to get it back. By the way, TestDisk is an excellent program for editing partition details! But, it is very powerful as to the damage that you can cause. You can use it to read/edit/write all the partition start and end data as well as MBR utilities. I had to use it multiple times as I messed up my partition table and MBR many times trying to get that F10 option back... please don't end up like me trying to screw with the partition tables/MBR... it was not the highlight of my day.

In the end, I downloaded the HP utility, mounted the recovery partition, pointed CD_Create.exe to it, and created the DVDs. I literally spent hours of time researching on the internet about this and was glad to finally have found this topic. I read the entire topic, every post, and found it very interesting, but that SmartThinks recovery system is so very difficult to repair if it ever breaks!

Thank you everyone who contributed to this thead!
I hope other people that have this problem with SmartThinks can learn from what has been said/done here!

For my method to work your recovery partition must be intact. It means it must have all the necessary files.

1. Download and install Enhanced HP Backup and Recovery Manager for Microsoft Windows Vista
2. Is your HP_RECOVERY partition has a letter like D:\ E:\ F:\ G:\ if so go to step 4.
3. Go to Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management then click Disk Management. Find your recovery partition and set a letter by right clicking and choosing Change Drive Letters and Path For example G:\
4. Lets say that you have a recovery partition at G:\ drive. Go to C:\Windows\SMINST\ directory and open STRCDC.ini file and go to end of this file and you will see a [Debug] section change it like below

[Debug]
ForceRP=G:\
We are basically saying that my Recovery partition is at G:\ drive. It must be the letter of your recovery partition that we found out in previous steps.
5. Open CDCreator.exe which is also at C:\Windows\SMINST directory. Then either burn the DVD set or create iso files.

In case of errors;
1. Is your Recovery partition is really there? Check for size etc to confirm.
2. If program says can't make more than one set then delete below files
hpboot.sys,hpcd.sys,RCBoot.sys
from your recovery partition and C:\Windows\SMINST\ directory



#191
dezeul

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Hi To All Members,

First of all Congratulation To All Members for the best solution to make My Hp Recovery Disc happen... :thumbup It such a brialliant solution...I also success doing so. Now i have 2 DVD disc for Recovery.

But,

When I start boot from recovery disc everything seem fine loading it... But :( it stop... Error said "This PC is not supported by the System Recovery Discs" then i click OK.

Behind that(meaning after click ok) error I got another error saying restore7.exe application error

FYI- when i create recovery disc everything seems fine, all my 2 disc sucsess verified...

Plsss I still stuck in here, please help me....

INFO: HP PAVILION TX2000, Vista Home Premium, my warranty already xpired.

#192
cluberti

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Hi To All Members,

First of all Congratulation To All Members for the best solution to make My Hp Recovery Disc happen... :thumbup It such a brialliant solution...I also success doing so. Now i have 2 DVD disc for Recovery.

But,

When I start boot from recovery disc everything seem fine loading it... But :( it stop... Error said "This PC is not supported by the System Recovery Discs" then i click OK.

Behind that(meaning after click ok) error I got another error saying restore7.exe application error

FYI- when i create recovery disc everything seems fine, all my 2 disc sucsess verified...

Plsss I still stuck in here, please help me....

INFO: HP PAVILION TX2000, Vista Home Premium, my warranty already xpired.



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#193
sinopak2

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Hi Friends,
The information above is really very helpfull but it could not solve my problem, if anyone can come up with the solution to my problem. I have bought Compaq Persario CQ61, I have later on changed my OS to Win7 from Vista Home BAsic, and lost the F11 key function. But from the information provided above I managed to activate the F11 key, it instead of loading the recovery manager shows the boot option i.e
1. Windows 7
2. Ramdisk Settings

By clicking the 2nd option Ramdisk setting I managed to restore the OS to factory default. I was very happy that finally I managed to restore the system to its original default condition. After that I decided to immediately burn the recovery DVDS, for this purpose I launched the HP recovery Manager but it surprise me with the message that system could not found recovery partition. My recovery partition is intact, but I dont know what happened from the F11 key it works fine but within the windows it is giving the same message that recovery partition not found, I will be very thankful and obliged if anyone has solution to my problem (Recovery Manager & Recovery Disc Creator). I have thrice restore the system from Ramdisk Setting Option but it couldnt changed MBR. I have also tried to fix STRCDC, but couldnt fix the proble.Please Help.

Edited by sinopak2, 29 June 2010 - 10:34 AM.


#194
Tripredacus

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The check for the recovery partition is when the program looks for a string in the MBR. If the string is not there, it will say that. I do not know what the MBR string is for this model.

I am also not familiar with seeing this Ramdisk settings option, unless this is a translation.
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#195
sinopak2

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The check for the recovery partition is when the program looks for a string in the MBR. If the string is not there, it will say that. I do not know what the MBR string is for this model.

I am also not familiar with seeing this Ramdisk settings option, unless this is a translation.


Thanx buddy, Ok can u help me burning out my recovery DVDs? I will be highly obliged.

#196
Tripredacus

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You are going to need to get your hard drive string back in there. The OP was able to do this by copying the MBR of someone else's notebook hard drive and apply it to his. You'll have to read through this thread and try to find the answers, but you can ask questions if you are having problems with a particular program or concept. I understand how the recovery system works, but I can't give you any specific details or tools to make this work again. My hands are tied in that respect.
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#197
glassvial

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Finally I have managed to create my 2 DVD recovery set :thumbup

My original OS was vista that I never used. I have installed Windows XP which disabled recovery partition and F11 key. I have tried everything but couldn't fix until today. I have installed Windows 7 after Windows XP. My recovery partition was intact, but of course MBR was damaged. I was able to fix the MBR by using Windows 7 recovery option. I booted the recovery partition however it gave me error 100a that can't find recovery partition. I have downloaded Enhanced HP Backup and Recovery Manager for Microsoft Windows Vista which has all the tools we need. I started Restore7.exe but create recovery DVD option was not available. I browsed C:\Windows\SMINST\ directory and saw CD Creator.exe I tried with that one and it said recovery partition couldn't found. After you install Windows 7, windows hides HP_RECOVERY partition. First off all I set a drive letter for that partition. I tried again and it still says that recovery partition couldn't found.

Enough is enough!Finally it p***ed me off and called OllyDbg and IDA to the rescue. I found out that CD Creator.exe checks every fixed harddisk for recovery partition. First It reads drive by 200h(512) bytes which is size of MBR. Then it compares BYTES at 0000001F0 with RECOVERY string. If it finds that means your recovery partition is intact and you can see all the options. So your option is either patch CD Creator.exe at that point to force that compare or edit your MBR and add RECOVERY string to that position. At first I did the first one and it worked. Then I researched little bit further and found a nice workaround. After all we are not bad guys aren't we?. If you add

[Debug]
ForceRP=G:\
to STRCDC.ini, you can force the recovery partition to any drive you want. Problem solved!

After I created DVD set,I tried to make ISO images it said that, I can't make any more set. C'mon man! I have already the DVD I can make images of it why you are bugging me? In order to remove that message remove below files from your recovery partition and C:\Windows\SMINST\ directory.

hpboot.sys,hpcd.sys,RCBoot.sys

THANK YOU!! This worked for me after my stupid laptop kept saying recovery partition not found (even though it was there and perfectly fine). F11 even works now (no prompt at boot, but it works) HP/Compaq's "tech support" was a joke, literally no help at all and a total waste of time. Big FU's fly out to them. Did the restore on a spare hard drive just to make sure all was well. Now that I've got that safety net, time to play with 7 on this puppy :)

On a side note, does anyone know the maximum CPU that the Compaq Presario F500 line (and its HP cousins) support? HP's official answer is the TL-58, but I have a feeling you can probably get away with something better, the TL-62 is a nice bump up from the stock CPU and not too expensive. The TL-66/68 are insanely expensive right now, however.

#198
Tripredacus

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On a side note, does anyone know the maximum CPU that the Compaq Presario F500 line (and its HP cousins) support? HP's official answer is the TL-58, but I have a feeling you can probably get away with something better, the TL-62 is a nice bump up from the stock CPU and not too expensive. The TL-66/68 are insanely expensive right now, however.


You should repost this question in a new thread in the Hardware Hangout
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#199
stillife

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Hi all,

Sorry to revive this old topic, but I'm trying to accomplish what others have discussed here. If the moderators or others feel it is better I start a new thread, I will of course do that.

My situation is a bit different from the OP and some of the others who have posted with their problems. I have an HP 6730s and the recovery partition was already removed when I got the laptop. Since I had access to another HP laptop, I thought I could reactivate the recovery function by simply creating an NTFS primary partition and copying over the files from the other laptop's recovery partition. My goal is not to restore the factory recovery function (since I don't have the factory image on the HDD), but to allow a custom image to be written when there is a need to recover the system. I'm setting this computer up for my grandmother and I'm trying to create a method whereby she can just go back to the way the computer was set up with a few simple clicks. I thought that the built-in method would probably be the simplest to implement (although after reading through these posts I'm beginning to think there are probably easier methods).

So here is what I've already done:
1) I created a primary NTFS partition named "HP_RECOVERY".
2) I copied the content of the recovery partition from another laptop into the partition.
3) Using a Windows PE + imagex CD, I made a WIM image of the windows partition and placed it at system.sav\util\HPFactory.wim
4) I edited the HPRM.ini file which has a listing of image indices and the partition where they should be copied to work with this new file
5) Using EasyBCD, I created a new boot loader entry of type "WIM Image (Ramdisk)" (it is on the WinPE tab) and linked it to the Recovery\WindowsRE\winre.wim file
6) After reboot I chose the new entry and Windows RE loaded up along with HP Recovery Manager.
7) I did a system restore and the program successfully wrote my new image back on the Windows partition.

Now the problems
1) The F11 function doesn't work. Pressing F11 won't do anything and the HP recovery environment is not listed in the boot options (there is a blank line between F10 and F12). From what I've read in this thread, HP's custom MBR is required to get this to work, am I right?
2) Setting the recovery partition to active and trying to boot directly into the partition won't work either. It says "BOOTMGR is missing." Again, from what I've read, I need a proper boot sector instruction that loads the WinRE image.

Given the above, I want to know what is the next step? I was thinking that I could copy over the recovery partition boot sector from the other laptop and maybe then I'll be able to at least boot directly into the recovery partition. If that works I have the option to either copy the MBR from the other laptop and give it a try or use Tripredacus' method and try and catch F11 in the MBR and then boot into the recovery partition.

But is this all sound? Am I missing something? I'm very new to all this and I will likely need some help in trying to copy the proper sectors.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
Ali

PS: I haven't attached any files because I'm not sure which files are most handy. Let me know and I'll post the requried files.

#200
Tripredacus

Tripredacus

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You definately cannot post any files from inside the recovery partition. Is this a Vista or Windows 7 recovery partition? The programs I used from Terrabyte Unlimited can boot both a WinPE from Vista or 7, but I have had problems. For example, If I use a Win7 WinRE on a Vista system, it will not work properly. And FWIW, in my original image testing of imaging a SoftThinks partition with Imagex, I was also not able to get it to boot to the recovery partition, even though it was set up properly. I could never get the F11 key to work either.

But yes, you need the MBR information to do it, which is why I still only use Ghost to image systems with the SoftThinks recovery partition.
MSFN RULES | GimageX HTA for PE 3-5 | lol probloms
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