• UEFI Win7 then add Win10 for dual boot: is recovery partition neccessary?

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    I have many questions about multi-booting, but for this one the title should suffice. I started with a Windows 7 Home Premium install via UEFI/GPT, so there’s a 100MB EFI partition and NTSF Windows7. Next up is a Macrium Reflect install, adding a 128MB boot partition (invisible to Windows disk management but that’s the point). Everything is updated as of 2018.

    Next, I add Windows 10Pro-1703 to the same drive,USB install, all goes smoothly. Everything is updated as of this post, both 7 and 10 know they are “C” when they boot, all drive letters match, etc. There are no problems what-so-ever, but I must wonder…

    Is the Windows 10 recovery partition worth a total do-over at this point?

    I know what to do if I really want it, start over from scratch. Wipe the drive, start the Win10 install, quit after the partitions are custom made and before Win10 really starts to install, then the Win10 recovery space will be there before moving on to install Win7. I’ve read what is basically the same method on a few forums and it works, but is it really worth it? I make image backups twice a month, and a full drive clone every three months.

    And for the question I have never seen asked or answered anywhere: if this whole install process is started over as described above, could the Win7 and Win10 partitions be replaced with backups, negating the need for program installs, updates, etc?


    Viewing 3 reply threads
    • #171589

      The answer is always, if it ain’t broke….
      As you have image backups of the disk you will be able to restore to your system, but you need to check that you can boot from a USB / CD and read the backup files so you can recover from a failed hard disk.

      cheers, Paul

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      • #171600

        That’s too easy! 🙂

        I’m not afraid, I went to the trouble of reinstalling Windows 7 UEFI/GPT just for the extra primary partitions.

        There’s more to it, this isn’t just for my benefit. I need to know how to use the Windows 10 Recovery so I can help my non-techie elders (70+). Reinstalling 7 and 10 (again) with many programs and updates would be a huge waste of time if there was another option. If nobody has tried the trick in last paragraph of my first post in this thread, maybe I’ll take one for the team. Learning is fun!

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    • #171602

      If you want to protect other machines just connect a portable HDD and use one of the free backup utilities (Aomei Backupper, Macrium, EaseUS ToDo, Paragon etc) to create an image and a boot USB/CD. Always easier than a re-install.

      cheers, Paul

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    • #171604

      Well its quite a long one to explain the semantics of Dual \ Multi Booting as you know its incredibly easy. I have mine set up thus so as to take advantage of Win10’s recovery tools should disaster come calling, its supposed to be “backwards compatible” whereas, obviously, Win7 isnt forwards compatible.


      I was going to suggest running Win10 in a “Native Boot VHD(X)” where if disaster strikes you can work on it from Win7, but from the recovery enviroment at “Boot time” trouble shooting is a real pain selecting the VHD(X) and “attaching” even before you can got to work on it in BCD etc. The Problem for you probably is that only Win7 vers can run in VHD’s are Ent and Ult and no other. I believe Win7 all Vers can “Host” Win10 as a “Guest” if memory serves me right the first boot of Win7 with a Win7 “Guest” aka Win10 as the guest OS or VHD on it will download a little file called “VHDA” it’ll appear in the right corner or maybe through WUD, cant quite recall its been a long time.
      As @PaulT says if it aint broke dont fix it which is sound advice indeed. If your feeling adventurous and not afraid of a good few hours work and downloading you can go with my scenario, I sort of cheated and got a brand new Drive last year so my hands were tied. Basically SYSPREP’ed the old images inc updates and Office, captured, made in to .iso’s and reinstalled via RUFUS just to check they worked and save as backup’s. Always a good idea, but never tried MACRIUM reflect so I am in the dark about that one, they say its good, always did mine sort of “Old School” and with a “Reg Tweak” despite what M$ says you can use on other Machines lol wish I could be of more help its a long one of if’s, but’s, & and’s to get every peril and pitfall explained, I am in no way denegrating seiniors in any way but its not for the “feint hearted” to explain to any one.
      OBTW congrats on getting Win7 any Ver running on any machine built after 2016, unless your lucky enough to have an older one, its a real pain on Modern Silicon that never came with it to finally get it to run. I salute you. 🙂

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    • #171624

      I wouldn’t bother with a recovery partition myself.  I assume we’re talking about the kind of thing usually installed by the computer’s manufacturer to get you back to a factory-fresh state, right?

      You already do backups (very good idea), so if something happens and you need to roll back, you’re covered.  A recovery partition won’t help if the hard drive fails or if the computer is stolen, and it won’t preserve your personal data either.  To me, its only uses would be if you want to sell the PC to someone someday, or if it’s under warranty and you want to restore it before sending it back in for service.  I make way too many changes to the OS after it’s installed to ever want to go back and start over.  Trying to remember everything I did to get it just right… eek.  I make backups (I’ve got one running in the background right now on the PC I am using to write this) to preserve that as much as I do to save my personal data.

      I would think about making a backup of the system as freshly installed, which would serve the same purpose as the recovery partition.  I did this on my new laptop (Chromebook-like specs, but it came with Windows 10) before I formatted the drive and put Linux Mint on it, so I can go back to factory new if I need to.  The image is pretty small before you start adding stuff to it.

      You can have the Windows recovery environment installed to the disk without a dedicated partition, if that’s what you’re after.

      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
      XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
      Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11 for maintenance)

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