Hidden restore partition on a new Mesh computer

  QueenBee 15:26 28 Apr 2005
Locked

I have read several threads relating to hidden restore partitions but don't know if anybody else has had the same problem that I am experiencing at the moment.

I set my new Mesh computer up 2 days ago. I was aware that there was a hidden partition and found the following information -

286182 MB Disk 0 at ID 0 on bus 0 on atapi [MBR]

C: Partition1 (Recovery) [FAT32] 4503 MB (408 MB free)
D: Partition2 (Windows) [NTFS] 252537 MB (245787 MB free)
Unpartitioned space 29141 MB

I was a little concerned by the amount of space unallocated but I did not make any changes.

At this time, only the NTFS partition showed as the C drive in WinXP Pro - I believe this is normal.

Some time later during the boot process I pressed F10 to view the options available for the Restore process. I viewed the menu and then exited without making any changes. At that point the computer stopped booting into Windows and repeatedly entered the Restore menu without my pressing F10. After doing this several times, I restored the computer to it's factory settings as I had not yet made any changes and I thought it would correct the problem.

However, since then the hidden partition is no longer hidden in Windows. Furthermore the option of pressing F10 during the boot process has disappeared. Although Windows XP works fine, I have no idea how to access the Restore menu in future if needs be. The partition information is now as follows:

286182 MB Disk 0 at ID 0 on bus 0 on atapi [MBR]

D: Partition1 (Recovery) [FAT32] 4503 MB (408 MB free)
C: Partition2 (Windows) [NTFS] 281679 MB (274883 MB free)

The drive letters have changed and there is now no unallocated space. Is this relevant?

Can anybody advise me what I can do to correct this situation? How can I restore the F10 prompt and make the partition hidden again?

Lastly, is it possible to delete the NTFS partition, create a smaller partition and then restore on to the smaller partition or would the factory restore always recreate one large partition? I know that this would be possible using a partition image from Norton Ghost but I'm not familiar with the Mesh system.

Once again, any advice would be appreciated.

  Ancient Learner 15:54 28 Apr 2005

This sounds not right. What do Mesh say, over to you Davey.

Or is F10 really an 'instant destruct' button.

  QueenBee 22:46 28 Apr 2005

Can anybody offer suggestions of where I can find out more information about partitions? I still don't understand why I can see the FAT32 partition in Windows XP when I've read that I shouldn't. Thanks.

  MESH Support 09:37 29 Apr 2005

The outcome you describe is usually what happens when you use the recovery disc rather than the F10 recovery system. Have you at any point placed that disc into the drive and booted from it?

Some software that writes information to the boot record directly also can interfere with the recovery process but we are talking about software such as Partition Magic and other disk/partition tools.

The only way to reset the recovery system to the way it was originally is within our workshop which of course would mean the return of your system.

I have received your email and will contact you today to discuss what action you wish to take to resolve this problem.

Davey

Mesh Support

  Colinp 16:51 09 May 2005

I have a new Mesh and I would like to know what is supposed to happen when F10 is pressed during boot up. Thanks in anticipation.

  Ancient Learner 17:38 09 May 2005

Are we saying here, that if we use Partition Magic, the F10 recovery is no use. If so, that means I might as well get rid of the hiodden partition and put it to some good use. That is, if I can find out how to do it. It's a pity there was no warning of this anywhere!

  MESH Support 17:51 09 May 2005

When you use Partition Magic it writes what it wants to write to the partition Table, overwriting information sotred there by the recovery partition rendering it useless.

If you have already used it then yes, the recovery partition will be of no use to you now and may as well be deleted, re-partitioned and put to use.

Colinp

If you are unfamiliar with recovery partitions and recovery procedures in general, we would prefer it if you did not try to use the feature. If you are advised to use it by our technical support, you will be provided with instructions on how to do this.

Davey

Mesh Support

  Pooke100 18:03 09 May 2005

If they have no recovery partition, I maybe naive here, but how do they recover? This is my first PC that I have bought myself, I got a windows XP cd and a restore disk from the shop I bought it in. Anything goes wrong and I pop the windows cd in and do a complete re-install.

I'll be looking to get a new system in a few months and I am exploring options. What size are the recovery partitions and why don't you get a windows disk? (I'm assuming that you don't).

P

  sinbad1 18:42 09 May 2005

I beleive the restore disk boots to the supposably hidden partition where all the recovery files are.

i had an imesh which caused me so much trouble and yes i used partition magic and this currupted
my only means of repair.

my advise is if you have a facillity to create restore cd's then do so.

whats the point of having a failsafe if its vulnerable to being corrupt.

my solution to the problem was to reformat and get rid of the waste of space.

you can ofcourse buy the installation disc's not the winxp ;but they cost £40-£50 mayaswell get the real thing.

  Colinp 08:59 10 May 2005

Thanks for the reply.

Is there a way I can do a system restore using a Drive Imaging program or another program so that when or if the computer goes belly up and the F10 facility does not want to play ball, I can use the Drive Image and get back to how the computer was when it gets to me? I ask this (thinking a long way ahead) so that when the computer goes out of warranty, I will still be able to rectify the problem if one does arise.

  MESH Support 09:54 10 May 2005

"If they have no recovery partition, I maybe naive here, but how do they recover?"

In this situation our customer would have to use our recovery CD to re-install Windows xp back onto the system, then drivers and other software would need to be installed. Our F10 recovery is almost a 1-click restore function that resets your system back to the way it was delivered.

Our recovery CDs are actually a direct copy of the OEM versions of the XP CDs with a few script alterations to make the restore process easier.

sinbad1

"whats the point of having a failsafe if its vulnerable to being corrupt."

Is there such thing as an infallible failsafe? - It doesn't matter what steps we take to safeguard a system, something will corrupt it. A good example to consider is Microsoft's attempts at securing Windows against pirating.

Please note that Mesh Customers receive both the recovery partition AND the Recovery CD, there is no need to purchase any other copies of Windows.

Colinp

I am not aware of any drive imaging software that wouldn't do what you want. If you have lost the recovery partition, of just want the space back then I would recommend using a partition backup tool to keep your options open at a later date. At least with imaging software, if you want to make changes to the basic image you can do so easily and then update the image you keep.

All you need do is get the PC into a state that you are happy with, and then make the image.

Davey

Mesh Support

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