Booting a recovery partition.

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Booting a recovery partition.

#1 Post by benish » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:28 pm

Hi there

is it possible to boot a recovery partition from ubcd? It is the only partition on the hard drive (the C drive was wiped), there is no MBR and of course I get the missing MBR error when trying to start the PC from that hard drive.

I am trying to run the recovery partition so Vista can be installed again!

This is a Dell Inspiron 1555 laptop, basically a friend had a virus on it and decided to delete the C drive! I tried to run the repair centre and run the recovery but it wasn't working, so what I have done is wipe the disk with UBCD all except the recovery partition and now I want to install Vista again! I just can't boot the recovery or is it not designed to?! Its set as the active drive etc etc.
The only other option I can think to do (apart from request a back up DVD from Dell (not sure they do this in the UK?), or buy a new copy of Vista) is use my Acer laptop recovery DVDs and install Vista back on the Dell laptop and then go through the recovery console and launch the recovery partition and go from there! Would that work?!

Thanks for the help!


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Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 5:26 am

Re: Booting a recovery partition.

#2 Post by ady » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:15 pm

Something doesn't sound right. :?

First, erasing a partition content (or wiping it) doesn't mean you erased the "partition" itself. To be clear, the partition could be full of zeroes for example (no data at all), but the partition is shown in a partition manager tool. That's fine for what you are trying to achieve.

If only the content or the container (or both) of the C: partition was erased, then the MBR itself was not erased.

If this is the case, and if you had (?) a virus in the actual MBR, then it is still there.

OTOH, if the virus was in the partition boot record or in any other sector of the C: partition (not in the MBR), then the virus is gone.

If the MBR was not erased, then the options to boot to the recovery partition should be still there. What is not there anymore, if the C: partition was erased, is the boot record to normally boot to the Windows C: partition.

The very first option should be: search for downloads and support at Dell's website.

Second option: contact Dell directly and ask them about starting the recovery partition when your Windows partition was erased.

Installing a regular Windows installation is not going to give you access to the special recovery partition in a way that you could use the recovery options.

You still could try several possibilities. For any tests/checks/installations, you should have firstly your computer powered down, not connected to any dock station, disconnect any peripheral device (externals mouse, keyboard, monitor, printer, camera, usb devices...), disconnect any cable (like ethernet or usb for example) except the AC power cable.

Use your laptop connected to the AC power cord, not only with batteries, and do not disconnect it until you finish installing/testing/checking.

From the current state (system powered down completely, no sleep/hibernate modes), power on your system.

A) When the Dell logo appears, press <F8> several times until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears. I can't know if it will appear or not. If it does, select the appropriate recovery/repair option to reinstall Windows from the special recovery partition.

Alternatively, if that possibility doesn't work at all, then

B) Immediately when the Dell logo appears, press the <F12> key. Select "Diagnostics" from the boot menu; or any option you think fits your problem.

An alternative possibility is:

C) After the computer has been powered down (leave it at least a couple of minutes powered down), press and hold the <Fn> key while powering your computer on (first press <Fn>, hold it, and then press the <Power> button).

In any case, be patient, wait until the tests are finished, write down any messages, and read carefully each and every instruction on your screen.

Once again, the best suggestion is to contact Dell and simultaneously download the correct manual and search for available software at Dell site.

If anything works, and after reading guides, manuals, and specially looking for help from Dell, maybe changing the recovery partition to be the Bootable/Active/Unhidden partition using the tools included in UBCD could solve the problem. But I can't tell you what should happen if you finally choose this option (and you are the only responsible if you do).

Beware!!! If you select the special recovery partition as Bootable/Active/Unhidden, there is always a chance that after rebooting a couple of times trying to install Windows you could actually - by mistake - overwrite that special recovery partition instead of installing Windows to the C: (currently "erased") partition. So you need to know what you are doing, and pay attention to the "partition" (or empty space) where Windows would be installed to.

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