What is the hidden recovery partition for
If you take a close look at your hard drive, you may find that there is less disk space than it should have. When you open Disk Management to look into it, you’ll see a recovery partition or OEM partition taking a lot of disk space.
What is recovery partition and OEM partition? Many computer manufacturers will create a recovery partition, which consumes a few to a dozen more gigabytes disk space. It enables you to restore computer to the factory setting by pressing a specific key.
While installing Windows 10/8/7, Windows will also create a recovery partition, which allows you to use recovery options when your computer has problems. Windows recovery partition is much smaller than the factory recovery partition. In general, the Windows 10 recovery partition takes 450MB, Windows 8 350MB, and Windows 7 200MB.
Under some circumstances, the hard drive might fail, or you may need to delete the recovery partition temporarily (to add unallocated space to system drive, for example). In this case, backing up the recovery partition can be a necessary means to protect the ability to recover factory default settings.
How to create recovery partition backup
The built in backup tool Windows Backup and Restore can only include partitions with a drive letter in the backup. Since the recovery partition is hidden without a drive letter by default, you cannot use Backup and Restore to backup the factory recovery partition, but you can use Wbadmin to perform the backup from command line by using volume GUID to specify the hidden recovery partition.
To backup with Wbadmin:
1. Open an elevated command prompt with administrator permission.
2. Write a command for the backup referring to the following syntax:
If you do not know the volume GUID, you run the “mountvol”command, for example:
After you run the command, Wbadmin will start the backup right away. It seems quite convenient, but if either the recovery partition or the backup target location partition is not formmatted with NTFS, you will receive the error that resulting the backup failed. In this case, you need to use third party free backup software.
How to backup recovery partition with free backup software
AOMEI Backupper Standard is free backup utility that works with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista, and allows you to backup any files, partitions on your hard drive, and you can backup the operating system or the entire disk as well. It provides an intuitive interface, so you can perform a backup with a few clicks.
Besides, AOMEI Backupper is also a powerful disk cloning software, so you can transfer a disk with recovery partition to another drive with secure boot, such as cloning HDD to SSD including recovery partition.
The system reserved recovery partition only works on this computer. If you want to create a WinPE recovery disk that can be used on other computers, you can also use the Create Bootable Media tool in the Tools tab.
You can download and install the free backup software to have a try:
How to create a backup including recovery partition:
Due to the specifics of the OEM partition and system reserved recovery partition, using separate Partition Backup or System Backup feature may not detect the recovery partition or make it unusable after recovery, so it is best to create an EXACT backup of the entire disk.
1. Launch the software and choose Disk Backup under Backup tab.
2. Then click Add Disk to select the disk including the recovery partition you want to back up.
3. Then specify a destination path to save the backup image. It allows you to choose any location that can be detected in Windows Explorer, such as internal/external drive, USB flash drive, NAS, share folder, cloud, etc.
4. Click Options at the bottom and switch to Backup Mode tab, then change the default Intelligent Sector Backup into Make an Exact Backup, this is to ensure the availability of the recovery partition after recovery.
You can also enjoy more options, such as encryption, compression email notification, schedule backup, etc. Click Start Backup to start and execute the task.
Then, AOMEI Backupper will backup the hard drive including the hidden recovery partition for you. You can keep the backup image and use them to recover the disk any time you need.
The OEM partition or system reserved recovery partition of your computer can help you to restore the factory settings if necessary, but since its usually hidden, you can hardly backup it by ordinary means. This article introduces 2 ways to back up a hidden system recovery partition.
If your recovery partition has been lost or damaged, you can also consider using AOMEI Backupper Professional to create a recovery environment so that you can one-click access WinPE at boot time for backup or recovery.