Dell Backup and Recovery 1.9.0.22 – Windows 7/8.1/10 (Clean Install)


This guide instructs how to setup Dell Backup of Recovery on A Clean Installation of Windows 7/8.1/10. It does not apply to upgrade installs which have Factory Partitions corresponding to older versions of Windows.

Note the Windows 7/8.1/10 Recovery Partition made in this guide is a pseudoFactory Recovery Partition. This is a snapshot of your system, at the moment you installed Dell Backup and Recovery and restoring to it will not give you the full Windows setup options that a Dell preinstalled with Windows 7/8.1/10 OEM will. Anything that says Factory below refers to your pseudoFactory Recovery Partition.

This guide does not apply to Dell systems shipped with Windows 10 OEM. I don’t have a Windows 10 OEM system but the instructions for one of these will be similar to my Dell Backup and Recovery 1.8.1.71 – Windows 8.1/7 guide with the latest version of Dell Backup and Recovery to be used for Windows 10 being 1.9.0.22.

Testing notes, upgrade Latitude E5510 to Windows 10 TH2 (Beta) and then attempt to restore using Dell Backup and Recovery. Make Recovery Partition on MBR BIOS Latitude D820.

Contents

Windows 7 Tutorial Video

The video below is displayed in two formats, natively on WordPress and also on YouTube. Ensure to select HD to the top right or watch on YouTube with the maximum video quality for best results.

Perquisites

Dell Hardware

Dell Backup and Recovery will only install on a Dell System.

Clean Windows 7/8.1/10 Clean Installation

You must have a Direct Clean Installation of Windows 7/8.1/10 without any recovery partition. If a recovery partition is present Dell Backup and Recovery will attempt to repair it instead of creating a new Recovery Partition.

For Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 you should be signed in with a Local Account on the Clean Install so your Microsoft Account isn’t incorporated into your pseudo Recovery Partition. For more details see here:

Special Notes on the Windows 10 Upgrade

Due to the way Microsoft deployed the Windows 10 Free Upgrade, you must initially Upgrade. This registers your Dell hardware profile with a Microsoft Product Activation Server. After you must properly Clean Reinstall Windows 10 so the partitions are correct.

Checking your System Partitions

Check your system partitions. [Windows 8.1/10] Right click the Start Button and select Disk Management.

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For Windows 7 left click the start button and select control panel and then select System and Security:

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Select Administrative Tools:

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Select Computer Management

DISKManagement2

Select Storage

DISKManagement3

On a Windows 10 GPT Install (UEFI BIOS) the Disk 0 system partitions should look like this. You should have a 100 MB EFI Partition and a 450 MB Recovery Partition – these are default partitions setup by Windows 10 in an UEFI install and have nothing to do with Dell Backup and Recovery. For Windows 8.1 in UEFI these will be similar but perhaps different partition sizes.

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For a Windows 7 GPT Install (UEFI BIOS) the Disk 0 system partitions should look like this. You should have a 100 MB EFI Partition these are default partitions setup by Windows 7 in an UEFI install and have nothing to do with Dell Backup and Recovery.

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On a Windows 10 MBR Install the Disk 0 system partitions should look like this. You should have a 500 MB NTFS System Reserved Partition and the rest of the drive should be your C: Drive.

win10 mbr

For a Windows 8.1 MBR Install the Disk 0 system partitions should look like this. You should have a 350 MB NTFS System Reserved Partition and the rest of the drive should be your C: Drive where Windows is installed.

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For a Windows 7 MBR Install the Disk 0 system partition should have a 100 MB NTFS System Reserved Partition and the rest of the drive should be your C: Drive where Windows is installed.

Checking your Activation Status

I also recommend checking your Windows 10 is activated. Right click the Start Button and then select System:

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Windows should be activated:

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Installation of System Drivers and 3rd Party Software

The whole point in installing Dell Backup and Recovery and creating a Recovery Partition is that the Recovery Partition is an image of your Clean Installation which includes all the drivers and programs you have installed. Otherwise you have a Recovery Partition which is useless and has no advantage over generic installation media.

You should install Microsoft Office and 3rd party programs.

Note the more 3rd party programs you install and files you copy over the larger the factory partition….

  • Install paid programs which need some form of product activation like Microsoft Office as it will save you the hassles of reactivating them.
  • You can avoid installation of an assortment of multiple free programs which update every month or so like VLC Player, Adobe Reader etc. You can get the latest versions of these when your restore to your factory image.
  • I also tend to avoid installation of a security suite, it’ll be out of date by the time you restore to the Recovery Partition.
  • I advise not setting up OneDrive otherwise the files downloaded offline will be incorporated into your Recovery Partition, This can cause hassles later on, for instance if you reorganise your OneDrive and then a year or so later Factory Reset, all your old files will be re-synced and this might create a mess.
  • I also advise against copying over your user files (Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos) to the system until the Recovery Partition is made otherwise they will be incorporated into the Recovery Partition.

To look at the programs you have installed, right click the start button and select Program and Features:

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All of these programs you have listed here will be incorporated into your Recovery Partition:

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Theres no point in creating a Factory Image unless you have all the necessary system drivers installed. Right click the Start Button and open the Device Manager:

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Make sure there are no warnings and that generic drivers aren’t installed for the Display Adapter in particular:

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If your Device Manager isn’t without errors see:

Installing Dell Backup and Recovery

The latest installer for Dell Backup and Recovery is available here:

http://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER03523396M/3/Backup-and-Recovery_Application_GX7TX_WN32_1.9.2.8_A00.EXE

Download it it should be 182,974 KB. Double click it to launch it:

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Select yes at the User Account Control:

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DBaR will extract and then the install will begin:

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Select next:

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Select install:

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Restart your computer when prompted:

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When you log in the Dell Backup and Recovery install will continue automatically:

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This will take some time depending on the size of your drive and the speed of your hardware. When its ready select Finish:

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You should now have a new Windows 10 Recovery Partition. To check right click the Start Button and select Disk Management:

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The C: partition has stunk and there is a ~7.82 GB partition in my case using a Windows 10 UEFI install as an example.

Your partitions will differ in size depending on how much 3rd party programs you have installed and depending what version of Windows you had and whether you installed in UEFI or MBR.

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Making a Bootable USB Flash Drive or Bootable USB External Hard Drive with Dell Backup and Recovery

Press the Start button and click to the top left to open the Start Menu.

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Scroll down to D and left click the Dell folder to expand it. Then left click Dell Backup and Recovery:

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Select Yes at the User Account Control:

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Dell Backup and Recovery will initialise:

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Check the box to allow Dell to collect the Service Tag and then select Ok:

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Select next:

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Here you will be given 3 options to make Recovery Media. Never ever select the Recordable Disk as it cannot boot in a UEFI BIOS.

I prefer the Bootable USB Flash Drive but the Bootable USB External Hard Drive also works well. To the top it will tell you how large your Recovery Partition is and how much free space you’ll need in this case 7.41 GB. In general a 16-32 GB USB flash drive is recommended:

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When Dell Backup and Recovery finds your device it’ll be listed to the top right. Left click it:

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Then select continue at the bottom:

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Select yes to format the USB Flash Drive.

Note for an external hard drive you won’t need to format the entire hard drive, it will just change the partition to add a FAT32 bootable partition.

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Dell Backup and Recovery will now copy files to the USB Flash Drive:

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Select next:

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You can now opt to get Premium Features such as Cloud Data Backup. Personally I prefer an Office 365 subscription with 1 TB OneDrive. Since this is the new “Factory Settings” there is also no use in doing a data backup at this time so I’ll just select Later and then close Dell Backup and Recovery:

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Restoring from the USB Flash Drive:

Note for multiple HDDs/SSDs. The Setup does not give any options to select HDD/SSD and will automatically install on the largest drive. This can be problematic if you have a 250 GB SSD and 2 TB HDD with the SSD being the Windows Boot Drive. To overcome this issue, physically disconnect all Drives you don’t want to install Windows on.

Hold F12 while powering up your computer (at the Dell UEFI BIOS screen):

Dell BIOS Screen

Press [↓] (if necessary) and highlight your USB device or External USB Hard Drive and press [Enter].

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You will be given an instruction showing “Loading files…” then the Dell logo and then Dell Backup and Recovery will launch:

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If you select “next” it will try and repair the Windows installation present on the drive and then boot from it. I don’t want to use this in this case in particular as I am installing on a new SSD and want to Factory Reset so I will select Advanced Options.

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I will then select Factory Reset and then select next.

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Dell Backup and Recovery will take some time to prepare the hard drive, restore the system and finalise:

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When its done you will be prompted for a restart.

Before restarting remove the USB Flash Drive or USB External Hard Drive. In my tests clicking restart with them plugged in made the UEFI BIOS default to them as they were the last select boot device.

Select restart.

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After you log in Dell Backup and Recovery will perform some background tasks:

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Thats it you have performed your Factory Reset from your custom image/USB Recovery Media.

21 thoughts on “Dell Backup and Recovery 1.9.0.22 – Windows 7/8.1/10 (Clean Install)

  1. Hi Philip,
    I followed your reply from “Dell Backup and Recovery 1.8.1.71 – Windows 8.1/7”. This article is really helpful for upgrading from many prior Dell PCs to Window 10. The Dell Knowledge Base on “Dell Backup and Recovery (DBaR) and Windows 10” (http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln298526/en) only provides a very specific focus between upgrade and new Dell Windows 10 system. Your article (particularly the prerequisite) provides important information/warning which should save a lot of aggravation and wasted time. I checked for clues in the TWO recovery partitions based on the dates of “Base.swm and Base2.swm” files, which cannot be identified whether they are from Win-8.1 or Win-10. But, these 2 files contribute to the 7.xx GB of the recovery image. Further, other files in them are a mix bag of different dates before/after Win10 official release. It is so true that “a Recovery Partition which is useless and has no advantage over generic installation media”. Clean reinstall is the only way to go!

    This leads to the critical question which I hope you can provide a clear guide. – What and How to identify/delete/reformat unwanted partitions BEFORE UEFI boot? (before your third step – “Clean Reinstallation via Windows 10 Installation Media”)

    Once again, thanks!

      1. Hi Philip,
        I studied your helpful links and walked through DISKPART using the UEFI boot – holding down Ctrl key for the F12 and selected the Win10 iso DVD. I went though the process until the very last step of actually cleaning up the disk. The screens are bit different from your Win8.1 instruction, but very close and easy to understand. Thanks you! However, three links below really confused me between “Dell Backup and Recovery (DBaR)" (http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln298526/en) and Microsoft “Create a recovery drive” (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/create-a-recovery-drive). And this Microsoft Community link clearly pointed out (by Microsoft engineer) that “PBR Image drive and WINRETOOLS drive are the recovery partitions …” which are “provided by Dell”. (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-hardware/pbr-image-drive-almost-full-with-new-windows-10-pc/a68bf84b-4a95-412c-ab6b-a4128e960897?auth=1)

        The Dell Knowledge Base article states that DBaR 1.9.0.22 is NOT included in the pre-loaded Win10 system, which means the recovery methods are different between Dell and Microsoft. FURTHER, the DISKPART may not (or will not) produce the “same” partitions on the hard drive which Dell is using. See (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/dn640535%28v=vs.85%29.aspx). So, are they mutually exclusive? – Once after DISKPART cleaned a hard drive, those Dell provided partitions are gone, while DBaR 1.9.0.22 is not in the pre-loaded Win10 system.

        As I complained that I had to abort my test recovery from the USB recovery stick created by DBaR 1.9.0.22 when I saw the the backup image shows a pre-Win10 release date. It appears that Dell is taking a different path for DBaR 1.9.0.22 from the past, although I don’t have detailed experience on past Dell PCs.

        Hope you can shed some light on the potential traps. Thanks a lot!

      2. The DVD shouldn’t boot in a UEFI BIOS with SecureBoot which is why I am recommending using USBs all the time.

        I haven’t upgraded the DISKPART guide for Windows 10 but as you say they are very similar so should be equally applicable.

        If you are asking about a Dell which had Windows 10 preinstalled by Dell this isn’t the guide you should be following. I have no Dell Windows 10 OEM system and thus have no testing of this configuration.

        The make a Windows 10 Recovery Drive:
        http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/create-a-recovery-drive
        In my testing just made substandard Windows 10 Installation Media. It had the one single advantage in that it Cleaned the Drive but for me the .iso was better. DBaR media had the factory settings with drivers (OEM) or the pseudo-factory settings (Clean Install).

        I haven’t tried making one on a system where Dell Backup and Recovery is installed (Clean Installation) to see if there were any changes or a new Dell with Windows 10 OEM.

        In short make a USB with DBaR, one with the Microsoft Create a Recovery Drive and also download the full .iso and you are covered in all bases.

        One thing Microsoft dropped in Windows 10 is the creation of a Refresh point.

        Also we need to see how useful Recovery partitions are etc when TH2 comes out.

  2. Hi Philips, I did the UEFI BIOS boot using the Win10 ISO DVD. It did work on my XPS8700 (may not be for other older Dell systems). The upgraded Win10 system (from a previously pre-installed Widows 8 or 7) and Dell pre-installed Win10 system ARE DIFFERENT. They are NOT “fully compatible with Windows 10”. (see http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln298526/en). Regardless, DBaR 1.9 ONLY set up the USB external drive or stick based on the preloaded (3) Dell partitions on the hard drive. Therefore, Recovery will send these systems back to the older Windows (or the preloaded Win10). This is a rather critical issue with Dell’s DBaR 1.9, which I confirmed through Dell higher-level problem escalation. I bought the XPS8700 from Costco, and its Concierge Services team greatly helped the issue escalation directly to Dell higher level support. I don’t know how Dell will be able to up-sell the Cloud Storage service using DBaR which will send user systems back to the originally preloaded systems. This is a serious business/technical issue for Dell, and I offered a solution which will not help the immediate issue on hand.

    The Microsoft’s “Create a recovery drive” (the link you provided) seems to be the right path to go. ( wonder if the optional “delete recovery partition” would be useful to keep) As you suggested, users should first clean up the hard drive partitions (including Dell created 3 partitions) and install the essential apps with updated Dell drivers etc. What I don’t know is whether DBaR 1.9 will set up and write the “updated” pseudo–Factory Recovery Partitions (and create the USB drive or stick). That would be great, but seems unlikely based on my conversation with Dell higher level support. I plan to wipe clean the hard drive and venture the unknown. If you can guide the planning, I can help that for the benefit of others.

    Thanks, Ken

    1. The point is you must initially upgrade to Windows 10 to make the system become a Windows 10 device.

      You must then Clean Reinstall Windows 10, wiping out the Dell Recovery partition(s).

      You must then install drivers (if they aren’t inbuilt) and any 3rd party software you want in the pseudo recovery partition. Installation of Dell Backup and Recovery will setup and make the pseudo recovery partition.

      The pseudo Recovery USB works quite well in my testing.

      I however noticed that I could not Create a Windows 10 Recovery Drive (it complains about files missing) after Dell Backup and Recovery. Perhaps Dell Backup and Recovery disables it or its a coincidence.

      Installation of Windows 10 TH2 beta removed the ability to restore from the Dell Backup and Recovery Internal Partition (I didn’t test it before upgrading to TH2 beta).

      1. Hi Philip, I understood and relieved on the “Installation of Dell Backup and Recovery will setup and make the pseudo recovery partition” and the creation of the “pseudo Recovery USB” stick.

        Do you have screenshots illustrating how will these additions go into the pseudo recovery partition? And can it be used to recover system (that is in addition to the USB stick)? In your instruction, I don’t see the role of Microsoft’s “Create a recovery drive". Is there any connection between it and the DBaR 1.9?
        I am ready to walk through the process. Thanks!

  3. I walked though the disk cleanup and fresh reinstall using UEFI boot from the Win10 ISO DVD. The cleanup wiped out all partitions. The reinstall was exceptionally user-friendly and took about 35 minutes on the XPS8700. However, the Dell driver installations were an entirely different experience. Users must make sure to download and install drivers from Dell’s support website. For XPS8700, there were about dozen drivers, and the auto-detect failed to find them. The most critical one is the Dell integrated mini WiFi and Bluetooth driver (see XPS Owner’s Manual, http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/product/xps-8700/manuals). Both the pre-installed Win8.1 and the fresh reinstall Win10 do not have it and “Device Manager” shows a “?” for “SM Bus Controller”. This is a serious catch-22 for those relying on WiFi for Internet updates for all kind of devices. So, Ethernet connection to the router appears to be “must”.

    I have no confidence in DBaR and the disastrous harm it can inflict with the proprietary Dell partitions on the hard drive, which users cannot avoid. In my opinion, it is way too much for average consumers. I am looking for an alternative. Good luck to all!

      1. Yes, I could only MANUALLY search and install the Dell integrated Wireless 1704 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth drivers for SM bus controller. (http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/) The Dell website will detect Service Tags. Correct, Intel chipset drivers were also missing.

        I can now move on without Dell’s propitiatory recovery partitions and DBaR which do serious harm than good.

  4. Are you referring here to the free edition of DBaR or the paid-for one? Dell’s own documentation suggests that the free version will only ever restore the machine’s original operating system whereas the paid-for version is capable of restoring that version or the newly installed Windows 10.

    1. I have never used Premium Dell Backup and Recovery. In all my guides I used only the free version.

      The free version only works with the OEM Recovery partition as you say except for the case you have a complete clean (re)install. In the case of a clean installation where no OEM recovery partition is present the free version will create a pseudo factory image from the clean installation i.e. a snapshot of the clean installation… It will only do this once, so users can use Dell Backup and Recovery and consequently pay for Premium should they want to use its features.

      For lab PCs this feature is very useful as I can make a pseudo factory image where customised/special software was working and then quickly revert to it. Others will prefer the likes of Acronis for this task.

      1. Hi Philip, I have a question about recreating the recovery partition using AlienRespawn.

        I have an Alienware 17 R2 which came originally with Win 8.1 on my SSD. I did a clean install of Windows 10 by deleting all partions on SSD (Including Recovery). But after this I made the mistake of installing AlienRespawn at a stage when I was not done installing my drivers & programs. Moreover the version of AlienRespawn (1.8) I used was not intended for Windows 10. Although Respawn has created a recovery partion for me, I am not happy with the state of my pc whenever I chose to recover.

        If I just deleted the recovery partion, and used that space to extend my C drive just like the recovery partion was not there, will AlienRespawn create it again when I re-install it? Or the only way to make AlienRespawn to recreate the recovery partition is an install after a clean Windows installation? I really don’t want to go through W10 installation again…

  5. Hi Guys, I have a question about recreating the recovery partition using AlienRespawn.

    I have an Alienware 17 R2 which came originally with Win 8.1 on my SSD. I did a clean install of Windows 10 by deleting all partions on SSD (Including Recovery). But after this I made the mistake of installing AlienRespawn at a stage when I was not done installing my drivers & programs. Moreover the version of AlienRespawn (1.8) I used was not intended for Windows 10. Although Respawn has created a recovery partion for me, I am not happy with the state of my pc whenever I chose to recover.

    If I just deleted the recovery partion, and used that space to extend my C drive just like the recovery partion was not there, will AlienRespawn create it again when I re-install it? Or the only way to make AlienRespawn to recreate the recovery partition is an install after a clean Windows installation? I really don’t want to go through W10 installation again…

  6. Hi Phil, I have a question about recreating the recovery partition using AlienRespawn.

    I have an Alienware 17 R2 which came originally with Win 8.1 on my SSD. I did a clean install of Windows 10 by deleting all partions on SSD (Including Recovery). But after this I made the mistake of installing AlienRespawn at a stage when I was not done installing my drivers & programs. Moreover the version of AlienRespawn (1.8) I used was not intended for Windows 10. Although Respawn has created a recovery partion for me, I am not happy with the state of my pc whenever I chose to recover.

    If I just deleted the recovery partion, and used that space to extend my C drive just like the recovery partion was not there, will AlienRespawn create it again when I re-install it? Or the only way to make AlienRespawn to recreate the recovery partition is an install after a clean Windows installation? I really don’t want to go through W10 installation again…

  7. Hi Philip, I have a question about recreating the recovery partition using AlienRespawn.

    I have an Alienware 17 R2 which came originally with Win 8.1 on my SSD. I did a clean install of Windows 10 by deleting all partions on SSD (Including Recovery). But after this I made the mistake of installing AlienRespawn at a stage when I was not done installing my drivers & programs. Moreover the version of AlienRespawn (1.8) I used was not intended for Windows 10. Although Respawn has created a recovery partion for me, I am not happy with the state of my pc whenever I chose to recover.

    If I just deleted the recovery partion, and used that space to extend my C drive just like the recovery partion was not there, will AlienRespawn create it again when I re-install it? Or the only way to make AlienRespawn to recreate the recovery partition is an install after a clean Windows installation? I really don’t want to go through W10 installation again…

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