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What to do when recovery partition is full??

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Old 05-26-2011, 01:08 AM   #1
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First time post of a longtime reader of this forum...
Would love to hear what some of the gurus here would suggest in this situation. I have seen it several times on computers I have been working on and really wasn't sure why the drive continues to grow. It is my understanding (which may be wrong) that the partition is essentially recovery discs, if something goes bad on the main partition, you can boot from recovery and revert back to factory image.

Now on the instances I've run into this, I've checked the drives contents. Usually you see a bunch of folders with different dates which would almost make you think restore points. So, do these different dates build upon each other or would it be safe to remove some of the older dates? Also why do the contents of the recovery drive continue to grow to the point where users will be constantly warned that they are out of space. Meanwhile, they another 200 Gb's of free space on the local disc.

I know about options like changing partition size with boot discs, etc. But I would like some advice on what to do when this situation arises on a user's PC w/o going that route. Delete folders? Compress? Maybe try to find what is causing the drive to grow? Is it normal for the recovery partition to grow over time? Are restore points actually saved on recovery partition? I know, a lot of ?'s here, but it seems to be a fairly common issue as I have seen it several times over the past few months. Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:36 AM   #2
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The recovery partiton is, as you say, just to contain the files to recover the factory image.

Nothing else should be stored or written to that partition.
If fact, some systems hide that partition.

What is writing to it?
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:38 AM   #3
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:23 AM   #4
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The recovery partition was created by the manufacturer when the system was installed to provide a means of restoring the system to it's initial state. It is never updated after installation. For a novice user this is easier to use than an install disk and cannot be physically lost. Windows itself knows nothing about a recovery partition and never touches it. System Restore is a completely separate feature and restore points are not stored here.

The recovery partition is for the exclusive use of the manufacturers recovery system. The computer user should not use this partition for any purpose or modify it in any way. Doing so could prevent it from serving it's intended purpose. Unfortunately, many users do not understand this and see the partition as just another place to store their own data. If the contents of the partition is growing over time - that is the reason.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:33 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies guys... So next time I see it I will look for what may be saving to it that doesn't belong there. Which still may be tricky if I don't know what I'm looking for, or what files/folders are typically on a recovery partition. Your answers have helped me gain a better understanding though, thanks! Lastly, on at least 2 machines I have seen with this issue recently, 10 folders or so are listed sequentially with different dates, like : 5/12/2007. Has anyone seen this before? I guess they could be anything, maybe picture dumps from a digital camera etc.

And thanks for the link to the tool, will definitely be using that one!
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