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  #1  
Old November 30th, 2005, 01:42 PM
LiquidFox LiquidFox is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
O/S: Windows XP Pro
Location: UK
Age: 28
Posts: 3
Accessing my Recovery Partition (Mesh Computer)

Hi, I have a computer from http://www.meshcomputers.com and I have two partitions on it. One for Windows XP and one is a Recovery Partition. I want to access this recovery partition but my boot.ini file has changed since I've used the computer and I can only access Windows XP now.

I was wondering what I needed to add to my boot.ini file to be able to access it?

This is my current boot.ini file:

Code:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
I've tried using the recovery console and it said that it detects a Windows installation in F:\minint\, (I can't access a F drive from Windows XP) so I tried adding a line:

Code:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\minint="Microsoft Windows XP Recovery" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
but it came up with missing file errors when I tried booting it up.

I tried contacting Mesh about this by E-Mail but they simply said that it was a software issue and wasn't covered by their warranty, and if I wanted any help from them I needed to phone their Software Support which is charged at a premium rate of 1/minute!

Thanks to anyone who can help!
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  #2  
Old November 30th, 2005, 06:49 PM
Mesh Support Mesh Support is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 27
Hi LiquidFox,

Not so much a software issue, as we would rather you didn't go tampering with the recovery partition.

Is there any reason why you want to get in there?

Davey
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  #3  
Old December 1st, 2005, 12:49 PM
LiquidFox LiquidFox is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
O/S: Windows XP Pro
Location: UK
Age: 28
Posts: 3
Hi, thanks for the reply.

I don't want to change anything in the Recovery Partition itself, I simply want to be able to boot to it and run the Recovery program that is on it to restore my computer to its factory settings. A recovery partition that I can't access and takes up 5GB is a bit useless. I want to be able to use it because my computer keeps having various problems and rather than work out how to fix each problem individually I want to do a fresh install. Also it would be handy to be able to run the recovery program at a later date if I needed to for some reason.

Could you please tell me what the original boot.ini file would have looked like? Would I need to perform any other actions other than editing the boot.ini file?

(note I won't hold Mesh responsible if I mess it up, I realise I'm editing important system files. I've already backed up anything important.)

PS: Would I be right in thinking that when I run the Recovery program that it would bring my computers hard drive state to how it was when I first received it, including the drivers AND bundled programs that came with it? Or would it only install the basic Windows XP operating system without the drivers and bundled software?
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  #4  
Old December 1st, 2005, 04:38 PM
Mesh Support Mesh Support is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 27
The recovery process that uses the hidden partition is utilised by pressing F10 on bootup.

We have a utility stored within the boot record of the first hard drive in your system that is called when press F10.

When you press F10 you will see a menu with some recovery options. There is a hidden option that will give you full recovery along with the customary wiping of any data on the hard drive at the same time. If you really want to wipe the drive and reset it back to factory conditions, instructions for doing this can be found in your Customer Support Guide.

I am unsure if the recovery software can be run without the information stored within the boot record so wouldn't recommend it.

p.s. to answer your question regarding the boot.ini, it would not have changed. The recovery system is handled, and exited, before the system processes the Windows XP boot files.

Hope this helps.

Davey
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  #5  
Old December 7th, 2005, 11:53 AM
LiquidFox LiquidFox is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
O/S: Windows XP Pro
Location: UK
Age: 28
Posts: 3
Hi, sorry for not replying in a while.

Well, I was able to eventually restore it but not in a conventional, recommended way.

F10 didn't work, I think when I installed/uninstalled Linux it stopped that from working, however I used a System Restore CD I got given from a friend to go into a partition manager and set the Recovery partition so its not hidden any more.

I resized my existing Windows XP partition so that it took up only a few gigabytes instead of the whole hard drive. I then created a new partition taking up the rest of the hard drive space for the Recovery image to go into.

I then booted up Windows XP as normal, opened the Recovery partition in Explorer, ran a command in the \pq\ directory and it installed the factory image in there to the last partition it found on the hard drive (the new empty one I made).

Then it was just a matter of changing the boot.ini in the new partition to point at partition 3 instead of 2, and to make the new partition the active partition in a partitionmanager. I'll delete the old partition once I'm sure I don't need it anymore.

Although it went ok for me I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone else if they're reading this and have the same problem though, a lot of things CAN go wrong if you're not sure what you're doing.
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