Windows installation, restore partition and DVD


When installing Windows in an EFI system, it automatically creates multiple partitions, all of them are only created in EFI systems, not BIOS. I’m not totally sure what they’re used for, but I’m pretty confident the partition that would help you recover the installation should be bigger and treated the same in BIOS or UEFI.

That reinforces my point. The smaller partition is just the standard UEFI partition and the other one is the actual recovery partition that recovers Windows installation. It’s quite surprising that it’s still under 1GB, though…


Actually, no.
The partition in question is created regardless of whether you’re installing on traditional BIOS or UEFI. It has nothing to do with UEFI and contains the WinRE.


Actually, yes.

This quote shows that the 450MB partition is only created in UEFI mode. Furthermore, I’ve installed Windows more times than I can count and never did it include a “recovery” partition in BIOS systems. In UEFI, there’s always a small partition (450MB in the case of Windows 10) that does I don’t know what. In BIOS system, there is always only two partitions: system reserved and the one that you install Windows to. Recovery options are still there.


Did you read the other link I provided?

I’ll link it again:

It is a very good page, and that explains all the things.

For instance,

By default, if you install Windows using media created from Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD), you’ll get a dedicated WinRE tools partition on both UEFI and BIOS-based devices, located immediately after the Windows partition. This allows Windows to replace and resize the partition as needed. (If you install Windows by using Windows Setup, you’ll get the same partition layout that you did in Windows 8.1.)

(emphasis mine).
The page also explains what this partition does. But then I’d have to quote the whole page. But lets summarise:
It contains the data required for the emergency recovery services, including “reset this PC”. OEMs can also customise this by including drivers for the current device.

It could be that if you install Windows 10 off your own install media on a BIOS system, it doesn’t create the partition. But the point is, the partition has nothing to do with EFI. It is the recovery partition. Period.


My Lenovo Thinkpad W530 came shipped with Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, and a Windows 8 install CD. Same license for both as it was set in the hardware. I didn’t have to enter any license key when installing Windows 8 on a new hard drive (kept my 7 partition on it’s own drive).


Same here - lots of Dells with Win 7 Pro preinstalled and DVD with Win 8 or Win 10.


Wrong wording. I meant different “editions”. They did this with Windows 8 because some people didn’t want to upgrade.


Again - I saw couple laptops (usually with 4 GB RAM) shipped with 64bit system and with CD/DVD with 32bit system (if owner wanted to switch).


Uh… that’s still not home and pro. Not really what i meant by editions.


What do you mean by edition?


@pauliunas means that they’ve never seen a laptop come with a “Windows 7 Starter”, and “Windows 7 Professional” kind of thing.


After all these useful technical explanations, could we make a ‘best practice’ post for newbies ?


Halfway agree with you. Because it also restores the customization that has been done by the OEM, such as the wallpaper, as well useful tweaks such as the hybrid sleep in the SP3 (system goes to hibernation after 4 hours, not available in vanilla Windows install). Always nice to have the OOBE feel, especially when you live in a country where OS piracy is commonplace.

In addition to that, I have seen a video from the team (I think it was Konsta) where he flashed a pre-cooked Windows image on the V, instead of vanilla Windows, so I believe there is some customization in there.

Finally, while Windows Update can get some of the drivers, the OOBE experience is still far inferior with vanilla Windows, as it usually doesn’t include the graphics driver.


Can you find it? Probably not on Konsta’s channel, couldn’t find it…

And that “some customization” ought to be the color calibration client. Not hard to install that yourself after reinstalling Windows.

And the default video driver works surprisingly well with Intel HD Graphics. You won’t even notice something’s missing until you try to launch a DirectX game. But then, installing the required redistributables requires a reboot, and after that reboot your graphics driver will probably be ready anyway.


I think you’re talking about color calibration, wallpaper, boot logo, etc. Customization, but more like vanilla windows with a few sprinkles on top. Plus I’m sure if you wanted the original boot logo after a reinstall somebody in the community could help out.

For Nvidia or AMD cards, perhaps. But OOBE Windows with Intel HD graphics (as Paul already pointed out) has pretty much everything ready to go. Plus, with Windows 10 Driver updates, it’ll make sure everything’s up to date during your first use, but it won’t really install anything else.


While I dont want to get ahead of myself, there might be more tweaks than just the color calibration client. As I mentioned earlier,

Agreed, but only if you have (fast) internet connection between the first boot and the first reboot. Moreover, certain features that require the GPU driver like sleep/standby or brightness adjustment are also not available on the OOBE, and will likely to stay persist until the graphics driver has been downloaded from WU.


The driver comes with Windows, it doesn’t have to be downloaded it first. I don’t think you get the whole “Intel Graphics Suite”, but that’s not the driver. Windows update will just do essentially the same thing as clicking “Update Device Driver” in Device Manager - the driver is already there, it just looks for a newer version after the first boot. You don’t have to wait for the update for any new features to become available.

Even if you take a computer with Intel HD graphics already installed, disconnect from the internet, uninstall the driver, and check the “Delete driver software from device” box, upon reboot the driver will be reinstalled, because it comes with Windows.


You need that “fast” connection to install the game anyway… So if you have no connection, that means you don’t install games and you don’t notice the missing graphics driver.

To be more specific, the default driver is called “Microsoft basic display device” or something like that. It doesn’t include features specific to the one GPU in question, so there’s no DirectX acceleration for example.


Right, but features like sleep and brightness adjustment are already there. There’s not a lot missing from the OOTE with the default driver.


Yeah I agree, not a lot. But I can confirm sleep is missing at least in some cases… With my old Sandy Bridge tablet, when I reinstall Windows, there’s only hibernation, not sleep. It’s a bit weird, but I guess it doesn’t “know” how to turn off the screen properly during sleep…