Help (please!) needed with installing Windows 7

Hi there,

I have a Dell Inspiron 1721 which came pre-loaded with Vista Home (32bit)
The laptop has a "recovery" D: drive which I guess allowed the laptop to revert to factory (Vista) settings in case of problems.

I then upgraded to Vista Ultimate (32bit)

I have recently done a clean install to Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit).

I have a couple of questions:
(1) Do I need the existing D: "recovery" partition? I do not intend to ever go back to Vista but is it useful as a a safety net in case something happens?

Note that I have the Vista Operating System CD that came with the laptop when I bought it.

(2) I presume Windows 7 already includes a "recovery" section somewhere on the laptop. If I delete the Vista recovery partition, can I use the Windows 7 recovery in case of problems?

If so how can I do that? (e.g. press F2 or something when the laptop boots?

(3) Finally, would be advisable to re-install Windows 7 cleanly, (after having removed the Vista partition) so that Windows 7 can create its "recovery" data in its own dedicated partition?

Many, many thanks and I'd appreciate a reply!
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More about help please needed installing windows
  1. 1) no - you can safely delete the old Vista recovery partition, it is just taking up space.

    2) Windows 7 by default does not include a recovery partition - but you can always use a third party software packae to create a recovery CD/DVD without the need to waste valuable HDD space
  2. 3) forgot to mention there is no need to re-install Windows 7 to recover the old Vista partition. The OS has the option to shrink / resize partitions.
  3. Thanks for your help,

    however I'm being told that I need to keep the Vista "recovery" partition, because in case of a catastrophic crash, I would only ever be able to restore to a full Operating System, i.e. the pre-installed Vista.

    What I mean is that since I used the Upgrade version of W7 (albeit using a "clean install"), I would only ever be able to go back to a the FULL OS (Vista) and not the upgrade (Windows 7).

    Have a look here (the last couple of posts by MyronH).

    What do you think? Would you agree with the above?

    Many thanks.
  4. By the way, this is the reply from Microsoft Technical Support:


    Support: Thank you for contacting the Microsoft Technical Support Team. My name is Support. How may I assist you today?

    Me: OK I have quite a technical question that I need help. I'll describe the situation.

    Support: Sure

    Me: I have a Dell Inspiron 1721 that came pre-loaded with Vista Home.

    Support: Please proceed.

    Me: I then upgraded to Vista Ultimate.

    Me: The c:drive was already partitioned into a "D:” drive that had the Vista recovery data.

    Me: I have now done a clean install to Vista Home Premium (64bit), but I noticed that the d: "recovery" drive still remains.

    Me: I never intend going back to Vista, therefore do I even need that Recovery "drive"?

    Support: Yes

    Support: We need the recovery drive.

    Support: Can I ask some questions as well?

    Me: Sure go ahead.

    Support: Thank you.

    Support: Did DELL provided any DVD for Windows Vista?

    Support: Which DVD you used to re-install Windows Vista Home Premium?

    Me: Yes, it says "Operating System" on it.

    Support: Was it a retail DVD?

    Me: No, OEM, provided by Dell.

    Support: OK

    Support: OK

    Support: Thank you.

    Support: Yes, you need the recovery partition as it contain all the required drivers and the operating system as well.

    Me: Sure, but I thought that W7 also created a "recovery" portion?

    Support: Only if Windows 7 came pre installed.

    Me: OK I see.. I wasn't aware of that. So if something ever happens to the machine (and assuming system restore does not work), then I'd have to "recover" back to the factory installed Vista, right?

    Support: Correct.
  5. To sum up, you have the correct information from MS Support. The amount of space the recovery partition uses is not worth trying to add to your system, with the penalty being unable to restore should the need arise.
    You have an upgrade version of Windows 7 which requires a previous OS when installing/reinstalling.
    You can use a usb drive to store large amounts of data like videos, music and photos, the internal drive should be big enough to hold your programs and documents you use regularly.
  6. ulysses35 said:
    3) forgot to mention there is no need to re-install Windows 7 to recover the old Vista partition. The OS has the option to shrink / resize partitions.

    Which saved me from using gparted live to partion a virual drive from my dual boot right now
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