I need to know where and what is the link between the boot process and the hidden partition. Can someone help with that?
I was in the process of imaging to a larger drive. I managed to make it work except for the link between the boot process and the recovery software in the hidden partition. The boot process will start up windows normally if I allow it to do so, but if I select the Recovery software I get the error that it cannot find winload.exe. I know that program is in the hidden partition at \Windows\System32\Boot\winload.exe
Note that if I clone the entire drive and restore the cloned image to the larger drive with the original partition sizes, the error does NOT occur.
Is there something in the boot process that points to a specific physical point on the disk?
I should add that I used the Super GRUB2 Disk to look at the boot information on the drives. I noted that:
1. The UUIDs are the same form one drive to another.
2. Detection of an OS show a "Windows Vista bootmgr" which makes sense because "winload.exe" is a part of the Vista boot system.
In my experience, and from what I've read, the recovery feature is installed to a specific address on the disk allocation table; (the boot loader just redirects to a specified address on the hard drive - I'm guessing as a protective feature, to prevent cloning the OEM OS version to multiple (differently configured) PC's.)
Years ago, I had a Packard Bell desktop (with a 25MHz Intel SL CPU) that linked the recovery disk (OS Windows 3.11) CD to the proprietary audio/CD drive controller card. Without the card installed, the OS could not be reinstalled using the Recovery CD provided by Packard Bell with the PC. That thing had come with 4MB of single sided RAM running at 66MHz and, the modem and other peripheral devices had to have their IRQ set manually.
Computers have come a long way since 1993 but, Microsoft's anti-piracy requirements have not changed much. So, I expect the size and location requirements of the recovery partition on the hard drive has to do with Microsoft's anti-piracy policy more than anything else.
You can use Mini-Tool Partition Wizard (free for the home user) to do an exact clone of your hard drive, keeping the partitions the same size, and then reinstall MTPW and use it to re-size your primary partition to fill the rest of the hard drive after the restore has completed. The partition software is easy to use too.