I have a Packard Bell Dot M netbook with two partitions: one with 140 GB containing Windows XP, one with 8 GB containing system recovery data.
I want to split the Windows partition in order to install Fedora on my computer alongside Windows; the Fedora installer offers to do this for me (leaving the system recovery partition alone). If I do this, will the system recovery application (launched from inside Windows XP) still know which partition it's supposed to reinstall Windows to?
Similarly, if I remove the Fedora partition altogether and (assuming this is possible) increase the Windows partition to take up all the freed-up space, will the system recovery application still know which partition it's supposed to reinstall Windows to?
At a more abstract level, what I'm asking is essentially this: Can I do whatever I want with my hard drive as long as I keep the system recovery partition, or can partitioning of the rest of the hard drive mess up my hard drive so that system recovery no longer knows what to do?
Update: I recently replaced my Windows XP installation with a Windows 7 installation. I could no longer access the system recovery utility from within Windows (since that's a Packard Bell-specific application), but the recovery partition was intact and I could access it by using GParted to add the
boot flag to the partition. In other words, I could reset the computer to factory defaults even after replacing Windows XP with Windows 7.