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I bought an Asus netbook with Windows 7 pre-installed. The install files are on a 16 GB hidden partition on the hard drive and from what I understand I would have to pay something like $50 to get a physical install disk from Asus.

Is there any way I can extract a usable install disk from the hidden install partition?

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I believe you can access the partition from some bios setting and then use it to restore the machine – Shekhar Feb 22 '12 at 9:47
@shake he's asking about creating a DVD or USB image off the partition. Probably in case the disk dies, recovery partitions are useless when your HDD fails. – Not Kyle stop stalking me Feb 22 '12 at 16:35
up vote 0 down vote accepted

No, manually making an install disk from the restore partition is difficult if not impossible for most users.

Some OEM PC makers have a program on the PC to make (burn) the recovery discs yourself, look for a program on the All Programs list, possibly in an ASUS folder If it does not have this feature:

Make a full disk image of the current hard drive using Acronis, this can be used to restore to a new hard drive if necessary, I do this for every new PC I own. I then make additional images of the drive as time rocks on. Acronis is very powerful software and can do many types of disk images and backup routines.

If you want a free alternative to Acronis, there is Macrium Reflect Free, not as powerful as Acronis but can make disk images for restore purposes.

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