Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to Restore Windows 7 to HDD without re-partitioning the Hard-Drive. I have a HP Dv6 6115tx laptop. I have upgraded it to 8GB ram and Windows 7 Ultimate (anytime-upgrade). When I restore my laptop using the Recovery disk provided by HP, it also repartition the Hard Drive, I don't want this to happen, I want that the ability to restore just the Windows to a specific Partition.

I can not install a fresh copy of Windows 7 as it does not contain any driver that is needed. I need to install all the drivers with their software later, and sometimes they create problems and is a headache to install them, I have tried this earlier.

Also if possible, Convert the recovery to VHD so that I can restore it via other tools also. For any other info, please comment. Windows "dir" dump for the Recovery disk can be found here.

I have tried modding (and a bit hacking) the winPE and found some wired things, Firstly the "Rita-Tool", that is a folder that contains "HPrecovery.exe" this file is launched at the start of winPE (I go this info inside a file "WinREConfig.xml", file available here on Pastebin). Secondly, the "WinRe.wim" file contains another sources folder inside it, this folder contains the dism tool also. Another thing, that the file ("Start_process.cmd") that starts HPrecovery.exe says "...Couldn't perform screening ..." when on inside windows so possibly "data.bin" is not the drive image instead its the complete Hard-Disk image that contains the Partitions, HPrecovery just Restores it. I have found "image.exe" in the same "Rita-Tool" folder, that possibly restores it. One last thing, the Recovery does not work on any other system.

Any help is appreciated.

share|improve this question
The problem with a fresh install is that, it does not include ANY driver that is needed. I need to install all the drivers with their software later and even that many of them create problems while installing. – Akshat Mittal Jul 19 '12 at 14:43
It seams like it uses a winPE but does it the image way, there are 3 Disk in the set, the common thing is that they all contain a file named "data.bin", and possibly that is Win 7. I can post the File structure/list for the 3 disk here if you want, there are not much files. I can not provide that Disk as are too large (I have ISO files) , totaling 12GB. – Akshat Mittal Jul 19 '12 at 14:52
I have Recovery Disks (3 DVD) and not Recovery Partition. – Akshat Mittal Jul 19 '12 at 14:53
Firstly there are 3 data.bin files (one in each disk). Secondly its not a ghost image. – Akshat Mittal Jul 20 '12 at 9:48

Let me summarise the last 7 comments and the few edits before attempting to give an answer

Desired state: Clean windows install without repartitioning and with some additional programs. These programs are available in the HP recovery disks, which the OP has.

HP recovery set: 3 DVDs with 12GB of data Using these repartitions the hard drive (Explicitly mentioned as undesired by poster). Installs a lot of bloatware, but also some wanted programs.

Goal: Get the extra programs out of the recovery set so they can be selectively used after a clean install.

Details on the recovery set:

  • The set is 3 DVDs.
  • It contains large .bin files., totalling about 12GB of data.
  • The DVD structure has files seemingly referencing windows RE.
  • The .bin files are not ghost images (as discovered before the dir structure was posted).

@linger posted a solution using drivermax as an option to save the existing drivers. This will work for the drivers. But OP also added information mentioning that among the extra programs are non driver files which he wants to keep. (e.g. Dolby Home v4).

Finally, the answer. Even though it is pretty weak.
Windows recovery is based on WinPE. You can get to winPE by booting a modern windows DVD (NOT the one from HP, it might be modified and act in unexpected ways) or just by pressing F8 during boot. From there you can start either complete PC restore (hopefully with some more control then with the HP scripted restorations) or go to the command line and try to recover the desired program with DISM.

Caveeat: I never worked with DISM yet. This is a guess based on This microsoft technet description on DISM. The description sounds promising though.

*Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a command-line tool used to service Windows® images offline before deployment. You can use it to install, uninstall, configure, and update Windows features, packages, drivers, and international settings. Subsets of the DISM servicing commands are also available for servicing a running operating system. *

Personally I would find this an unsatisfactory answer. But I would swap the current HDD for a different one and just try it. (Make a full backup first).

Alternatively just do a clean install, download drivers (and catalyst center, which is not HP software) and then try to open the bin files from the cleanly installed windows.

share|improve this answer
That is not actually my goal. I have no problem with the Bloatware by HP (this sounds wired). I want the EXACT copy of windows as restored by the Recovery Media. I have previously tried doing a clean install and installing the programs manually, this sucks. I tried modding (a bit of hacking) into the PE, and got some things, I am gonna post it here now. – Akshat Mittal Jul 20 '12 at 13:26

I think it is always a good idea to partition and reformat your drives when re-installing an operating system. You can install a fresh copy of Windows and still have all your drivers. All you need to do is back the drivers up first. I have always used DriverMax to backup my drivers before re-installing. After re-installation has completed you then use DriverMax to restore those drivers. I have never had a problem with it. It works flawlessly. Not to mention it is free.

If you are wanting to create a virtual hard drive out of a physical hard drive then Disk2vhd is a good program to use. It is a Windows Sysinternals program.

share|improve this answer
I know how to create the VHD image of a HDD as I have done it many times. I want to backup some software that control the Hardware also (like Catalyst center, Dolby Home v4, etc). – Akshat Mittal Jul 20 '12 at 9:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .