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

Is there any good reason as to why factory restore partitions are generally much larger than they need to be?

Examples I have found in my own experience:

  • Dell XPS laptop
    • Partition: 13.67 GB
    • Used: 6.68 GB
  • Dell Inspiron laptop
    • Partition: 14.7 GB
    • Used: 7.2 GB
  • Toshiba laptop
    • Partition: 15.3 GB
    • Used: 9 GB

In all cases, shrinking the partition to only slightly more than the Used space had no ill effects on future factory restorations.

Why the exorbitant amount of extra space, given that neither of the three computers ever writes any data to the recovery partition? Is there a good reason I'm overlooking?

share|improve this question
One possible reason is that these are simply overdimensioned so they do not have to change a process later on if they get a bigger image. – Hennes Sep 9 '12 at 20:56
If you're knowledgeable about computers and your computer is out of warranty, there's no harm in getting rid of the recovery partition and reclaiming the space. You'll never need it. – ChimneyImp Sep 9 '12 at 21:38
@Chimneylmp That's not true - a lot of people actually use recovery partitions. – cutrightjm Sep 9 '12 at 21:55
@ChimneyImp - As long as the recovery partition is intact, the machine can always be restored to a working state, without worrying about 3rd-party drivers, etc, that might be missing with a generic Windows installation. – Unsigned Sep 18 '12 at 21:32
I stand corrected. I've never found them useful before, but just having all the drivers in one place is worth keeping the partition. – ChimneyImp Sep 19 '12 at 17:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .