I got a couple of system libraries corrupted because of bad sectors on my Windows 7 Packard Bell laptop.
The libraries are present, but exactly 4Kb in each is garbage now.

They belong to certain apps that come with Windows and that I barely use, so the system is generally not affected.

Still, is there a relatively easy way to dig those two files out of the restore partition? Not going to do a full system restore.

  • 1
    @techie007 I don't want a restore point. There's already crap in the restore point. I want the hidden partition that contains Windows file. The laptop didn't come with a Windows DVD.
    – GSerg
    Feb 1, 2012 at 23:37
  • @GSerg My bad. I'll go back to my original suggestion/question, Why not try a Windows 7 System Restore to a point in time back before the libraries were corrupted? Or as Iain Simpson suggests in his answer, perhaps check if the files in question have a recoverable shadow copy in "Previous Versions". Feb 1, 2012 at 23:42
  • @techie007 It would appear Windows has been failing to read these files to a restore point and has been skipping them. Shadow copy, I didn't touch it, so if was on by default, it was on, otherwise it wasn't, but anyway, there are no suggestions from shadow copy in the previous versions box.
    – GSerg
    Feb 1, 2012 at 23:51

4 Answers 4


Okay, here's how to see the restore partition:

  • Launch the command line.
  • Type diskpart. This launches the diskpart utility (included in Windows).
  • Type list volume. Find the hidden partition in the list and note its volume #.
  • Type select volume X, where X is the volume number.
  • Type assign. This assigns the next available letter to the partition, and you now can browse it with Explorer.
  • When you're done, go back to diskpart and type, remove letter=Z, where Z is the letter assigned to the partition by the assign command.

Have you got shadow copy turned on ?, im not sure if the libraries are covered by this or not but its worth a try, right click on the file, go to properties, then to previous versions, if the file has been backed up at all it will be shown on there with its different versions, just click to restore.

  • The previous versions that show up are from restore points. They are already damaged there.
    – GSerg
    Feb 1, 2012 at 23:37

You should do a scan disk and use the system file checker tool. The scan disk will map these errors and then the OS will avoid those sectors in the future, and the system file checker should be able to repair the damaged files.

Do the scan disk or check disk first to map the disks errored sectors.

sfc /scannow

System file checker help: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929833

  • OS will avoid these sectors in the future, because they have been marked as bad sectors by checkdisk. This is how I learnt I had bad sectors in the first place. Checkdisk reported the sectors and the files to which they used to belong. The contents of the sectors could not be restored because of the physical read error. As for sfc, thanks for a hint, didn't know about that. It did find one corrupted file, but couldn't restore because source file in store is also corrupted.
    – GSerg
    Feb 2, 2012 at 19:50

Depends on how PB stored the files on the recovery partition, if they are contained in the windows "wim" files you can copy the wim file(s) to another windows PC and use 7-zip to decompress the image, then look for the files you need.

  • Yes, but how to access the hidden partition? Tutorials I find show how to trigger a full system restore, I don't want that.
    – GSerg
    Feb 1, 2012 at 23:39
  • @GSerg: Some OEM recovery apps allow you to extract individual files from the recovery image. I think the Windows cli app DiskPart will allow you to clear the Hidden flag on the recovery partition, so that it can be accessed normally.
    – kreemoweet
    Feb 2, 2012 at 1:20
  • You never stated the recovery partition was hidden or protected, you might edit your question to include this new information. Does it show in Windows Explorer?
    – Moab
    Feb 2, 2012 at 2:24
  • @Moab To my knowledge, the recovery partition is always hidden on any laptops that have it (which are many), so I omitted that part. It's usually about 10-15 gb in size, it does show in the disk management snap-in, but there are no options to make it accessible from the user interface. I'm still to try DiskPart though.
    – GSerg
    Feb 2, 2012 at 20:58
  • All my HP notebooks you can see it in explorer. You should be able to unhide your partition either with diskpart or other 3rd party partition table editor....defaultreasoning.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/…
    – Moab
    Feb 2, 2012 at 21:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.