Deleting the Recovery Partition is NOT RECOMMENDED
as of the ERRORS you may receive below, when using Refresh or Reset.
Yep, that seems to be the case with some oem recovery images at least. Ridiculous as it seems.
The Recovery partition is necessary if you need to do a Windows 8 or Factory reset without any external media. Removing it will cause problems in that situation. Since OEMs seem to have various ways to set up their systems, it is always hard to know for sure what might happen for your particular system. One major consideration is the case of total drive failure and how to recover your system. But of course, the Recovery Partition would not be available in that situation anyway....a System image which had been created, would be available.
But you have made the external media required to reset your system. You might also make a Windows 8 Recovery Drive which will copy over the image to be used when booting to that media. But since the Windows 8 Recovery Drive process will offer to delete the Recovery partition, it seems hard to justify not removing it.
The error messge Theog posted can be caused by things other than a missing Recovery Partition. The other partitions, such as the System or even small recovery, can be involved in that type of message.
The screenshot is of using a Windows 8 Recovery USB Drive with the Recovery Partition copied & deleted.Originally Posted by Saltgrass
Also a note, to use a recovery drive to restore the OS partition, the OS partition has to be at least formatted first.
Last edited by theog; 10 Oct 2013 at 11:57.
I would expect the OEM recovery options not to function if the recovery partition has been removed.... That would be a given for anyone thinking about removing it. Since I do not have an OEM system, I cannot test those functions.
As far as the Windows 8 reset option, which some OEMs now rely on, I have tried two different ways of creating a recovery drive and then removing the Large Recovery Partition. Both procedures still produce a condition where a Recovery Drive can be booted to and Reset the OS partition.
I think DELL's purpose here is since they no longer ship most laptops with an OEM DVD of the OS [but for an optional fee they will ], they ask you to create your own recovery disks using their pre-installed DELL backup and recovery software already on the system when you get it delivered which I have done so. The problem with this is that as soon as you try to use these recovery disks to re-install your OS on say a new SSD, you get an error saying that the drive needs to be at least 931GB in size [which was the original drive that was installed that came from DELL].... so on the basis that I had previously ordered several other DELL latops in the past, I requested them send out the original Windows 8 OEM DVD, so I can complete the process. Now I have both the original Windows 8 OEM DVD plus the set of DVD's  I created using the DELL recovery software.
Now should I remove the "Recovery Partition" I think [but not 100% sure unless I tested it out] I can recovery my system with these DVD's. If that should fail, then I am sure I can do a clean install with the Windows 8 OEM DVD.
Bottom line in all this is, although 10GB makes very little difference in the, I wouldn't mind finding out how to do this as an option [finding a way to delete and merge this drive] and learning experience.
They probably do it different ways. An older dell recovery image could be restored literally anywhere. Seems crazy the recovery usb created by windows which contains the oem partition cannot be used to restore to a different drive/partition structure.
This is the sources folder of one created by the windows thing including recovery partition:
There are 2 images in the split wims. Push button reset image - which is full of crapware, and another called Foundation Image 1 ( below )
The oem created usb uses a different format:
The bootable wims are Winre.wim from the HD