Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

W8.1 - which partitions to clone?

  1. #1

    Posts : 9

    W8.1 - which partitions to clone?

    My last laptop had W7 dual booted with Linux (Mint Cinnamon 17.1), each in a partition. I'd clone them both on a regular basis with Clonezilla. Nice and simple. My new laptop is a Lenovo with W8.1 - UEFI of course. I've managed to dual boot it as well, but I'm having a problem with cloning W8.1 - there are SIX partitions associated with it. (There was also a seventh associated with Lenovo, but I found I didn't need it, so I put Linux in it instead). I don't know enough about UEFI, W8 and Lenovo laptops to understand what they all are for, and whether I need them all. They are: WINRE_DRV SYSTEM_DRV LRS_ESP MICROSOFT ? (reserved to Microsoft - drivers?) WINDOWS08_OS PBR_DRV For backup purposes, I'd prefer to use a stand-alone product, booted from a CD/DVD or USB key, but if it's simpler to use an internal utility like, eg, System Image, please tell me. Similarly, if I use something like Clonezilla or AOEMI, I can clone all five of the partitions, but do I need them?

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  2. #2

    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7

    I always image all of those partitions. 5 of the 6 partitions are rather small anyhow. But bare minimum would be the C partition and the EFI partition. But then you lose a lot of capability (e.g. Refresh).
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  3. #3

    Posts : 9

    Thanks for the reply, whs.

    You're right, it's not a lot of work to clone them all, and that's what I'll probably do. I guess I'm trying to work out which partitions I need for W8.1 to work, and which are associated with MS/Lenovo recovery.

    I'm not that bothered about Refresh. If something goes wrong, I could restore the cloned image, and if that failed, I've a USB Key containing "Lenovo Recovery Media" which would give me a clean install (I think)

    You say the minimum is C partition (WINDOWS08_OS) and EFI (SYSTEM_DRV). I think the recovery partitions are WINRE_DRV and PBR_DRV. What about the other two (LRS_ESP and the Microsoft one) - should I keep them, or can they go as well?

    (I'm not desperate for space - I'd just like to know how it all fits together).

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  4. #4

    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    If you want to get rid of the Lenovo recovery partition cleanly, just make a recovery drive in windows at Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Recovery you'll have the option to include lenovos recovery partition which will then be deleted from your hard drive:

    When the process is done, do one of the following:

    • If you want to keep the recovery partition on your PC, tap or click Finish.
    • If you want to remove the recovery partition from your PC and free up disk space, tap or click Delete the recovery partition. Then tap or click Delete. This will free up the disk space used to store your recovery image. When the removal is done, tap or click Finish.

      • Some PCs don't offer the option to remove a recovery partition. If you experience this, there isn't a recovery partition on your PC that's using additional disc space.

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  5. #5

    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7

    I think the LRS is a Lenovo rescue partition. Not sure though what it does. Not sure what the others are. Her is some reading material that may help:
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  6. #6

    Posts : 9

    @Cliff S,

    I think that's what I did when I created the USB key (Lenovo Recovery Media) - I now use that partition for Linux.

    @whs, as far as I can find out:

    LRS_ESP contains a folder titled "OneKey", which is Lenovo's recovery utility, plus others to do with Boot and EFI. (ESP = EFI System Partition, I think).

    PBR_DRV contains a folder called "OKRBackup" , plus some big .swm files. (OKR = One Key Recovery).

    WINRE_DRV is part of the Microsoft Recovery process

    It looks like the first two (LRS and PBR) partitions are part of the Lenovo recovery process. If that's the case, I THINK I can delete them, and depend on my own recovery processes - System Image (possibly), cloning, fresh reload from USB.

    Or am I misunderstanding completely?

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  7. #7

    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10

    WinRE_DRV is the partition containing the Windows Recovery Enviroment

    PBR_DRV is the partition containing the factory recovery images .swm(s)

    ESP is the EFI Boot partition

    and you should have a 128 MSR partition and your OS partition

    5 partitions total..

    from a command prompt(admin) type each command below
    list disk
    list volume
    select disk 0
    list partition

    post a pic of cmd window
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  8. #8

    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7
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  9. #9

    Posts : 9

    Click image for larger version

    I hope this will do - W8 is new to me.

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  10. #10

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    For a basic Windows UEFI system you need 2 partitions.

    You need a EFI (or ESP if you prefer) formatted FAT with partition type x'EE'. This has to contain your bootloader for Windows (and Mint or other OS's if you want). It is where your system will look for boot files.

    Then you need a partition type x'07' (your C: drive) and that is it.

    Microsoft recommends you have a MSR partition of 128MB immediately before C:\ but what this is for is unclear. Possibly to give a bit of slack if you resize partitions (with some file systems it is recommended to leave 128MB between all partitions but I've never hap any problem not doing so). It has no data you need to backup anyway. Microsoft Reserved Partition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I usually make one just in case it has some purpose that hasn't been made apparent but certainly Windows seems to work OK without it.

    You don't need any of the Lenovo partitions - you'd be better off just making a system image and keeping an ISO or something else bootable on a USB stick. Certainly you don't have to back them up more than once.

    I've never bothered restoring but backing them up would help if you ever want to restore your system to factory state. I do have some DVD's I made for my Lenovo when I bought it just in case of that eventuality...
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W8.1 - which partitions to clone?
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