DELETE a Recovery Partition when Disk Management won’t let you

Today I was preparing a 2.5″ SATA laptop hard drive for use in my wife’s mini-PC. The hard drive I was attempting to use came from an old Acer laptop. I connected the hard drive via a USB enclosure and attempted to clear out the old partitions and reformat. Unfortunately I found that the Windows 7 Disk Management interface would not allow me to delete the “System Recovery” partition.

Here is how I went about deleting that protected partition so I could format the ENTIRE drive for use in my wife’s computer:

#1 Open Command Prompt

#2 Type “diskpart” and press enter to launch the text based diskpart tool…

#3 Here is a transcript of the session:
Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7601
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: V131

DISKPART> list disk

Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
——– ————- ——- ——- — —
Disk 0 Online 298 GB 0 B
Disk 1 Online 7640 MB 0 B
Disk 2 Online 298 GB 285 GB

DISKPART> SELECT DISK 2

Disk 2 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> LIST PARTITION

Partition ### Type Size Offset
————- —————- ——- ——-
Partition 1 Recovery 13 GB 1024 KB

DISKPART> SELECT PARTITION 1

Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> DETAIL PARTITION

Partition 1
Type : 27
Hidden: Yes
Active: No
Offset in Bytes: 1048576

Volume ### Ltr Label Fs Type Size Status Info
———- — ———– —– ———- ——- ——— ——–
* Volume 5 PQSERVICE NTFS Partition 13 GB Healthy Hidden

DISKPART> INACTIVE

The current partition is already marked inactive.
(I didn’t need to do set inactive in this case, but it does not hurt anything to run it just in case…)

DISKPART> DELETE PARTITION OVERRIDE

DiskPart successfully deleted the selected partition.

DISKPART>

That’s it! Proceed with caution and of course adjust all the relevant disk/partition numbers to match YOUR computer. :-)

PS Here’s a helpful summary of the DISKPART options that are available:

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7601

 

ACTIVE – Mark the selected partition as active.
ADD – Add a mirror to a simple volume.
ASSIGN – Assign a drive letter or mount point to the selected volume.
ATTRIBUTES – Manipulate volume or disk attributes.
ATTACH – Attaches a virtual disk file.
AUTOMOUNT – Enable and disable automatic mounting of basic volumes.
BREAK – Break a mirror set.
CLEAN – Clear the configuration information, or all information, off the
disk.
COMPACT – Attempts to reduce the physical size of the file.
CONVERT – Convert between different disk formats.
CREATE – Create a volume, partition or virtual disk.
DELETE – Delete an object.
DETAIL – Provide details about an object.
DETACH – Detaches a virtual disk file.
EXIT – Exit DiskPart.
EXTEND – Extend a volume.
EXPAND – Expands the maximum size available on a virtual disk.
FILESYSTEMS – Display current and supported file systems on the volume.
FORMAT – Format the volume or partition.
GPT – Assign attributes to the selected GPT partition.
HELP – Display a list of commands.
IMPORT – Import a disk group.
INACTIVE – Mark the selected partition as inactive.
LIST – Display a list of objects.
MERGE – Merges a child disk with its parents.
ONLINE – Online an object that is currently marked as offline.
OFFLINE – Offline an object that is currently marked as online.
RECOVER – Refreshes the state of all disks in the selected pack.
Attempts recovery on disks in the invalid pack, and
resynchronizes mirrored volumes and RAID5 volumes
that have stale plex or parity data.
REM – Does nothing. This is used to comment scripts.
REMOVE – Remove a drive letter or mount point assignment.
REPAIR – Repair a RAID-5 volume with a failed member.
RESCAN – Rescan the computer looking for disks and volumes.
RETAIN – Place a retained partition under a simple volume.
SAN – Display or set the SAN policy for the currently booted OS.
SELECT – Shift the focus to an object.
SETID – Change the partition type.
SHRINK – Reduce the size of the selected volume.
UNIQUEID – Displays or sets the GUID partition table (GPT) identifier or
master boot record (MBR) signature of a disk.

More helpful links:

Removing Windows 7 Recovery Partition | ITcookbook.net

Removing Windows 7 Recovery Partition | ITcookbook.nethttp://itcookbook.net/blog/removing-windows-7-recovery-partitionThe installer for Windows 7 creates a 100MB System Reserved partition during most (but not all) installation scenarios (it was 200MB for some of the pre-RTM betas). This… Thanks for this tip. I added couple of drives from deceased PC’s, each with 14GB recovery partitions I couldn;t kill off in windows disk manager.

Delete and Remove to Unlock EISA Hidden Recovery or Diagnostic Partition in Vista « My Digital Life

Delete and Remove to Unlock EISA Hidden Recovery or Diagnostic Partition in Vista « My Digital Lifehttp://www.mydigitallife.info/delete-and-remove-to-unlock-eisa-hidden-recovery-or-diagnostic-partition-in-vista/All OEM computers, desktop or notebook PCs from Dell, HP, Lenovo, IBM, Acer, ASUS, Sony, Fujitsu, Toshiba and many more probably comes with special EISA partition either in FAT…

Partition or Volume - Delete - Windows 7 Forums

Partition or Volume – Delete – Windows 7 Forumshttp://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/2668-partition-volume-delete.htmlThis will show you how to delete a hard disk partition or volume using Disk Management or Diskpart in Windows 7 to create empty unallocated space that you can use to create new…

A 3 Hour Tour? | Windows Secrets Lounge

A 3 Hour Tour? | Windows Secrets Loungehttp://windowssecrets.com/forums/showthread.php/1381532011-05-20 11:01 I have Sony PCes rather than a Dell, but here is what I did to remove my Sony recovery partition and reclaim the space. This was a much simpler process in…

44 comments

  • roemer2201

    Thank you very much! :-)

  • tintwisted

    Brilliant. This problem was becoming a nightmare for me. No longer.

  • Me

    Thanks, You totally kick ass!

  • manav

    i goofed up when formating this. switch it off and now only 700Gb shows up.. i tried doing a forced partitation so that the space may show up..

    this is a new purchase and i have no data on this .. just need the 3 tb to show up could you explain step by step..

    how to flash WD green 3 tb disk back to factory specs

    do note the missing 2.3tb does not show up under disk magment as un allocated space.. i did show up when i initilized the disk and then F.. up..

    thanks..

    • Hi Manav,
      Thank you for your comment. I apologize for the delay in my response.

      If you have not already resolved the issue, here are a couple suggestions:
      #1 have you tried going through the items on this page (using diskpart) to delete your forced partition?
      #2 have you tried any of the nice partition management software out there? EASEUS is a nice one available for free:
      http://download.cnet.com/Easeus-Partition-Master-Free-Edition/3000-2248_4-10863346.html

      I hope these tips help you to fully utilize your nice 3TB WD Green hard drive! Please let me know how thing turn out for you or of you have any other questions.

      Best regards and have a great weekend,
      -JD

  • scrudrv

    Thanks a lot, u saved me some time!

  • Julia

    Hi, finally i can acess to the disk! Thanks a lot! it really helps me!

  • Thanks for posting the details of this procedure, especially DELETE PARTITION OVERRIDE. I had essentially the same problem: a working hard drive from a dead PC. I was unable to remove the first partition from the drive and was using diskpart to do what Disk Mgmt wouldn’t.

    • Hi Ken,
      Thank you for your nice comment. I am very glad the info was helpful!

      Also, I enjoyed checking our your website and especially reading about your Red Devil. I always enjoy reading about self-built computers/servers, so thanks for sharing! :-)

      Best regards and have a great week,
      -JD

      PS can I add your Red Devil to my list of fav homebrew computers?

  • Alexandre Willame

    Thank you for the advice. It solved my problem!

    Feedback to improve your post: (nothing impolite, I am just being direct) no one really care if you tried this or this command, and that it did not work (‘ [Command](I didn’t need to do this…)’). You can delete these and all the resulting text, and just keep the relevant command you typed. Your post will be even better.

    Alexandre Willame

  • Kate

    This is the greatest solution! Thanks!

  • CJ

    Thank you; you saved me from some variety of apoplectic fit.

  • Jim

    Thanks… best answer after Googling “delete healthy partition”

  • Bill Krebs

    Nice! Short and to the point.

  • Melody

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, etc. This worked perfectly.

  • Baxter

    JD –

    Your post from better than 2 years back continues to yield dividends for people searching for solutions. Had used Diskpart before, but your procedure was the perfect refresher. I particularly liked the steps to make completely sure you’re on the right disk and the right partition.

    • Hi Baxter,
      Thank you for your kind words, I am very happy that the guide is still serving its purpose!

      I hope all your computer endeavors are successful :-)

      Best regards and keep in touch,
      -J.D.

  • George Mastros

    Thank you. I had recently virtualized a windows 7 computer. This computer originally had a D: drive that was a recovery disk for the OS.

    I kept getting an error in event viewer. Event Id 55, Source Ntfs, Task Category 2. “The file system structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable. Please run the chkdsk utility on the volume \\?\Volume{3b30743f-cd70-11de-86d7-806e6f6e6963}.”

    After a lot of searching, I found this post and it helped me to delete the partition and therefore prevent the event errors.

    • Hi George,
      Thank you for your nice comment. I am very glad the my post helped with your event viewer disk errors :-)

      What visualization software were you using?

      Have a great weekend George!

      Best regards,
      -J.D.

  • Lorenzo

    You are a genius. Thank you very muck!!!

  • Cn

    Thanks!!! I couldn’t format my disk but thanks to your Partition override it worked xD searched for hours for this solution.

    • Hi Cn,
      Thank you for your nice comment. I am very glad that the partition removal instructions were helpful :-) Enjoy your freshly formatted disk!

      Best regards,
      -J.D.

      PS were you working on a laptop or a desktop? HDD, SSD or thumbdrive?

  • Kai Sunshine

    Thank you very much. It worked on Windows 10 Insider P too. 3 and half years later still working.

    • That is awesome Kai! I am very happy that the steps are still valid for Windows 10. I am really look forward to the stable release of W10, how is the preview working for you so far?

  • Kai Sunshine

    I were working on Surface Pro 1 , 64GB SSD. Again very helpful to people.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Kai,
      Thank you again for your kind comment. I am very glad that my post was helpful :-)

      How do you like your Surface Pro? They seem like really nice devices!

      Best regards,
      -J.D.

      • Kai Sunshine

        I already claimed my surface Pro 2 times about battery not stable. The last one on my hand got 1 bright pixel nealy mid of screen. No choice battery is good enough not change again. Over all performace not bad, except short live battery per one time use. By the way Thank you very much.

        P.S. I could not use your solving way to remove recovery on Lenovo Miix 3-830 tablet. Very sad at the moment.

        • Hi Kai,
          Thank you for the Surface Pro info!

          What seems to be the issue with the Lenovo Miix? I would be happy to try to help :-)

          Best regards,
          -J.D.

  • Mike Mead

    Thank you very much for your list. I had tried thru win 7, but found the hidden partition only said help when right clicking. Using a second computer, I tried methods at 3 other sites and had no luck. Followed your list as written and it worked like a charm. Thank you for your post.

    • Hi Mike,
      Thank you for your nice comment! I am very glad that my list was helpful :-)

      It is surprising how often the steps come in handy, I have used them just this week myself when re-purposing some old hard drives. Thanks again for commenting and I hope you have a great week!

      Best regards,
      -J.D.

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