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What to Do when Windows Has Been Installed on the Recovery Partition
Posted 29 months ago on 2/11/2018 and updated 9/16/2018
Take Away:

This article discusses how I was able to change the D: drive with the Windows installation on it to the C: drive, while preserving the Windows installation that had been installed to the D: drive.


One time when I was on a computer repair appointment for a new customer, I encountered a strange problem. At first, I thought I only had to install some device drivers after the customer had reinstalled Windows 7 to the computer after having been infected with viruses. It turns out that Windows was actually restored to the recovery partition of the disk, which had very limited disk space.

I knew Windows would have to be installed to the primary partition or “C:” drive, but I did not bring my data transfer cable with me to this appointment. Next, I went into the “Administrative Tools->Computer Management->Disk Management” section of the Windows 7 control panel to try to reconfigure the partition. Nothing I tried would work, because the recovery partition was designated as “C:” and the primary partition was designated as “D:”. Without my data transfer cable, I could not connect this disk to my laptop and rework the partition to allocate hard drive space so the computer would be ready for the new Windows installation.

If I had been thinking along conventional lines, I would have scheduled a new appointment with the customer so I could bring my data transfer cable with me the next time. But I really wanted to get this done now. So I went back into the “Administrative Tools->Computer Management->Disk Management” area and I discovered a feature on the pop up menu of the larger non-partitioned disk. It was called “Extend Volume”. It adds to or extends the non-partitioned disk space to a partitioned disk space. After I did this, it changed the drive letter of the partitioned drive from “D:” to “C:” and presto - problem solved! Now I could install Windows on the newly created “C:” drive, which now had plenty of disk space.

So many people think you have to throw money at "fix my computer" problems to solve them. In many cases, all it really takes is some creative thinking as I described here.


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