recovery partitions generally only properly work to restore the computer to it's as-shipped factory state.
this IGNORES any updates to the OS any additions to your software
and most emphatically they do not take well to a new hard drive that is larger than the original HDD
Frankly once I discovered how a factory restore partion worked and what it was and was not capable of doing I have systematically eliminated them.
I simply maintain a recent "clone" to my complete OS on an IDENTICAL HDD to the one I'm actively using
and my "clone" is never more than a week to ten days old.
After I make a fresh clone I swap the two drives.
Yep, I'm a recent convert to Clonezilla, Acronis worked well for me when I was running Vista but I'm not sure what version would be required to clone Win7.
that was the reason for the topic I started about 10 days ago on cloning a Win7 OS
I had recently switched to Win7 and wanted to back up my OS the way I had been doing with Vista.
the beauty of a clone is that you are no longer restricted, like my Dell 1525 was, to the size
of the HDD the computer was shipped with (a 160gb HDD)
I switched mine to a 320gb. I keep my spare in a Dell HDD caddy and it takes me literally 20seconds to swap out the HDD So if one fails.... and I HAVE had a HDD indicated through the self diagnostics that it was going to fail.. I was able to fix the problem before it really became a problem...
IF you have a recent clone you can "recover" in about as much time as it takes to shut down, physically swap the drive, reboot to verify function, shut down agian, CLONE the good drive (~40min, because you NEVER want to be without a verified, cloned copy) and you are back in buisness.
I have a 320gb drive with the OS AND all my data on it that is my "quick" go-to recovery drive.
I ALSO have JUST the OS Partition cloned to an 80GB drive that is kept as a "master" that I update about once a month, and of course all my Data (E-mail, "favorites", Audio & Video are backuped in multiple (layered redundacy) places.
My e-mail (and e-mail program) is backed up daily to two thumb drives
(15 YEARS of archived e-mail just barely takes up 300mb)
Any computer connected to the net with a USB port is automatically "mine" for gettng my e-mail,
and when I remove that USB drive there is no trace that I was ever there...
With preplanning and preparation "Recovery" should never take "hours", so in that regard I consider recovery partitions to be useless.
Restoring the computer ot it's virginal state isn't particularly useful to anyone
Because you can often accomplish the same goal with an OS installation disc the
"drivers and utilities" CD-ROM that was shipped with your computer. i about the same time.