Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Recovery Partition Restored via Ubuntu Linux

Modern laptops and notebook computers come pre-installed with a recovery partition which enables the user to restore the machine to the default factory settings in the event of some type of problem arising from the normal operation of the machine.

However, in order for this recovery process to function properly, the laptop must have a boot partition configured which can make access to both the recovery software, and the image contained in the recovery partition. Without that partition, things get a bit more complicated.

Goal: Recovery a laptop using the recovery partition when there is no available boot partition.

Symptom: Customer delivered a laptop in need of a restore. The machine had become unresponsive and sluggish. Typically, these are good conditions to restore to factory settings. However, attempts at restoring had previously failed and the C: drive software became damaged from hard resets.

Results: Using a bootable USB thumb drive containing Ubuntu Linux 14.04 Desktop version, the software stored in the system's recovery partition was successfully restored to the newly formatted C: drive and the system returned to working order. Note: The actual end-result for this repair case was that inevitably, the physical hardware failed and a new HDD was needed, however the technique for restoring the OS in this post is effective and valid.