Solved: Can’t Access My Recovery Partition & I Don’t Have Any Recovery CD’s!

Today I was fixing up a laptop for a friend. It was an Acer Aspire 6930 running Windows Vista Home Premium (x86), it appeared that the MBR (Master Boot Record) needed repairing. So using the Vista Recovery CD I was able to use the BOOTREC /FIXMBR and BOOTREC /FIXBOOT commands. Unfortunately that didn’t solve my problem and I needed to access the laptop’s recovery partition, which you would normally get to by holding Alt and pressing F11 during boot up (other laptops have similar key combinations) but I think because I had mucked around with the boot record that the Alt + F11 shortcut was no longer functioning.

By the way, if you are looking for Windows 7 (x86 & x64) & Windows Vista (x86 & x64) Recovery CD’s you can download them from a torrent here: (These are the disks I used for this job and they worked fine, no viruses).

To cut a long story short, the EISA recovery partition was still on the hard drive but could not be accessed! To make matters worse I didn’t have the recovery DVDs for the laptop. Thankfully, after hours of Googling and a lot of swearing and frustration I came across a method in an article. This method should be useful for ALL machines with recovery partitions…

What I needed to do was:

  • Boot up using the Windows Vista Recovery CD.
  • Click on ‘Command Prompt’.
  • In the command prompt type ‘DISKPART’.
  • Type ‘LIST DISK’ this will display a list of hard disks installed on the machine.
  • Type ‘SELECT DISK n‘ (In this case it was disk 0).
  • Type ‘LIST PARTITION’ and take note of the partition you wish you make active, in most cases the first partition in the list will be your recovery partition.
  • Type ‘SELECT PARTITION n‘ (Where ‘n’ is the number representing the recovery partition identified from the previous step, in my case it was partition 1).
  • Change the partition to NTFS by typing ‘SET ID=27 OVERRIDE’.
  • Make the partition active by typing ‘ACTIVE’.
  • Reboot your machine from the hard drive and the recovery partition should start up!

If that method doesn’t work you can find the original article which has some other things you can try here:

35 thoughts on “Solved: Can’t Access My Recovery Partition & I Don’t Have Any Recovery CD’s!”

  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH! This advice was fantastic as I like many have a samsung machine with a recovery partition which I could not access due to their malfunctioning recovery software!!! Saved me so much time and money šŸ™‚

  2. TI followed this ti the letter and now I get BOOTMGR is Missing … any advice please ?

  3. Thank you Man. I used this on a e-Machine T5062 and it worked.. I preesed the ALT-F10 or F11 and it worked the first try. Thanks!!!!!!!!!

  4. This worked on Windows 7 too. For ACER systems , press ALT+F10 just after enableing “Disk To Disk recovery” in Bios (F2).

  5. Thank you, Thank you been banging my head against a brick wall with this and your solution worked a charm.

  6. Thanks for this post!!
    I have been battling with a system all weekend for a friend and this saved me the trouble of having to order new install disks!!

  7. Simply amazing. Looking for hours for something, even went fishing using tools I have a decent grasp on and still came up short. Thanks!

  8. Finally, some action! HOWEVER, now when windows boots from the recovery I a prompted to select “other user” and I have no user name or password for this log in. When my computer was functioning normally before the recovery I used no passwords. Any ideas?

  9. Lucy, I’ve been having this same “other user” problem and I haven’t even tried this here solution quite yet. I’ve had a rootkit on my computer which I’m thinking is part of this issuee for me in particular. So now I’m not so sure that this Active Partitioning thingy will be working for me. šŸ™

  10. I followed the above steps on a Dell M1510. Unfortunately I picked the wrong partition and now i am stuck. Every time I boot it goes straight tot the Dell Diagnostics. That is is only place I can go since it does not boot the OS (7). How can I change this or get a CMD prompt?

  11. Rich,

    You should be able to enter your BIOS settings at start up and change the boot order so that the computer boots from the CD drive. You should then be able to boot from a Windows install CD and follow the process again but select the correct partition.


  12. I have an Acer Aspire 3000. I can’t access the recovery partition. I do the whole alt+f10 until I get “beep beep x999999999”. Really annoying. I don’t have a recovery disk and my d2d is enabled. I’ve tried hitting f8, and alt+11. Nothing but a thousand beeps…. Can someone please help me???

  13. You have no idea how much you’ve helped. I thought I would have to buy the recovery disks or worse send it for costly repairs. Thank you for posting this you beauty!

  14. Thanks a lot, it worked, Really good. But after d recovery, Ican’t find the recovery drive anymore when I click on “my computer”. Any ideas?

  15. Thanku thanks a this websites and its admins/users.i got to a colourful screen and it said windows is setting ur pc and waited for 2 hours and nothing happened.i did reboot and now its corrupted and i tried restarting its says error…..lATER I DID THE STEPS AGAIN AND IT RESTORED.THANK GOD.U SAVED ME.AND I PROMISE I WILL NEVER UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 8 IN MY LIFE.I HAVE SOLVE MILLIONS PROBLEMS.NOW I AM HAPPY.THX A LOT

  16. Great video! I am considering going with linux os. Can you plesae tell me how compatible is it with other external devices, ie: printers, cameras, and some others that are normally supplied with drivers for windows based pc’s? Another words, will my printer operate, while working with linux? Thank you.

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  18. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting
    a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me dinner due to
    the fact that I discovered it for him… lol.
    So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this issue here on your
    internet site.

  19. DUUUUDE… I consider myself a proficient computer tech. however I overlapped an operating system over my current and lost access to my recovery partition on start up. I have wracked my brain with every solution I could think of. Your Command Prompt solution worked fantastic for me on the FIRST RUN THROUGH…. Thank you man, I am using this laptop to DJ my jack n jill in 2 weeks… you saved the day!!!!!

  20. Excellent post! Note others: if your recovery partition is on an extended partition, you will have to make your primary partition active not the partition with the recovery within the extended partition.

  21. Problem with setting that partition to active, is now it wants to run in a loop. It keeps reinstalling the recovery & not booting to the OS. Any help???

  22. I repaired the above problem by booting to WIn98 cd, getting to the command prompt & typing fdisk & resetting the ORIGINAL active partition as active. You probably wont be able to change directory (cd) to C:\, you can still use fdisk in A:\ for the C:\ drive.

  23. I set my recovery partition as the active partition but now when I turn on the computer, it goes to “test memory/test system/exit” loop. Can’t find a way to get out of it. Nor can I find a way to repair my laptop even though the recovery partition seems to be the active partition. Need help!!!

  24. Ben, many many thanks for your post!!!
    I spent half day until I came across your post and it saved me the rest of my day, if not saved me several days^^

    I would like to add one additional thing.
    I tried with MSI laptop and it directly run into the recovery mode after i activated the OEM partition. and after the recovery was finished and the laptop rebooted, it was again and again running the recovery partition, without loading the Windows from another, primary partition.

    So, I had to use DISKPART again and now make ACTIVE the partition where the Windows is installed (usually it is Partition 1, right after the OEM partition).

    I thought it might be useful to some people.
    Thanks again!

  25. Savvy ideas – I was enlightened by the details , Does anyone know where my business would be able to find a template a form form to fill out ?

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