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Recovery Partition - Backup before installing Linux (?)

HP Recommended
HP Elitebook 840 G6
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Hi folks!

I have an HP Elitebook 840 G6 that I want to reinstall with Linux.

I have had made mistakes in the past that yielded the recovery partition on a laptop useless and I have also seen multiple posts of people in the same situation due to different issues.

I would then want to backup the partition before I wipe the SSD clean.

I am thinking imaging the whole disk using dd from a Linux live USB stick but I see it as an overkill since most of it is empty and dd will image also the zeroes...

Any alternatives? Could backing up just the recovery partition work?

If not, is there a way to extract the Windows key from the OS to use it later for reinstall if I want, let's say, to sell the laptop to someone else at a later point?

Thanks in advance.

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First of all, making a backup of the recovery partition is a complete waste of time. IF you were later to reformat the drive and copy the recovery partition to it, that would not work.  So, there is no point in doing this.


Second, don't use Linux utilities to image a Windows setup -- as there are far better free Windows utilities to do this.  I have used both kinds a lot and will tell you that the Windows utilities are a better course of action.



I personally prefer to use third-party Backup solutions as they tend to be both more flexible and more reliable than any built-in solutions.

Macrium Reflect (MR) provides a FREE version that can be used to image and restore partitions or entire drives.

What I recommend is the following:
1) Download and install Macrium Reflect (MR) from here:
2) Run MR and choose the option: "Create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows" to write a full backup to an external drive or USB stick
3) Use the option to create a boot USB stick or CD

My experience is that MR, when using the High Compression option, typically can compress the saved image file to about 60% of the USED space in the OS partition. This means if you have an 80GB OS partition, and 40GB is used, MR only needs about 24GB to store the image file.

I use this all the time and it typically takes less than 15 minutes to do the image backup and about the same time or less to do a restore.

NOW, you have the means to restore a full working system from the external drive or USB stick in only a few minutes.

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