Enabling Recovery from Operating System Damage from a Hidden Partition
Original Publication Date: 2002-Jan-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Disclosed is a system and method for writing the OS "recovery diskettes" as an image to a hidden partition on a hardfile. When installing an operating system such as one of the Windows* variants, Windows Me *, the installer or user performing the installation is always asked if you want to build "recovery diskettes." The recovery diskette's are necessary if and when the operating system ever gets corrupted and can't be booted. The recovery diskette's have everything necessary to boot the system and repair the image in a best case and/or recovery critial data in a worse case. If the installer wants to create the recovery diskettes, the hardest job is finding two diskettes to use for this purpose. It would be far easier for the installer to be able to redirect the images being written to the diskettes to a hidden partition on the hardfile. Implementing this invention will make it easier to recover if ever required because the recovery diskette images are available on the hidden system partition and not filed away in some forgotten location. In addition, recovery will be enabled if no blank diskettes are available when the recovery diskette images are created. During Windows installation on a PC system, part of the installation process allows the installer to create a set of diskettes that can be used to repair the operating system if inadvertant or malicious damages occurs to the OS files. Typically, the installer, unless planning ahead, doesn't have available two blank diskettes. Rather than running around looking for diskettes, a second option will be made available for the installer to choose to write and store the recovery diskette images to a hidden hardfile partition. For example, a Parties partition on an industry standard ATA compatible hardfile drive. A Parties (Protected Area Run Time Interface Extension Services) Partition is described in a document known as ANSI standard T13 D1367. The information contained in the two images, whether the image is stored on diskettes or in the hidden partition, includes all of the current PC's critical information that makes this version of Windows different from the generic installation. It has a copy of the current system's registery file, etc. If this system will not properly boot in the future, the user maybe able to restore the OS image by booting off the recovery diskettes or from the recovery diskette images stored in the hidden partition which will boot the damaged system (as it has the intial start up files for the hardware). It will also allow the user to access Windows OS and potentially repair the damaged hardfile by replacing the damaged start-up files. The other major benefit of this invention is not requiring location of the diskette's when a recovery is required. This is important as the diskette's may have been misplaced or not with the user especially with a mobile device when ecovery is needed.