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Boot from Recovery Partition with ASUS UX31A? Please help!!

Discussion in 'Asus' started by AaaBaa, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. AaaBaa

    AaaBaa Newbie

    Mar 15, 2006
    I would love it if someone could help with something I have been not able to find an answer on Google.

    I bought a UX31A last month, with Windows 7 Home. A few days ago, I upgraded to Windows 8 Pro (via the special Microsoft offer).

    When upgrading, I deleted all partitiions EXCEPT for the 10GB Recovery partition, as advised by ASUS.

    However, now I have decided that Windows 8 is a bit too buggy at the moment with this machine, so I want to go back to the Windows 7 Home setup that came with the machine originally.

    However I am unable access the ASUS Recovery partition in order to return the machine to the factory state.

    I have tried to press F9 on startup, as per the the instructions on the ASUS website (link below), but nothing happens. However, the partition is still definitely there -- I have checked using the Computer Management tools on Windows, and the 10GB partition is indicated as "Healthy". For some reason I cannot access and boot up with the all-important partition on startup.

    Would really really appreciate some assistance!! I am starting to teay my hair out! :)

    Link to the ASUS page for the UX31A (note that the machine doesn't have an optical drive):
    ASUSTeK Computer Inc. -Support- Troubleshooting UX31A
  2. nipsen

    nipsen Notebook Ditty

    May 18, 2012
    ..another day, another laptop maker support story success.

    What happens is that you have a bunch of gpt-partitions on your system. And that recovery partition is actually launched from the efi-boot that will run from one of those partitions. You could have something like this:
    1. Asus efi-boot
    2. Windows boot
    3. Windows system
    4. Another win 8 partial boot
    5. Linux
    6. Mac-partitions

    So I'm guessing the idea is to be able to remove and mess with the partitions, and then still be able to boot back into the recovery routine. The problem, as you saw very quickly, is that if you don't have the efi-boot partition, you can't launch the recovery. It might have been possible to have that partition bootable and set up as a primary partition - but that would have made it visible, and it couldn't be marked in the way it is, etc. But hey.

    Two things you can try: Install rEFIt, just put it on an usb stick, something like that, and boot to that boot-manager. Insert usb-stick, esc at boot, boot the manager. Then try to boot the recovery partition from that boot-loader. I'm seriously doubting it will work, and that the recovery partition relies on some weird parameters launched only from Asus' proprietary bootloader (that incidentally is nowhere to be downloaded or recovered if it's lost). But it's worth a shot.

    Failing that, you need to install windows as per the guide in the sig, for example. You don't need an external dvd, but you might need to do some trickery with the usb drivers to get a usb install to work. Lots and lots of guides go through that. It's really cumbersome, but... And of course then you probably have to call up Microsoft and plead with them over the license key, and so on.

    Alternatively, call up Asus and tell them to add "and don't delete the first boot-partition on the disk" as well to the entire "oh, you can delete everything but the recovery partition" routine. And then have them send you a replacement recovery of some sort.

    But yes, you're definitely in for a load of unbelievably funny windows-install business if that rEFIt boot doesn't work..

    ..Or I guess you could install Fuduntu in the meantime or something.
  3. dsvarups

    dsvarups Newbie

    Dec 6, 2012
    As long as you haven't deleted the recovery partition, and you can access some kind of recovery console to run a command prompt you can get Windows 7 back on there.
    I have just recovered by Windows 7 image from the recovery partition and finally got back up and running on my UX31A.
    This has taken me nearly 3 days to work this out and find this information.

    You first need to get a to a command prompt and run DISKPART.

    Use DISKPART to recreate 2 partitions
    96gb OS partition with NTFS file system
    123gb DATA partition with NTFS file system


    CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY SIZE=96000 (create a 96GB partition for Windows)

    CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY (create a partition using the rest of the space)

    Read this link to create the 4gb STORE partition when you are back in Windows 7.

    LIST PARTITION and you should several partitions listed.

    Now you need to get the series of numbers that reponses to a unhidden partition.

    SELECT PARTITION 3 (this should be Primary partition)

    Make note of the "type=" setting

    LIST PARTITION and then find the recovery partition number

    SELECT PARTITION 6 (this should be your Recovery partition)

    Make note of the "type=" setting as we need to hide it again later

    SET ID=[type setting from parition 3]
    ASSIGN - will give the Recovery partition a drive letter.
    EXIT - to get back to the command prompt

    You should no be able to acccess C: D: and E: drives.

    NEXT step is to access the Recovery partition E: and get the preloaded OS installed.

    In Command Prompt type the following


    Check that the following files are present


    Run the following command to expand these image files to C:

    imagex /ref e:\asus*.swm /apply e:\asus.swm 1 c:

    This process takes about 5-10mins with a progress indicator

    Next make the HD bootable by typing

    CD c:\Windows\System32
    BCDBOOT C:\Windows

    Reboot the computer and you will boot in to Windows 7 preload version without drivers.
    If I remember correctly you get asked a sysprep option.
    I selected the first option without generalise ticked.
    Get all your drivers downloaded to a USB stick from the ASUS website (extract them first).
  4. Prostar Computer

    Prostar Computer Company Representative

    Jan 27, 2012
    If you don't have a recovery disc, then you may need to go the DISKPART route. As nipsen so equivocally alluded to :)p) with his success story remark, this is not the first time this conundrum has come up (see: http://forum.notebookreview.com/asus/699248-asus-windows-8-boot-into-recovery-partition-key.html)

    Before you settle for the DISKPART method though, keep on with Asus technical support (might be better to deal with them over the phone in real time) to see if they have a solution to this, as it appears to be a reoccurring problem.


    I just got confirmation from another tech that the recovery partition is not meant to be accessed by the end user :)confused:); instead, you're suppose to register with Microsoft when you first go through the Windows setup process, and then create a recovery disc. Booting from the disc should allow you to utilize the built-in Asus recovery console.
  5. AaaBaa

    AaaBaa Newbie

    Mar 15, 2006
    Many thanks, between these posts I hope to find a working solution!
  6. Prostar Computer

    Prostar Computer Company Representative

    Jan 27, 2012
    You're welcome! :)

    If you need assistance in creating a recovery disc, all you need to do is perform a search within Windows, within Settings, for "Recovery". You should see an option come up for Recovery Drive. Try that and let us know if it works.

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