Guide: Samsung Recovery Solution 6 (SRS6) and Windows 10

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by Gulfmaster, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. Gulfmaster

    Gulfmaster Notebook Guru

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    Windows 10 comes in as an seamless upgrade to both Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1.
    This means, that you essentially have to do nothing and just wait for the upgrade to finish.
    All your previous programs, applications and drivers are fully compatible and the roll out for most users has been smooth.

    But should you ever want to revert to factory settings, you're back on Windows 8.

    Samsung has kept up with the pace and I never came across any problems during and even after the upgrade.
    So, my computer, an NP550P5C machine is fully compatible with Windows 10.
    Not only that, it actually runs Windows 10 way better than it did Windows 8 and 8.1.

    Now, my only problem was the factory settings. If I ever wanted to start with a clean image, I'd have to go back to Windows 8 and then go through the upgrade process again.
    After the Windows 10 free upgrade period of a year lapses, there is no way without paying for it.
    Windows 8.1 in my opinion was a disaster and Windows 10 is the OS to be on.

    So, what if, like me, you would like to start with a completely clean installation of Windows 10?
    There are plenty of tutorials on how to start with a clean installation of Windows 10, but only using the "Reset My PC" function.

    I did not want to just reset my machine.
    I wanted to reformat, repartition and then reinstall Windows, and have Samsung Recovery taking me back to a clean install of Windows 10 whenever I wanted to.
    While most people might argue that the "Reset My PC" function does the same thing, I would still prefer to format my hard disk and start afresh.
    Think of it as an alternative to the Windows Recovery Environment.

    I know for a fact that when I last tried to "Reset My PC" on Windows 8.1, it asked me for installation media, which as you know, you don't get any more.
    With a factory image however, you don't need to worry about whether windows reset will work or whether it'll ask you for a product key (which again we don't have - or at least not directly).

    So, a fresh, clean installation which can be carried out at any time without worry or hassle, gives me a certain level of comfort in the least.

    And here's where I give full credit to Samsung - the creation and installation process of a Windows 10 factory image was flawless and barring a few points to remember here, smooth.

    I use a Samsung NP550P5C machine.

    Please keep the following points in mind.

    1. When you're performing a fresh installation of Windows 10, you get the option of deleting all the partitions.
    Windows will then create it's own EFI and recovery partitions automatically.

    2. If you already have the samsung recovery partitions and wish to reuse them, delete and format only the Windows partitions.

    3. If like me, you want to start anew, we need to create two more partitions for Samsung Recovery.
    This is where the USB Admin Tool has to be used first.

    BEFORE wiping your hard drive, you will therefore only need the USBAdmin Tool -
    The Admin Tool can be created by booting into the samsung recovery environment (using F4) and then pressing Ctrl+Alt+F10 to get into advanced options. The password to use is either "secos" or "secclx".
    Click on the option to create a USB Admin Tool.

    If it's too late, you can download an image of the admin tool from here.

    I would still recommend creating an image of your hard drive before wiping it, just in case the process fails for you.
    I used Windows to create a system image.

    Once you're ready and you know that there's nothing else to lose.

    1. Plug in the USBAdmin Tool and restart your computer.
    2. Get into BIOS setup (using F2), disable fastboot in the advanced menu, save the changes, restart and get into BIOS setup again.
    IMG_20150830_115027 (Large).jpg
    3. Now select the USBAdmin tool (UEFI 0.00) as the first boot option under Boot Device Priority in the Boot menu and restart again.
    IMG_20150830_115114 (Large).jpg
    4. The Samsung Recovery environment will now start and you will get a whole list of options to create the recovery partitions. Go ahead and check the first four options. Leave the last three unchecked as
    a. a new image will be created after windows 10 is installed,
    b. installation of windows is done separately and
    c. the init date can be fixed after we create the new image.
    IMG_20150830_114911 (Large).jpg
    IMG_20150830_114946 (Large).jpg
    5. Remember that the samsung recovery partitions are to be located at the end of the drive and not the start of the drive.
    6. Leave the partition size allocations as default. i.e. Recovery Boot Partition at 1 GB and Recovery Data Partition at 10GB.
    7. Click "Run" to complete the installation.

    We're now done with creating the recovery partitions.

    The next step is to install Windows 10 - Insert the Windows DVD or USB drive and then select this drive to boot from.
    Remember that when presented with the options, do not delete the newly created recovery partitions.
    These partitions will be labelled Samsung_REC and Samsung_REC2 and will be placed at the end/bottom of the partition list.


    Let the windows installation complete and set up your computer.
    Windows installation would have completed once you have booted into windows desktop.

    What I did at this point was to make sure that all the drivers were downloaded and installed before I created a factory image. I also wanted to have an antivirus installed, so I went ahead and installed avast.

    For the drivers, use Samsung Update, this can be downloaded from here.

    I selected and installed all the drivers, got avast up and running and then carried out the following steps to create the initial image.

    Please note that to create the initial image, you will have to download and install the latest version of Samsung Recovery (v 6.1.0.1)using Samsung Update.
    Failure to do so will give you weird errors at the time the initial image is being taken.


    To create the initial image, plug in in the USBadmin tool once again, this time while Windows is running.

    1. Navigate to the WinClon folder and doubleclick on AdminTool.exe
    2. Here again, you will be presented with a list of options, which have to be performed stepwise.

    USBAdmin.png
    3. Step 2 is to finalize and initiate the F4 link. Clicking on this button will present you with a set of instructions. A file named RecoverySettingsSV.exe will be placed on your desktop.
    Run this file with administrator privileges (right click and "run as administrator").
    A command prompt window will now open and execute a set of instructions. This should take about a minute or two.
    If the command prompt just flashes briefly, it means that this program is not being run as administrator.
    4. Step 4 is to delete the recovery area and we don't want that,do we?
    5. Follow the instructions closely and when the time comes you should have no problems with getting the program with creating the initial image. This process is automated and the computer will reboot into recovery to take the initial image. Nothing to worry about at all!

    You should be all set now. The only thing left to do is set the init date, which can now be done by again booting with the USBAdmin Tool and checking only the "Fix init date" option.
    All the other options are to be left unchecked.

    Test the F4 link by hitting F4 when the computer starts.
    Run Samsung Recovery in Windows to check and verify if recovery runs correctly and you are able to see your factory image available (with the current date).

    It is noteworthy that Samsung Recovery v 6.1.0.1, does not allow you to create an image of your current settings like it used to back in Windows 8/8.1.
    I guess samsung is working on this, but in the mean time, you can download the previous version (6.0.12.18) of Samsung Recovery to have this option again.
    I have uploaded the installer and you can download it from here.

    Cheers and Good Luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
    dosibox, MikeB17, TANWare and 2 others like this.
  2. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Hi @Gulfmaster,

    Once again thank you for sharing this nice guide. Well done!

    I would add that it is not just a guide for how to get SRS working in Win10, but also our most user friendly guide on how to use Admin Tool in general to (re)create SRS6. In other words, the steps are mostly the same for Win8.x (for those rare birds who might want to re-create an SRS6/Win8.x environment).

    I have added your guide to the Samsung Forum sticky list, next to our general SRS backup/re-create guide (which also covers earlier SRS/Windows versions and other topics, but is not nearly as neat and easy to follow as this guide here).
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016
    dosibox and Gulfmaster like this.
  3. Gulfmaster

    Gulfmaster Notebook Guru

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    Dear Dannemand,

    you are, as usual, extremely kind and generous in your compliments.
    I am honoured.
     
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  4. eperelez

    eperelez Newbie

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    Hello, I upgraded to Windows 10 and selected to install without saving anything. I thought the entire drive and all partitions would be formatted. I think the Samsung Recovery partition with Windows 8 is still there. I am able to boot into Samsung Recovery with F4. Can you tell me what this screenshot shows? What should I do now? I want to get rid of the old recovery partition and leave the one that Windows 10 created. Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  5. Gulfmaster

    Gulfmaster Notebook Guru

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    @eperelez
    From your screenshot and from what you described, your samsung recovery partitions are very much still there and working (even the F4 link works since you could boot into Samsung Recovery).

    I understand from your post that you want to delete the Samsung Recovery Partitions - labelled Samsung_REC and Samsung_REC2
    In that case, you can simply try these options.

    1. Uninstall Samsung Recovery and when prompted, delete the recovery partition.
    or
    2. Assign a drive letter to the samsung recovery partitions and then delete them. You can then extend your primary windows partition and recover the lost space.

    To delete the recovery partitions, you can use the diskpart tool in an elevated command prompt.

    Before I tell you how, I would really like you to confirm that this is in fact what you want.
     
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  6. eperelez

    eperelez Newbie

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    I think I'm going to leave it alone for now, but I'm wondering what happens to the Windows 8 activation when I have upgraded to 10 and it's after the 30 days they give you to roll back? Also, where is the Windows 10 recovery partition in the screenshot I posted? Thanks for your help!
     
  7. Gulfmaster

    Gulfmaster Notebook Guru

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    Your Windows 8 license has been converted to a Windows 10 license when you upgrade.
    You have 30 days to roll back to your previous version of Windows after which I believe the option to roll back will be removed.
    In that case, a system image taken when the previous Windows was installed would come in handy.

    Windows 10 uses the recovery environment (RE) to carry out repairs to your windows installation. This is the Windows RE tools partition that you see.
     
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  8. Renfro

    Renfro Newbie

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    Should this work on my Series 5?

    I've done a clean install of Windows 10 and SRS5 is worthless there. So I've followed your guide (more than once) and still F4 will not work.
     
  9. Gulfmaster

    Gulfmaster Notebook Guru

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    @Renfro
    Hi, could you be a little more specific as to what is the problem you're facing?
    are you getting any errors?
    I use a series 5 too, but am running SRS6 - maybe you should try getting SRS6 for this to work, besides from what I gather from these and the many forums out there is that SRS6 is more refined with better features.

    You can download SRS6 from my own Google Drive.
    Don't worry, it's safe.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  10. Renfro

    Renfro Newbie

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    @Gulfmaster

    Sorry for my confusing rant. I got frustrated after spending all day trying to get SRS6 working and my brain had just quit by the time I wrote that.

    Got a new (to me) Series 5 (NP530U3B-AD1) from a friend and installed 4GB extra memory in it. The system had SRS5 and a very messed up Win7 install. So I upgraded to Win10, created the USB installer and went for a clean, fresh install. As I was doing this, I learned about the fact that SRS5 would not work with Win10, so I followed your guide to get SRS6 running, step-by-step, many times over.

    Everything seems right, USB Admin tool works, drive get partitioned just like yours, windows 10 installed and the finalize runs normal. Yet after all of this, pressing F4 on boot does nothing, Windows comes up as usual...

    The ONE thing I'm not sure about is the fact that I installed Windows in the large of the six partitions (5 - Data on your image above). Is that OK?

    After all of this I wonder if having SRS6 is even worth the trouble and space...

    On a side note and without trying to hijack your topic: Would you happen to know how to get the hibernate to write to the SSD? I was able to get Expresscache working but left 8GB free for that
     
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