I recently needed to completely format an SSD for a client but was initially unable to use the Windows Disk Management tool to remove the “Healthy (Recovery Partition)“. The Healthy (Recovery Partition) is just what it’s called, a recovery partition that Windows or the computer manufacturer created so that we can restore the drive to its original state.
The standard procedure for deleting a partition on a Windows computer is as follows:
- Right click on the “Start” button at the bottom left of your screen.
- Click on “Disk Management” from the list of options that appears.
- Right click on the partition you wish to delete and choose “Delete Volume“.
- When warned that all data will be deleted (assuming this is okay with you) choose “Yes“.
However, that standard procedure does not work for Windows Recovery partitions or any other protected system partitions. This article will show you how to override this protection and forcefully delete the Healthy (Recovery Partition) on a disk.
But be warned, instructions herein are only for my personal use to jog my memory. It is your responsibility to have a full working backup image handy should something go wrong. Note, this will not work on any Active disks. You must use the Windows Advanced Boot option and use the Command Prompt to access them.
How to Erase a Recovery Partition on a Disk in Windows
Unfortunately, Windows won’t let you delete the recovery partition within the Windows Disk Management tool. It does not provide us with any options when right mouse clicking on the partition we want to remove.
However, using diskpart available from within the Windows Command Prompt we can! So without further explanation here is how to delete a recovery (or any other) partition in Windows.
- Open the Command Prompt by clicking the Start button (Windows Logo) at the bottom left of your screen.
- Then type “cmd” (there might not be an input field, just start typing and one will automagically appear) and right mouse click on the Command Prompt app. From the drop down select “Run as administrator“
- Type “diskpart” and press Enter
- Type “list disk” and press Enter. A list of available physical drives will appear.
- Type “select disk #” where # is the number of the disk you want. The first disk is number 0. Press Enter.
- Type “list partition” and press Enter. A list of available partitions on that selected disk will appear.
- Type “select partition #” where # is the number of the recovery partition you wish to delete. Press Enter.
- Again, before proceeding you should ensure that you have a full working system backup on an external drive so you can do a restore if you need to.
- Type “delete partition override” and press Enter. That will erase the partition.
Accessing Windows 10 Advanced Boot
If you are currently logged into your Windows PC you can click on the Start button down at the bottom left of your screen. Then click the “Power” icon to open power options. Next press and hold down the “Shift” key and then click on the “Restart” option (while still holding down Shift). Once rebooted initiates you may release the Shift key. Windows will automatically start in advanced boot options after a short delay. Note that this method does not work with the virtual keyboard.
I welcome your thoughts, questions or suggestions on my article on how to remove the recovery partition on a disk within Windows.
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