Sometimes referred to as the recovery partition and restore partition, the hidden partition is a special section set aside on OEM computer hard drives.
Hidden partitions are accessed either through a pre-installed Windows application or by pressing a specific key combination as the computer boots up. If your computer did not come with a hidden partition or you have deleted it, the only way to restore your computer is with a Windows CD. However, a boot disc only installs Windows and no additional software or drivers.
Before proceeding, make sure any USB devices and drives are disconnected and that the optical disc tray is empty. Then, select your manufacturer from the list below and press the appropriate key or key combination repeatedly until your machine enters the hidden partition’s menu.
|Acer||Alt + F10 – This key combination will access Acer disk-to-disk (D2D) recovery partition. Note: you may need to enable the D2D option in CMOS setup.|
|Asus||F9 – Access ASUS EEE PC hidden partition|
|HP||F10 or F11 – Access the Compaq (Hewlett Packard) recovery partition|
|Dell||Ctrl + F11 or F8 – Access Dell computers Dell System Restore (DSR) partition|
|eMachine||F11 or Alt + F10 – Access eMachine option to restore a backup copy|
|Gateway||F11 – Access Gateway hidden restore partition|
|Lenovo||F11 – Access Lenovo hidden recovery partitionAccess ThinkPad or Access IBM button during startup|
|Sony||F10 – Access Sony hidden restore partition|
|Apple Mac||command + R -To start your computer from Recovery, restart your Mac and hold down the Command and R keys at startup.|
|Toshiba||On machines with the F key numbers on the top edge of the keys and in White:
• Press and hold the 0 (zero) key and power up the laptop.
• Release the 0 (zero) key when the recovery warning screen appears.
On machines with the F key numbers on the bottom edge of the keys and in Gray:
• Power up the laptop.
• When the initial TOSHIBA screen displays, press the F12 key to enter the boot menu.
Original article on a blog.