May 14, 2014
Do you have corrupted partitions, and want to do a factory reinstall from your recovery partition, but are finding it nearly impossible to access it?

I was having problems installing a fresh copy of windows even with a product key, and even with a few command prompt bypasses during installs, the installation process always failed. I was becoming frustrated because I had a recovery partition that was not accessible conventionally.

Every combination I tried, all the F-keys, all of them failed at boot to enter the recovery partition.

I found a way to accomplish this when all else failed using Ubuntu's Live CD.

Get an install ISO of Ubuntu. You can burn the ISO to DVD with programs such as ImgBurn or AnyBurn. They both have options for burning an ISO to disc.

You can also use YUMI, a portable executable, to create a live USB drive with Ubuntu on it. Just follow YUMI's instructions to have ubuntu booting from it.

To boot either your USB drive or your DVD/CD(older versions of ubuntu will fit on CD-R), go into your computer's BIOS. You have to press a button during start up to access it. It's usually different from one PC to the next, so you may need to google it. Once in your BIOS, go into boot options and find boot priorities. Make sure whatever you're booting from is at the top of the list. A good way to be safe is to just put the hard drive on the bottom of this list. Everything else will boot before it. Save changes and reboot.

With your media either in the optical drive or plugged into the USB port, boot into ubuntu. You'll see the option "Try Ubuntu." Click this and wait for the ubuntu live desktop to appear. Once it has, on the top left there is an icon. Pressing it will open a search prompt. Type "GParted" and you'll see it pop up.

Once in Gparted you'll see a visual graph of your hard drive, and you'll see your recovery partition. Right click that section, and click "manage flags." There will be a checkbox that includes "boot." Check it. Hit the green check on the GParted main GUI(seems on the newer version of ubuntu you may not even have to) and it will save these changes. On the top right, there's a button that allows you to shut down, and then you can select restart. Take out your disc or unplug your USB drive, and turn the computer on again.

It will boot into your recovery drive when all else has failed you!