PBR Image drive almost full with new Windows 10 pc

Pc is about a month old, and came with Windows 8.  I was invited during setting up to upgrade to Windows 10, and did so.  I've recently noticed that one of the drives, PBR Image (E) shows 737 MB free of 8.6GB.  Looking into that drive, I have Dell/Image/install.swm with 3.4 GB, and Dell/Image/install2.swm with 4GB.  I also have two other files with identical GB contents, /Preload/base.swm (3.5GB) and /Preload/base2.swm (4GB).

Am I ok to leave these as they are or am I going to get a warning some time soon?

Hi Niall,

Thank you for posting in Microsoft Community.

What is the make and model of the PC?

PBR Image drive and WINRETOOLS drive are the recovery partitions and contain the recovery image (PBR Image) and Windows Recovery Environment tools (WINRETOOLS). The reason why it is showing in red is that this drive had got very little free space. They are important for recovering the system in case of a software issue and should not be deleted.

The PBR  and WINRETOOLS drives are provided by Dell. I would suggest you to create a recovery drive. Follow the steps given in the link below.
 
Create a USB recovery drive
 

Note: Also applies to Windows 10.

Hope it helps.

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Many thanks Anil.  It's a Dell Inspiron 17 5000, with 2TB hard drive.  

If nothing else is going to be put on the E drive, then I'm not concerned. I presume Dell sized the E drive to accommodate the recovery info, it's a pretty tight fit. It seems strange though that there are two sets of two files of identical sizes, I don't know if there's been some duplication.  

Since you say it's put there by Dell, I might look there and enquire with them also - I don't particularly like moving it all to an external drive.

Thanks for the link Anil, if I do go for the external drive bit, I'll use it for guidance. If you have further advice, feel free!

Niall

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I have mixed bag program files dates and different sizes of Base.swm and Base2.swm in WINRETOOLS and PBR Image partitions. These 2 swm files contribute to the 7.xx GB of recovery media, but both files show the same 5/28/2015 date (prior to the Win10 release), but different sizes from that in the USB stick.

I brought a Dell8700 (Win8.1) last week while Win10 box is also available. I wanted to learn the upgrade process and be prepared for upgrading my other Win7 laptop. I followed the Dell Backup and Recovery - DBaR 1.9.0.22 (http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln298526/en) and created a USB Recovery stick. I wanted to test restoring from the USB stick. I had to abort when the last confirmation showed 5/22/2015 file date. I used a free version of EaseUS Partition Master to see what's in the SEVEN partitions after DBaR. After some research, I concluded that a fresh cleanup of hard disk (using DISKPART in the Win10 ISO DVD) and fresh reinstall would be the prudent exercise. I just cannot trust from what I saw.

My questions are:

1.) Would the Microsoft "Create a Recovery Drive" (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/create-a-recovery-drive) provide a clean recovery partition at the end of the hard disk, if I choose to keep it? Can it also be used for recovery (in addition to the USB stick)?

2.) What is the difference from DBaR 1.9.0.22? I assume that Dell will automatically provide Dell specific drivers etc., whereas I need to do that manually with (1).

3.) Can I add a few essential apps and HP universal USB printer driver (not UPnP detectable), and then create the recovery USB stick? I hope to avoid complete re-install later.

4.) I learned to initiate a clean re-install using the UEFI boot and the Win10 ISO DVD. After cleaning up all the partitions using DISKPART, will the new disk drive be restored to clean UEFI boot partitions structure? If this path would result to more trouble, I'll exchange for a pr-eloaded Win10 XPS box.

I've decided to endure the pain for a clean system for the future. I learned the importance since Win 3.x days - Be safe than sorry. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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I am answering my own questions after escalating to Dell the nasty DBaR 1.9 issue in conjunction with the (3) Dell proprietary partitions pre-loaded on the hard drive. I decided to use the Win10 ISO DVD to wipe clean the hard drive and then fresh install Win10. NOTE: Make sure you first upgrade from Win7 or 8, and confirm your Win10 registration at Microsoft.

1.) Dell's DBaR 1.9 is to restore the Windows OS pre-loaded in the "PBR Image partition".  If you created a USB drive or flash stick which DBaR strongly suggests. That will also contain the same PREVIOUS version of Windows OS. If you must use the USB drive or flash stick to restore, it will send your upgraded Win10 system back to the original Windows.  If you use Dell's support site (http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/product-support/), I believe the proprietary WINRETOOLS partition is used for diagnosing your system, (but not exactly sure).  That means it may not be compatible with your upgraded Win10 system. (My new/fresh XPS8700 Win10 system required about 10 device drivers and chip-set drivers updates.) The conclusion is that these 3 Dell proprietary partitions may result to unexpected disastrous time and technical consequence!

2.) To eliminate the nasty "surprise", I decided to take the path as mentioned. Win10 ISO DVD boot, hard drive cleanup, and re-install Win10 were extremely smooth and fast. (about 35 min.) BUT, the required driver updates from the above-mentioned Dell support site is not automatic or forgiving for the novice. That site will auto-detect your Dell model, but not automatically detect/install/update all the drivers. (Use "Device Manager" > list of devices) BE VERY CAREFUL! For the XPS8700, Dell integrated Wireless 1704 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth drivers for (?)SM bus controller is not in the list of devices, and was not detected automatically for the drivers. If your PC is connected to Internet via WiFi, this is a catch-22. Use Ethernet connection to your router.

3.) Find an alternative disk backup/restore solution. You can no longer use DBaR anyway. I escalated this serious incompatibility with Win10 to the higher level Dell technical support team. They repeatedly denied the defect. Users can choose other backup/recovery software, however cannot avoid the preloaded older Windows OS PBR Image and tools which may lead to disastrous consequence.

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Just to round up my original query - since I'm not desperately IT savvy - I'm a competent user of MS Office and other software, but I don't delve into what goes on behind the screen -

I got into the Dell chatline, and we ran through my issues.  I was assured in due course that the nearly full status of the E drive wasn't a problem.  They ran a check on the pc on line, and the Dell assistant rang me to talk me through a few things.  I was impressed with the service.

At the end of all that, I feel that my problem isn't an issue, and I'm not going to crash and lose all, at least not on account of that aspect.  I'm not going to transfer the stuff to an external drive, though I'll probably copy it there, just for safety.

Many thanks to all.

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I've had a terrible experience with Dell and it all started with this Backup and Recovery issue.  I'll never buy another one.  Just sayin.

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Last updated October 16, 2020 Views 15,290 Applies to: