My HP computer has a section named D:\Recovery and its appearance is as follows.
Upon accessing it, a message appears inside the Windows Explorer window, which states:
“This area of your hard drive contains files used during Windows Push Button Reset and HP image recovery. Do not delete or alter any of these files.”
I am curious about the mechanism HP employs to make Explorer show this message. I am unsure whether Windows has a special function that allows you to associate a folder with a message and image or if it’s registered somewhere. Despite researching online, I have been unable to find any relevant resources on this topic.
Additionally, I am not even aware of the terminology used to describe this particular feature.
When it comes to computer maintenance and repair, the recovery drive is an essential component. It contains important files that are used to restore the system to its original state in case of any issues. HP computers have a recovery drive named D:Recovery, which is prominently displayed in Windows Explorer. However, accessing this drive triggers a warning message that cautions users against deleting or altering any files within the drive. This blog post delves into how HP gets Windows Explorer to show this warning and the underlying mechanisms that make it possible.
The recovery drive is a partition on the hard drive that contains system files and settings that are used for recovery purposes. It can be used to restore the computer to its original state in case of software issues, malware infections, or other problems. HP computers typically have a recovery drive named D:Recovery, which is prominently displayed in Windows Explorer. However, accessing this drive triggers a warning message that cautions users against deleting or altering any files within the drive. This warning message is unique to HP computers and is not present in other brands.
The Mechanism Behind the Warning Message
The warning message that appears when accessing the D:Recovery drive on HP computers is a feature that is built into the Windows operating system. It is not unique to HP, but rather a standard feature that is available on all Windows computers. The mechanism behind the warning message involves the use of a special file called desktop.ini, which is a hidden system file that is used to customize the appearance of folders in Windows Explorer.
The desktop.ini file contains information about the folder’s appearance, including the icon, tooltip, and other properties. It can also contain a warning message that is displayed when the folder is accessed. In the case of the D:Recovery drive on HP computers, the desktop.ini file contains the warning message that cautions users against deleting or altering any files within the drive.
How HP Customizes the Warning Message
While the warning message itself is a standard feature of Windows, HP customizes it to suit its specific needs. HP modifies the desktop.ini file to include its own warning message, which is displayed when the D:Recovery drive is accessed. The message is designed to be clear and concise, with a prominent warning that highlights the importance of not deleting or altering any files within the drive.
In addition to the warning message, HP also customizes the appearance of the D:Recovery drive in Windows Explorer. The drive is given a unique icon that is different from other drives, making it easy to identify. This icon is also included in the desktop.ini file, along with other properties that customize the appearance of the drive.
Why the Warning Message is Important
The warning message that appears when accessing the D:Recovery drive on HP computers is important because it helps prevent users from accidentally deleting or altering important files. The files within the recovery drive are essential for restoring the system to its original state in case of any issues, and deleting or altering them can cause serious problems.
In addition to preventing accidental deletion or alteration of files, the warning message also serves as a reminder to users of the importance of backing up their data regularly. While the recovery drive can be used to restore the system to its original state, it does not contain any user data. Therefore, it is essential to back up important files and documents regularly to prevent data loss.
In conclusion, the warning message that appears when accessing the D:Recovery drive on HP computers is a standard feature of Windows that is customized by HP to suit its specific needs. The mechanism behind the warning message involves the use of a special file called desktop.ini, which is used to customize the appearance of folders in Windows Explorer. The warning message is important because it helps prevent users from accidentally deleting or altering important files and serves as a reminder to back up important data regularly.
It’s likely that HP has included a custom shell extension in the Recovery Drive that displays the warning message when the folder is accessed. A shell extension is a small program that extends the functionality of Windows Explorer and other Windows shell applications. There are several types of shell extensions, including context menu handlers, property sheet handlers, and icon handlers.
In this case, it’s possible that HP has created a custom property sheet handler for the Recovery Drive that displays the warning message. Property sheet handlers are responsible for displaying the properties of an item (e.g., a file or folder) in the Windows Explorer window. When you access the Recovery Drive, the custom property sheet handler is triggered, and it displays the warning message in the properties window of the Recovery Drive.
You can find more information about shell extensions and how they work in the Microsoft documentation:
To create a custom property sheet handler, a developer would need to create a dynamic-link library (DLL) that implements the IPropertySheetPage interface. This interface defines a number of methods that are called by the shell when the property sheet is displayed, including methods for initializing and displaying the property sheet, and for handling user input.
The developer would then need to register the DLL as a shell extension using the Windows Registry. When a user accesses the Recovery Drive, the shell will load the DLL and call the appropriate methods to display the warning message in the properties window.
It’s also possible that the warning message is displayed using a different type of shell extension, such as a context menu handler or an icon handler. However, a property sheet handler is the most likely option because it allows for the display of additional information in the properties window of a folder.
I hope this helps to clarify how HP may have implemented the warning message in the Recovery Drive on your computer. Let me know if you have any additional questions.
HP develops a plugin named
HPRPGuard.dll, which is located in a concealed folder at
C:\system.sav\Util, and is designed to integrate with Windows Explorer. They utilize registry and
Desktop.ini files to enforce the loading of the plugin. Although a more in-depth explanation is possible, it can be difficult to comprehend.
To disable the safeguard on the
D:\Recovery folder, you can utilize 7zip to explore the folder and rename Desktop.ini to Desktop.ini.old.
Even though HP does not provide any information about how it works, the source code for the HP Recovery Media Creation is available. The author of this statement had to experiment with and decompile the scripts to gain a better understanding of it.