| posts: 2,038 | Location: NOVA
TBH, I'd throw out that recovery partition and just re-install when needed.
Partition the SSD into two parts.
Partition 1) Windows (say, 30 gigs. You don't need that much, but some programs always dump part of their install onto your windows drive even if you chose a different drive as the install folder. 30 gigs leaves you some head room.)
Partition 2) Data (remainder of space)
Install windows onto the windows partition.
Pop in a CD/DVD based imaging utility (e.g. live CD with partimage, gparted, whatever), and image the windows partition onto a file saved to the data partition.
Install all of your programs onto the data partition, so that ONLY windows is on the windows partition.
Then later on, if you have any issues, pop in the CD/DVD based imaging utility, and restore the saved image file from your data partition onto your windows partition.
Best part, if you moved your user folder onto the data partition, it will still be intact after the image is restored.
And all your programs/data are still on your data drive, so you don't have to back-up stuff.
You can take multiple drive images of your OS.
Image 1) fresh install + activation
Image 2) fresh install + activation + drivers (*but no video driver...)
Image 3) fresh install + activation + all drivers + programs (which you periodically update)
That way if something breaks, you can roll back to image#3, and if that's broken you can roll back to image#2.
Image#1 exists so that if you find some crazy compatibility issue with a random driver, you can roll all the way back without wasting time on a re-install and activation.
(Skipping the video driver in image#2 is for the same reason... sometimes newer versions break when updating an older one, and video drivers change often. Having a clean copy is useful.)