If one pre-creates and pre-formats the drive that Windows 7 is to be installed on by plugging the drive into another computer (Windows XP in my case), then Windows 7 setup does not create the small 200 MB separate and hidden System partition.
By the way, the Windows Recovery Environment is still accessible by pressing F8 repeatedly on startup. NOTE
: This is only an issue when installing Windows 7 to it's own hard drive on a system with no other operating system installed.
See discussion HERE
"The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are." - Niccolo Machiavelli