I had a look on Microsoft where it talks about creating a new partition or volume (is this the same as a drive?), possibly needing to shrink another partition in order to do this. I tried to find a tutorial on here, but can't locate anything that assumes no prior knowledge and provides a dummies guide (which is what I need).
And as you will see in the picture below, my dvd currently has the letter D.
Help!!!!! (please )
With that many partitions on the disk, which most are OEM recovery partitions, it may be best and easier to use Macrium Reflect Free to create an image of the disk and save it to a different internal or external drive.
This would give you a complete image backup.
Imaging with free Macrium - Windows 7 Help Forums
MACRIUM REFLECT - Create Bootable Rescue USB Drive - Windows 7 Help Forums
Can I use an image I create through Macrium as a custom recovery image?
Your tutorial seems to give a specific method for creating the custom image that differs from the usual way of making a system image (using Windows' own method or using Macrium). I don't want a full system image (I do those regularly anyway); I wanted to be able to refresh back to my current W8.1 state, not to have to go back to W8 yet again.
And (at the risk of going round in circles):
I don't understand what you mean by 'a different internal drive'. Is this something I can create on the laptop? [I don't really understand drives, partitions and volumes and whether they are different, or just different names for what are essentially the same thing. I haven't yet found anything that explains it clearly to a non-technical person. I feel sure the solution is straightforward but I've not grasped it yet.]
And if I save the custom recovery image on an external hdd, is there any way I can be sure the drive letter will always be the same? (ref my post above which mentioned this)
Macrium basically creates a system image. This is different than a custom recovery image, but is more reliable.
There's not guarantee that an external drive will always have the same drive letter to be able to use the custom recovery image. If it doesn't you would have to change the drive letter before trying to restore it. This is where Macirum would be better as well since the drive letter wouldn't matter for it.
Yeah, "different internal drive" is if you installed a second hard drive in the laptop to use.
Sorry to labour this Shawn, but I am genuinely trying to understand what I can (and can't) do as regards creating a custom recovery image. I am trying to choose my words carefully below, as it seems that there is sometimes more than one name to describe the same thing, so I hope what I am asking comes across clearly.
And I hope you will bear with me and confirm, refute or clarify the conclusions I have reached below:
In posts 32 - 35 a member inserted a picture of his Disk Management, which showed Disk 0 to hold a section labelled C:, some recovery sections (partitions?), and also sections (drives/partitions?) lettered D and E. You suggested the poster try to save the image to the D: drive (which was part of Disk 0).
So this suggests to me that it is possible to save the recovery image to an area of the only disk on the laptop other than C:. Is this correct?
However, in my post 171 and your reply post 172, you commented that I already have a lot of partitions on my disk. Does this mean that it would not be possible for me to shrink the OS C: section to create a new partition(=drive?) to save the custom recovery image or that you think it inadvisable to do this?
In posts 90 and 91 you respond to a question about saving the custom recovery image onto a flash drive, saying that you can save it anywhere you want. I have concerns about using an external hdd because the drive letter shown when connecting this can sometimes change. Would a usb be an alternative for me? (Of course I would need to guess the potential size of the image but a 32gb usb should suffice as I don't have a lot of additional programs.) If so, would creating the image wipe everything else on the usb or could I create a folder to store it in?
My preference would be to have the image off the laptop if possible, though my concerns may be needless?
I am one of those who chose the free upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1. I am therefore unable to create a system image (unless anyone has found a solution to this problem.) I followed this tutorial and successfully created a custom recovery image in case disaster struck. Well it did yesterday! Alas I was unable to use the recovery image via Refresh PC, Windows reporting that I had insufficient disc space (my system drive is a 128GB SSD.) It made suggestions like uninstalling programs, copying files to another drive etc. which rather defeats the object. Fortunately I had created a system image with third party software and was able to use that. I hadn't realised the possibility of being unable to use "Refresh PC" - has anyone else had the same problem?
With that many partitions created by the OEM, it's just not advisable to create another partition to be used to save a custom recovery image to since there's a good chance you may not be able to use it to recover with from the way your drive is situated.
If you create an image of you laptop using "Macrium Reflect Free" and save it to an external drive, then the drive letter of the external drive wouldn't matter. Plus, this would be a much more reliable method to use to be able to restore your laptop if needed.
As my objective is to create a custom recovery image, I'll do this and save it to C:.
Then if my system files get really messed up, or the system starts running slowly I can use it to get back to what I believe to be a good state.
Plus I'll start to run regular checks to minimise the potential for problems to happen (shame there isn't an emoticon for wishful thinking ).
And I'll continue to make regular full system images, both Windows and Macrium, to use if I need to.
I think that should fulfil my paranoia requirements