Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8 system recovery

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    Windows 7

    Windows 8 system recovery


    I wish to purchase a new laptop that has Windows 8 OEM pre-installed on a 256GB SSD and a recovery partition. I would like to move the recovery partition to an USB drive using the feature available in Windows 8 and create another partition on the SSD for a different OS (linux). I have several questions:

    1. Is there any difference between a recovery USB and the recovery partition on the SSD?

    2. [Answered] If I completely wipe the original Windows 8 installation can I restore my system using the USB drive?

    3. [Answered] During recovery, can I chose on what partition I want to install Windows 8 or create a new partition for it (similarly to a fresh install) or is the whole thing done automatically? I want to know if the recovery process wipes the whole SSD or only the Windows partition and if my other partitions will be left intact (I can live with it overriding the bootloader).

    4. If I shrink the Windows 8 partition, can I still perform the recovery? (assuming that I have enough space for the installation)

    Any help is appreciated, and I'm sorry if some of the questions have been answered before, but I couldn't find something this specific.
    Last edited by alexqaws; 11 Oct 2013 at 06:49.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Hi alexqaws,

    I understand your needing to know but it just seems like too many questions at once to answer without writing a book.With that said, I will tackle the one I consider to be most important and respond as follows:

    If I completely wipe the original Windows 8 installation can I restore my system using the USB drive?
    Yes; provided your laptop has the ability to boot from a properly formatted USB drive that matches your Legacy or UEFI installation.

    However, the most important thing that you can do right now is make sure you have created the manufacturer's "factory restore" discs. That way, you will always have a way to recover your laptop to "day 1 condition" in case you run into problems down the road. Another thing to consider would be to use the inherent Win 8 (aka Win 7) recovery to create a System Image as a means for recovery in case of same. This option would be a supplement to your factory restore discs and be beneficial after a clean install. Also, Macrium Reflect Free is another great backup alternative you might want to explore. Good luck with getting all your questions answered.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 3
    Windows 7


    Quote Originally Posted by my2cents View Post
    Yes; provided your laptop has the ability to boot from a properly formatted USB drive that matches your Legacy or UEFI installation.
    Thanks for the quick reply, at least I can remove one question from the list.

    I also found the answer to the third question. It seems that the recovery process has an option that lets you choose on what partition to restore the OS, but sometimes this option is disabled, so I would probably have to test it myself and see if this is supported by the recovery image that comes with the laptop. My best guess is that this option is enabled or not based on some settings that are defined when the recovery image is created, so it will probably be manufacturer/system specific.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by alexqaws View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by my2cents View Post
    Yes; provided your laptop has the ability to boot from a properly formatted USB drive that matches your Legacy or UEFI installation.
    Thanks for the quick reply, at least I can remove one question from the list.

    I also found the answer to the third question. It seems that the recovery process has an option that lets you choose on what partition to restore the OS, but sometimes this option is disabled, so I would probably have to test it myself and see if this is supported by the recovery image that comes with the laptop. My best guess is that this option is enabled or not based on some settings that are defined when the recovery image is created, so it will probably be manufacturer/system specific.
    My best guess is that this option is enabled or not based on some settings that are defined when the recovery image is created, so it will probably be manufacturer/system specific.
    If you are specifically referring to the "factory recovery/restore discs", I doubt you will have that option as they are preset to restore you OS and partition structure to day 1 status. However, if you have already done a clean install, which essentially removes that factory partition structure, then, depending on the software used to create the system image, you might have other options available; however, I cannot say what those options might be.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by alexqaws
    1. Is there any difference between a recovery USB and the recovery partition on the SSD?
    1) Using Windows 8 Recovery USB drive feature, NO, as both use the Recovery Partition.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexqaws
    2. [Answered] If I completely wipe the original Windows 8 installation can I restore my system using the USB drive?

    2) Not using the Windows 8 Recovery USB drive feature.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexqaws
    3. [Answered] During recovery, can I chose on what partition I want to install Windows 8 or create a new partition for it (similarly to a fresh install) or is the whole thing done automatically? I want to know if the recovery process wipes the whole SSD or only the Windows partition and if my other partitions will be left intact (I can live with it overriding the bootloader).
    3) More then one Question to Answer, but base automatically.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexqaws
    4. If I shrink the Windows 8 partition, can I still perform the recovery? (assuming that I have enough space for the installation)
    4) You may/may not.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    information   Information

    We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
    & made the Startup Repair CD.
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8
    System Repair Disc - Create in Windows 8





    You can make a Microsoft Recovery USB Drive
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8
    warning   Warning
    Deleting the Recovery Partition is NOT RECOMMENDED


    warning   Warning
    I personally DO NOT RECOMMEND using this METHOD above, as of the ERRORS you may receive below with the Microsoft Recovery USB Drive.You would be best off using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery DVD's or Recovery USB drive.


    Click image for larger version

    I would recommend you making the OEM manufacturer's Recovery DVD's or USB drive.
    or
    You can order the Microsoft official OEM Recovery disks from the OEM manufacturer's website.





    The Windows Recovery USB drive & Recovery Partition can be very problematic, I recommend you also make a Windows System Image.

    System Image - Create in Windows 8

    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8

    System Repair Disc - Create in Windows 8

    System Image Recovery - Restore Image on Computer in Windows 8

    or
    look for a 3rd party ,Backup software, which fully supports Windows 8, uEFI, GPT & Secure Boot.
    Which is signed by Microsoft.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 3
    Windows 7


    Thank you, great tutorials!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    You are welcome.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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