Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


New Win 8 PC - Recovery options

  1. #1

    New Win 8 PC - Recovery options


    Brought a new PC (yes a tower thingy with a monitor !!!!!) - its doesn't come with a certificate of authenticity - a quick Google showed this is by design (ahem)

    Now should my hard drive pop - I am pretty much screwed - I have no media - and no key, if I even get my hands on some win 8 media.

    I have a deep mistrust of recovery disks - especially as I have been using the pc for almost a week ..any ideas ? - am I best to bite the bullet and buy the entire win 8.1 dvd when it comes out later this week ?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Hi kingrollo,

    Did you buy a pre-built with win8 installed? If so, I would save my money for now and try one of these options to save you in a pinch:

    Create a full System Image of you entire hard drive (now) using the inherent Windows 7 Recovery (current). Once you upgrade to Win 8.1 via the store, the name of the same function will be changed to System Image.

    Or, you can also do the same via a free 3rd-party backup program. I use Macrium Reflect Free; however, there are many other good ones available as well.

    Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

    Good luck with you decision.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    One option is to create a recovery thumb drive and check mark the "Copy contents from factory recovery partition to the recovery drive".
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8
    That is supposed to let you boot from that thumb drive and do the Windows 8 Reset to restore your factory install. It may not work if you swap hard drives, it didn't for me when I tried to restore back to an SSD drive that was smaller in size than the original drive. I needed a 16 Gb drive for mine.

    If you reinstall with unmodified official Microsoft Windows 8 install media your embedded key will be read automatically and the matching version installed automatically. When I use my Windows 8 TechNet ISO to install to my laptop I am not prompted to enter a product code and Windows 8 core is installed automatically. That's what it shipped with. It then activates online automatically. There is a COA sticker, it just doesn't have a product code on it. There is one on mine, it just says Windows 8 and has the logo on it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    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.




    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

  5. #5


    OK - On older pc's people bring them to me - provided they have a COA - I can re install XP, Vista, 7 etc. I find this more productive than running reg scans etc [I am a trainer not a techy]
    So a few months down the line - if someone brings me a win 8 PC - running slowly and generally needing a refresh what do I do ? (lets assume to recovery from the HDD fails and user has no recovery disks)

    If a purchased win 8.1 DVD - would it grab the key from the bios - install + activate on its own ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Quote Originally Posted by kingrollo View Post
    OK - On older pc's people bring them to me - provided they have a COA - I can re install XP, Vista, 7 etc. I find this more productive than running reg scans etc [I am a trainer not a techy]
    So a few months down the line - if someone brings me a win 8 PC - running slowly and generally needing a refresh what do I do ? (lets assume to recovery from the HDD fails and user has no recovery disks)

    If a purchased win 8.1 DVD - would it grab the key from the bios - install + activate on its own ?
    The TechNet RTM 8.1 ISO won't use my embedded 8 key. I don't know if it reads it or not. With the current release you can't install with a Windows 8 key, you have to use an 8.1 key to install. You can activate with a Windows 8 key though. You have to install with one of the leaked install keys that won't activate, then enter you 8 key and activate.
    The TechNet 8.0 ISO does read and use the embedded key just fine though.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kingrollo View Post
    OK - On older pc's people bring them to me - provided they have a COA - I can re install XP, Vista, 7 etc. I find this more productive than running reg scans etc [I am a trainer not a techy]
    So a few months down the line - if someone brings me a win 8 PC - running slowly and generally needing a refresh what do I do ? (lets assume to recovery from the HDD fails and user has no recovery disks)

    If a purchased win 8.1 DVD - would it grab the key from the bios - install + activate on its own ?
    The TechNet RTM 8.1 ISO won't use my embedded 8 key. I don't know if it reads it or not. With the current release you can't install with a Windows 8 key, you have to use an 8.1 key to install. You can activate with a Windows 8 key though. You have to install with one of the leaked install keys that won't activate, then enter you 8 key and activate.
    The TechNet 8.0 ISO does read and use the embedded key just fine though.
    I am getting mightly confused here. If my HDD popped tonight and buy I new HDD - and a brought and 8.1 DVD - would it install using the embedded 8.0 key - or would my 8.1 dvd included a key - as they do now ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Quote Originally Posted by kingrollo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kingrollo View Post
    OK - On older pc's people bring them to me - provided they have a COA - I can re install XP, Vista, 7 etc. I find this more productive than running reg scans etc [I am a trainer not a techy]
    So a few months down the line - if someone brings me a win 8 PC - running slowly and generally needing a refresh what do I do ? (lets assume to recovery from the HDD fails and user has no recovery disks)

    If a purchased win 8.1 DVD - would it grab the key from the bios - install + activate on its own ?
    The TechNet RTM 8.1 ISO won't use my embedded 8 key. I don't know if it reads it or not. With the current release you can't install with a Windows 8 key, you have to use an 8.1 key to install. You can activate with a Windows 8 key though. You have to install with one of the leaked install keys that won't activate, then enter you 8 key and activate.
    The TechNet 8.0 ISO does read and use the embedded key just fine though.
    I am getting mightly confused here. If my HDD popped tonight and buy I new HDD - and a brought and 8.1 DVD - would it install using the embedded 8.0 key - or would my 8.1 dvd included a key - as they do now ?
    If you went out and bought a Windows 8.1 DVD it would come with a key. Core or Pro depending on which version you buy. I don't know if it would use the embedded key? The TechNet RTM ISO wouldn't use my embedded 8.0 key. Microsoft may or may not change that when it goes final. If you bought a Windows 8 DVD it would read and use the code, you would also get a product code with that DVD that you could use on another PC.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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