Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Should "Recovery Drive" ever be updated?

  1. #1


    Posts : 35
    Windows 8.1 (x64)

    Should "Recovery Drive" ever be updated?


    When I received my desktop with Win8, I went through the Set-Up steps....one of which was to create a Recovery Drive on D: (I also created a Win8 Recovery flash drive at that time)

    Is this where the "factory settings" live and should be left alone? Or is it like a "backup" that I should be periodically updating? Could I get data from it? I have since upgraded to 8.1...so would the D: drive include that if I ever needed to use this drive? Should I create new/updated flash drive?

    I know these may qualify as the dumbest questions of the day, but I do want to understand this.


    ob2se

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello ob2se,

    No worries. There's nothing to update for a Recovery Drive.

    If you included a copy of your recovery partition with the Recovery Drive, then it can be used to do a factory recovery of Windows.

    If you didn't, then the Recovery Drive can only be used to boot to the system recovery options screen.

    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 35
    Windows 8.1 (x64)


    Thanks for the info. I don't know if I "included a copy of your recovery partition with the Recovery Drive." I followed the steps that were prompted when I first booted up my new computer. I did make a USB flash drive when the option was shown.

    How would I know if the recovery partition (which I think refers to my D: drive?) is included on the flash? I'd like to ensure that I can always get back to starting from scratch if needed.

    I've also tried researching backups and images...but I'm not really clear on the differences. If I create a "system image," is that a complete duplicate of my machine at the present time - with OS and applications and data all on one backup media? Or is it a copy of the OS only? Or ?

    Thanks so much for your patience and assistance!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    If you didn't include the recovery partition, then the files size would be less than 1 GB saved on the USB.

    If you are unsure, then you could always create a new one with it included to make sure.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


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


    Did you make the OEM manufacturer's Recovery USB Drive or the Windows Recovery USB Drive ?

    The Windows Recovery USB drive with Recovery Partition can be very problematic, I would recommend you making the OEM manufacturer's Recovery DVD's or USB drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    I've also tried researching backups and images...but I'm not really clear on the differences. If I create a "system image," is that a complete duplicate of my machine at the present time - with OS and applications and data all on one backup media? Or is it a copy of the OS only? Or ?
    Yes it does include the whole system and the data folders. Only data that is in a completely independent partition would not be included. I encourage everybody to make frequent images - at least once per week. That has saved my bacon many times.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 35
    Windows 8.1 (x64)


    brink - I just checked my USB and it has 15.5 GB of used space. Would you assume I have the recovery drive on it?

    theog - I'm really not sure which it was. Wish now I would have kept notes as I went along! What's the best way to find out?

    whs - do you have a favorite tool to make the images? Are partitions different from drives? Like I have a C: drive and a D: that says Recovery...so would I just do an image of the C: drive?

    Thanks so much to each of you. I REALLY appreciate it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    1. The one imaging program I can really recommend is Macrium. It is free, very easy to use and most importantly very reliable. I made this little tutorial you might want to check out.

    Imaging with free Macrium - Windows 7 Help Forums

    2. Partition and Drive are often used for the same thing. C and D are partitions in my book, but many people (even Microsoft) call them drives.

    3. Apart from C you also have to image the system partition. That needs to be done only once in case your disk dies and you need to restore the whole system to a different disk. Normally you would only restore C in case of trouble.

    4. If you decide to use Macrium, download the WinPE recovery disc .iso from my Skydrive and burn that to CD. You'll need that for when you need to recover from an image - but it can also be used for imaging.

    Producing the WinPE CD from within the free Macrium is very time consuming (2 hours minimum) because you have to download the 1.7GB WAIK. With the Macrium Pro version, however, you don't have to download the WAIK. You have to look at the Macrium function list to judge whether the pro version is worth the money. I never bothered to get it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    ob2se,

    If that's from the recovery files, then yeah most likely it contains the recovery partition as well.

    I'm with Wolfgang. Macrium Reflect Free is a great and reliable option to keep system images with.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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