Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Recovery partition present but Windows can't find/use it

  1. #1


    Posts : 15
    WIndows 8.1

    Recovery partition present but Windows can't find/use it


    Hi all,

    I did a clean install of Windows 8.1 basic on my new device, as I'm not a big fan of bloatware etc. Unfortunately I can't use the existing product key to activate the clean Windows installation, so I need to restore to factory settings using the recovery partition. Here's where the problems arise.

    The recovery partition is present on the hard drive, but I don't think Windows knows where. Here's the output from reagentc /info via the command line:



    As you can see "Recovery image location" is empty and "Recovery image index" is 0. I think I need to tell Windows where the recovery partition etc. is, but I'm not sure how.

    Any help is appreciated, thanks.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Use the setreimage parameter:

    C:\WINDOWS\system32>REAGENTC.EXE /setreimage /?
    Sets the location of the custom Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) image.


    REAGENTC.EXE /setreimage /path <dir_name> [/target <dir_name>]

    /path <dir_name> - Specifies the directory that contains the custom
    Windows RE image (winre.wim).
    /target <dir_name> - Specifies the Windows installation. If this argument
    is not specified, the running operating system is
    used.

    Example:
    REAGENTC.EXE /setreimage /path r:\Recovery\WindowsRE
    REAGENTC.EXE /setreimage /path r:\Recovery\WindowsRE /target C:\Windows

    REAGENTC.EXE: Operation Successful.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Unfortunately I can't use the existing product key to activate the clean Windows installation,
    Why ?. As long as you install the correct edition, it should accept the key and activate. Install media created with MS official "Media Creation" tool doesn't even require inputting the key manually. It will auto detect the BIOS OEM key during setup if one is present.

    https://youtu.be/meWKm6lWtmw
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Did you try Refresh instead.

    Refresh Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    right click start flag > command prompt(admin)
    type> diskpart
    type> select disk 0
    type> list partition

    You will see a lot of volumes without drive letters assigned.. Find the 10-20GB volume number
    type> select volume # (# being the volume number without a drive letter)
    type> assign letter=R

    You can now browse thru R and find Install.wim or Install.swm(s) - those are your Factory recovery Images..

    Note: Assuming the install* file(s) are on "R" and in a folder called "RecoveryImage"
    Note: Change "drive letter" and "folder name" to suit your system setup

    type> Reagentc /Setosimage /Path R:\RecoveryImage /Target C:\Windows /Index 1

    reboot PC
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 15
    WIndows 8.1


    Thanks to everyone who has responded so far, and sorry for the delayed response.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    Use the setreimage parameter:
    Thanks, looking into this now (also using the info KYHI provided).

    Quote Originally Posted by Anshad Edavana View Post
    Unfortunately I can't use the existing product key to activate the clean Windows installation,
    Why ?. As long as you install the correct edition, it should accept the key and activate.
    The device came pre-installed with Windows 8.1 with Bing, apparently you can't use these keys to activate the non-Bing version (unfortunately I only found this out after I had performed a clean install). The Windows 8.1 with Bing ISOs aren't made publicly available.

    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    Did you try Refresh instead.
    I don't think this is an option right now as it will just take me back to a refreshed version of the current Windows install which cannot be activated.

    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    right click start flag > command prompt(admin)
    type> diskpart
    type> select disk 0
    type> list partition

    You will see a lot of volumes without drive letters assigned.. Find the 10-20GB volume number
    type> select volume # (# being the volume number without a drive letter)
    type> assign letter=R

    You can now browse thru R and find Install.wim or Install.swm(s) - those are your Factory recovery Images..

    Note: Assuming the install* file(s) are on "R" and in a folder called "RecoveryImage"
    Note: Change "drive letter" and "folder name" to suit your system setup

    type> Reagentc /Setosimage /Path R:\RecoveryImage /Target C:\Windows /Index 1

    reboot PC
    Now this is what I think I'm after, thank you so much for the "newbie friendly" instructions, KYHI! I'm going to give it a go now and will update this post ASAP.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    The device came pre-installed with Windows 8.1 with Bing, apparently you can't use these keys to activate the non-Bing version (unfortunately I only found this out after I had performed a clean install).
    Yes, sadly that is true. Currently there is no legit way to obtain a copy of "Windows 8.1 with Bing" ( a leaked version is available on net ).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 15
    WIndows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    right click start flag > command prompt(admin)
    type> diskpart
    type> select disk 0
    type> list partition

    You will see a lot of volumes without drive letters assigned.. Find the 10-20GB volume number
    type> select volume # (# being the volume number without a drive letter)
    type> assign letter=R

    You can now browse thru R and find Install.wim or Install.swm(s) - those are your Factory recovery Images..

    Note: Assuming the install* file(s) are on "R" and in a folder called "RecoveryImage"
    Note: Change "drive letter" and "folder name" to suit your system setup

    type> Reagentc /Setosimage /Path R:\RecoveryImage /Target C:\Windows /Index 1

    reboot PC
    Okay, I've done everything listed above apart from running the /Setosimage command, as I want to verify a few things first. There are a few different *.wim files located on the recovery partition:

    R:/recovery/WindowsRE/Winre.wim
    R:/Windows Images/custom.wim
    R:/Windows/ESP.wim
    R:/Windows/Install.wim

    Which folder should I use for /setosimage /Path? Also, do I need to run a /setreimage command - this keeps popping up in other guides that I'm trying to get my head around, just thought I should mention it here too.

    Thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    your WinRE is already set (registered)

    But after seeing what you have and where.. How big is your drive??

    It appears your system is (was) using WIMboot images

    the Install.wim is the wim you want to register BUT

    you also have a custom.wim in another folder, usually these two .wim files are in the same folder

    as the custom.wim contains to customazitions made to the install.wim

    One thing FOR SURE - copy that whole partition and all files including those wim files to a backup drive and save them
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    I am looking for a file > resetconfig.xml < it will be in one of the folders on R
    open with notepad and copy and paste

    and run this command from cmd(admin)

    Dism /Get-ImageInfo /imagefile:R:\windows\install.wim /Index:1


    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../dn594399.aspx
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Recovery partition present but Windows can't find/use it
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