Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Reset with WIM image ?

  1. #1


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center

    Reset with WIM image ?


    Hello,

    I made a wim image file:

    Click image for larger version

    It is in a folder in C:\ ----

    Click image for larger version

    In case my computer will not boot, can I right now, add the image to a usb drive & boot from it & restore everything ?

    I would need it on a usb drive because the computer can't boot.

    Would I put the folder containing the wim file on the usb drive or just the wim file ?

    It seems there would need to be an autorun inf file involved so it would automatically run.?

    Would EVERYTHING already on the usb drive need to be removed ?
    They come with a few things already on them.

    Is the information in the wim file the same as contained in a Recovery point ?

    The main problem to me is to get the computer to boot from the usb drive.
    Does one set that up before the computer quits functioning ?

    My brain works slow.
    Screenshots are very helpful to me.

    Anyone feel free to offer advice.

    The wim is a compressed file.
    Does that affect its' use ?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Hi medab1,

    In case you hadn't seen it already, there's some info in the tutorial here:
    Refresh Windows 8 - Create and Use Custom Recovery Image
    (Bear in mind that some of the comments on the tutorial thread date back over a year and relate to Preview versions of Window 8 before its full release.)

    As I understand it, this image can only be used for a Refresh rather than the Reset you mention in the thread title.

    I don't think a Refresh is quite the same as a System Restore - it does a more severe cleanout than that, and in my experience loses a few settings, but it's definitely less severe than a Reset.

    As for making a a USB, I think your best bet would be to start by creating a USB Recovery drive
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8

    This is bootable and would get you going on a non-booting PC.

    If your hard disk is readable then I hope (but don't know for certain) that if you select the Refresh option within Recovery run from the USB that it would find the .wim in your C:\RefreshImage folder.

    What I also don't know is whether, once you've booted the PC from the USB, you can change it to point at a Refresh image actually on the USB itself. The Recovery mode includes a command line, but not sure if it allows recimg to change Windows to point at an image on the USB, and to use that there and then.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    I made a usb recovery thing.
    It just copied my Recovery Drive.
    If the usb would find & use the wim file, that would be nice.

    The recovery drive resets to factory settings.
    I want the wim file to restore/reset things without losing my programs, etc. .

    If any one else has advice I would appreciate the input.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


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


    If you put your CustomRefresh.wim on a USB Pen Drive, you would two.

    1) One for the CustomRefesh.wim, format to NTFS to take size of wim.

    2) One for the Windows 8 startup repair disc.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    My thought on the wim is it is a snapshot of your system as it is when you create it.

    As in the screenshot, the wim is registered.
    When it is used it seems to me it is just like a recovery point.
    You don't lose anything.

    But if the computer won't boot,one would need either it or the bootable usb device you advised.

    What does this bootable usb drive boot TO ?

    The wim file ?

    Safe mode ?
    Regular Desktop or Metro ?

    I am ignorant upon these matters.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    If you put your CustomRefresh.wim on a USB Pen Drive, you would two.

    1) One for the CustomRefesh.wim, format to NTFS to take size of wim.

    2) One for the Windows 8 startup repair disc.
    My head is old & slow.

    What is meant by "take size of wim" ?
    A usb large enough to hold it ?

    2-- A bootable usb like I already made ?

    I just bought a 32 GB usb drive in case I needed it.

    Are you suggesting inserting the bootable usb & then inserting the one with the wim on it ?

    Forgive my ignorance.
    I can't learn without asking questions.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    If I get time I will have a look at what the custom.wim contains. Then we can work out what it can be used for.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


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


    Quote Originally Posted by medad1
    What does this bootable usb drive boot TO ?

    Safe mode ?
    Regular Desktop or Metro ?
    To
    System Recovery Options - Boot to in Windows 8

    The wim file ?

    What is meant by "take size of wim" ?
    A usb large enough to hold it ?
    2-- A bootable usb like I already made ?
    The USB you made is format to FAT32, which can only have files smaller than 2.5gb.
    Your wim is over 12gb

    Are you suggesting inserting the bootable usb & then inserting the one with the wim on it ?
    I am not suggesting you do it.

    2-- A bootable usb like I already made ?
    The wim in your OEM Recovery USB, will look like this.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    This article may be some use:
    Create a custom recovery image for Windows 8's Refresh your PC tool | TechRepublic
    also the earlier one:
    Refresh your Windows 8 system from a Recovery Drive | TechRepublic

    In the first link, it does seem that the author has tried setting a custom recovery image on the C: drive, and after booted from the USB Recovery disk, been able to Refresh to that Custom image.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Republic article
    After I created my custom recovery image, I then booted my system from the USB flash drive Recovery Drive and ran the Refresh your PC operation. When I did so, the operation ran exactly like the default operation that I showed you last week (Refresh your Windows 8 system from a Recovery Drive) with the exception that it did not prompt me to insert the Windows 8 installation DVD. When it was complete, I found all of my desktop applications as well as all of my data, settings, and apps had been restored.
    Of course this relies on the local hard disk drive being in a state when it's not bootable but still allows files to be read.

    If the disk had more severe problems than that, (eg. a brand new disk) I'm not sure what would work.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    They're not kidding about it taking a while.

    A lot of stuff has been excluded from the custom wim and quite a lot removed from the registry as well.

    Not reaaly suitable for what you have in mind.

    Much faster and more flexible to use a 3rd party imaging program. Several free ones available. Paragon , aomei and macrium spring to mind.They all work well.

    Paragon doesn't include a method to make winpe , tho it does include a bootable linux based iso.
    Free Backup Software: Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition - Overview

    Aomei is excellent . New version1.1.1. Fast reliable, lots of functions, simple to use, and can create winpe boot media without needing the huge wadk download. It doesn't have scheduling. I always do it manually - so it doesn't bother me.
    AOMEI Backupper ? free disk imaging and cloning software, backup and recovery for your computer.

    Macrium can create winpe - but only if you download the gigantic waik/wadk from MS.
    Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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