Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1 and Surface Pro

  1. #51


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    I have been reading this thread but have not been able to get a good idea of how you are going to install the Pre-Release 8.1 So I will not even try to address any licensing issues.

    I have been testing the Reset capabilities of Windows 8/8.1 using my RecoveryImage partition which is close to or exactly the same as some OEM partitions. I can say the Reset option can be problematic if anything on the drive has been changed other than the OS partition. Theog has been warning problems might arise, so be careful. The Recovery Drive stores the install.wim as a series of smaller install.swm files, I would prefer to have the original install.wim, just in case.

    But I am going to suggest something a little different. If you have an external drive large enough to hold the System Image, you can back it up and the Recovery Partition using the wbadmin.exe utility. It takes a couple of steps, but it might be worth it. You might be able to use the Normal Windows imaging utility if you were willing to assign a drive letter to the RecoveryImage partition.

    First, you need to find the GUID for the Recovery Image partition. You can do that by using an Administrative command prompt and typing mountvol which will give you a list of partitions on your system. The two Recovery Partitions (small and large) will probably show as "no mount points" as you can see below. Use the right click and mark option in the command prompt to copy one of those identifiers and copy it into the Run box and hit enter. If it opens the Recovery Image partition, then you have the correct one.

    Possible values for VolumeName along with current mount points are:

    \\?\Volume{14fe12ed-0e04-4a82-b741-dd28aded8ff2}\
    C:\

    \\?\Volume{77ec0132-d0d1-4391-acaa-98c016541e94}\
    F:\

    \\?\Volume{61f757ef-6ca0-42b9-aa68-00d83573b770}\
    D:\

    \\?\Volume{e5257413-45a5-4574-ab18-7cb513733272}\
    *** NO MOUNT POINTS ***

    \\?\Volume{064481a3-42ed-49c3-8199-3bb3cbb5ab6f}\
    *** NO MOUNT POINTS ***

    \\?\Volume{ebf83f52-e2c5-11e2-be66-806e6f6e6963}\
    E:\
    \\?\Volume{064481a3-42ed-49c3-8199-3bb3cbb5ab6f}\ was the one my system used. Keep yours in a place you can copy it and paste later.

    If you do not have a drive letter on the Recovery partition, you can use wbadmin.exe to include it in a System Image.

    Again in an Administrative Command prompt, type the command below and hit enter. The BackupTarget is the drive where you want to store the image, the -allCritical will image the partitions needed to boot and run the system and the -include will image the partition with the GUID (or drive letter) you give it. In this case, the RecoveryImage partition GUID is being used. Make sure add the spaces where necessary.

    wbadmin Start Backup -BackupTarget:D: -allCritical -include:\\?\Volume{064481a3-42ed-49c3-8199-3bb3cbb5ab6f}\

    The process of running the command is shown below. You can see how the RecoveryImage is included in the partitions to be imaged.The good thing is it will not destroy any data, unless you overwrite a previous backup image. If it doesn't work, you have not lost anything.

    C:\Windows\system32>wbadmin Start Backup -BackupTarget: D: -allCritical -include:\\?\Volume{064481a3-42ed-49c3-8199-3bb3cbb5ab6f}\
    wbadmin 1.0 - Backup command-line tool
    (C) Copyright 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    Retrieving volume information...
    This will back up (EFI System Partition),Windows 8(C: ,Recovery (500.00 MB),Recovery Image (14.64 GB) to D:.
    Do you want to start the backup operation?
    [Y] Yes [N] No
    Also note, when you are ready, you need a Windows 8 Recovery Media to recover a Windows 8 image. Trying to use 8.1 media to recover an 8 image, has not worked for me.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #52


    Ok, last question, what if I make USB recovery, like described here and than completely format drive, so erasing all portions. Will recovery via USB than work? Anybody can test?
    And what about dual boot, since I have 70+GB free ?
    Last edited by benko; 07 Sep 2013 at 03:20.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #53


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


    I personally didn't have much luck trying to restore from my USB recovery drive, I swapped hard drives though. Here is what I went though.
    New ASUS laptop has no recovery disk utlity!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #54


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


    Quote Originally Posted by benko View Post
    Ok, last question, what if I make USB recovery, like described here and than completely format drive, so erasing all portions. Will recovery via USB than work? Anybody can test?
    If make the USB Recovery Drive
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8

    & than
    1) Delete the Recovery Partition.

    2) Wipe the HDD.

    3) Add drive letter to the Recovery Partition.

    The USB Recovery Drive will be unusable.

    If you download from the MS App Store from 18 October & update to 8.1, The USB Recovery Drive will still be usable to go back to Windows 8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #55


    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by benko View Post
    Ok, last question, what if I make USB recovery, like described here and than completely format drive, so erasing all portions. Will recovery via USB than work? Anybody can test?
    If make the USB Recovery Drive
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8

    & than
    1) Delete the Recovery Partition.

    2) Wipe the HDD.

    3) Add drive letter to the Recovery Partition.

    The USB Recovery Drive will be unusable.

    If you download from the MS App Store from 18 October & update to 8.1, The USB Recovery Drive will still be usable to go back to Windows 8.
    I think than the best would be Acronis True Image or some similar tool. So now I am thinking, restoring Surdace back to stock, and than make a acronis image back on a USB ?

    But, I am also thinking since I DO NOT NEED any data and/or apps on a current setup, why I need to do any backup. I can easily revert back to stock Windows 8 pro( I have a dvd/ISO and I have saved serial/registration/activation key), as far I as I know Surface Pro has same Windows as original DVD ?

    Plus I have found drivers for it
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #56


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


    If you have an official unmodified Microsoft Windows 8 DVD/ISO doing a clean install should not be a problem. The install media will read the embedded key and not prompt you to enter one. It will then activate online automatically the first time you connect to the internet.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #57


    Ok, than no worries

    When I want to create bootable USB with Rufus for Surface Pro, I need to select GPT partions scheme for UEFI and FAT32(or NTFS?) format?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #58


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


    I use the Windows 7 DVD Download tool to make my USB thumb drive install media. That tool formats them in NTFS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #59


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro


    just as an aside,, I still recommend doing this

    How to Install and Run Windows 8.1 Preview in Hyper-V
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #60


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post

    If make the USB Recovery Drive
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8

    & than
    1) Delete the Recovery Partition.

    2) Wipe the HDD.

    3) Add drive letter to the Recovery Partition.

    The USB Recovery Drive will be unusable.
    Apologies for what's probably a dumb observation... but if I was in the following scenario:

    1. Make a USB Recovery Drive

    2. Suffer complete HDD failure at some future date

    3. Replace HDD with a new blank one

    ... then I would hope the USB Recovery Disk would be what I could use to recover the computer, as that's exactly the sort of scenario when I'd expect it to be the recovery method.

    What's the step in the first scenario that makes the USB unusable, and how is it different from my scenario?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows 8.1 and Surface Pro
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