Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Recovery media for Windows 8.1

  1. #1

    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1

    Recovery media for Windows 8.1

    One of the first things I did when I had my new PC last year was to make a set of recovery discs. Now having used the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 I would like to make a set of backup discs for this version, however, my pc say that a set has already been made and I can only make the one set.

    If things stay like this, when I want to do a recovery using either the hdd partition or the discs I made, it installs Windows 8 and then I have to install what seems like a million updates before I then have to go back to the store and do the upgrade to 8.1.

    Is there a way I can make a recovery dvd's for the 8.1 version ?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Instead of a recovery DVD, do an image back to an external hard drive or a large flash drive. Acronis True Image (not free) or Macrium Reflect Free are good choices to do this.\

    Or ---

    see here if you upgraded vis the App store:

    See here: How to Create a Recovery USB Flash Drive in Windows 8 and 8.1

    Option Three shows you how to create an ISO using the ESD-ISO tools after you did a store upgrade.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1

    Will I have to enter a key?
    I don't now with the preinstalled Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1

    Thank you so much ztruker but having had a read through that lot I fear that I've left it too late in life to understand it all.
    It is very complicated jumping back and forth between the different versions and retail and OEM or Pro and Home etc.
    I fear I will just have to do a recovery and go through all the motions to upgrade to 8.1.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    If it came with Win 8 then the key is embedded in the BIOS, there is no COA sticker.

    You can use the following script to get the key if you're curious.

    Open Notepad. Then copy all the data in the Code box below and paste it into Notepad.

    Click File / Save as and save it as "ShowKey.vbs" on the Desktop. Include the double quotes or Notepad will add .txt to the end of the name.

    Right click on ShowKey.vbs on the Desktop and select Run as Administrator.

    Output is in a window on the Desktop. Click Yes to save it to Windows Key.txt in the same folder Showkeys.vbs is in which in this case should be your Desktop. It would be a good idea to print that file or save it somewhere so when you need it, it's available.

    Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
      Key = "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\"
      DigitalID = WshShell.RegRead(key & "DigitalProductId")
      ProductName = "Product Name: " & WshShell.RegRead(Key & "ProductName") & vbNewLine
      ProductID = "Product ID: " & WshShell.RegRead(Key & "ProductID") & vbNewLine
      ProductKey = "Installed Key: " & ConvertToKey(DigitalID)
      ProductID = ProductName & ProductID & ProductKey
      If vbYes = MsgBox(ProductId & vblf & vblf & "Save to a file?", vbYesNo + vbQuestion, "Windows Key Information") then
         Save ProductID
      End if
      Function ConvertToKey(Key)
              Const KeyOffset = 52
              isWin8 = (Key(66) \ 6) And 1
              Key(66) = (Key(66) And &HF7) Or ((isWin8 And 2) * 4)
              i = 24
              Chars = "BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789"
                      Cur = 0
                      X = 14
                              Cur = Cur * 256
                              Cur = Key(X + KeyOffset) + Cur
                              Key(X + KeyOffset) = (Cur \ 24)
                              Cur = Cur Mod 24
                              X = X -1
                      Loop While X >= 0
                      i = i -1
                      KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) & KeyOutput
                      Last = Cur
              Loop While i >= 0
              If (isWin8 = 1) Then
                      keypart1 = Mid(KeyOutput, 2, Last)
                      insert = "N"
                      KeyOutput = Replace(KeyOutput, keypart1, keypart1 & insert, 2, 1, 0)
                      If Last = 0 Then KeyOutput = insert & KeyOutput
              End If
              a = Mid(KeyOutput, 1, 5)
              b = Mid(KeyOutput, 6, 5)
              c = Mid(KeyOutput, 11, 5)
              d = Mid(KeyOutput, 16, 5)
              e = Mid(KeyOutput, 21, 5)
              ConvertToKey = a & "-" & b & "-" & c & "-" & d & "-" & e
      End Function
      Function Save(Data)
              Const ForWRITING = 2
              Const asASCII = 0
              Dim fso, f, fName, ts
              fName = "Windows Key.txt"
              Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
              fso.CreateTextFile fName
              Set f = fso.GetFile(fName)
              Set f = f.OpenAsTextStream(ForWRITING, asASCII)
              f.Writeline Data
      End Function

    Script posted by NiFu here: How do I find my Product Key?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Sorry, missed your last post, was busy typing

    It really isn't difficult. Just follow the steps exactly as written for Option Three.

    You would really be better off doing an Image backup though. 20-30 minutes and you will be up and running with the computer exactly as it was when the backup was created. If you keep two backups, one initial that you save and another that you replace every time you do anything significant on the computer then recovery can save you a ton of post recovery work.

    Think about it. I'd recommend getting an external USB hard drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1

    I've done what you have said about the key and that is now written down, so that gives me encouragement to have a go at option 3.

    I have an external hard drive, so will have a go that way first.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1

    Well I've done it and there are 2 files in the folder, one = 21,373,828 kb and the other = 9 kb.

    I assume that I open Macrium and click on 'Restore' should I have a problem ?

    Has this backed up my MS Office as well ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Forever West
    Posts : 591
    WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17.1

    Now having used the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 I would like to make a set of backup discs for this version, however, my pc say that a set has already been made and I can only make the one set.
    That is a restriction set by the OEMs in allowing the disc creation while also hindering piracy of the software, they apparently figure only one set is needed by the owner of the computer.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10

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

    Pretty poor from MS. If they are going to do this giant upgrade thing, they should provide the option to create recovery media for the average punter.

    They are just encouraging folk to go fishing round the net for what they need.

    I also have no idea what HP think they are doing. Meg is smarter than that surely.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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