Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How do I create a recovery partition on a 2nd HDD

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Win 8.1

    How do I create a recovery partition on a 2nd HDD


    Thank you for reading! Skip to the bold part below if this is TLDR. I've tried searching around for answers, but I'm afraid that I'm just not familiar enough with what I'm hoping to solve to even know if I'm searching in the right place. So again, thanks for your help in advance!

    I recently picked up an Asus laptop, a SDD to replace the the laptop's HDD, and a HDD caddy to hold the HDD in place of the CD/DVD drive. After a fresh Win 8.1 install on the SDD, I made system images of both the SDD and the HDD with the Win 8 OEM install (both stored on external drive). I also created a USB recovery drive and then formatted the HDD.

    Fast forward a few weeks... It's last Friday. I'm about to leave for a business trip. I boot up my laptop and a screen comes up telling me to "reboot and select proper boot device". I pull the SDD out, hook it up to my desktop, and see that the drive shows up, but it's blank. A little googling turned up a few reviews from other people with the same issue. On rare occasion, it will wipe itself. Using the USB recovery drive and the Win 8.1 system image, I got things up and running again.

    Now for my question, instead of constantly carrying around the 2 USB drives holding the recovery and system image, can I create a recovery partition on my HDD that I can boot too if my SDD wipes again? (Could I copy or clone my Recovery USB to a partition on my HDD?) Then I could just keep the SSD system image on the HDD in case I need to restore it, right?

    Click image for larger version

    Disk 0: SDD disk that wiped itself
    Disk 1: HDD that I'd like to have a recovery partition and system image on

    I also have:
    • Win 8 OEM system image
    • Win 8.1 system image
    • Recovery USB drive (8.1)
    • Win 8.1 USB Install drive


    Thanks again! Bare with me if I said anything silly

    Ps. I do plan on replacing the drive if it wipes again. I just like to learn how to do things

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    You can always create a System Image Backup on a second internal drive, as long as it is not part of the backup. You could also copy the current WindowsImageBackup folder to the internal drive for re-imaging the SSD.

    The term "Image" may apply to many different type of files. For instance, a Windows 8 OEM system image may be a .wim file used to reset the system to factory conditions. The type of file would certainly determine what utility was necessary to recover that image.

    A recovery drive will normally have the Factory image of Windows 8, unless you have replaced the install.wim with a new one. But all this does get confusing if the exact type of image being referred to is not known.

    Be aware, when you create a Recovery Drive, the entire drive can be used for nothing else. That is why Flash drives are normally used.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 4
    Win 8.1


    Thanks for the reply Saltgrass!

    I appreciate you pointing out the differences in some of those terms as I'm not terribly familiar with them. The "system images" I was referring to are indeed WindowsImageBackup folders.

    The Recovery Drive was made using the process found here. (I did not check the "Copy contents from the recovery partition to the recovery drive", and the contents of the drive are only about 260MB. )

    When my SSD wiped, I used the Recovery Drive made from the link above to recover the system image in my WindowsImageBackup folder by way of the "System Image Recovery" option.

    Similarly to the 400MB recovery partition seen here, is it possible to clone from my USB recovery drive to a partition or otherwise create that small recovery partition by itself and not have it use the whole disk drive? I'm imagining a 300-400MB partition on my HDD that replaces my USB drive and that my computer can boot to in order access the Advanced Startup Options in order to reach the System Image Recovery.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    You have what you need to recover a System Image Backup to a clean hard drive, just the Flash Drive and the Image on the Hard Drive.

    If you want to move the Recovery Tools partition, or set up one to be used in lieu of, there may be some problems. First, I suppose you would still need the Boot files to start the Special Tools image. If you lost the drive completely, those files would no longer be available and no way to boot to that image, so you would need an external drive anyway.

    Someone else may have better information about achieving what you want, but I don't have the experience to set it up that way.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


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


    Yes, you can make a small partition, copy boot.sdi and winre.wim onto it and create a boot menu entry.

    Where is your windowsImage Backup kept? You could put them in the same place.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 4
    Win 8.1


    Thanks SIW2! My WindowsImageBackup is currently kept on an external drive. After I figure out what and where boot.sdi and winre.wim are and how to create a boot menu entry, I'll do just that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 4
    Win 8.1


    Well, I'm feeling a little defeated. I've been trying for the better part of 2.5 hours now, but I'm afraid I'm not tech savvy enough to sort that out without more help. I can't find winre.wim anywhere. Searching in System32\Recovery\ came up empty, and mounting and looking through older backups also didn't yield anything. It doesn't appear to be on my recovery USB, and I tried to follow another suggestion that I mount the install.wim on the Win8 install media to look for it... It's all a bit over my head I sure don't know how to create a boot menu entry. Would you be able to offer any more direction on how to do what you suggested? I would greatly appreciate it!

    Update: My computer will no longer boot while trying to find winre.wim in a hidden folder, I was sent to a screen saying CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED. It restarted and now I'm back to the same "reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media..." screen and drive failure that prompted this question.
    Last edited by Acorns; 29 Jun 2014 at 20:50.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


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


    Have you got those system recovery options when you boot the recovery drive you made?

    If you have, then winre.wim and boot.sdi will be on there.

    Winre has probably been renamed to boot.wim. It will be in the "sources" folder on your recovery drive.

    I assume you want to create a system image on an internal drive, so you don't have to carry anything around?

    In that case, you can simply copy and paste boot.sdi and boot.wim from the recovery drive onto the same partition you are going to store the system image on.

    Rename boot.wim to winre.wim.

    Then add it to the boot menu by opening admin command prompt and type reagentc /setreimage /? for easy instructions.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    The original problem of not finding a Boot device may be caused because of a couple of reasons.

    First, I have seen installs where and SSD would disappear from the system and not even show in the Bios. If it is currently happening, check the bios or a Boot Device menu to see if the SSD is still available and set as first priority in the Boot Devices in the Bios.

    Something else that might be involved is the HDD in the Optical drive slot. Perhaps some bios process is setting it back to the primary boot device. So I would also suggest you remove the HDD, at least for testing.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Acorns View Post
    Well, I'm feeling a little defeated. I've been trying for the better part of 2.5 hours now, but I'm afraid I'm not tech savvy enough to sort that out without more help. I can't find winre.wim anywhere. Searching in System32\Recovery\ came up empty, and mounting and looking through older backups also didn't yield anything. It doesn't appear to be on my recovery USB, and I tried to follow another suggestion that I mount the install.wim on the Win8 install media to look for it... It's all a bit over my head I sure don't know how to create a boot menu entry. Would you be able to offer any more direction on how to do what you suggested? I would greatly appreciate it!

    Update: My computer will no longer boot while trying to find winre.wim in a hidden folder, I was sent to a screen saying CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED. It restarted and now I'm back to the same "reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media..." screen and drive failure that prompted this question.
    Try hitting the Esc key on boot up that should give you a Boot menu just select your SSD to boot from. If not then it sounds to me like that SSD or the connection are failing.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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