Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

What is bare-metal recovery

  1. #11

    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10

    Hi there

    Some older External HDD's were sold with a "1-step recovery" which was activated by pressing a button on the external HDD -- all this essentially did was restore a system image from the image stored on the HDD -- it would run a special program that *might* or *might not* need a Boot.

    Windows REFRESH / RESET essentially both mean a re-install of Windows (but an automatic one) from some sort of saved data within Windows itself - they have slightly different meanings but -- seriously though I've never bothered with that. I prefer to work with images I've taken myself.

    Your best bet is to take TWO separate images -- one of the hidden OEM recovery partition if you have one -- then you can delete that from HDD and free up more space, and a second image of your current running Windows system (and the small boot partition). Keep the system OS + pgms separate from other partitions so you don't lose data (such as music / photos etc) when restoring.

    If you want to get the computer back to the shop state - simply a) restore the OEM partition that you saved as I pointed out earlier, and then b) run the manufacturers recovery program / procedure.


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12

    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64

    It is not confusing, just read the first paragraph on the link. If you need to recreate the partition structure on a drive, such as on a new drive, you are doing a bare metal recovery.

    Bare Metal Reset/Recovery: Enable Your Users to Create Media and to Recover Hard Drive Space
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  3. #13

    Posts : 31
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    @Saltgrass : makes perfect sense. Thanks! I must have missed that para...

    The reason I got interested in this was that I got 2 conflicting pieces of info :

    1. One CANNOT use a custom image for Reset PC, one must use the default install.wim
    2. ResetConfig.xml can be used to point to a custom install.wim

    Bare-metal recovery involves both Push button Reset (which seems to include BOTH reset AND refresh), as well as ResetConfig.xml .
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  4. #14

    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64

    The two items do not conflict. You can't, or should not, use a Custom Refresh Image to reset a PC because it does not contain the entire install and will not replace certain components. Microsoft recommends against using such a process.

    The ResetConfig.xml is a configuration file normally read by the Reset utility to set something up in a certain way. This particular file is referenced in the link I supplied. Reagent.xml is another one which normally points to the Factory Image used in Resets.

    There may be several .xml files involved in a reset or recovery. One will usually contain the partition structure for a bare metal recovery. These files can be read and edited in notepad.

    A reset does require an image named Install.wim (.swm) to function. There may be some other file extensions that can be used also, I am just not that familiar.

    One thing I learned in my testing was a Recovery Drive made in Windows does not use the current partition configuration on the hard drive. It reverts to the Windows basic configuration so a bare metal recovery may not have all the original partitions. The OEM version will probably have all the original partitions, such as the Dell 40 MB OEM partition on my system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15

    Posts : 31
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Oh I did not mean using a custom refresh image to reset a PC... I meant using a customised install.wim (obtained from the original ISO, for example) instead of the default.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16

    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64

    edit: deleted comment as I read 'refresh' for 'reset'
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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What is bare-metal recovery
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