Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1 Recovery Won't Recognise External Hard Drive

  1. #11



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Go to Disk Management and right click where I marked in yellow > choose properties > volumes tab > partition style it will say GPT or MBR. Also like KYHI said in post #4
    Another issue may be the boot method - MBR or UEFI-GPT
    Attachment 57048
    you need to make sure your bios is set accordingly to your disk partitioning. Also I reread your first post and maybe you should put your old drive back in get Macrium Reflect Free make a new Image to your ext. HDD with it, then put your new drive back in and use recover image.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1


    Okay, so I think the product key I grabbed from my Windows 8.1 installation was actually the product ID... I've run Belarc Adviser to grab the proper key, and have used my recovery media to install Windows 8.1 on my new hard drive.

    Looking in Disk Manager, I can see that both my external drive and my new hard drive are both set to MBR - how can I check that my BIOS is set accordingly? Going through the recovery options in the usual way on Windows 8.1 comes up with the same initial problem.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


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


    Can't help with your problem, but will suggest you try, in the future---

    Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

    I use the Standard version for the boot time recovery environment.

    A while back I did something so stupid I had to use my factory recovery disks to reinstall my 8 OEM.
    Once I reinstalled 8 OEM I installed my Standard version of Macrium & set up the boot time environment.

    I then inserted my Macrium image usb & restored straight to 8.1.1 Pro WMC.
    That was easy.

    Better than the Microsoft way, IMO.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


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


    You can use this vbs script to get your OEM & installed product keys---

    ShowKey v1.3.vbs

    A picture---

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    ok two questions
    Is this MBR info you just posted, the new installation of windows 8.1?

    explain this?
    Going through the recovery options in the usual way on Windows 8.1 comes up with the same initial problem
    Because two things - that windows system image has to be MBR or the windows system image will fail..
    and two - I have never had any luck restoring from a "windows" system backup image
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by KYHI View Post
    ok two questions
    Is this MBR info you just posted, the new installation of windows 8.1?

    explain this?
    Going through the recovery options in the usual way on Windows 8.1 comes up with the same initial problem
    The MBR info I posted was for both my external hard drive and my new installation of Windows 8.1.

    What I mean is that going through the recovery options in Windows 8.1 results in the same troubles as when I do it through the recovery media. So Charms > Change PC settings > Update and recovery > Recovery > Advanced Start-up. Then going Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System Image Recovery to try and recover my backup image leads to the same problem that I outlined in my original post - that it can't find the image on my external hard drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    have you tried or can you copy the files to a usb and see if that works

    so what you are saying is file explorer finds the ext HDD but system recovery does not

    advanced startup causes a reboot to go into the other options
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1


    The backup is over 400GB in size as my old hard drive is 1TB, so copying to USB isn't possible. Let me check the partition style of my old drive and see what that was.

    Yes,I can actually navigate to the external hard drive as normal, but the recovery doesn't find the backup image on it. I can even navigate to the hard drive when in the recovery environment when it asks me to install drivers after it fails to find the backup image.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    So Charms > Change PC settings > Update and recovery > Recovery > Advanced Start-up. Then going Troubleshoot > Advanced options > command prompt

    type> diskpart
    type> list volume

    is your ext HDD listed

    Also now that you have a bootable disk with new windows - you can copy your files from old to new disk..
    you will have to reinstall the programs, but the files will be there.. As you should have file access to the old user folders, just copy over the contents of the user folders from one hd to the other.. Or any other folder with your data files..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1


    Just checked the partition style of my old HDD and it's MBR too, so the backup I made will be for MBR as well, right?

    Just went into command prompt and it's listing my ext. HDD.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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