Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Creating a custom bootable USB

  1. #1

    Creating a custom bootable USB


    Ive been very stupid. I got an ASUS X555 laptop with 8.1 pre-installed, recovery partition etc. Like a good boy, I created the massive 32GB USB stick in case anything happened to my recovery partition (like me deliberately deleting it, with malice aforethought).

    I played with W8.1 for maybe 3 months, and its loathsome and stupid sorry if that offends those on a W8 forum, but I worked hard to get to know it; I can see how itd be OK on a phone or maybe a tablet, but not on my non-touch laptop. Anyway, thats just me.

    So I worked through learning how to install W7, and eventually realised Id have to delete all the partitions when I started, Id thought I could maybe keep the W8 Restore one in case I needed to revert to that one later. But its on a GPT disk, W7 doesn't install in that, so MBR it is.

    I have an old W7-64 DVD with a code written on it, and used that now it's flagging as non-genuine etc, so either the code is dodgy, or something else, God knows. So I want to go back to W8.1, wait for W10 to stabilise, then try that.

    But I've lost the USB I made. Yes, Im beating myself over the head with a pick-axe handle as we speak.

    Anyone still awake? OK, thanks for providing this excellent forum I've studied and learned a lot. What I want to do (using your tutorials, naturally) is download W8.1, create another bootable USB, and restore using that. Questions:


    1. What exactly goes on the USB? I mean, if I install W8.1, then manually do the drivers etc, and create the USB, will that image have the drivers etc if I have to use it to install again?
    2. Does that extend to software? I mean if I install Office, Firefox, all the other stuff, will that get included in the image, and automatically reinstall next time?
    3. Is there any way of re-creating the ASUS recovery partition I destroyed?


    Thanks again

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    You could order the Asus recovery disks from the Asus eStore to restore your computer to factory conditions but I doubt it will give you recovery partition back.

    You could also download and burn your own Windows 8.1 ISO, have your key ready, from this tutorial. It is like the retail version without the Asus programs and crap they have on their recovery disks.
    Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create

    In either case, you will have to reinstall all your 3rd party apps and data.

    Once you are up and running you may use Macrium Reflect Free to create an exact image of your hard drive which would include the OS, programs and data. Create one regularly and your set in the event of a disaster without going through all the hassle again.
    Macrium Reflect Free
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Thanks Nuccii yes Id already read through that and other tutorials here, and I generally understand what to do, I think.

    Of course, I dont NEED the recovery partition its just kind of an OCD thing with me to be able to do EVERYTHING

    And I realise Ill have to reinstall all my other software, of course but what I wondered was if I then made the bootable USB, if things like drivers (and maybe even that software) would then include in its recovery? In other words, I dont know much about the structure of that USB, whether in fact IT is an image of the kind you recommend with Macrium?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    Asus recovery disks would have their drivers and Asus programs.

    Windows ISO will not have programs but will have generic drivers you would have to update latter.

    The Macrium image would be an exact duplicate of your hard drive to restore it exactly. It is not really recommended to do this on a USB stick as they can deteriorate. Because of the size of your hard drive it should ideally be done to an external hard drive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    I have three programs you could run and create the files needed to make a windows recovery image (install.wim) that could then be placed on USB or in a recovery partition..

    First you would need the install.wim from the setup media. (I have a script program that will do that)

    then you would need the windows 8.1 drivers exported from a clean installation of windows 8.1 after the oem drivers where installed ( I have a script program that will do that)

    The you would need to prep the recovery image to create the new recovery Install.wim ( I have a script to do that)

    then you would copy the new Install.wim to the recovery usb..

    and if you wanted a recovery partition - copy recovery USB files to a recovery partition
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    or you could use macruim to create a clean system image (backup)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Thanks guys - am hoping to try some of those things tonight
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    ADK may not be what you are looking for..


    1. What exactly goes on the USB? I mean, if I install W8.1, then manually do the drivers etc, and create the USB, will that image have the drivers etc if I have to use it to install again? Yes, but you would have to capture the image of the windows partition (install.wim)
    2. Does that extend to software? I mean if I install Office, Firefox, all the other stuff, will that get included in the image, and automatically reinstall next time? These programs would need to be installed via another option (not really an option, because some fail to re-activate upon reset..
    3. Is there any way of re-creating the ASUS recovery partition I destroyed? partition yes, factory image no - unless you contact asus
    4. I usually install windows 8.1 > setup the oem driver packages > update windows > shrink the C partition by 8GB to create a recovery partition > capture the current windows partition as an install.wim located on the 8GB recovery partition
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    By the Ocean
    Posts : 177
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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