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Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8

How to Create a USB Recovery Drive in Windows 8 and 8.1


information   Information
If you run into problems with your PC, a USB recovery drive can help you troubleshoot and fix those problems, even if your PC won't start.

This will show you how to create a bootable recovery (system repair) USB flash drive in Windows 8 to use to boot to the system recovery options that can be used to help recover Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, or Windows RT 8.1.

This is basically the same thing as a system repair disc, but is on a bootable USB flash drive instead.

You must be logged in as an administrator to be able to create a recovery drive.

Note   Note
A recovery USB flash drive cannot be used to install Windows 8 unless this is an OEM PC that came with Windows 8 preinstalled, and you checked the Copy contents from the recovery partition to the recovery drive box at step 5 below.

If your PC came with Windows 8 and you upgraded it to Windows 8.1, your recovery drive will include Windows 8, and you’ll need to upgrade to Windows 8.1 after you refresh or reset your PC.

A created 32-bit recovery USB flash drive can only be created in a 32-bit Windows 8, and used to repair a 32-bit Windows 8.

A created 64-bit recovery USB flash drive can only be created in a 64-bit Windows 8, and used to repair a 64-bit Windows 8.


EXAMPLE: System Recovery Options
NOTE:
After you boot from the recovery USB flash drive, you will need to select your language and keyboard layout (if displayed) for Windows 8, then select Troubleshoot to see the system recovery options.
boot.JPG
Example-4.jpg
(On some newer OEM PC's with Windows 8 preinstalled, you may have the option to reinstall in the OEM manufacturer's tools like below if the Recovery Partition is still in place.)​
oem-recovery.png
Advanced_Options.jpg



Here's How:

1. Connect a USB flash drive that is at least 256 MB (8 GB if copying the recovery partition) in size, then do either step 2 or 3 below.


2. Press the :winkey: + R keys, type RecoveryDrive.exe, press Enter, and go to step 4 below.

3. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Recovery icon.
A) Click/tap on the Create a recovery drive link, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)​
Drive-1.jpg


4. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

5. Click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

Note   Note
If you have a store bought OEM computer that came with Windows 8 preinstalled, then you could also check the Copy contents from the recovery partition to the recovery drive box to be able to use the recovery USB flash drive to do a factory restore/recovery of Windows 8.

If you do not have an OEM recovery partition, then the Copy contents from the recovery partition to the recovery drive option will be grayed out.

warning   Warning
If you checked the Copy contents from the recovery partition to the recovery drive box, then once the Recovery Media creation has completed, you will have an option to delete the recovery partition at step 10 below. On most systems, this partition is about 10G in size.


drive-2.jpg

6. Select a USB flash drive at least 256 MB in size that you would like to make a bootable recovery drive with, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
WARNING: Everything on the selected USB flash drive will be deleted, so be sure to backup anything on it that you do not want to lose first.
drive-3.jpg

7. Click/tap on Create. (see screenshot below)
WARNING: This is your last chance to backup anything on the USB flash drive that you do not want to lose before doing this.
drive-4.jpg

8. The USB recovery drive will now be created. (see screenshot below)
drive-5.jpg

9. Do step 10 or step 11 below for what you would like to do.

10. If you wanted to Delete the Recovery Partition
warning   Warning
It is recommended to NOT DELETE the recovery partition. It has been reported by many that they were unable to restore Windows 8 to the hard drive using the recovery USB drive without the OEM factory recovery partition still intact.

You can free up some drive space by deleting the recovery partition, but you won't be able to refresh or reset your PC again without the recovery drive.


A) If you checked the Copy contents from the recovery partition to the recovery drive box at step 5 above, click/tap on the Delete the recovery partition link. (see screenshot below)​
Delete_recovery_partition-1.png
B) Click/tap on Delete to confirm. (see screenshot below)​
Delete_recovery_partition-2.png
C) Click/tap on Finish. (see screenshots below)​
Delete_recovery_partition-3.png

11. Click/tap on Finish. (see screenshot below)
drive-6.jpg



That's it,
Shawn


 

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Brink

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mvp
Last edited:

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pstein

New Member
I always read an "USB flash drive". What about an external USB hard disc (partition)?

Is it possible to make a backup to this storage as well?
 

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theog

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sygnus21

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OK, got it.

Thanks.

Did you buy the Pro Pack with DVD or the Download version?

LOL - had to go back to see what this was about :)

Anyway I'm not really understanding the question so to clarify, My notebook came with Windows 8, but I upgraded it with a copy of Windows 8 Pro, which I downloaded. I also installed the Media pack, which I downloaded.

Hope that answers the question.
 

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theog

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OK, got it.

Thanks.

Did you buy the Pro Pack with DVD or the Download version?

LOL - had to go back to see what this was about :)

Anyway I'm not really understanding the question so to clarify, My notebook came with Windows 8, but I upgraded it with a copy of Windows 8 Pro, which I downloaded. I also installed the Media pack, which I downloaded.

Hope that answers the question.

You can use the Pro DVD for a clean install, If you need to.
 

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sygnus21

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Yeah I thought so there. I was just wondering what OS would get recovered using the procedures here. Brink said it would be the OS that came with the laptop, even though I updated the OS, and created the recovery flash drive after.

Are you thinking differently?

Thanks
 

My Computer

System One

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    CPU
    Haswell i7-4770K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte G1 Sniper 5 (BIOS F9)
    Memory
    Corsair Dominator Platinum 32 gig (1866MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire R9-280 Vapor X
    Sound Card
    Soundblaster ZXR
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC PA242W - 24 inch
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    Samsung 512gig 850 Pro SSD (OS), Samsung 256gig 840 Pro SSD (photo editing), Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB HD
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    EVGA Supernova 1000 G2
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    Corsair H100i Closed Loop Cooler
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    Logitech Wireless Wave
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    RAM Speed: 1866MHZ @ 9-10-10-27-2T, 1.5v

Brink

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mvp
Hey Drey,

Yep, when you select to copy the recovery partition, the Recovery Drive from the tutorial uses whatever is on your factory recovery partition which would be what the laptop came with originally.
 

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    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
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    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
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    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Logitech wireless K800
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    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
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    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
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    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
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sygnus21

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Thanks Shawn,

I was just trying to figure out where theog was going, or asking.
 

My Computer

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    Haswell i7-4770K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte G1 Sniper 5 (BIOS F9)
    Memory
    Corsair Dominator Platinum 32 gig (1866MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire R9-280 Vapor X
    Sound Card
    Soundblaster ZXR
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC PA242W - 24 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 512gig 850 Pro SSD (OS), Samsung 256gig 840 Pro SSD (photo editing), Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB HD
    PSU
    EVGA Supernova 1000 G2
    Case
    Cooler Master HAF X
    Cooling
    Corsair H100i Closed Loop Cooler
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech Performance MX
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    RAM Speed: 1866MHZ @ 9-10-10-27-2T, 1.5v

pacmanrulez

New Member
Basically I'm getting the windows is missing some boot configuration data error so I can't get anywhere on my windows8 laptop to create this USB which seems like it would solve my problem, would I be able to create this recovery USB for the windows8 laptop using my other Windows7 desktop somehow ( I'm thinking no but I'll ask anyway )

OR

would it be easier and even work if I went and found someone nearby running a 64-bit windows8 created the recovery USB on their system then used it to boot up and fix mine ?????
 
Last edited:

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theog

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Basically I'm getting the windows is missing some boot configuration data error so I can't get anywhere on my windows8 laptop to create this USB which seems like it would solve my problem, would I be able to create this recovery USB for the windows8 laptop using my other Windows7 desktop somehow ( I'm thinking no but I'll ask anyway )

OR

would it be easier and even work if I went and found someone nearby running a 64-bit windows8 created the recovery USB on their system then used it to boot up and fix mine ?????

If the same Make & Model, yes.
 

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Proger2000

New Member
I am new to the board, new to Windows 8,,,, and sorry if these seems wrong to ask
but if I have everything created on DVDS, should I also create a RECOVERY USB or is this just
a SAFETY or multiple way to be SURE I have everything I need when that dreaded day
DOES COME.

Good post, very informative.
 

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Brink

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mvp
Hello Proger, and welcome to Eight Forums.

If this is for factory recovery, then it wouldn't hurt to have an extra copy on a spare USB flash drive just to be extra safe if HDD that the recovery partition is on fails, or something happens to the DVDs.

Just be sure to do not delete the recovery partition when copying it to the USB. :)
 

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    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
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BRKING

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Stupid questions, but I just saw this thread. If I need to use this recovery drive with the , will it keep any of my files (photos, documents, etc) or is it just to restore the windows 8 features and that's it?
 

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Brink

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mvp
Hello Brking,

It depends.

If this is for a OEM computer that came with Windows 8 preinstalled, then you have the option of making this a factory recovery drive that will restore Windows 8 back to out of box. Sometimes the OEM may have the option to back up your files, but sometimes not, so it's best to back up anything first if you do a factory recovery.

If not, then it's just a recovery drive used to do any one of the recovery options with. These recovery options could delete your data though. The tutorial below can give you more info about each recovery option.
Either way, it would be best to keep backups of anything you do not want to lose to be safe.

Hope this helps, :)
Shawn
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

ICit2lol

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oNe more query Shawn does this mean I cannot create the recovery drive for an upgrade I did over the 7??
 

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    Google
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    Two other machines Toshiba L550 Sat i5 CPU running 8GB RAM and Windows 8 Pro 64bit OS.
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Brink

Administrator
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mvp
Hello John,

No worries mate. Yes, you could still create a Recovery Drive if you like. Think of this as the same as a System Repair Disk, but just with a USB flash drive instead. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

ICit2lol

New Member
Member
Hello John,

No worries mate. Yes, you could still create a Recovery Drive if you like. Think of this as the same as a System Repair Disk, but just with a USB flash drive instead. :)
No probs Shawn I'll do that as I only have the original 7 drive to work off if this one goes south:)
 

My Computer

System One

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    8 Pro desk 1 (SB) 7 Home desk 2 (IB) 8 Pro Lap 1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
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    CPU
    i5 2500 & i5 3570K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA_H67UD3H-B3 & Asus P8Z77-V
    Memory
    8GB (1333) 8GB 2400 set 1866
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVidia GTX 650 X 2
    Sound Card
    Xonar DG X 2
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 24" (SB) Benq 24" (IB)
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 840 X 2 830 X 1
    PSU
    Corsair HX 650 & HX 1050
    Case
    Coolermaster Centurion 2 & HAF XM
    Cooling
    Air (SB) LC (IB)
    Keyboard
    M6980X X 2 (laser)M$ Sidewinder X4 & Sidewinder X6 (IB)
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    ADSL2
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    Google
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    Kaspersky ISS
    Other Info
    Two other machines Toshiba L550 Sat i5 CPU running 8GB RAM and Windows 8 Pro 64bit OS.
    Toshiba A200Celeron 4GB Win7 64bit

bis4becky

New Member
Hi Shawn, brand spanking new HP pavilion. Trying to create a recovery USB using the "copy contents from the partition drive to the recovery drive" option and i seem to be having the same issue has Jason T (jan 2013 post). I can't seem to reach the finished stage. Green progress bar reaches the last half inch and won't complete copy.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Becky
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8

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