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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

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
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

Hello Becky, and welcome to Eight Forums. :)

Does it give you an error message?

What type of USB flash drive are you using? (ex: USB 1, 2.0, 3.0)
 

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Brink

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mvp

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
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    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
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    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

bis4becky

New Member
Shawn, i'm not sure what you mean by disk drive activity? ... the USB has no activity, flashing or otherwise - for the last few hours.
I don't have a disk drive either, so that's not an option. And this is my second USB already. the only thing i can even guess is, even though it tells me i need a 32 gb USB, that maybe a larger one would work. I can't imagine what would come factory installed above 32G.

I can tell you that Hewlett and/or Packard are gonna be receiving a less than pleasant phone call tmrw.
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    windows 8

Speeddragon

New Member
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.

Well I have a OEM PC with windows 8 preinstalled, and I copy't the contents from the recovery drive, but what i was asking myself is:
Am I also able to reinstall windows when I put in an new empty hardrive, or only if it sees an old install?

And will it be a full installation or a reset of the pc?
 

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  • OS
    windows 8

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Hello Speeddragon,

An "OEM" Recovery Drive with the contents of the recovery partition copied to it, is essentially factory recovery media that can be used to restore Windows 8 back to factory conditions on any hard drive on the same PC. :)
 

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
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    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
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    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

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Shawn, i'm not sure what you mean by disk drive activity? ... the USB has no activity, flashing or otherwise - for the last few hours.
I don't have a disk drive either, so that's not an option. And this is my second USB already. the only thing i can even guess is, even though it tells me i need a 32 gb USB, that maybe a larger one would work. I can't imagine what would come factory installed above 32G.

I can tell you that Hewlett and/or Packard are gonna be receiving a less than pleasant phone call tmrw.

Hopefully they will be able to send you factory recovery media in the mail. If lucky, for free or low price. :(
 

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

Speeddragon

New Member
Thanks Brink! Asus didn't provide any AI recovery tool anymore. So need to find an other way to keep my recovery disk.

The last notebook has had 3 harddisk over 5 years, so I need the recovery media haha.

Will it look like an normal install or do I need to click: Reste my pc or something when I put in a new hd.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
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Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp

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

theog

VIP Member
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Gold Member
On newer OEM PC's with Pre-install Windows 8 you may have the option to Reinstall in the OEM manufacturer's tools.
If the Recovery Partition is still in place.

OEM Recovery 001.PNG

SONY Recovery 001.PNG
 
Last edited:

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Brink

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mvp
Thank you Ray. I wonder if it'll still work the same way it did through "Reset your PC" for the factory recovery.
 

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
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    Logitech wireless K800
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    Logitech MX Master 3
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    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
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    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,
    Lumia 1520 phone

theog

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Thank you Ray. I wonder if it'll still work the same way it did through "Reset your PC" for the factory recovery.

Just setup one of my Grand Kids new SONY Nootbook, but she has to wait for 8.1.

1) Windows Recovery USB drive will not Reset without Recovery Partition or do a Reinstall Factory Recovery to a clean HDD.
You will receive a ERROR when the Recovery Partition is DELETED.

SONY Recovery error 001.PNG
or
SONY Recovery error 002.PNG
or
SONY Recovery error 003 theog.PNG

2) SONY Recovery USB drive will Reset with Recovery Partition, & Reinstall Factory Recovery to a clean HDD.

3) SONY Recovery DVD (set of four) will Reset with Recovery Partition, & Reinstall Factory Recovery to a clean HDD.
 
Last edited:

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SIW2

Well-Known Member
Team Member
Windows Recovery USB drive will not Reset without Recovery Partition or do a Reinstall Factory Recovery to a clean HDD.

Not much use. I would like to get hold of one of those and see what they are up to. I don't anyone who has an 8 pc now.




I assume the Sony recov usb will reset and reinstall without the recovery partition?
 

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theog

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Windows Recovery USB drive will not Reset without Recovery Partition or do a Reinstall Factory Recovery to a clean HDD.

Not much use. I would like to get hold of one of those and see what they are up to. I don't anyone who has an 8 pc now.




I assume the Sony recov usb will reset and reinstall without the recovery partition?

Only tested the SONY Recovery USB drive on a wiped HDD, Restores OK. & DVD's are OK.
 

My Computer

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theog

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Windows Recovery USB drive will not Reset without Recovery Partition or do a Reinstall Factory Recovery to a clean HDD.

Not much use. I would like to get hold of one of those and see what they are up to. I don't anyone who has an 8 pc now.




I assume the Sony recov usb will reset and reinstall without the recovery partition?

Only tested the SONY Recovery USB drive on a wiped HDD, Restores OK. & DVD's are OK.

The SONY Recovery USB drive & SONY Recovery DVD's, will not REFRESH or RESET without the Recovery Partition.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
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    PC/Desktop
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    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

sygnus21

Member
VIP Member
Power User
Hey Shawn could you look at these two posts and provide some clarification?

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorial...usb-flash-drive-windows-8-a-4.html#post227675

I created the flash drive image a while back and still have it; about two week ago however I did a clean install of 8.1, and now when I tried to test what alphanumeric said, I get no option to recover the factory image from the hidden partition. If I tried using the flash drive, would that allow me to recover the drive?

Would like to know because if I can't recover the partition I might as well delete it and recover the space.


Thanks.
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom built by me
    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
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    Soundblaster ZXR
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    NEC PA242W - 24 inch
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    EVGA Supernova 1000 G2
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    Cooler Master HAF X
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    RAM Speed: 1866MHZ @ 9-10-10-27-2T, 1.5v

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Hello Drew,

Yeah, if you wiped the recovery partition when you did the clean install, you wouldn't have the option to copy the contents of the recovery partition anymore since it's no longer there. :(

It has been reported by many that they were unable to restore Windows 8 to the hard drive using the recover USB drive without the OEM factory recovery partition still in tact, so I'm not sure if you will be able to recovery Windows 8 with the recovery USB drive.

You could give it a try and see, but be sure to back up anything that you do not want to lose first.


EDIT:

Another option would be to create a system image to have to be able do a system image recovery as needed though.

You could also create a custom recovery image to refresh Windows with as needed.
 

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

sygnus21

Member
VIP Member
Power User
Hi Shawn, to clarify I didn't delete the recovery partition as I remember, I just copied the contents to the OS drive, leaving the other drives intact. However alphanumeric is saying that being that I did a clean install I wiped the boot info pointing to the partition for the recovery, and so now the recovery doesn't know where to find the files. If that makes sense.

I tried using the USB flash files, but got a missing drive message, so this to me is clearly saying it can't find the partition. BTW I should have chosen to copy the contents of the drive when I had the chance but didn't, so I don't even have the partition contents on the flash drive :(

As you say, I'll just have to create a custom image.

Thanks.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom built by me
    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
    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
    Internet Speed
    High Speed
    Browser
    IE11
    Antivirus
    Norton Security
    Other Info
    RAM Speed: 1866MHZ @ 9-10-10-27-2T, 1.5v

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