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Refresh Windows 8 - Set a Custom Recovery Image as Active


Brink

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Refresh Windows 8 - Set a Custom Recovery Image as Active
This tutorial will show you how to set the active recovery image to use the CustomRefresh.wim file from any previously created custom recovery image to use when you refresh Windows 8.
Published by Brink
#1
Category:
ByLine
How to Set a Custom Recovery Image as Active to Use to Refresh Windows 8 and 8.1
Synopsis
This tutorial will show you how to set the active recovery image to use the CustomRefresh.wim file from any previously created custom recovery image to use when you refresh Windows 8.
How to Set a Custom Recovery Image as Active to Use to Refresh Windows 8 and 8.1


information   Information
A custom recovery image contains the desktop apps you've installed, and the Windows system files in their current state. Recovery images do not contain your documents, personal settings, user profiles, or apps from Windows Store, because that information is preserved and included at the time you refresh your PC by default.

When you create a custom recovery image, recimg will store it in the specified directory, and set it as the active recovery image. If a custom recovery image is set as the active recovery image, Windows will use it when you refresh your PC. You can use the /setcurrent and /deregister options to select which recovery image Windows 8 will use. All recovery images have the filename CustomRefresh.wim. If no CustomRefresh.wim file is found in the active recovery image directory, Windows will fall back to the default image (or to installation media) when you refresh your PC.

This tutorial will show you how to set the active recovery image to use the CustomRefresh.wim file from any previously created custom recovery image of your choice to use when you refresh Windows 8.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.



Here's How:


1. Open an elevated command prompt.

2. In the elevated command prompt, type the command below and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: Substitute Full Path of Directory in the command below with the actual directory (folder) name within quotes that the CustomRefresh.wim file from where an already created custom recovery image is saved at.
recimg /setcurrent "Full Path of Directory"
For example: If I created a custom recovery image to the E:\RefreshImage directory (folder), I would type the command below exactly and press Enter.​
recimg /setcurrent "E:\RefreshImage"
Set_Active_Recovery_Image.jpg


3. When successfully completed, Windows 8 is now set and registered to use this current active custom recovery image when you refresh Windows 8.

4. You can now close the elevated command prompt if you like.


Note   Note
To unregister this custom recovery image for refresh to have Windows 8 go back to using it's default refresh, see:

How to Deregister the Current Custom Recovery Image to Refresh Windows 8






That's it,
Shawn


 
Last edited by a moderator:

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vrosa

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#2
Fresh refresh image created and registered.

19GB

:)
 

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Ztruker

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#3
Shawn, how about expanding this to include creating the snapshot using recimg?

Something like: recimg /createimage h:\Recimg

where h:\recimg is where the snapshot will be saved. Folder must already exist I believe.
 

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Brink

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#5
:thumbsup:
 

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JohnF1938

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#6
Hi, I used the recimg /createimage h:\RecimgI used this successfully but the term image is confusing as I think this function is part of "Refresh" and not "Windows 7 File Recovery" which is an image of the partition. Perhaps someone can clarify.
 

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Brink

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#7
Hello John,

A custom refresh image is an image of only Windows 8 and nothing else. It will not restore partitions or drives.

Hope this helps to better explain it. :)
 

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Brink

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#9
When you create a custom recovery image, it will contain the desktop apps you've installed, and the Windows system files in their current state. Recovery images do not contain your documents, personal settings, user profiles, or apps from Windows Store, because that information is preserved at the time you refresh your PC anyways. No need to worry about them when doing a refresh, but I would still recommend keeping them backed up to be safe. :)
 

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    Screen Resolution
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    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
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    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
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Ztruker

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#10
Maybe change the name of this link from created custom recovery image to How to Create a Custom Recovery Image to Use to Refresh Windows 8.

When I looked through this tutorial I did not make the connection that the link actually pointed to how to create the image.

I'm just sayin :D
 

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Brink

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#11
Maybe change the name of this link from created custom recovery image to How to Create a Custom Recovery Image to Use to Refresh Windows 8.

When I looked through this tutorial I did not make the connection that the link actually pointed to how to create the image.

I'm just sayin :D
Hey Rich,

No worries, but I'm not sure it would make sense to have it named that instead. :(
 

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Ztruker

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#12
No, I agree. Oh well. At least I learned something on this go-round.

Thanks
 

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junglee

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#13
Hi Shawn,

I purchased Dell Laptop last year that came pre-installed with Windows 8 Single Language. I have updated it to 8.1 since then.

I have created a Custom Recovery Image (.wim) and activated it. While the Factory Image was just under 8 gigabytes the Custom Image is just below 12 gigabytes, because after removing the bloatware I have installed some third-party applications.

My problem is that I am not clear about the restoration and the unanswered questions are as follows..

1. Does the custom image once activated remains so till another one is activated or it needs reactivation before Restore?
2. How to set the UAC (User Account Control?) to default? My "Change Account Type" Button is grayed out.
3. Will restoration revert the PC to Windows 8 from 8.1?
4. Do I restore by Setting>Change PC Settings>Update and Recovery>Recovery>Advanced Start up>Restart.
5. My Acronis Boot CD doesn't work properly with UEFI. Do you recommend any free Imaging application that backs-up nicely?

Regards,

Amarnath Wanchoo
 
Last edited:

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#14
Amarnath, your customrefresh.wim is larger because for some unknown reason recimg backs up hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys. Don't worry about the size but if you want a smaller one you could disabale hibernation and pagefile before and then re-enable them after.

To answer some of your questions,

1. Yes it does.
2. This is a separate question - you could look here http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/5509-user-account-control-uac-change-settings-windows-8-a.html
3. No - back to when you made the customrefresh.wim
4. No. From there use the "refresh" button at the top of the picture below.
5. I use Macrium but I thought Acronis worked also.

Hope this helps
 

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junglee

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Gurgaon

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#15
Thank you Adam for your prompter than prompt reply. Just a small clarification. In the answer to Q1, "Yes" is presumably for the first part and not the second part.

As for Acronis, the Boot CD worked but said it would take about 14 hours to complete the task. That was as good as useless so I cancelled the operation. As it is, there is the hassle of disabling UEFI and then enabling Legacy in the BIOS before rebooting and choosing boot from Optical Device, and after the work is done reversing the BIOS back to default.

Thank you once again

Amarnath Wanchoo

Amarnath, your customrefresh.wim is larger because for some unknown reason recimg backs up hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys. Don't worry about the size but if you want a smaller one you could disabale hibernation and pagefile before and then re-enable them after.

To answer some of your questions,

1. Yes it does.
2. This is a separate question - you could look here http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/5509-user-account-control-uac-change-settings-windows-8-a.html
3. No - back to when you made the customrefresh.wim
4. No. From there use the "refresh" button at the top of the picture below.
5. I use Macrium but I thought Acronis worked also.

Hope this helps
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
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    Laptop
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    Dell Inspiron 3521
    CPU
    Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-3217U CPU @ 1.80GHz, 1801 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Intel
    Memory
    4 Gigabytes
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Brink

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mvp
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#16
Hello Amarnath,

Yes, that would be correct that it's only for the first part of Q1. Once you create and/or register a custom refresh image, it will be used the next time you do a refresh unless/until you delete or deregister the image.

Macrium Reflect Free is a good program to use for backups and images.

Imaging with free Macrium - Windows 7 Help Forums

Hope this helps, :)
Shawn
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    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
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    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
    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

junglee

Member
Member
Gurgaon

Posts
56
#17
Thanks a lot. All doubts are resolved.

But a new question arises now. When the built in Custom Recovery Image (.wim) is so good then why should anyone use some third-party imaging program at all?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Single Language
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 3521
    CPU
    Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-3217U CPU @ 1.80GHz, 1801 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Intel
    Memory
    4 Gigabytes
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    One, 500 Gigabytes
    Mouse
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    4 megabits per second
    Browser
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#18
Thanks a lot. All doubts are resolved.

But a new question arises now. When the built in Custom Recovery Image (.wim) is so good then why should anyone use some third-party imaging program at all?
It doesn't back up your data. That is the main reason I can think of. I do both to be on the safe side.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    MacBook Pro Core2Duo
    CPU
    T7600
    Memory
    3
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon X1600
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Internal
    Screen Resolution
    1440 x 800
    Hard Drives
    40GB
    Keyboard
    Apple
    Mouse
    Apple
    Internet Speed
    Varies
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    Various
    Antivirus
    Defender

junglee

Member
Member
Gurgaon

Posts
56
#19
Did a test run for the heck of it. Everything went OK and in about 30 minutes yesterday's image got restored. However all the programs came back with default configurations and had to be reconfigured again. Bit of a hassle, but 500% better than starting afresh with the Factory Image.

Thanks Adam and thanks Shawn.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Single Language
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 3521
    CPU
    Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-3217U CPU @ 1.80GHz, 1801 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Intel
    Memory
    4 Gigabytes
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    One, 500 Gigabytes
    Mouse
    Touchpad
    Internet Speed
    4 megabits per second
    Browser
    Internet Explorer (Latest) and Google Chrome (Default)
    Antivirus
    Avast! Free Antivirus
Posts
1,870
#20
Now you see Junglee you will be happy even if something goes wrong. That is because you actually bothered to test it.

Most people don't bother and then complain it doesn't work bless them.

The only thing you should check now is e-mail. Mostly it is stored in /USER/APPDTA/somewhere/EMAIL . You'll not need it as you can always download it again but if you want to check your recovery situation to be 100% sure you should test it also.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    MacBook Pro Core2Duo
    CPU
    T7600
    Memory
    3
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon X1600
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Internal
    Screen Resolution
    1440 x 800
    Hard Drives
    40GB
    Keyboard
    Apple
    Mouse
    Apple
    Internet Speed
    Varies
    Browser
    Various
    Antivirus
    Defender