Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Refresh Windows 8 - Create and Use Custom Recovery Image

  1. #100


    Posts : 22,564
    64-bit Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by ExperiencedUser View Post
    HI guys its me again. I wanted to create my desktop install all apps and drivers so they work perfectly and then take system image copy/backup to restore to the working state when needed. I am baffled by the so many different options in windows 8 (8.1) for recovery and there's been a lot of reading recently...I am just trying to make my computer working without hassle remove bloatware that came pre installed install working drivers and so on...

    Also can you please update the first post of this thread in the following manner: This procedure will Save your settings, files and so on (and you say what exactly)
    and This procedure will not save your apps,settings and so on.(and again, you list what exactly)
    So that people know what custom image recovery will save for them and what will be lost?
    Hello ExperiencedUser,

    Sorry about the confusion there. I updated it to say this below instead to help make more clear. Does that help?

    When you create a custom recovery image, it will include the desktop apps you've installed and the Windows system files in their current state. Recovery images do not need to include your documents, personal settings, user profiles, or modern apps from the Store because that information is automatically included by default at the time you refresh your PC.

    Just to make sure, a custom recovery image is not the same as a system image.

    A custom recovery image will only restore Windows itself to how it was when the recovery image was created.

    A system image will restore all system drives and Windows back to how they were when the image was created.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #101


    Gurgaon
    Posts : 56
    Windows 8.1 Single Language


    In Windows 8.1 when the command recimg -CreateImage C:\RefreshImage is entered there is an error message as follows: The recovery image cannot be saved in system locations or under the user profile. Error Code - 0x800700a1. The same message is displayed if I try to save the .wim file on a pen drive.

    I can only create the .wim file of an external hard drives. In Windows 8 the .wim file could be created on C:\ drive.

    Is this change in order for windows 8.1?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #102


    Posts : 22,564
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Amarnath,

    Yep, you should still be able to create it on the root of C: if you like. I just got through creating one in my Windows 8.1 to test again.

    The error [0x800700a1] usually means "The specified path is invalid". Did you enter the mkdir C:\RefreshImage command first to create the folder?

    If so, then run a sfc /scannow command to see if it finds any corrupted system files, and if it's able to repair them if so. After everything checks out, try creating a custom recovery image again.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #103


    Gurgaon
    Posts : 56
    Windows 8.1 Single Language


    Thankyou so much Shawn.

    The
    RefreshImage Folderwas existing from before due a an earlier failed attempt a few weeksback. So a second RefreshImage Foldergot created. I deleted the second one and used the earlier one. Afterthe failed attempt once more I have deleted the earlier one too.

    I tried Scannow and found corrupt files that cant be repaired. Image below.

    Click image for larger version
    Again tried to create image after sfc /Scannow and it failed again. Ionly wonder why theerror [0x800700a1] is not returned for my external drive.

    Best regards,

    Amarnath
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #104


    Posts : 22,564
    64-bit Windows 10


    You'll need to first work through the items in the blue Note box at the bottom of Option Two below until SFC is able to repair all items or no longer finds anything. This way we can rule out any system file issues.
    When finished with that, delete any existing RefreshImage folders before trying to create a new custom recovery image to see if that may help.

    Your not getting the 0x800700a1 error for the external drive since it's not a system location. Personally, it would be better to save the image to a separate location than the Windows drive. If the Windows drive should die on you, you would be able to register and restore the image in a new installation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #105


    Gurgaon
    Posts : 56
    Windows 8.1 Single Language


    I think that the sfc has done the needful. Below is the latest image.
    Click image for larger version
    However the problem is still not resolved. I was feeling so dejected that I did not write this message for 24 hours.

    I am dreading to restore the factory image and start all over again installing the third party programs and upgrading to 8.1 for that shall cure the problem. Thanks a lot for all the help.
    Last edited by junglee; 04 Dec 2013 at 18:57.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #106


    Posts : 22,564
    64-bit Windows 10


    I'm sorry to hear that didn't help.

    Personally, as long as you are able to save the custom recovery image to the external hard drive, then that should be fine since it's better to have it saved to a separate location anyways.

    You'll just need to make sure that the external drive is connected when/if you should ever want to do a refresh with that image.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #107


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Thank you Brink for this excellent tutorial ( one of many ) !

    Combining these tutorials :

    1) Refresh Windows 8 - Create and Use Custom Recovery Image
    2)Refresh or Reset Windows 8 without Installation Disk

    Is there a way to refresh without using my dvd (or bootable thumb drive created with) ?

    My 300 M recovery partition has 100 % free space, so no WinRE inside ?
    Not sure about that because EFI shows 100 % free too and my pc boots fine in true uefi mode ...
    Installation was made with OEM/PUL DVD in a self made PC.

    Does it means I cannot avoid inserting media when I will refresh ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #108


    Posts : 22,564
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello krl01,

    A 300 MB recovery partition would include WinRE, but wouldn't be an OEM factory recovery partition anyways. WinRE would only be for the System Recovery Options screen.

    You'll need to have your installation media connected to be able to refresh Windows 8 to default. If you created a custom recovery image, the image would be used to refresh with instead though.

    Hope this helps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #109


    Posts : 12
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Ok , so : even if you have WinRE and a custom recovery file, when you refresh you will have to insert the installation media.
    I suppose you can refresh without any media only if you have an OEM factory recovery partition containing Windows installation files, I was confused by the second tutorial above.

    As the systeme image recovery of Windows 8.1 is still broken (workaround implies clean reinstallation or partition resizing, too much trouble for me) , this is a useful way to repair, moreover with less rewriting on the disk (ssd).
    I also did a full disk image with a third party software for extra safety.

    Help very appreciated !
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Refresh Windows 8 - Create and Use Custom Recovery Image
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