Windows 8 comes complete with a plethora of tools and utilities that give users the ability to recovery lost or deleted files. However, in order to make the most out of Window 8’s data recovery functionality, one will need to create a bootable recovery partition in order to store an image of your system files, settings and configurations. While this process can technically be completed at any time, it is best done with a brand new, fresh installation of Windows 8.
Creating the Partition
To start, you’ll need to have access to an ISO file of your Windows 8 software. Most new installations of Windows 8 include an ISO file, or you can download one directly from Microsoft. Once this is obtained, and copied either to a burned DVD or to your hard drive, you can proceed to creating the recovery partition itself. Note that you will also need to supply your valid Windows 8 installation key, so you’ll want to make sure that is accessible before proceeding.
For users who have an ISO image of Windows 8, you can begin by mounting the image. This is accomplished simple by double-clicking the file. Once the image is mounted, or if you are accessing an image located on a burned DVD, simple navigate to the “Sources” folder. Inside the folder you find a file titled “install.esd” – this is the recovery partition itself. However, in its current state, the file is completely useless.
In order to convert this file to a useable form, you’ll need to download third-party software. WinReducer’s Wim Converter tool is ideal for the task, but there are other applications that are also capable of making the conversion. Once installed, use the “Open” button to located your “install.esd” file. Click the “Convert” button to begin the process, which will turn the “install.esd” file into “install.wim”. After the file has been properly converted, copy it to a new folder, titled “Win81-Recovery,” onto your C drive.
The next step is to register the newly converted file so that it is recognized as a recovery partition or drive. From the desktop, right-click on the Windows Start button and select “Command Prompt (Admin)” from the menu. Once you’ve reached the command line, enter the following string: “REAGENTC /SetOSImage /Path C:\Win81-Recovery\INSTALL.WIM /Index 1.” Once this is complete, you can confirm the presence of the recovery partition by entering “REAGENTC /Info.”
Restoring an Image
The simplest and most straightforward way of recovering a previously saved image file from a recovery partition is to make use of Windows 8’s built in feature, known as Refresh or Reset Your PC. Navigate to the PC Settings screen and click “Restart Now,” which is located under the General tab. From there, you’ll be able to choose “Refresh your PC,” “Reset your PC,” or “Advanced Options.” Click on the “Advanced Options” button will give you the opportunity to launch a System Image Recovery. Simply choose the file created earlier, titled “install.wim,” and follow the prompts from there to complete the process.
How to Create a New Recovery Partition in Windows 8
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