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How to Create and Use a Recovery Drive or System Repair Disc in Windows 8

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Windows 8 allows you to create a recovery drive (USB) or system repair disc (CD or DVD) that can be used to troubleshoot and restore your computer. Each type of recovery media gives you access to Windows’ advanced startup options.

You can also copy your computer’s recovery partition to the drive, creating a backup copy. After you create the backup copy, Windows will allow you to remove the recovery partition from your computer, freeing up gigabytes of space.

Creating a Recovery Drive (USB)

To open the recovery drive creation tool, press the Windows key and type recovery drive. Click or tap the Settings category and launch the Create a recovery drive application.

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The Recovery Media Creator opens on your desktop. If your computer came with a recovery partition, you can copy it to the recovery drive. Of course, this will use much more space, so you’ll need a large enough USB drive. After copying the recovery partition, Windows will ask you if you want to delete the recovery partition on the hard drive. On the Surface with Windows RT, Microsoft claims that this can save you about 3.5 GB of hard disk space.

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Click the Next option and you’ll be prompted to select a connected USB drive. Click the Create button and the files will by copied to your USB drive.

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After the process is complete, you’ll be asked if you want to delete the recovery partition. If you do delete the recovery partition, you’ll need the drive to Refresh and Reset your PC in the future.

Creating a System Repair Disc (CD/DVD)

The ability to create a USB recovery drive is new in Windows 8. In Windows 7, only system repair discs were supported. This option is also present in Windows 8.

To open the disc creation tool, press the Windows key, type recdisc, and press Enter.

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The disc creator will open on the desktop. Select the disc-burner drive with a writable CD or DVD in it and click the Create disc button to create a recovery disc.

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Using a Recovery Drive or System Repair Disc

A recovery drive will normally not be necessary. If your computer fails to boot several times, Windows 8 will automatically bring up the advanced startup options, which allows you to troubleshoot and fix it.

If Windows can’t even bring up these tools, you’ll need the recovery drive, system repair disc, or a Windows 8 installation disc. Insert the recovery media into your computer and restart. Your computer should boot from the recovery media automatically. (If it doesn’t, you may need to change its boot order.)

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Once it’s booted from the recovery media, you’ll see options for troubleshooting and repairing your PC. You can refresh and reset your PC or access advanced options to use system restore, recover from a system image, or automatically repair your computer. You can even get a command prompt that will allow you to fix problems by hand.

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If your computer can’t boot, you should try the Automatic repair or System Restore options. Refreshing or resetting your PC should always fix the problem, too.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 12/28/12

Comments (3)

  1. rickypo91

    Hii friends,
    I too had recently lost some of my files from my computer due to accidental deletion. So in order to recover files from my pc I used Media Recovery Software. This media recovery tool can easily scan all the database within few minutes. Any user may get it from internet for trial usage.

  2. Andrew

    Hello,

    I have window 8 professional installed right now but my computer came with Windows 7 home premium 64 bit installed. If I was to create a recovery disk just in case something happens with my system what would be used windows 8 or windows 7? I really don’t want to pay another $40.00 for windows 8 again. I had to go to recovery because some files were missing for windows 8 and it reverted back to windows 7 home premium 64 bit.

    Help me if you can so if this problems occurs again I will know what I will be recovering whether its windows 8 or windows 7

  3. shaunly

    Hi,

    Is it possible to recover partition after installing windows with this one .I got a good employee for doing this job.It supports even data recovery after partition too.Needed can get it from here…

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