When there are multiple operating systems on a PC and a hard-disk crash occurs or a BSOD error occurs, you are in the midst of whirlpool. You scratch your head, as the system will not boot and Windows 8 has all the files required for your normal operation.
In such scenarios, emergency repair disks or drives are useful when everything is not lost. Repair disks are very easy to make, as every Windows operating system has it in its arsenal. They not only allow to boot up the computer, but also contain valuable tools for trouble-shooting simple problems.
What is the Importance of Rescue-Disk Options?
With Vista and XP, it’s little tiresome to create a rescue disk. Earlier in 2000, you need to to have a floppy disk to create one. But now with the age of USB disks, you can create one with it. There are also 3rd party tools – both free and paid – that work with different versions of Windows.
The other safe option is to use Windows Installation media which provide some basic recovery tools. But with Laptops on the increase, there is a special “Rescue Partition” assigned on the hard-disk which can be used in case of a failure. But this recovery partition would be inaccessible unless you have an emergency rescue disk. This is important, because without it, you’ll not be able to boot into the PC.
How to Create a Recovery Disk in Windows 8 or 8.1?
Both Windows 8 and 8.1 include a built-in Recovery Media Creator. Before we go ahead and create a recovery disk, we need to understand a few things. There is also a term called system repair disk which was earlier used in XP and like operating systems.
But this system repair disk is not the same as OEM factory recovery or restore or repair disc. The important thing is that system repair disc cannot be used to install a Windows 8 operating system. Also a 32-bit system repair disc can be created on a 32-bit Windows 8 OS and can be used to repair a 32-bit OS. The same applies to 64-bit OS also.
How to Create a Recovery Disc (“System Repair Disc”) using CD or DVD in Windows 8?
- First go to Start Screen and type “recovery“. There will be several options to create a recovery disc. If you want some “Advanced Recovery Tools” you can take the first option.
- An UAC pop-up window opens, which you need to click OK. The program name is “Recovery Media Creator“.
- The second options directly takes you to creation of rescue disc.
- Here is a very important option. Just as I said earlier, many computers are coming up a recovery partition these days. Now if this is available, you have the option “Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive“.
Now you have two options. You can either use CD or DVD as the media for creating a rescue disc or an USB disk.
- If you want the CD or DVD option, you need to remove all the USB disks connected to your computer.
- As you can see above, CD or DVD choice is a legacy option. You can “Create a system repair disc with a CD or DVD instead“.
- The rest of the process is simple. When you click Next button, you are asked to click on the “Create disc” button. There is also a message on the screen.
A system repair disc can be used to boot your computer. It also contains Windows system recovery tools that can help you recover Windows from a serious error or restore your computer from a system image.
The process of disc creation will start. When finished, you just label you CD or DVD appropriately to remember for further usage.
How to Create Recovery USB Flash Drive in Windows 8 or 8.1?
The only difference between the “system repair disc” and this option is that you are using USB drive or thumb drive as your media. Also, you must have full administrator rights if you want to create one. There is also a minute difference between this recovery flash drive and the OEM factory recovery USB flash drive.
Just like in the earlier stage, if your computer DOES NOT has a OEM recovery partition then the Copy contents from the recovery partition to the recovery drive option will be disabled or greyed out.
If you have copied the contents of the recovery partition on your hard-disk to the recovery drive, you have the option of deleting this partition at the end of recovery disc creation. On a normal computer, about 10GB space is required for backing up this recovery partition.
BUT DO NOT DELETE THE RECOVERY PARTITION.
This is because some users have reported that they are not able to refresh or reset their PC again without this recovery partition on the hard-disk or if you don’t have recovery drive.
- The only difference from the earlier scenario is that you will get a list of USB drives or thumb drives listed to which you can make a recovery disc.
- There is a message that “The drive must be able to hold at least 256 MB, and everything on the drive will be deleted“. So in case you stored any important files on this drive, its best to back them up to another drive. Also this drive will get formatted which should be kept in mind.
How to Restore you Windows 8 or 8.1 PC?
You just need to enter the CD or DVD or USB flash drive and let the system boot up from any of this media. Then several options will come up. Now depending upon whether you want to refresh your PC or reset Windows 8 or do a system image recovery or do a automatic repair etc, you can choose that particular option. You can follow this tutorial from eightforums for recovery options and to boot into your computer, if it fails to do so.