Windows 8 Recovery

July 25, 2014

If you have a Windows 8 system, it is imperative that you have a way to recover Windows 8 in the event of a hard drive failure. With previous versions of Windows, it was pretty easy for us to recover from a standard Windows DVD, but with Windows 8 that doesn’t work very well. Why? Because Microsoft has stepped up their anti-piracy efforts. That’s why it’s so important that you have a way to recover Windows 8.

If you don’t have recovery media for your system and it suffers a catastrophic hard drive failure, it will delay repairing your computer because we will have to order the recovery media from the manufacturer and wait for them to arrive. In addition it will increase the cost because we will have to purchase the recovery media from the manufacturer.

Computers used to come with recovery discs, but not anymore. To save money, manufacturers now give you the ability to create recovery media yourself. But most people don’t bother to do this.

To create recovery media you need either blank DVD-R discs or a flash drive. The size flash drive you need varies. 32GB. Be aware that some manufacturers no longer support using DVD’s for recovery. You’re better off using a flash drive anyway because it is easier and faster. You’ll need a 32GB flash drive which you can get at any store that sells any kind of computer stuff. At the time I am writing this, you can get one for around $15. If you use DVD’s it will take at least 3 DVD’s perhaps more. So have plenty on hand.

To create your recovery media, place your media in the computer. If anything pops up, just close it. Now you need to run the command provided by the computer manufacturer to create the recovery media. The command you run varies depending on what brand of computer you have. But in general, you can click on start and type the word “recovery” to search for and find it. The name of the utility usually includes the manufacture’s name and the word recovery somewhere.

On Dell computers the program is called Dell Backup and Recovery. Here’s a link to a website with instructions on how to create recovery media:
http://en.community.dell.com/dell-blogs/dellsolves/b/weblog/archive/2013/07/24/how-to-create-recovery-media-with-dell-backup-and-recovery.aspx

For HP, it’s called HP Recovery Manager. Here’s a link to a video that shows how to create recovery media on HP system with Windows 8.
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c03481733&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en

Once you have created your recovery media, be sure to label it. Labeling flash drives can be a challenge, but be sure to label it. If you have a marker with a fine point, you can write on the flash drive. If you have a tag with a string, you can tie it to the flash drive. You can fold a piece of masking tape over leaving a little bit if sticky on the end. Write the label on the folder over part and stick the sticky part to the flash drive. You can also put it in a zipper bag and label the bag.

Once you have created and labeled your recovery media, be sure to put it in a safe place where you can find it if you ever need it. Hopefully you won’t ever need it.

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