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Creating a recovery usb drive for Window 8 and 8.1


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#1
DonnaB

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Hi there,

I need some assistance please. I would like to restore my sons ASUS W8.1 notebook back to factory settings to wipe out all the infections and start over, then create the usb recovery drive for it. It has/had cryptowall 3.0 on it. Had started a topic here. We're not worried about any of the personal files since we do have backs.

I just accessed the Recovery Drive to see what size of usb flash drive to buy and it says I will need a usb of at least 512mb. That doesn't sound right. Seems like it should be at least 16-20 GB's. Not sure what to do. Any ideas from those of you who are more W8 user friendly than I??

Just you in case you might need to know, there is no DVD drive.

Thank you,
Donna :)
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#2
phillpower2

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Hello DonnaB,

 

The norm is a flash drive with minimum storage capacity of 4GB, the full process is explained here


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#3
DonnaB

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Hi Phillpower2,

Thank you for your assistance. What's the difference between the download in the link and creating a usb recovery drive from the recovery on the notebook? Am I wrong in thinking that is not the same as creating the recovery discs from the recovery manager as I had done when I bought my W7 using several discs? I recall that my W7 needed 4 discs and each were 7.5GB's.

Need to run an errand. I'll check back later.

Thank you again.

Donna :)
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#4
phillpower2

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Hi DonnaB,

 

Sorry for the delay getting back to you ( UK and US time zones I'm afraid :(  ).

 

You are correct and the difference between the two is why they vary so greatly in size, a full recovery partition on an OEM computer unless previously formatted will normally have all of the required drivers, any pre installed OEM utilities such as diagnostic tools and unfortunately quite often a lot of bloatware such as basic games ( Wild Tangent comes to mind ) a Microsoft Office trial version and an AV trial such as McAfee to name only a couple, the downloaded ISO however only contains the Windows OS itself.

 

There can sometimes be more than one recovery partition present on a HDD which may explain the 512MB suggestion, if the ASUS notebook shipped with Windows 8.1 on the HDD unless it has been deleted or it is inaccessible for some reason there should be at least one other recovery partition on the drive, this could be around 20GB as it should contain all of the OEM software that I mentioned above, this larger partition is intended to be used for restoring the notebook to out of the box new and the facility is called ASUS Backtracker, the user guide for this can be found here

 

In essence a recovery USB thumb drive to access a non bootable computer need only be around 4GB but if you wish to create an exact image of a full recovery partition then the USB storage device will need to be much larger.

 

To create a recovery USB device and/or an image of what is on the HDD you can use a program such as Macrium Reflect (free) an Essexboy tutorial here.

 

You are welcome btw  :)


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#5
DonnaB

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Hello Phillpower2,

I expected the delayed reply due to time zones. No need to apologize. :) I'm just very grateful that I have your help to sort out my thoughts here. :yes:

So the 512mb's is merely the Recovery Environment and not a replica of the Recovery Partition. My goal is to restore to factory condition as is out of the box. Thank you for the link to Essexboy's tutorial. That will certainly come in handy since I had thought of using Macrium to create an image after I have finished restoring to factory settings and after all the bloatware has been removed and the essentials software reinstalled such as Avast Pro, MBAM Pro and CryptoPrevent (not to mention a few other programs I intend to include for security purposes). If the image is ever needed, using that image will restore the system back to it's clean state and those paid programs will work without having to reinstall them won't it?

Donna :)
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#6
phillpower2

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Hello DonnaB,

 

Thanks for being one step ahead of me on the time zone difference  :)

 

Your thinking regarding the Recovery Environment and Partition is correct and to achieve your objective you only need to use the Windows 8.1 Reset Feature, this will restore what is on the HDD to the way it was when new, you can then remove the bloatware that you do not want and install the intended security programs, once this has been done you create an image of the entire HDD and not just the Recovery Partition.

 

All programs will work as they should and will only need to be updated if and when the image needs to be used.

 

NB: Worth mentioning is that if the notebook actually shipped with Windows 8 and was consequently updated to 8.1 then using the reset/recovery partition will reset to Windows 8.


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#7
DonnaB

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Hi Phillpower2,
 

All programs will work as they should and will only need to be updated if and when the image needs to be used.


:thumbsup: Excellent!

NB: Worth mentioning is that if the notebook actually shipped with Windows 8 and was consequently updated to 8.1 then using the reset/recovery partition will reset to Windows 8.


Ooops! I never thought of that. Guess I'll find out when the reset is complete.

I have accessed Update and Recovery and chose the option to reset both C: and D:(data) drives and the screen says Resetting your PC 10%. Looks like I will be here awhile. :rolleyes:

Thank you for you help! :)
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#8
phillpower2

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Hi DonnaB,

 

Thanks for the update  :thumbsup:

 

Hopefully it will not take too long and will be a fresh W8.1 when finished.

 

You are welcome  :)


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#9
DonnaB

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Hi Phillpower2,

Just to update.....

Took about 3 1/2 - 4 hours to restore to factory settings though much longer to update, remove trial version of McAfee,bloatware, etc. and install his pro versions of Avast and MBAM. I made sure that CryptoPrevent was installed this time alongside McShield since the notebook does not have a DVD drive and he uses USB's faithfully to transfer files. I didn't get the chance to create the recovery USB or an image with Macrium Reflect before he had to pick it while passing through the area. Hopefully he will do it himself. I did send him the link to Essexboy's tutorial.

Anyway...all is well now. Again, thank you for being there in my time of need.

Donna :)
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#10
phillpower2

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Hi DonnaB,

 

Thank you for the update, pleased to hear that all is now well  :thumbsup:

 

Give credit to yourself btw :yes:  you are however most welcome  :)


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