Windows 8: How to Backup Recovery Tools

Dennis Faas's picture

We have received several technical inquiries much like this one from a long-time Infopackets subscriber:

"Dear Infopackets:

I have converted to Windows 8 and am getting along OK. But I'm worried about losing my data if this new operating system should contain a bad bug that hasn't yet been discovered.

I knew what to do for data recovery in Windows 7, now I'm lost. You offered me lots of good information in the past, so I'm hoping now you can tell me how to do data recovery in Windows 8.


Charlene F."

My Response:

Few people have reported major problems with Windows 8 so far (aside from an unfamiliar layout and certain longstanding Windows 7 features suddenly becoming unavailable). But there is always the possibility that a significant issue with the system could arise at some time in the future.

And of course it's fairly common for both software and hardware to experience minor and major problems that make accessing your computerized data difficult or even impossible.

That's why one of the first things every Windows 8 owner should do is create their own recovery media. In the event that anything goes wrong, this will provide an alternate path to boot their PC and regain access to their data.

The process of creating recovery media in Windows 8 has changed a little from Windows 7. Among the most noticeable differences is that the process can now run on both disc-based media and USB-based media.

Creating a Recovery Drive in a Few Easy Steps

To begin, press the Windows Key + C, and change the view to 'Settings.' Now enter 'Recovery' in the 'Search' box. The system will prompt the user to connect a USB flash drive. This is the option we'll cover in this article.

The individual will then click 'Create a Recovery Drive' from the search results, before selecting the connected USB device and pushing the 'Next' button.

If optical media (CD-RW or recordable DVD) is preferred, there is also an option titled 'Create a system repair disk with a CD or DVD instead.'

Windows 7 veterans will remember that the optical media choice was the only one available in Microsoft's previous operating system. (Source:

Note carefully the system's warning that everything currently stored on the selected drive will be deleted as part of the formatting process. When ready, click 'Create.'

Windows 8 will now ready and format the selected drive.

Now, should your Windows 8 system give you any trouble, you can plug in this USB drive and access the necessary tools and files to have a fighting chance to bring your system back to normal.

Recovery Tools Accessible in Other Ways

Windows 8 users can also access these same recovery tools in other ways, without having to first plug in a USB drive.

If Windows 8 setup media is available on the PC, that feature can be used to access the system's recovery tools. Alternatively, the individual can click 'Repair Your Computer' on the 'Install Now' screen. (Source:

Another approach is to boot the operating system (assuming it works) and navigate to 'PC Settings,' 'General,' and then 'Advanced Startup' to access the exact same toolset.

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