Having a Recovery Drive will help you troubleshoot Windows when it refuses to bootup properly. This situation can happen at any time; may be because of a software issue, driver conflict or some trouble within Windows itself. If you don’t want to go through the pain of reinstalling Windows 8.1 and all of your applications, its a wise idea to create a a recovery drive. 

A Recovery Drive can help you Refresh or Reset your Windows 8.1 OS and you could copy it to a Recovery Partition in your system, if you already have one.

Create a Recovery Drive

Windows doesn’t allow you to save a system image in any of the drives in your PC. So, the very first thing you’ll need to do is to connect an external drive (empty) to your system, which is then used by Windows to store the system image.

Now, Press Windows Key + W and type in ‘Recovery’ in the search field. Choose the option to ‘Create a Recovery Drive’ being listed below.

recovery windows 8.1

Once you are on the Recovery Drive Window, proceed by pressing Next and Windows will search and list the connected external drives to your computer.

creating windows 8.1 recovery drive

Choose your preferred drive and proceed by clicking Next. I’ve chosen my USB Drive (above image) as the backup medium.

Windows will pop a warning message stating that every thing on the drive will now be deleted. So, if you have any files on your drive, make sure you copy them to a safer place before proceeding with the next step.

You will need this drive if you want to Refresh or Reset your Window 8 PC in the future.

Troubleshooting Windows 8.1 using a System Recovery Drive

When Windows refuses to boot to the desktop, you could use the system recovery drive to fix things up.

Windows 8.1 Advanced Boot Options

After a couple of failed bootup retries, Windows will bring up the Advanced Startup Options which can be used to fix the startup issues. But, when Windows fails to do so, you’ll need to insert the Recovery Drive and restart Windows. Then, change the boot priority settings to boot using the recovery drive.


Amal Roy is the Founder-Editor of Computing Unleashed. A Technology Enthusiast, Windows Adept and a Proud Geek! | Connect with him on Google+