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Thread: How I created a Recovery Partition

  1. #1
    Jazz
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    How I created a Recovery Partition

    The following is an illustrated write-up of how I was able to recreated a recovery partition of my T100TAM (64gb) with a little help from Google.

    The goal is to re-enable the ability "reset to factory defaults" to Windows 8.1, without having a recovery USB key on you, which can conceivably be useful (e.g. if you're traveling, for novice users...). Note that these instructions are written for re-creating a Windows 8.1 recovery partition. Windows 10 does not require the presence of a recovery partition with the Windows Installation Image on it.

    It's not an authoritative write-up by any means, and I don't pretend to be able to answer any one's questions about the process or troubleshoot. Heck, I don't even know if what I did was entirely correct, but here goes.

    Relevant Links
    1) How to Restore A Deleted Recovery Partition in Windows 8 (Where most of these instructions come from -- read this link too!)
    2) Create Installation Media for Windows 8.1
    3) ASUS T100 Drivers
    4) WinReducer Wim Converter

    Notes
    • Since the T100 is the only computer I have with Windows 8.1 on it, all steps were done on that. I don't know if any of the following steps will be easier or faster on another computer.
    • The recovery image generated will not have drivers installed. Essential functions like touchpad, USB access, keyboard, and wifi will work. Things like orientation sensor, and even the power button, will not work. I advise creating a folder with the drivers (unzipped) for easy access.
    • Any system restore images created prior to this will not work. If you restore from those images, it will remove the partition you've created. What I'm doing now is setting a current system restore image, and then going back to each of the base restore images I've made to create this partition, re-create the partition, then restore to the current system image so that my images are updated to have this partition. A little idiosyncratic for sure, and after when I've got some time I'm going to give Macrium a shot, as my ultimate goal is to be able to restore "C" on its own, while keeping the recovery partition untouched. Still, doesn't hurt to have 2 forms of backup.




    STEP 1: Create your Media
    1. Go to Create Installation Media for Windows 8.1 and click on "Create Media" in the bottom.
    2. Execute the program. Basically, it's a custom installer that downloads the Windows 8.1 installation disk
    3. When prompted as to whether you want to create a USB key or ISO, I suggest the former. Be ready to have a 8gb USB key to sacrifice. The advantage is that this key also serves as a recovery key.
    4. Once downloaded and created (may take an hour or more, depending on your internet connection), plug the key into your computer and navigates to \Sources\. There, you will find a file called "Install.ESD". That contains a highly compressed image of Windows 8.1, and is in fact what we're after.

    Now at this time, you can actually stop here. If you need to reset your computer to default, you can just plug that USB key into your system and go to Recovery Options in PC Settings. You can also boot from the USB to re-install Windows. However, you can't just run the setup file because you won't have a product key (even if you lift it from the BIOS it will not work).


    STEP 2: Extract the WIM from the ESD
    1. Take the ESD file that you located and put it into a different location. I suggest a drive with at 16gb free.
    2. Install and run WinReducer Wim Converter
    3. Point to the ESD file and run the program. Then walk away. This program took me over 10 hours to make the file. If you're paranoid, you right click on the program's "WORK" folder to see that the directory size is still growing. I also plugged in the tablet and put it in front of a fan, just in case it gets too hot (I get paranoid).



    get used to this screen -- it'll be there for at least 10 hours!


    the next morning -- success!

    STEP 3: Create Your Partition
    1. Go to Disk Management (Press Windows-R key combination, type "diskmgmt.msc" without the quotes and press enter.
    2. Right click on C select "Extend Volume"

      (Shrink C volume before creating your volume)

    3. Enter "3500" for the value (to shrink it by that much)
    4. Right click on the resultant free space and select "Create Volume". Make sure it's NTFS and the full size of the space. Name it whatever you want and give it a letter (I chose Recovery, and W

      This was an earlier screenshot; I decided to make the partition larger so that I can fit the Drivers and have it able to back up through System Image Restore

    5. Copy Install.wim into the new partition under a folder. It cannot be in the root directory of the partition. I put mine under a folder called "Recovery". I also copied a folder of all the ASUS drivers into it as well.

    Now you may be tempted to make it read-only. Don't. You can...but if you remove all write privileges, it's a bit of a pain in the butt to get write-privilege back, and I suspect the security benefit it offers is superfluous.


    STEP 4: Point your computer to the image.
    1. Open a Command Prompt with Administrator Privileges (right click on the Start Button and choose "Command Prompt (Admin)"
    2. Enter the following: "REAGENTC /SetOSImage /Path W:\Recovery\Install.wim /Index 1", where the string after the Path is where you've decided your WIM file will go. It should say "REAGENT.EXE: Operation Successful."
    3. To check, you can type "REAGENTC /Info" to ensure that the recovery image has been indexed. At this point, you're done!

      Note the first line tells you "Operation Successful" and the second entry returns that you've got a Recovery Image and Indexed. Note the location is not dependent on drive letter


    Now at this point, a few more idiosyncracies
    • You can go back to Disk Management and actually remove the file letter (right click on partition, go to "Change Drive Letter and Paths" and click Remove) and it will recover. However, if you do that and you use System Restore to back up your system, it will not be able to see and thus backup that partition. However, if you want your system to have a cleaner look, or prevent more novice users from deleting the partition by accident, this is one way to do it. Of course, you'll need to re-mount it to backup...I see this as a fault of Windows System Image Recovery.
    • If you create a complete disk image with Macrium Reflect, this partition will survive the re-image.
    • The advantage to all of this is that you've now re-enabled the ability "reset to factory defaults" without a USB key, which can conceivably be useful.
    • Also conceivably, you can install all your drivers and create a custom WIM such that the resetting to factory defaults will restore you to a state with ASUS drivers installed. I haven't tried this yet, but I'd imagine the protocol would be to restore to factory default, install all the drivers, then use DISM (see step 3) to create a new Install.WIM that you will copy over the generic one in your newly-created recovery partition. Again, not something I've tried.
    • After a restore, the recovery partition will probably be assigned a different drive letter; that's fine -- as mentioned, the indexing is to the hardrive/partition number, not to the drive lettering
    • I know another user is in the process of trying to make his/her own partition as well. I'll gladly remove/correct this post if there's an error to the procedures outlined above.
    Last edited by felixdd; 08-03-2015 at 10:24 AM.
    rickscheller likes this.

  2. #2
    Transformer Forums Legend
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    We actually have several threads covering this subject, however, you posted this in the Android Discussion area. You went to so much trouble creating it I won't delete it as it's still a good post but I am going to move it to the T100 forum. You'll find it in the "coveted" FAQs & Guides section.

  3. #3
    Jazz
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    Oops lol. Well, I couldn't find any other write-ups on the topic so I made my own.

  4. #4
    Transformer Forums Legend
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    There is a ton of great stuff in the T100 master help guide. Find a link in my signature.

  5. #5
    Jazz
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    there is a much simple method that could be more simple with a dos command self made.
    disk part
    volume list
    select volume "number"
    assign letter= "letter"
    or you'll have to do this for any reboot

  6. #6
    Soundwave
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    We can use a USB to create a recovery partition. From the taskbar, search "recovery drive", find "Create recovery drive", select USB drive and the process is finished.

  7. #7
    Jazz
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafwarbler View Post
    We can use a USB to create a recovery partition. From the taskbar, search "recovery drive", find "Create recovery drive", select USB drive and the process is finished.
    In Windows 8/8.1, if you've lost your recovery partition, you cannot create a recovery drive using this method. Even if you end up creating a recovery drive, all it will allow you to do is to boot into the UEFI boot environment. As soon as you try to re-install windows, it will ask for an copy of Windows 8.1.

    If you have an intact recovery partition, then creating a recovery drive using your method will work. However, the instructions were for those who lost their recovery partition and want to restore the "Reset to Factory Default" function.

    Honestly though, people should be migrating to Windows 10. It runs fine on Atom (at least, Z3775) and the recovery process is simpler from what I've read. People should also be using Macrium Reflect to store a clean first-boot image of their system so they can quickly "wipe" everything if something catastrophic happened.
    janner43 likes this.

 

 

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