How to Enable Copying the Recovery Drive to an External Drive in Windows 8.1

You must be copying all your crucial files to an external drive, in order to have their backup copies. Well, this is a great idea, though. However, you just cannot rely too much upon a USB drive – usually a pen drive that may crash anytime due to a random cause, which can be some logical corruption or a physical failure. Many times users themselves are responsible for data loss. For example, it is seen that users pull out the pen drive forcibly while in hurry. Likewise, in certain situations, computers do not allow removing the USB drives safely. This usually occurs when one of the files the USB drive contains is still running. If you force remove the USB drive, you may lose that particular file, or the pen drive may also get corrupt. Besides, deleting files unintentionally or formatting the pen drive unknowingly may result in a huge data loss. Well, one can easily perform USB data recovery with a commercial data recovery tool. However, what in case one or more system files get corrupt? The computer fails to boot in such a situation.

Since people have upgraded to Windows 8.1, it becomes quite difficult to deal with such situations, especially when you do not know what the causes of the issues are. Those who know how to restore computer from recovery drive go for it, but those who do not, fail to access their data. However, Windows 8.1 users have complaint that they fail to restore their computer, as the recovery partition is inaccessible. So, we suggested them to copy the recovery partition to en external drive. However, they reported another issue that they fail to do this, as they find the check box ‘Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive’ disabled. So let us help those users and suggest them a way to get the check box enabled, in order that they can perform the intended task successfully and without any issue. If you too want to go for it, then check if the concerned check box on your PC is enabled. However, if not, you too can try these steps to fix the issue.

To check if the check box is enabled or not, go to ‘Control Panel’ and click ‘Recovery’ and then click ‘Create a recovery drive’. On the ‘Recovery Drive’ wizard, if the check box ‘Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive’ is disabled, try the following steps to get it enabled:

  1. Right click the Start button and choose Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. In the Command Prompt, run the following command:

REAGENTC.EXE /Info

(Running this command displays the information of the Recovery Image on your PC)

recovery-image-command

As you see in the above image, the location of the Recovery Image is not shown. This is because the system fails to find the Recovery Image and therefore, the checkbox ‘Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive’ is disabled. To fix the issue, you need to specify a new Recovery Image location.

In this regard, you have to locate a copy of Windows 8.1 INSTALL.WIM file, which you can find in the Sources folder on Windows 8.1 install media. In case you do not have the required media, download it. Make sure the version of the evaluation kit you download matches your Windows 8.1 installation.

  1. After downloading the Windows 8.1 ISO file, double-click it to mount it as a temporary drive.
  2. In the mounted drive, search for the Sources folder.
  3. In the Sources folder, search the INSTALL.WIM file and then right-click it to choose copy in the context menu.
  4. Now, go to the C: drive and create a new folder and name it ‘Win81-Recovery’ (i.e. C:\Win81-Recovery).
  5. Right click the ‘Win81-Recovery’ folder and choose Paste in the context menu, and then close the Windows Explorer.

(This copies the INSTALL.WIM file in the ‘Win81-Recovery’ folder.)

  1. Now, right-click the Start button and choose Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Now, run the following command to register the copied INSTALL.WIM file as Recovery Image on your PC.

REAGENTC /SetOSImage /Path C:\Win81-Recovery\INSTALL.WIM /Index 1

  1. Now, to displays the information of the Recovery Image on your PC, run the command:

REAGENTC.EXE /Info

recovery-image-location

Now, you should get the required information of the Recovery Image file on your PC.

  1. Go to the ‘Control Panel’ and click ‘Recovery’ and then click ‘Create a recovery drive’.

On the ‘Recovery Drive’ wizard, you should see the check box ‘Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive’ enabled.

Now, you can easily copy the recovery drive to an external drive.

Related posts:

  1. How To Easily Install Windows 7 & 8 onto An External USB Storage with PWBoot
  2. What Makes Your Hard Drive Data Erased and How to Restore It Using Recovery Utilities?
  3. How To Duplicate A Folder Structure in Windows Without Copying Everything
  4. Create Your Own Windows USB Recovery Drive in Windows 8 and 8.1
  5. Windows 8 Tip: Enable/Disable File Delete Confirmation Dialog Box

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