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ISO disc? Repair disc? Recovery disc?.......Windows 8 ....I need a clear answer

Last response: in Windows 8
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May 24, 2013 12:52:42 PM

Just got a windows 8 laptop (lenovo). Went to make a recovery dvd and that was not an option. Yes a repair disc option (which i did), but that was only 256mb so that won't be what i'm after.
In the event i want to put a larger hdd or the os crashes or whatever reason, i want a clean (or factory) install disc!!!!
It seems there is confusion with how this is done recently and would love to get some clear understanding.
If i need to download an ISO copy, so be it. but if there is a way to get this done from my laptop that isn't too difficult for me to understand that would be great.
With my windows 7 laptop it was super easy. It wasn't hard to find the option to make the disc and it works as it is supposed to work..... simple.
Wouldn't it be nice if it were still this way... please tell me it still is....:) 
May 24, 2013 1:33:30 PM

No 8 ISO links are available.Sorry.
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a b D Laptop
May 24, 2013 4:11:02 PM

Hi CBay,

There are a couple ways to make a recovery image in your situation.
If you want to have a recovery file, to be able to restart your laptop to the OOBE, here is a link to Lonovl's instructions. "Methodology to create Recovery Media and reload a Lenovo Think system with Microsoft Windows 8 preload"
http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?D...

Using this method, you have to store it on a removable USB drive you can boot from if necessary. Here you get a fresh Lenovo Win-8 installation but no installed programs or data files.

If you want to restore the Win-8 OS and all your apps and settings, you can make a BackUp Image using the Win-8 BackUp and restore utility, stored on a separate HDD or removable HDD. It's the Image system from Win-7, still available in the bottom left of the Win-8 File History app. You would make that after all your programs are installed and everything is stable. If you desire, you can Restore the image to a new system HDD or SSD, and pick up from the point of crash or new drive installation.
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Related resources
May 24, 2013 6:33:34 PM

John_VanKirk said:
Hi CBay,

There are a couple ways to make a recovery image in your situation.
If you want to have a recovery file, to be able to restart your laptop to the OOBE, here is a link to Lonovl's instructions. "Methodology to create Recovery Media and reload a Lenovo Think system with Microsoft Windows 8 preload"
http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?D...

Using this method, you have to store it on a removable USB drive you can boot from if necessary. Here you get a fresh Lenovo Win-8 installation but no installed programs or data files.

If you want to restore the Win-8 OS and all your apps and settings, you can make a BackUp Image using the Win-8 BackUp and restore utility, stored on a separate HDD or removable HDD. It's the Image system from Win-7, still available in the bottom left of the Win-8 File History app. You would make that after all your programs are installed and everything is stable. If you desire, you can Restore the image to a new system HDD or SSD, and pick up from the point of crash or new drive installation.

I don't think my laptop is a "think" model (a B series...essential) so i'm not sure if the first method would apply; and i don't have a usb drive. I could get one however. But, the second suggestion sounds alright. You say HDD or SSD, does that mean i can't create a dvd copy???
Then when it comes to the ISO or EXE method, would there be issues with the product key installed on the laptop not working. I know i have read there have been various issues. Maybe just have to call or validate online??
Thank you both for the information. I just don't get why they have to make the process so confusing when it shouldn't be.
Regards, Chris
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a b D Laptop
a c 381 * Windows 8
May 25, 2013 1:55:14 AM

Best bet is to backup to a System Image, you already have a repair disk to get you into position where you can restore from an image. At your Start Screen, type 'Recovery' and from Settings choose Windows 7 File recovery.
Here you can choose Create System Image and will be given a choice of locations to save the Image to. If you choose a USB drive, make sure that the Partition from which you want to create the Image from is smaller than the device you save to.
Also install the USB device before you attempt to create a System Image if that is the media you choose.
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a b D Laptop
a c 381 * Windows 8
May 25, 2013 1:56:45 AM

God vs Satan said:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-pr...

as long as you always have the key you can go here to do a clean install..........

it will give you an option to save as an iso or exe,just before actual install.........

OP's key will be OEM and won't work on an Upgrade link...

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May 25, 2013 6:44:44 AM

Thanks to all for the help. :)  It appears that "file recovery" was what i am looking for. It has selections that i'm familiar with from windows 7. I will get plenty of dvds and give that a try.
Once i have tested the recovery disc i will nuke the other partitions and get this thing tightened up a bit.
Regards, Chris
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a b D Laptop
May 25, 2013 8:35:35 AM

cbay said:
Thanks to all for the help. :)  It appears that "file recovery" was what i am looking for. It has selections that i'm familiar with from windows 7. I will get plenty of dvds and give that a try.
Once i have tested the recovery disc i will nuke the other partitions and get this thing tightened up a bit.
Regards, Chris

Hi Chris,
In regards to the option of using the Lenovo recovery partition, I think they are pretty much the same on the IdeaPad or ThinkPad laptops. They have a hidden partition at the end of the drive where the recovery files live. The reason they require a USB flashdrive, is you can't fit the OOBE recovery file on a DvD.
In regard to an ISO file, it is a single file sector by sector for a CD/DVD type media. You can download from MS Win-8 as an ISO file, which you have to burn to a DVD that can be bootable. Once ISO burned, it is no longer a single long file, you can click on the DVD drive and see all the individual files that were in the ISO, and copy paste, etc. these files. You can make an ISO from a DVD, or make an ISO from multiple files, or convert an ISO to a bootable USB etc. with other apps, like ISOBuster or PowerISO. but I don't think that is your goal. BTW, your present OEM product key wouldn't work for a purchased retail version.

To make a BackUp Image of your HDD, for safety, or Restoring to a new system drive, the Win-7 BackUp and Restore app is the way to go (Acronis, Clonzilla, etc also work). It doesn't image over the hidden restore partition of Lenovo, so you would lose that built in safety feature and probably the Lenovo warranty. The Win-7 BackUp Image can be on an internal driver or removable drive, and would have all your applications and data added since deployment. I personally would use a removable HDD, since they are not expensive anymore, you can use it for safety BackUps, and store other data if you want, and later, use it as a removable drive on other computers you might acquire later on.

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May 25, 2013 9:02:29 AM

John_VanKirk said:
cbay said:
Thanks to all for the help. :)  It appears that "file recovery" was what i am looking for. It has selections that i'm familiar with from windows 7. I will get plenty of dvds and give that a try.
Once i have tested the recovery disc i will nuke the other partitions and get this thing tightened up a bit.
Regards, Chris

Hi Chris,
In regards to the option of using the Lenovo recovery partition, I think they are pretty much the same on the IdeaPad or ThinkPad laptops. They have a hidden partition at the end of the drive where the recovery files live. The reason they require a USB flashdrive, is you can't fit the OOBE recovery file on a DvD.
In regard to an ISO file, it is a single file sector by sector for a CD/DVD type media. You can download from MS Win-8 as an ISO file, which you have to burn to a DVD that can be bootable. Once ISO burned, it is no longer a single long file, you can click on the DVD drive and see all the individual files that were in the ISO, and copy paste, etc. these files. You can make an ISO from a DVD, or make an ISO from multiple files, or convert an ISO to a bootable USB etc. with other apps, like ISOBuster or PowerISO. but I don't think that is your goal. BTW, your present OEM product key wouldn't work for a purchased retail version.

To make a BackUp Image of your HDD, for safety, or Restoring to a new system drive, the Win-7 BackUp and Restore app is the way to go (Acronis, Clonzilla, etc also work). It doesn't image over the hidden restore partition of Lenovo, so you would lose that built in safety feature and probably the Lenovo warranty. The Win-7 BackUp Image can be on an internal driver or removable drive, and would have all your applications and data added since deployment. I personally would use a removable HDD, since they are not expensive anymore, you can use it for safety BackUps, and store other data if you want, and later, use it as a removable drive on other computers you might acquire later on.


Thanks John i appreciate you taking the time to help. :) 

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a b D Laptop
May 25, 2013 10:27:17 AM

cbay said:
John_VanKirk said:
cbay said:
Thanks to all for the help. :)  It appears that "file recovery" was what i am looking for. It has selections that i'm familiar with from windows 7. I will get plenty of dvds and give that a try.
Once i have tested the recovery disc i will nuke the other partitions and get this thing tightened up a bit.
Regards, Chris

Hi Chris,
In regards to the option of using the Lenovo recovery partition, I think they are pretty much the same on the IdeaPad or ThinkPad laptops. They have a hidden partition at the end of the drive where the recovery files live. The reason they require a USB flashdrive, is you can't fit the OOBE recovery file on a DvD.
In regard to an ISO file, it is a single file sector by sector for a CD/DVD type media. You can download from MS Win-8 as an ISO file, which you have to burn to a DVD that can be bootable. Once ISO burned, it is no longer a single long file, you can click on the DVD drive and see all the individual files that were in the ISO, and copy paste, etc. these files. You can make an ISO from a DVD, or make an ISO from multiple files, or convert an ISO to a bootable USB etc. with other apps, like ISOBuster or PowerISO. but I don't think that is your goal. BTW, your present OEM product key wouldn't work for a purchased retail version.

To make a BackUp Image of your HDD, for safety, or Restoring to a new system drive, the Win-7 BackUp and Restore app is the way to go (Acronis, Clonzilla, etc also work). It doesn't image over the hidden restore partition of Lenovo, so you would lose that built in safety feature and probably the Lenovo warranty. The Win-7 BackUp Image can be on an internal driver or removable drive, and would have all your applications and data added since deployment. I personally would use a removable HDD, since they are not expensive anymore, you can use it for safety BackUps, and store other data if you want, and later, use it as a removable drive on other computers you might acquire later on.


Thanks John i appreciate you taking the time to help. :) 


You are welcome. Hope that gets you going and the results you want!

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May 25, 2013 11:45:25 PM

Most Lenovo computers have a small recovery button next to the power button. Boot your computer up with this button and it will take you to a utility to name a set of factory reset discs. Once this is done and you want a clean boot, just rebuild the windows install by typing "refresh" on the start screen and picking the appropriate action under "settings."
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May 29, 2013 3:24:07 PM

Thought i would update with the procedure that i did. Was stubborn and didn't want to flip for a thumb drive at the moment, but had enough dvds to give that a try.
I was able to create a system image and a system repair disc under "file recovery". It was not a factory image, it was an image with my settings, etc., at the time i made the discs. It was under advanced settings, create a system image. There was no option to create a factory one. Took three dvds (not counting repair disc).
This process wouldn't be any good for me unless i tried it,,,, so i did today. I had to use the repair disc first, then the option under advanced settings allowed me to choose to restore from system image. it failed the first time on disc no. 2. (said failed attempt and stopped). I tried again and it was successful.
Now, whether or not this procedure would work with a clean hard drive i do not know (but would like to know)

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a b D Laptop
a c 381 * Windows 8
May 29, 2013 3:44:02 PM

"Now, whether or not this procedure would work with a clean hard drive i do not know (but would like to know)"
Assume you mean transferring the image to a new, clean hard drive? Worked fine for me...
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a b D Laptop
May 29, 2013 3:55:12 PM

Hi Chris,

It will work on a different HDD. In the system BackUp & Restore dialog, there is an option to restore it to a different drive. There may be one additional step in that process, depending on your BIOS setup. The newer BIOS setups ID each drive with a GUID number and identifies the system drive by that number. The new drive will have a different GUID number than the old one, so it may take you to "repair my computer" to find and enter the correct one in the Boot Configure Database.
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May 29, 2013 4:11:12 PM

So if i want to wipe all the other partitions out except c i can do it now if i'm satisfied with the image i have on dvd???
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a b D Laptop
May 29, 2013 7:12:45 PM

cbay said:
So if i want to wipe all the other partitions out except c i can do it now if i'm satisfied with the image i have on dvd???


Not sure what you mean by wiping out the other partitions on the system drive. I thought you successfully restored a full image back to your C: drive from the DVD.s, and was asking if you could also restore to a separate HDD. What other partitions do you have on the system drive that you were thinking about deleting? Have to remember there is a MS reserved 100MB partition required for operation, holding boot loader, manager, and bitlocker information. Without that your BIOS won't be able to find the OS to load.

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May 29, 2013 7:48:12 PM

John_VanKirk said:
cbay said:
Thanks to all for the help. :)  It appears that "file recovery" was what i am looking for. It has selections that i'm familiar with from windows 7. I will get plenty of dvds and give that a try.
Once i have tested the recovery disc i will nuke the other partitions and get this thing tightened up a bit.
Regards, Chris

Hi Chris,
In regards to the option of using the Lenovo recovery partition, I think they are pretty much the same on the IdeaPad or ThinkPad laptops. They have a hidden partition at the end of the drive where the recovery files live. The reason they require a USB flashdrive, is you can't fit the OOBE recovery file on a DvD.
In regard to an ISO file, it is a single file sector by sector for a CD/DVD type media. You can download from MS Win-8 as an ISO file, which you have to burn to a DVD that can be bootable. Once ISO burned, it is no longer a single long file, you can click on the DVD drive and see all the individual files that were in the ISO, and copy paste, etc. these files. You can make an ISO from a DVD, or make an ISO from multiple files, or convert an ISO to a bootable USB etc. with other apps, like ISOBuster or PowerISO. but I don't think that is your goal. BTW, your present OEM product key wouldn't work for a purchased retail version.

To make a BackUp Image of your HDD, for safety, or Restoring to a new system drive, the Win-7 BackUp and Restore app is the way to go (Acronis, Clonzilla, etc also work). It doesn't image over the hidden restore partition of Lenovo, so you would lose that built in safety feature and probably the Lenovo warranty. The Win-7 BackUp Image can be on an internal driver or removable drive, and would have all your applications and data added since deployment. I personally would use a removable HDD, since they are not expensive anymore, you can use it for safety BackUps, and store other data if you want, and later, use it as a removable drive on other computers you might acquire later on.



John_VanKirk said:
cbay said:
So if i want to wipe all the other partitions out except c i can do it now if i'm satisfied with the image i have on dvd???


Not sure what you mean by wiping out the other partitions on the system drive. I thought you successfully restored a full image back to your C: drive from the DVD.s, and was asking if you could also restore to a separate HDD. What other partitions do you have on the system drive that you were thinking about deleting? Have to remember there is a MS reserved 100MB partition required for operation, holding boot loader, manager, and bitlocker information. Without that your BIOS won't be able to find the OS to load.



There are four partitions and what i really meant is to get rid of the recovery and i assume lenovo driver / backup partition. I may dual boot windows 7; and even if i don't right away i can't leave well enough alone. :) 
Thanks for the help
Regards, Chris


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a b D Laptop
May 30, 2013 8:51:15 AM

cbay said:
John_VanKirk said:
cbay said:
Thanks to all for the help. :)  It appears that "file recovery" was what i am looking for. It has selections that i'm familiar with from windows 7. I will get plenty of dvds and give that a try.
Once i have tested the recovery disc i will nuke the other partitions and get this thing tightened up a bit.
Regards, Chris


Hi Chris,
In regards to the option of using the Lenovo recovery partition, I think they are pretty much the same on the IdeaPad or ThinkPad laptops. They have a hidden partition at the end of the drive where the recovery files live. The reason they require a USB flashdrive, is you can't fit the OOBE recovery file on a DvD.
In regard to an ISO file, it is a single file sector by sector for a CD/DVD type media. You can download from MS Win-8 as an ISO file, which you have to burn to a DVD that can be bootable. Once ISO burned, it is no longer a single long file, you can click on the DVD drive and see all the individual files that were in the ISO, and copy paste, etc. these files. You can make an ISO from a DVD, or make an ISO from multiple files, or convert an ISO to a bootable USB etc. with other apps, like ISOBuster or PowerISO. but I don't think that is your goal. BTW, your present OEM product key wouldn't work for a purchased retail version.

To make a BackUp Image of your HDD, for safety, or Restoring to a new system drive, the Win-7 BackUp and Restore app is the way to go (Acronis, Clonzilla, etc also work). It doesn't image over the hidden restore partition of Lenovo, so you would lose that built in safety feature and probably the Lenovo warranty. The Win-7 BackUp Image can be on an internal driver or removable drive, and would have all your applications and data added since deployment. I personally would use a removable HDD, since they are not expensive anymore, you can use it for safety BackUps, and store other data if you want, and later, use it as a removable drive on other computers you might acquire later on.



John_VanKirk said:
cbay said:
So if i want to wipe all the other partitions out except c i can do it now if i'm satisfied with the image i have on dvd???


Not sure what you mean by wiping out the other partitions on the system drive. I thought you successfully restored a full image back to your C: drive from the DVD.s, and was asking if you could also restore to a separate HDD. What other partitions do you have on the system drive that you were thinking about deleting? Have to remember there is a MS reserved 100MB partition required for operation, holding boot loader, manager, and bitlocker information. Without that your BIOS won't be able to find the OS to load.



There are four partitions and what i really meant is to get rid of the recovery and i assume lenovo driver / backup partition. I may dual boot windows 7; and even if i don't right away i can't leave well enough alone. :) 
Thanks for the help
Regards, Chris


Might consider for now leaving the Lenovo hidden recovery partition for safety. It is probably a hidden partition and you may have a frustrating time deleting it. That leaves 1 unaccounted for partition on the drive. If that's data you don't need, you can delete it and it will revert to unallocated space. You could then expand or contract the System partition, or create a new partition there for dual booting.

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