How to Create a Custom Recovery Image of Windows 8.1

Windows 8’s Refresh your PC feature is very useful in times when Windows is not working properly or not booting at all. But it can also be a headache as the user has to install all his programs again. Today we will look at how to make a custom recovery image of your Windows installation, which includes all your installed programs as well as Metro apps.

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Image via Shutterstock

Cool Tip: Usually in PCs with Windows pre-installed there is a recovery image already present and you can also make your own recovery image by using the recimg command in CMD.

But not all are comfortable with using the command line, so there’s an app for that! It’s called RecImgManager, provides a nice GUI and makes the process intuitive and simple.

Follow this step-by-step process to create your own custom recovery image.

Step 1: Download RecImgManager from here. After installing, open it and you will be shown the following screen. Before proceeding make sure you have installed/uninstalled the required apps that you want/do not want in the recovery image. Also, if you are having some fatal problems with your current Windows installation, it’s better to do a clean install. After finalizing this, click the Backup button.

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Step 2: Now select the location where you want to save your recovery image. Make sure that the drive on which you are saving has sufficient space. As a rule of thumb the drive should have at least 15 GB of free space for storing at least one recovery image.

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You can create as many images as you want. Here, naming the image can be helpful if you wish to create more than one image or in order to differentiate from any other images already present on your PC. After you have selected the location and given a name to the recovery image, hit Backup Now.

Step 3: It will start the process and depending on the number of programs installed, it may take some time to finish.

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Step 4: After it finishes, it will show a dialog box asking you to close the application or continue. Hit Close. To check if the image is created, open the program again and select Restore. You should see the image listed in the following screen. If you get any errors or you do not see the image created, try going through the above steps again.

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Refreshing the PC can also be done using RecImgManager. After opening it, select Restore on the first screen and it will show you the recovery images available on your PC. Choose the one you made to start the restore process.


So that is how you create a custom recovery image of Windows. You should store it on a separate drive also, that way if your primary hard drive crashes you can still refresh your PC.

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

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