Create A Custom Refresh Image on Windows 8.1

For The Recovery Partition


geeky stuff
#recovery | #windows
I just found out that Microsoft made it compulsory for those who still use Windows 8 to upgrade the system to Windows 10 which was made available for free before 2018 for they will stop providing support for Windows 8 after this. Regardless, I rarely use Windows so I will just keep this writing posted in case it can be referred to later.

When I first bought this Lenovo Ideapad in November 2014, it came with a bunch of… well, useless apps to me.

So I decided to remove all those useless apps and leave as well as install those that serve their purpose well for us, especially for my husband.

This laptop is dual-booting with Arch Linux that is used solely and mainly by me. I do not normally use Windows, but there are occasions where my husband needs to use this laptop. Obviously, the only OS he needs is Windows.

Since I love to mess up with this laptop by ‘instilling a great sense of geekiness inside me’, I had to create a custom recovery image which can be copied to a bootable usb drive.

Guided by tutorial from these two entries; Custom recovery image in Windows 8 and 8.1 and Windows 8.1 – Unable to “Copy Recovery Partition” when building Recovery Drive?, I did the following things to prepare the system backup that I can restore in critical times:-

  1. Firstly, I ensured that I had all the apps needed working properly.
  2. Then, I created a custom recovery image by launching Command Prompt as Admin and then run the following command:-
    recimg -CreateImage C:\RefreshImage

    An imaged named CustomRefresh.wim created by default thus resided in the RefreshImage folder as per command.

  3. Once completed, I verified the created image with:-
    recimg /showcurrent
  4. Everything went well, then I proceeded to the next step where I renamed the created CustomRefresh.wim image to INSTALL.WIM. Actually, this is not needed because I would register it as recovery image by putting the path to it with the step after anyway but for the sake of following the tutorial, I did this. Meaningless, I know.
  5. As mentioned above, I then ran this command to register it as recovery image:-
    REAGENTC /SetOSImage /Path C:\RefreshImage\INSTALL.WIM /Index 1
  6. The registration can be verified by running this command:-
    REAGENTC /Info

    The line where it says Recovery image location should produce a long line output.

  7. Lastly, I created a recovery drive on a usb stick with the box at the bottom reading ‘Copy the Recovery Partition from the PC to the recovery drive’ checked.
END.


Grub2 Menuentry for booting Windows:-
Basically, it looks like the following:-
if [ "${grub_platform}" == "efi" ]; then
	menuentry "Microsoft Windows 8.1" {
		insmod part_gpt
		insmod fat
		insmod search_fs_uuid
		insmod chain
		search --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,gpt2 --hint-efi=hd0,gpt2 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,gpt2 BA93-BCDC
		chainloader /EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi
	}
fi


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