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Like everythibg else in life, unexpected things can happen in computing. Despite your best efforts, your hard disk may crash or lose all data held by it due to an attack by a maliceous virus or whatever. Your computer just may not start one day for causes not known to you. What would you do in such cases? If you are really smart, you'll not only backup all your precious data, you will also create a recovery drive to bring back your computer to life.
Fortunately, Windows 8.1 has made it easy for you to create a recovery drive. I'll discuss in this section how to create a recovery drive for Windows 8.1.
Windows 8.1 has a built-in recovery drive behind a partition in your hard disk. But if your hard disk crashes for any reason you cannot access it. So it is wise to copy all the data contained in this part of your hard disk on a flash drive and save it carefully in a safe and secure place just in case the unexpected happens. Even if your computer does not start, this recovery drive (flash drive) will help you troubleshoot the problem.
There is another benefit of creating an external recovery drive. The data in the recovery drive behind that partition in your hard disk occupies quite a bit of real estate. In my case, it takes up 16 GB of space. Once you create a recovery drive (on a flash drive), you can delete that data from your hard disk thus regaining that amount of space in your hard disk. So I do encourage everybody to create an external recovery drive (on a flash drive) to not only have peace of mind but also to regain quite a bit of space in your hard disk.
The process is really easy. Start by opening the charm bar and clicking on search. Type "recovery drive" in the search box, then click on "Create a recovery drive" on the list of suggestions that comes up. Next you might see a security warning asking you, "Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer?" Below this question, it will name the program and the Verified/Unverified name of its publisher. Just click on 'Yes' to proceed.
After this it is really a piece of cake. Just read the screen and follow instructions. So instead of saying in words, I am going to present screenshots of each and every step to help you understand how to create the backup recovery drive. You will need an empty flash drive of suitable size (you will be told what size is needed). Remember, if use a flash drive that has any kind of data in it, everything will be erased. So please use a new flash drive. And remember to read everything in each window so that you don't make a mistake!
Click once on the left of the box that says "Copy the recovery partition
from the PC to the recovery drive" to put a checkmark and then click on Next.
On my latest high speed computer with 3.0 USB drives, it took approximately 30-35 minutes to create the USB recovery drive. And when finished please remember to use Windows "Safely Remove Hardware" feature before you disconnect the USB flash drive from your computer. Always be safe rather than sorry!
Safely Remove Hardware
Click on 'Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media' and then again
on 'Safely Remove Hardware'. When you see notification saying
'Safe to Remove Hardware', you can pull out the USB flash drive
from your computer, label it, and keep it in a safe and secure place.
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