Windows 8 Recovery

Windows 8 computers do not ship with recovery disks. You must use the manufacturer’s built-in utility to create and burn your own recovery disc set. Windows 8 is not very repair friendly. When things go wrong and Windows 8 automatic repair fails you are left with two choices.

Choice one is a factory refresh.  A factory refresh will restore your computer to its original state and preserve your existing files.

Choice two is a factory reset; this option will restore your computer to its out-of-the-box state and delete all your personal data. Both choices will require that you re-install all of your programs, printers etc.  These options are not fail-safe and often do not work. This leaves your computer in an unusable state. Your only choice at this point is to recover your system with your recovery disks. If you find yourself in this situation and did not make recovery disks, your only recourse is to order them from the manufacturer, often at a cost. Unlike previous editions of Windows, you cannot use any Windows disk to reload your operating system and activate it with the license on your sticker. Windows 8 PC’s from most major computer manufacturers do not have a “Microsoft license sticker.” Your license is embedded in a chip on the motherboard electronically and must match the recovery disks from the manufacturer.

In a previous article, we discussed a system image. In a way, restoring the system image is more convenient and thorough than using recovery disks. A system image is an exact snapshot of your computer when the image was created. This saves you the time and hassle of reloading all your programs, inserting license numbers, installing your printer and even setting up your email. A system image will restore your system to the state the computer was in when the image was created, often in less than one hour. This beats spending a day reloading your system and tweaking it to the way you like it.

It is in your best interest to create your recovery disks. Make no mistake – when Windows 8 fails to boot and cannot automatically repair itself, you will need those recovery disks. The day will come so be prepared. Create and save a system image to preserve your files and settings, and/or backup your data. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, take your computer to your local repair shop and asked them to do it for you.

We are hopeful that future editions of Windows will return us to the day when using the computer did not require a PhD and repairing a computer to fix the problem at hand did not require you to start from scratch all over again. The good folks at Microsoft need to listen to the end-users and stop making the operating system more and more complicated to use. If this trend continues, Microsoft might as well shutter their offices as more and more of their customers migrate to Linux. Linux is not buggy and is free!

If you need quick, quality, computer repair services, contact Jester’s Computer Services located at  5135 Fairfield Road, Fairfield, PA or you can reach us by phone at (717) 642-6611 or send an email to: (see our ad on this page)

If you need computer advice or would like to seek help, Jester’s Computer Tutor provides one-on-one classes and assistance in your home as well as on-site service calls for troubleshooting and networking.  Please contact them at (717) 435-7463 or online at You can also visit their website at or like them on Facebook to receive free tips & tricks!


By Bob Jester, Owner/Technician