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Want to go back to Windows 8 from 8.1 but it can't see recovery image?

mitchellvii

Well-Known Member
I would like to downgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8 from my recovery image. I originally saved my recovery partition to an SDCard which worked fine in Windows 8. But from Windows 8.1 it said it could not find the recovery image so I tried putting it on a USB stick. Again said it could not find recovery media.

I've tried doing this from within Windows and from the <space> / <restart> methods. Neither worked.

What should I do here? The files seem proper and the folder is the right size.

** Really hard to believe MS doesn't have these files available for download online. They inform me that they are discussing the idea. Um, yeah, a year after the device is released. Nevertheless I think my files are good.
 
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mitchellvii

mitchellvii

Well-Known Member
One caveat. The recovery files I have were copied from the original sdcard I backed them up to onto a usb thumb drive. Was there something else Windows put on the sdcard which would not have transferred over with a simple copy and paste?
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
Yes the bits that make it bootable, from an elevated command prompt use the following command:

xcopy e:\*.* /e/f/s f:

The above assumes that your MicroSD card is "e:" and thumb drive "f:" substitute your actuals...
 
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mitchellvii

mitchellvii

Well-Known Member
Yes the bits that make it bootable, from an elevated command prompt use the following command:

xcopy e:\*.* /e/f/s f:

The above assumes that your MicroSD card is "e:" and thumb drive "f:" substitute your actuals...
Hmmm, ok, thanks for jumping in on this. I'm a bit confused and let me explain a little better what is going on.

I originally transferred my recovery partition to a 16gb sdcard. I later needed that card for something else so I just copied the files over to my external USB hard drive. I tried copying those files back to the sdcard and to a usb thumb drive but neither worked.

Now if I do this as you say copying it from the USB HDD to the SDCard, will it then work? What is the best method for formatting the sdcard to be used in this manner? I would prefer to use the sdcard if I can.

Thanks in advance :)
 

jnjroach

Administrator
Staff member
Well if you didn't get the empty and hidden bcdboot files in the original copying then it won't boot, so at this point, go to somewhere like DigitialRiver in download Windows 8 Pro (secure your OEM Key using one of the freeware utilities) and download the Surface Pro Download Pack and build from scratch by mounting the iso and use the same command to copy to your thumb drive.
 
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mitchellvii

mitchellvii

Well-Known Member
Well if you didn't get the empty and hidden bcdboot files in the original copying then it won't boot, so at this point, go to somewhere like DigitialRiver in download Windows 8 Pro (secure your OEM Key using one of the freeware utilities) and download the Surface Pro Download Pack and build from scratch by mounting the iso and use the same command to copy to your thumb drive.
Ok, we are a bit above my paygrade here as far as Windows programming so let me as a few quick questions:

1) I have the bootmgr, bootmgr.efi and reagent.xml files as well as the Backups, boot, efi and sources folders. So you are saying there were hidden files besides those which I failed to copy? Hmmm, bummer.
2) I am a bit confused on the Digital River part.

** Do you have handy access to those hidden files that I could just paste in here?

UPDATE: I see that in my boot folder I have files named "BCD" and "boot.sdi". Are those what I need?
 
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mitchellvii

mitchellvii

Well-Known Member
Yep something is missing. Tried using the usb created this way and no dice.

The files you mention must be small. Are they specific to just my machine or would any do? Do you have them?

Sad that I have all the big files but missed some little hidden files. Why do they hide them? What's the secret?
 
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mitchellvii

mitchellvii

Well-Known Member
Are the hidden files on the root of the usb drive? Would the ones from Windows 8.1 work? I think I could just create a recovery drive from windows 8.1 then maybe use them? Just guessing here.

Ok, just created a recovery drive for 8.1 Preview. Have folder set to show all hidden files but I dont see anything call bcdboot. Completely confused.
 
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mitchellvii

mitchellvii

Well-Known Member
Ok, solved the problem.

Turns out I needed to format my USB Drive like an actual hard drive with a Primary Active Partition for this to work. I did this using "Diskpart" and then used the update utility where it basically reboots into the usb. It worked - cool. :)
 
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mitchellvii

mitchellvii

Well-Known Member
Glad this worked out. Was able to do a completely clean upgrade to 8.1 without all the leftover 8.1 Preview giblets (and with MS there are always left-over giblets). My machine feels happy :)

And yes, inanimate objects do run better when they are "happy" like when you wash and wax a car, it runs better.

P.S., the above method still DOES NOT WORK when attempting to refresh from within Windows. Have to go the "Additional Options" root.
 
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mitchellvii

mitchellvii

Well-Known Member
Sorry Mitch, I was out all evening at a dinner party last night.
No worries. Turns out I had to use diskpart to set up the usb drive like an active hard drive partition and install from outside Windows.

Who knew? Maybe that worked around the hidden giblets I was missing?
 
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