How to Download and Use a Windows 8.1 Recovery Disk and Repair Disc for Free
If you need to install or reinstall Windows 8.1, you can use a recovery disk or a repair disc to troubleshoot and fix your PC problems. A recovery disk is a disc image (ISO file) that contains the Windows 8.1 installation files and can be used to create a bootable USB flash drive or DVD. A repair disc is a smaller disc that contains only the recovery tools and a bootable image, but not the Windows 8.1 installation files.
In this article, we will show you how to download a Windows 8.1 recovery disk and repair disc for free from Microsoft, and how to use them to create your own installation media.
windows 8.1 recovery disk and repair disc download free
Download Windows 8.1 Recovery Disk (ISO File)
To download a Windows 8.1 recovery disk (ISO file), you will need the following:
An internet connection (internet service provider fees may apply).
Sufficient data storage available on a computer, USB or external drive for the download.
A blank USB flash drive or DVD (and DVD burner) with at least 4 GB of space if you want to create media. We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD, because any content on it will be deleted.
Your Windows product key (xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx). You will need this if you are installing the operating system for the first time, or if you are reinstalling it. For more information about product keys and when they are required, visit this page.
To download the Windows 8.1 recovery disk (ISO file), follow these steps:
Go to this page on Microsoft's website.
Select the edition of Windows 8.1 that matches your product key, and click Confirm.
Select the language of your choice, and click Confirm.
Choose whether you want to download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 8.1, and click on the corresponding link.
Save the ISO file to your computer, USB or external drive.
Create a Windows 8.1 Repair Disc
To create a Windows 8.1 repair disc, you will need the following:
A PC running Windows 8.1 with a recovery partition on it.
A blank USB flash drive with at least 256 MB of space.
To create a Windows 8.1 repair disc, follow these steps:
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)
Enter recovery drive in the search box, and then select Create a recovery drive.
After the recovery drive tool opens, make sure the Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive check box is selected, and then select Next.
Insert a USB flash drive into your PC that's at least as large as the size indicated on the screen.
Select the USB drive you'd like to use for your repair disc, then select Next.
Select Create. The recovery image and necessary recovery tools will be copied to your USB flash drive, which will take a while, depending on your PC and the size of the recovery image.
When the process is done, do one of the following:
If you want to keep the recovery partition on your PC, select Finish.