PC manufacturers like every other business are looking to cut costs, and no one can argue that Laptops and Desktops have come down in price a tremendous amount. However, this money saving is at a cost. Long gone are the days of getting a Windows DVD in the box with your new PC. The onus has passed onto the user to create their own back up. This initial back up is very important it will allow you to do a factory reset in the event of your hard drive dying or a nasty virus infection.
Before Windows 8 came along you would most likely find a CoA sticker (Certificate of Authenticity) with a long code stuck to your computer. Then as long as you knew someone with the right disc you could get Windows back up and running. With the advent of Windows 8 more manufacturers opted to put this code into the microchips inside the computer, instead of on a sticker. This saves money and reduces fraud (people stealing your number and using it on another PC). The downside of this is that you can’t use any old Windows Disk you need a specific manufacturers’ recovery DVD to get yourself back up and running.
When you buy a new PC you are usually prompted to make this recovery disc the first few times you log in. Ignore this at your peril! If you have to call the manufacturer and get one made you will looking at a bill of around £50 and a 2 week wait (as was the case with one of my customers recently).
Making a recovery disc is quite simple. You’ll need blank DVDs or preferably a 32GB Memory Stick. Type “Recovery” into the search on your charm bar in Windows 8 (that’s the one that appears when you put the cursor in the top right corner) then choose “Create a recovery Drive”. The next step is most important! Tick the option that says create a copy of the recovery partition and away you go. Store this memory stick somewhere safe and don’t use it for anything else. If you don’t have the recovery partition option then check to see if the manufacturer has its own program for making the disc. If you make a simple recovery disc, you won’t be able to reinstall Windows (it’s just a troubleshooting/ repair disc).