Reinstalling windows 8 after hard drive failure

Let's say I bought a laptop with Windows 8 preinstalled (I'm considering buying Lenovo Yoga 13)
and then one of the following things happen:

- my hard drive dies
- I want to repartition the hard drive and format it
- I want to buy a new hard drive and replace the existing one

The question: what is the sure way to reinstall the OEM Windows 8 that comes with laptop on a clean 
(no restore partition) hard drive?
The assumption here is that I start with a working "factory default" laptop.

Some background:
I read some of the topics on these forums and my current understanding is that the activation key for OEM Windows 8 is stored somewhere in BIOS/UEFI and can be pulled out by windows installed. I'm fine with that. Where do I get the install media in this case? In Microsoft store I've been told (by a technician) that I essentially would need to buy an OEM Windows 8. I certainly hope that gentleman I was talking to just doesn't know his stuff. My understanding is that by purchasing the windows laptop I'm also purchasing the licence for this particular OEM Windows installed on it (tied to hardware and all).

Question Info

Last updated March 30, 2019 Views 6,787 Applies to:



After looking around a bit, I can't find any details about a Recovery device at all either. Only something concerning a "Recovery Image".

The problem is that if your hard drive is a replacement or reformatted, it would seem to me that the image would be useless as the software required to load it would be gone.

Unless the "Image" would contain the software required to load it, and that is doubtful...




I would suggest picking up Acronis TrueImage, preferably the Plus Pack version, or something similar...

I have tried a number of Imaging programs, including some of the free ones, and Acronis seems to be about the best (and fastest).

There are a few programs that can detect that they have been reloaded from an image, and require reinstallation... That hardly ever seems to happen with Acronis images for some reason.


You can frequently find it on sale cheap, and sometimes free after rebate if you want to wait.....

It compresses the Image it creates, and takes up a lot less space as a result...


I have a 128GB SSD loaded with programs that take up about 60GB... Acronis compresses the image to about 20GB.


It will reload the Image onto ANY HDD\SSD that is large enough... 60GB for instance.

You can Image the entire drive or individual partitions... In your case I would recommend both as soon as you get the computer. Just to cover all of the bases.


The only draw back to this is that you will need an external HDD or Flash of sufficient capacity...

I make new OS Images everytime I make a major time consuming change or update. In the event of a problem, 15 minutes to make a new image is nothing compared to having to start over.


I currently have about 10 images of Win 8 since I installed it taking up about 180GB...


My understanding is that the Acronis installation CD is also bootable... which is when you want to use it anyway. I can't confirm this at the moment as my bootable CD was burned by the installed version of Acronis and I can't find the original disk to test it.


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