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Help needed to use Recovery Partition .WIMs [yes, more than one!] files ....

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Forum Member
Posts: 6
Comments: 29


I have a computer 1Tb HDD that was failing and managed to clone it, but the Windows partition was messed up.
I did manage to get all partitions and the Recovery Partition which contains about 13Gb of WIM and other files.
I am no expert on WIM UEFI GPT etc. as I left the HDD area years ago and now I am back with 'no knowledge' at all and I am stuck!

Summing up:

1. This is a Toshiba Laptop
2. HDD was a GPT UEFI EFI [I am guessing encrypted windows?]
3. I managed to get the Windows Licences [yes two!] and I now know it has WIN 8.1 installed - but I am not sure the Recovery is a WIN 8.1 anyway
4. I tried the usual bits trying to force Laptop do the 'intended job or recovering, but I have one of the 90% computers that never worked the normal way!
5. I decided to get Toshiba Disks and then I find that Toshiba has STPOPPED selling discs or downloading Recovery since 31 March 2017 [just out by 3 weeks!]
6. I already tried all usual avenues - i.e. BCD, MBT, etc. repairs and now I am in the situation when you have to use the WIM files and deploy windows installation into the C: windows partition and I do not know or understand enough to do it myself.

7. for some reason and I am guessing because I did not format the new HDD properly as one should do [i.e. long format], I did lose partitions and I recovered them - see attached image

So, now I am stuck.

I have the Recovery Partition with a number of WIM files - I have not got it here at present, but they are about 36 files [if I remember well] and it seems the WIM file is split in smaller files. I did not get any 'BAD' files warning when cloning partition on a external drive.

I am not bothered about personal files - there is nothing and I can play with [new cloned] HDD.

Anyone care to explain in simple 1 to 10 points what to do?
I have read [and onlu understood 30% !] you can use a memory stick [or external HDD] set WinPe and deploy the wim file, but I have WIMs files [more than one] and I do not really understand 'practically' what to do as I never ever managed to learn about WIM UEFI EFI GPT etc. nd I need to and FAST.

Thank you very much in advance for anyone spending their personal/business time in helping.


PS I really want to learn to manage WIM files now - I am curious and will be useful in the future as all computers are UEFI now!


Attachment Size
partitions.jpg 87.65 KB
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Forum Hero
Posts: 62
Comments: 7478

Hey there.  I'm not sure I fully follow. Can you live with rebuilding or really need to try and get this booting "as is"?

The .wim files (boot.wim or winre.wim) are windows preinstallation environments that can be booted on a bootable disk (flash drive, CD/DVD, etc).  If you're really just trying to get a bootable environment to try a startup repair, or a new installation, you have other (better options)...

You mentioned Windows 8.1.... however, if you need Windows 10, Microsft provides a media creation tool that allows you to download and create a bootable .iso, CD/DVD or USB flash drive.  This can be run on any system so as long as you have something else, you can go and create it from another one.

If you need a bootable Windows .iso to burn to DVD for any other OS, Windows 7, 8, 8.1, etc.  the good news is that Microsoft also host them online, but doesn't advertise them, so they're not as easy to get to as with the Windows 10 media creation tool.  There's a nifty tool that you can run from a working Windows machine and get any LEGITIMATE Windows installer you need/want.  The tool was developed by someone else, but they grab the original .iso's from Microsoft so you can rest easy knowing they aren't riddled with tweaks or malware.

I love this tool:

So, as long as you know/have your Windows license keys, feel free to get the installers and try the startup repairs or an in place installation in hopes that fixes things.  But if not, you can start completely fresh with Windows on a blank slate.