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I would like to create a Windows 8 recovery USB flash drive for a neighbour who has purchased a Windows 8 Pro desktop (just in case the worst comes to the worst) & also be able to delete the recovery partition.

What are the steps needed to carry out this procedure ?

In addition as I plan to purchase a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet in the foreseeable future, is this also achieveable on this device & are the steps any different ?

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If it were me, the day I got the laptop home, and before I added any programs or configured anything on the machine, I would put Clonezilla on a CD-ROM and boot from it and backup the disk to a large USB or a network drive. You can still backup a system this way after installing programs but the backup starts becoming too large if you don't do this right away after you first turn on the system. This would also work on a surface pro with a external CDROM drive. Personally, if you ask me, deleting the recovery partition is a bad idea because I have found it useful in the past on laptops I have owned.

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