New RecImg Utility in Windows 8

Microsoft is constantly changing the command line, which is why books such as Windows Command-Line Administration Instant Reference get outdated. Every new version of Windows comes with new command line utilities. In most cases, these new utilities support new Windows features or allow some new level of maintenance or administration. The RecImg utility creates an image of the Windows 8 installation, including installed applications, to the location you specify. The purpose of this image is to allow a refresh of the Windows installation should something happen to it. A refresh installs a new copy of Windows, but preserves the data and application setup. In many respects, this feature sounds like a simplified version of products such as Norton Ghost. You can read about this new refresh functionality in the Refresh and reset your PC post on the Building Windows 8 site.

I find this new feature exciting because it provides the means for someone like me to recover a hard drive even if I have to support several configurations for a book. It should be possible to create as many images as needed and know that Windows will support them because the feature is built into the operating system. The basic command line for working with this utility is:

RecImg -CreateImage Location

where Location is the directory you want to use for the Windows image. As with any Windows 8 feature, the current version of the utility has problems that you can read about on the Computer Performance site. I’m assuming at this point that the utility will include additional command line switches. Otherwise, Microsoft wouldn’t have included a specific -CreateImage command line switch. Of course, the presence of this new utility means that administrators can perform image updates from a batch file or as part of automated maintenance.

I’ll keep you posted on this, and other, Windows 8 utilities as I have time to review and study them. In the meantime, let me know if you hear anything about interesting new Windows 8 utilities and utility changes. Also let me know if you hear about any utilities that Microsoft decides not to support. Often, you find out about these changes only after you’ve tried to use it in a batch file.

What is your take on this new Windows 8 feature? Let me know at


Author: John

John Mueller is a freelance author and technical editor. He has writing in his blood, having produced 99 books and over 600 articles to date. The topics range from networking to artificial intelligence and from database management to heads-down programming. Some of his current books include a Web security book, discussions of how to manage big data using data science, a Windows command -line reference, and a book that shows how to build your own custom PC. His technical editing skills have helped over more than 67 authors refine the content of their manuscripts. John has provided technical editing services to both Data Based Advisor and Coast Compute magazines. He has also contributed articles to magazines such as Software Quality Connection, DevSource, InformIT, SQL Server Professional, Visual C++ Developer, Hard Core Visual Basic, asp.netPRO, Software Test and Performance, and Visual Basic Developer. Be sure to read John’s blog at When John isn’t working at the computer, you can find him outside in the garden, cutting wood, or generally enjoying nature. John also likes making wine and knitting. When not occupied with anything else, he makes glycerin soap and candles, which comes in handy for gift baskets. You can reach John on the Internet at John is also setting up a website at Feel free to take a look and make suggestions on how he can improve it.