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Successful windows 10 upgrade experience but recovery partition is deleted, what does F8 at boot?


Hello, I upgraded my Intel Compute Stick (ICS) this 23rd January 2016 and wanted to give you my feedback.

So first, when I started the upgrade process this document was not available yet:

But it is more or less what I did.

Upgrade process I did (from fresh ICS just received):

- upgrade BIOS to v31

- update windows 8.1 until no more updates

- create a recovery usb disk from the windows 8.1 control panel

- create a windows 10 32 bits iso from

- put the ISO on a SD card, put the SD card on the ICS

- from windows 8.1 mount the iso from the SD card, the ISO appears as a virtual disk. Launch setup.exe to initiate the upgrade

- options selected during upgrade:

* do not update now

* remove all files and configurations

- wait for the upgrade process to finish. This took about 1.5 hours but after that the ICS rebooted and did not boot again, it was stuck on the Boot ICS logo with the wheel turning. I restarted it several times. It went a bit further, then blocked, restarted it again... finally it booted.

- I had to boot in failsafe and deactivate the SSD write cache (as stated in the aforementioned document from Intel). Booting in failsafe was tricky as F8 launches the recovery options and the recovery partition was destroyed during the upgrade. I finally managed to do this by waiting for windows to boot, shutdown the ICS dirtily and booting again. This gave me a prompt with failsafe options.

- once this is done, reboot and update windows 10 until no more updates.

As a summary it was a bit a pain in the back but it worked. The conclusion of this is that:

- we can see several documents or advices on how to do the upgrade and what it should do, however it seems that not all the cases are the same, it does not mean that users have not followed the guidelines.

- Windows 10 upgrade removes the recovery partition. Thus the F8 option at boot only give an error page.

- the usb key created before the upgrade is useless, I was never able to boot in recovery from it.

- although it is possible to create a system image (on USB or network for example) it is not possible to create a recovery disk. Windows complains about not having the original windows installation files to do this (of course the recovery partition is destroyed and it does not want to take neither the image used for the upgrade)

My question though is the following:

- Since I do not have a recovery partition anymore, is there a way to make this F8 boot option useful? As for now I just deactivated it manually in the BIOS setup.



EDIT: apparently removing the recovery partition in windows 10 is normal: How Windows 10 achieves its compact footprint | Windows Experience Blog

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5 Replies


This is also my problem and for many other members of this forum, i have an updated stick with win 10 running not flawless and no chance to go back to win 8.1. On all chinese tablets you can get the software to reinstall the old system.

Intel says they cant give the software for download, because microsoft does not allow this.


Actually if you have kept your installation ISO (otherwise you can recreate it from here: Windows 10 ISO) you can try to repair your system. Actually as windows 10 does not use the recovery partition you should be able to boot on your install media and then repair your machine. This will do as a system restore from the F8 key (however with windows 10 of course).

Normally (never tested though) your microsoft license key should be somewhere on your chip so even a fresh install wether it be Windows 8.1 or 10 would work...

However finding the correct ISO for windows 8.1 might be tricky, windows 10 is simpler as it provides a unique ISO and the activation of the correct version depends on your license

Honored Contributor II

Hi all,

Thank you for joining the Intel communities.

If you have updated you system to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 please update your BIOS as well and this will give a more stable device.

Please download the latest BIOS version for this unit at: Download BIOS Update [FCBYT10H.86A]

In this case I recommend doing a BIOS recovery and you can follow the steps at: Intel® Compute Stick BIOS Recovery Instructions

Best regards,



after many unsuccessful tries I finally managed to properly do a BIOS recovery. The missing step was to unplug and replug the ac after the BIOS recovery... weird but now i have the correct 1149 trusted engine.

Honored Contributor II

I'm glad that you were able to solve that problem and thank you for sharing that information with us.

Best regards,