If you decide to go ahead and are upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, take the important step of creating a Recovery Drive.  It's quick, simple and only takes up about 256MB on a USB thumb drive. If you've attended Microsoft conferences and talked with vendors in the Expo, you probably have a drawer full of USB flash drives. You might have wondered what you were going to do with them all, except hand them to family members as birthday gifts. Now, you have an important purpose.

P.S. There are very different steps for creating recovery media for Windows 7. If you are upgrading your PC from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1, see this information:  What are the system recovery options in Windows 7?

To create Recovery Media for Windows 8, use the Windows 8 Search Charm and search for Recovery Drive in Settings and choose Create a Recovery Drive.

The Create a Recovery Drive app will kick-off.  Click Next to start the process.

After a bit of thinking, the app will ask you to connect a USB flash drive.

Once the app detects the connected USB flash drive, it will present you with what it found. (Notice that mine is the USB flash drive given away at MMS 2013. Gee, I hope they don't get mad at me for wiping out the contents)

Clicking Next starts the recovery process, but you'll be warned one more time that everything on the USB flash drive will be deleted.  If you're OK with that, click the Create button.

Creation involves preparing the USB flash drive, formatting it, and copying Windows 8 utilities.

The whole process takes less than two minutes and you can safely kick it off and go back to surfing the Internet or answering email.

Even if you aren't preparing your system for the Windows 8.1 installation, this is a good thing to do for any occasion.  It's always great to have a bit less stress knowing you have a recovery drive sitting around – just in case.

After the recovery drive is created, you can access it to take a look at the directory structure, but here's what it looks like.