It is possible to produce a Windows 8 to go
on a stick. But for the purpose ( recovering files ), I would use one of the live Linux options or a Macrium live WinPE CD. You can download the .iso from here
(right click on the grey box). Then burn it to a CD.
With the WinPE CD, you can make an image of any partition which produces a VHD. That you can mount in any system to recover the files.