For the recovery disk, I guess I need to choose a method and finetune instructions to make it work - though I had already tried my best at ISO and then flatfile versions but guess I need to go back to the drawing board and follow 1 particular thread/guide. I guess sometimes I find the threads hard to follow with all the different people throwing stuff in, rather than the results of a thread being turned into 1 guide/tutorial.
As said, this single post here:
(and a few following explaining/clarifying posts) represents a step by step set of instructions, verified as leading to a successful build by the OP.
Can you try just following that one, EXACTLY as it is written?
And test the build/image in Qemu?