The recovery drive, a new feature in Windows 8/10, is used to troubleshoot or reset your computer via recovery options when your computer is in the event of problems. You can use USB flash drive to create a recovery drive. But if you do not have USB drive, you still can use CD or DVD to create a system repair disc in Windows 10.
Both recovery media, whether recovery drive or system repair disc, allows you to boot your computer and troubleshoot your computer when your computer fails to boot.
And you can create a recovery media on another working computer and use it to boot the computer having problems.
But the recovery media does not work across different versions of Windows computer. That’s to say, you neither use Windows 10 64-bit recovery drive to boot Windows 10 32-bit computer, nor use a Windows 8 32-bit recovery drive to boot Windows 10 32-bit computer.
How to create a recovery disk for Windows 10?
Step 1. Connect the USB drive to your computer.
Step 2. Type recovery drive in the search box and select Create a recovery drive from the context menu.
Step 3. Check the backup system files to the recovery drive option and hit Next. This option gives you a chance to reinstall your computer when you cannot troubleshoot your computer.
Step 4. Select USB flash drive and hit Next.
Step 5. Click Create to start the pending operation. Before that, you need to make sure if there is something important. As the picture shown, everything on the drive will be deleted. If there are any personal files, backup files first.
When the operation ends, you might see a Delete the recovery partition from your PC link on the final screen. If you want to free up drive space on your PC, click the link and then select Delete. If not, select Finish
About backup system files to the recovery drive
Some people find Windows 10 can't create a recovery drive with the backup system files to recovery drive option checked. And Windows users wonder if it's necessary to tick this option.
This option allows you to reinstall the computer having problems when other recovery options fail to restore it to a working state. You'd better tick this option. If you do not check it, the recovery options will offer you a menu without any means.
Why do you get error message we can't create the recovery drive with this option checked? That's because this option requires at least 16GB USB flash drive.
If that's not your problems, you can try the following method.
Step 1. Copy the install.wim file from the Windows 10 installation file to a folder on your hard drive. eg： H:\Windows-OS-image.
Step 2. Open the command prompt, and type: Reagentc/setosimage/path H:\Windows-OS-image /index 1
Now, you are supposed to include system files. And you can use it to reset your computer at any time.
If you still fail to include system files, you can try to use a third-party tool. I recommend you free backup software AOMEI Backupper.
Alternative way to backup system files to the recovery drive
AOMEI Backupper, a free backup software, allows you to backup system files to the recovery drive without effort. After that, you can use the drive to boot the computer having problems, even all versions of Windows 7/8/10/XP computer.
If you want to restore your computer to a previous good state, you still need to create a system image backup. You can choose to save it to external hard drive, network drive, cloud drive like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
Step 1. Connect USB flash drive to your computer.
Step 2. Download free AOMEI Backupper, open it.
Step 3. In this window, click Tools and Create Bootable Media.
Step 4. Select Boot Disk Type. Windows PE is the recommended option, because it's suitable for everyone. And it can use all functions of AOMEI Backupper.
Step 5. Select boot mode and click Next to continue.
Step 6. Select USB drive as bootable media and click Next.
Step 7. Wait and click Finish after all operations end.
Recovery drive is a useful feature for you to troubleshoot or reset your computer when your computer is unbootable.
But, sometimes, you may find you cannot create a recovery drive with the backup system files to the recovery drive option checked.
To fix this problem, you can check if the USB flash drive is big enough (at least 16 GB). Also, you can use cmd reagentc to fix it.
If it does not work, you still can use free backup software AOMEI Backupper to backup system files to the recovery drive. Then, you can use the bootable drive to boot the computer and restore the computer to an early date with system image backup.