How to Create System Repair Disc or Recovery Drive Easily

You can learn the definition of system repair disc and recovery drive as well as the main difference between them. You’ll learn how to create them and the best way for protecting your computer. Please read on.


by Clytze Updated on November 7, 2022

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What Are System Repair Disc and Recovery Drive?

Both system repair disc and recovery drive are bootable disks, the former using a CD/DVD as the storage device, and the latter use USB. And they both provide tools to troubleshoot Windows when the system doesn't boot properly. In addition, the recovery drive contains your system files, so you can use it to reinstall Windows directly.

Recovery USB Drive And CD

System Repair Disc vsRecovery Drive: Key Differences

Although both system repair disc and recovery drive can access Windows Advanced Options to troubleshoot startup problems when your computer doesn't boot properly. But they still have some differences.

  • Format: The system repair disc is presented in CD/DVD form, while the recovery drive is shown in USB form.
  • Installation: The recovery drive provides an option to copy the system files required for Windows installation and you can use it to cleanly install a Windows system if needed. But you can't do this with the system repair disc.
  • Applicability: Take Windows 10 as an example, you can only use the USB recovery drive to troubleshoot the PC you used to create it. In contrast, the system repair disc will work on any system running the same version of Windows 10.
  • Appearance time: The system repair disc first appeared in Windows 7 while the recovery drive first appeared in Windows 8.
  • Supported systems: The system repair disc supports Windows 7, Windows 10 and Windows 11. The recovery drive supports Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and Windows 11.

How to Create System Repair Disc

To create system repair disc in Windows 10, Windows 11 or Windows 7, you need a blank and rewritable CD/DVD. Then insert the empty and writable disc into your computer and make sure that your computer can detect it. Now you can follow the steps below.

Step 1. Press Win+R together to open the Run window and type control panel.

Step 2. In the Control Panel, click System and Security > Back up and Restore (Windows 7).

The Back Up And Restore Applet

Step 3. Click Create a system repair disc in the left pane.

Create A System Repair Disc

Step 4. The CD/DVD will be detected automatically by default. If not, you can select it manually. Then click Create disc.

Choose DVD

How to Create Recovery Drive

To create a USB recovery drive in Windows 8/8.1/10/11, you need to prepare a USB stick that is at least 16GB of storage. Then insert it into the desktop or laptop and make sure it can be detected. You can follow the steps below.

Step 1. Type recovery drive in the search box and select Create a recovery drive.

Step 2. Then tick Back up system files to the recovery drive option and click Next. This option can help you reinstall the system using the system file in a pinch.

Create A Recovery Drive

Step 3. Select the USB drive and click Next.

Select USB Drive

Step 4. Click Create for creating the recovery drive.

Click Create

Here are some points you need to be aware of when using system repair disc and recovery drive.

  • If you find that your computer is not booting from the repair disk, please enter BIOS settings to change the Windows repair disk as the first boot option then restart your computer.
  • The recovery drive can only be used to recover the current computer. While the system repair disc can restore any computers running the same Windows version.
  • Sometimes, the system repair disc and recovery drive may fail to be created. You can choose professional third-party software to recreate the recovery disk or ask for help from professional technicians.

The Best Way to Create a Bootable Media

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free and safe third-party software that can help you protect and recover the computer when it can't boot normally. If you encounter a failure in the creation of system repair disc and recovery drive, you can use this software to create bootable media. And it has the following advantages. By the way, if you use Windows XP or an older version, you will need to install AIK before creating bootable disc.

 Supports CD, DVD and USB as recovery disks. If you don’t have DVD/CD or USB drive, you can create an ISO image file so you can burn it to any removable devices.
 Supports multiple Windows systems, such as Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP/Vista, etc.
 The created bootable media can be used for other computers.
 It can boot Windows systems computers, no matter the 32-bit or 64-bit.
 It supports different computer brands, such as Samsung, Asus, Lenovo, etc.
 It supports various boot modes, so you can boot from UEFI or BIOS boot mode.

Then, you can follow the graphic tutorial to create a bootable media easily with AOMEI Backupper Standard.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install and open it. Click Tools > Create Bootable Media.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Create Bootable Media


If you encountered unexpected system failures, you could also click Tools > Recovery Environment. It allows you to create a self-booting Windows recovery environment and boot into WinPE and perform backup/restore with AOMEI Backupper as well.

Step 2. Select Windows PE - Create bootable disc based on Windows PE.

Windows Bootable Disc


You can download a pre-build PE from AOMEI server by selecting Download WinPE creating environment from the internet, then Windows AIK/ ADK is no longer required.

Step 3. Select the storage device or specify the location where you want to export the ISO file, and then click Next to start. Wait for the process to complete and click Finish.

Burn To DVD


This article introduces you the system repair disc vs recovery drive. You can create them with the graphic tutorial mentioned in the article. When your computer doesn't boot properly, they can help you troubleshoot and fix problems.

If you encounter the situation that creating recovery disk fails, don't worry, you can choose AOMEI Backupper Standard to help you. It not only helps you create bootable media easily, but also supports multiple types including CD/DVD/USB. It also has powerful system compatibility to support different Windows operating systems, computer brands and boot modes.

Besides, it's also well known as a great backup and restore software, you can backup and restore your system for free. If you want to restore the system backup to an unbootable computer or a computer with different hardware, you can upgrade to the Pro version. Then you’ll achieve the goal easily by using its Universal Restore feature. You can download this software to experience more useful features.

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.