Complete Guide to Windows Recovery Environment USB

June 12, 2019

This tutorial demonstrates how to use Windows Recovery Environment USB in Windows 10 exactly and presents the usage of Windows recovery USB.

Why do you need Windows Recovery Environment USB?

Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) is a recovery environment that can repair common causes of unbootable operating systems. Generally, if Windows fails to start normally twice in a row, it will automatically enter WinRE on the third restart and load the advanced startup options.

If Windows can’t bring up the recovery options automatically, a Windows Recovery Environment USB is needed. With a Windows recovery USB, you can:

  • Install or reinstall Windows.

  • Recover Windows from a serious error with the tools it offers, such as Startup Repair, System Restore, etc.

Now you know the usage of Windows recovery USB. Then, how to use it exactly?

How to use Windows Recovery Environment USB in Windows 10?

First, you should create Windows 10 repair USB. Then, you can use it to reinstall or recover Windows.

Create Windows 10 repair USB

Fortunately, Windows 10 has a built-in feature to create Windows Recovery Environment USB. Bear in mind that the USB drive will be overwritten during the process, so backup files on the USB drive before you start. Then, follow the instructions below:

1. Connect the USB drive to your computer. Type “recovery drive” in the search box and select Create a recovery drive from the listed results.

2. In the pop-out window, check the option Back up system files to the recovery drive and hit Next.

Backup to Recovery Drive

3. Select the USB flash drive you have connected, and click Next to continue.

Select Drive

Tips: The USB drive should be as large as the capacity shown in the prompt. Here it should be at least 8 GB.

4. On the next screen, click Create to begin creating the recovery drive.

Create Recovery Drive

5. Click Finish when the recovery drive is ready. Safely disconnect your USB drive.

Note: If you are running Windows 7, learn how to create Windows 7 recovery environment USB here.

Use Windows 10 recovery USB

When a serious error occurs, you can reinstall or recover Windows 10 from the recovery drive. If you choose to reinstall Windows 10, all your files and apps will be removed. So do backup your important files elsewhere before reinstallation. Learn how to reinstall Windows 10 using Windows Recovery Environment USB thereinafter:

1. Insert Windows 10 recovery USB you have created and boot your computer from it.

2. Choose your keyboard layout.

3. Select Troubleshoot > Recover from a drive successively. Things will now start getting ready.

Recover from a Drive

Tips: If you didn’t check Back up system files to the recovery drive when you created your recovery drive, Reset this PC and Recover from a drive won’t be available.

4. Click on either Just remove my files or Clean the drive fully for how you want to clean your drive.

Clean Options

Tips: The first option performs a quick format, thus taking less time. The second option performs a secure erase so that your files can’t be easily recovered.

5. Click on Recover to begin. This will take a while to finish, and your PC will restart a few times during the process.

Recover

6. When finished, setup Windows 10 from scratch.

Note: If you want to recover Windows 10 instead of reinstalling it, you can go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options in Step 3 and use the recovery options offered there.

An easier way to create Windows recovery USB

In addition to Windows built-in feature, you can create Windows recovery USB via a handy freeware—AOMEI Backupper Standard. It enables you to make a bootable USB drive in all Windows PC operating systems including Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.

There are two kinds of bootable disc supported: Linux boot disc and Windows PE boot disc. Besides USB drives, you can also create bootable media with CDs. Now follow the steps below to create Windows Recovery Environment USB via AOMEI Backupper:

Step 1. Connect a USB drive to your computer. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper. Click “Utilities” on the left pane and select “Create Bootable Media”.

Create Bootable Media

Step 2. In the pop-up window, choose bootable disc type and click “Next”. It is recommended to choose Windows PE so that you can access full functions of AOMEI Backupper.

Bootable Disc Type

Step 3. In the next window, select boot mode, tick “Download WinPE creating environment from the internet” and click “Next”.

Select Boot Mode

Tips: If your system is UEFI boot mode (i.e. your system is installed on a GPT disk), you can select “Create UEFI bootable disc”; if your system is Legacy BIOS boot mode (i.e. your system is installed on an MBR disk), you should select “Create legacy bootable disc”.

Step 4. Select “USB Boot Device” and click “Next”. You will receive a prompt to format your USB drive. Click “Yes” to start creating bootable media.

Select Bootable Media

Note: You should also perform system backup regularly so that you can restore system from the Windows recovery USB when serious problems occur.

Wrapping things up

This page provides a complete guide to Windows Recovery Environment USB including the usage, creation and recovery process of it. AOMEI Backupper Standard supports creating bootable USB drives on all Windows PC operating systems. If you want to create Server 2019 bootable USB, you may pick AOMEI Backupper Server.