3 Easy Ways to Create a Recovery Drive for Windows 10/11

How to create a recovery drive for Windows 10/11? This article provides 3 feasible ways to create a Windows 10 recovery disk on your own. And, you’re able to recover important data if your system crashes.


By Lori / Updated on April 3, 2024

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What Is a Windows Recovery Drive?

A recovery drive is an external storage device that stores information about the Windows 10 operating system on a DVD or USB drive. If you store a copy of Windows 10 on other external sources such as DVDs and USBs, you will be able to reinstall Windows 10 without causing much damage to your data.

Create a Recovery Drive for Windows 10

So, when your computer encounters serious problems such as hardware failure or inability to access the operating system, it's a good idea to create a recovery drive for Windows 10/11. Then, you can reinstall Windows and access the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). Further easy access to many Windows 10 troubleshooting and recovery tools to recover a failed system.

Can You Create a Windows 10 Recovery Drive for Another Computer

You can create a Windows 10 recovery USB drive for another computer. It is important to have a recovery drive before your computer faces a fatal PC or disk boot failure. However, most of the time, creating a recovery drive occurs after a user's computer fails to boot. Don’t worry, 3 easy ways are provided below. Please remember the following points before creating a recovery drive for Windows 10.

  • An empty USB flash drive with at least 16GB of space is necessary. Be aware that this creating process will erase all existing data on the USB drive.
  • The recovery drive won't back up your personal files or any non-original applications. You could back up your files with File History or free backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard.
  • While restoring the device via recovery drive, the original disk partition data on the system drive may be deleted.
  • Because Windows is regularly updated to improve security and computer performance, it is recommended that you regularly re-create your recovery drive.

How to Create a Recovery Drive for Windows 10/11 (3 Ways)

In this part, you are able to create a recover drive (USB/CD/DVD) for Windows 10/11 with 3 methods. If you want a more efficient and flexible way, you can choose to use a third-party media creator – MyRecover. It allows you to create a Windows recovery USB drive to instantly restore system data if you encounter problems booting your computer.

Way 1. Create a USB Recovery Drive for Windows 10 with Recovery Media Creator

To create Windows 10/11 recovery USB, you can take help from the media creation tool officially provided by Microsoft. This tool allows you to create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) to install Windows 10 on different PCs.

❌ Warning: The USB created by Recovery Media Creator will not work on computers running different systems (or non-system computers).

Step 1. Plug your USB drive into your PC. In the Windows search bar, type “Create a recovery drive” and open it.

Step 2. Check the option “Back up system files to the recovery drive” if you want to include system files. This requires more space but is useful for a full restoration.

Back up System Files to the Recovery Drive

Step 3. Select your connected USB drive and click “Next” to start the process.

Step 4. This can take a while depending on the speed of your USB drive and whether you're including system files.


Way 2: Create System Repair Disc in Windows 10/11 by Backup and Restore

Repair disc can also boot your computer. It also contains Windows system recovery tools to help you fix Windows or perform a system image recovery. You can create a system repair disc in Windows 10 using blank CD/DVD, and it can also be done with Windows built-in utility.

❌ Warning: This method is different from creating a USB recovery drive, as it uses physical media (CD/DVD) and may not include the latest system files.

Step 1. Type “backup settings” into the Windows search box and open it.

Step 2. Scroll down to “Looking for an older backup?” > click “Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” > "Create a system repair disc".

Create a System Repair Disc

Step 3. You will be prompted to select a CD/DVD drive and insert a blank disc into the drive, then click "Create disc".

Way 3. Create Windows 10/11 Boot Drive via MyRecover (Faster)

As we mentioned above, way 1/2 has its limitations. If they don’t meet your needs, you can choose this third-party media creator - MyRecover. It can help you create Windows 10/11 recovery USB or DVD/CD on the current or another computer. More importantly, if your computer crashes, you can use this software to boot the PC and recover data after Windows 10/11 crashed.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Let’s show how to create a recovery drive for Windows 10/11 efficiently

Step 1. Download and install MyRecover

Run MyRecover and click "Crashed PC Recovery".

crashed pc recovery

Step 2. Select a path to create

Select a way to create the WinPE bootable disk based on your needs and click "Execute".


🌟Tips: You can create a Windows PE-based boot disk in three ways.
  • USB boot device: Create a bootable USB device.
  • Export ISO file: Use this method to make a bootable ISO file. After exporting the ISO, you need to use a third-party burning program to burn it. Or, you can use the ISO to boot some virtual machines or burn them to other devices.
  • Burn to CD/DVD: Create a bootable CD/DVD.

"Add Drivers" allows you to manually add other necessary drivers to the bootable drive so that more devices are available.

Step 3. Format the USB flash drive

After choosing the way and starting, an information window will pop up. The USB flash drive needs to be formatted and all data on it will be lost. If you confirm, click Yes to continue.

confirmation window

Step 4. Create a bootable USB disk

The creation operation will begin and you can check it. The progress of creating a WinPE bootable USB drive will take a few minutes.

creation process

Step 5. Compete the process

Once finished, you will receive a success message. Also, you will be notified of the steps to boot from a bootable disk and recover data from crashed PC.


Bonus Tips: Restore Windows 10 Using the Recovery USB Drive

Sometimes, if your computer crashes, you may find your important files are missing after Windows 10/11 crashed. Luckily, after creating the bootable USB drive, you can continue to use this powerful software to perform computer crash recovery in Windows 10/11 effectively.

PC Crashed Data Recovery Software
  • Support all brands of computer: Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, ASUS, etc.
  • Support both quick scan & deep scan to recover missing or deleted files from crashed PC and keep their original filename, directory, and path.
  • Recover lost Word document, Excel, PPT, PDF, PPTX, ODP, CSV, WPS files, and other 200+ file formats with simple clicks.
  • Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems on Windows 11/10/8/7 or Windows Server.

Connect the bootable USB drive or insert the CD/DVD drive to the crashed PC > press F12, F2, F10, F11, Del, or Esc to enter the BIOS > change the PC’s boot order in BIOS > reboot the PC and select the proper boot media > save the change by pressing F10 and exit.

Step 1. Download and Install MyRecover

Run MyRecover on your Windows, hover the mouse over your hard drive that saves your lost or deleted data, and click Scan.


Step 2. Scan for deleted or lost files

MyRecover will scan automatically and thoroughly to locate all the found data. Try to use the Search Box or the Filter feature to quickly locate your desired data.


Step 3. Select files and click recover

You will see a list of data that MyRecover found on your selected hard drive. Select the files you want to recover and click Recover x files.


Step 4. Select a new location

Select a new location to save the recovered files and click Select Folder to confirm it. Your files will be recovered in a few minutes, depending on the size of your files.

🌟Tip: For unlimited data recovery, please consider upgrading MyRecover to the Pro or Tech version. It can also help you recover files from SD cards, USB drives effortlessly.


It's a good idea to have recovery media before your computer suffers a fatal system failure. This article provides 3 practical methods to help you create a recovery drive for Windows 10.

Among these 3 ways, the most effective method is to use MyRecover to create Windows 10 recovery USB or CD/DVD. Additionally, it supports you to recover crashed computer data.

To prevent future loss of valuable data, try this free backup software for Windows AOMEI Backupper Standard. Whenever your system fails to boot, it can help you easily perform system restore from disks.


1. How do I repair Windows 10 without a recovery drive?

If your PC won't boot and you don't have a recovery drive, don't worry. Use another computer to visit Microsoft's website and download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Run this tool to reset your PC or go back to an earlier point.

2. How to create a Windows 10 recovery disk?

Start by connecting a USB or CD/DVD to your computer. Search for "recovery drive" in Windows 10 and choose to create one. Make sure to select the option to back up system files, then follow the instructions to make your recovery disk.

3. Can I download a Windows 10 recovery disk?

Yes, you can download a Windows 10 recovery disk. Visit the official Microsoft download site to get the Media Creation Tool, which works on Windows 10, 8.1, 8, or 7.

4. How do I restore Windows 10 from recovery drive?

After creating a USB recovery drive for Windows 10, to use a recovery drive, please plug it in and start your computer. Use the Windows logo key + L to reach the sign-in screen, then restart your PC with the Shift key held down. Choose Restart from the Power button menu to get started.

4. How to fix a problem occurred while creating the recovery drive?

If you're having trouble, make sure your USB or CD/DVD is correctly connected. If it still doesn't work, try formatting the media or fixing the recovery environment on your PC. If all else fails, use an installation ISO file to create the recovery drive.

Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.