What can Windows 10 recovery disk do?
Since Windows 8, Windows has added a new feature to create a recovery drive using a USB drive to troubleshoot and reset your computer when your computer is in serious condition. If you do not have a USB drive to create Windows 10 recovery disk, you can use a CD or DVD to create a system repair disc. Both types of recovery media allow you to use Windows recovery options even when your computer fails to load.
If you cannot restore your computer, Windows 10 boot repair disk also gives you a chance to reinstall Windows 10. If your system crashes before you made a recovery drive, you can create a Windows 10 recovery USB disk from another computer to boot the computer having problems. However, the recovery drive will not work across different versions of Windows 10. In other words, you cannot use a Windows 8 recovery disk to restore Windows 10, nor can you use a recovery drive made by Windows 10 64-bit to boot a 32-bit computer.
How to create Windows 10 recovery disk efficiently?
There are two methods for your reference to create Windows 10 repair disk. The first one is using the Windows built-in tool and the second one is taking advantage of a free third-party tool named AOMEI Backupper Standard. To create Windows 10 recovery USB that can boot any versions of Windows system, you can go to Method 2 directly.
Some users may concern about the Windows 10 recovery USB size. While creating a recovery drive, the program will copy a lot of files to the USB drive, so you need to prepare a flash drive that has at least 16 GB capacity. Before you turn to following steps, please note that all the data on the USB drive will be deleted in this process.
▶ Method 1. Create Windows 10 recovery drive with the built-in tool
1. Connect the USB drive to your computer, and then type “recovery drive” into the search box. In the listed results, select “Create a recovery drive”.
2. In the pop-out window, check the option “Back up system files to the recovery drive” and hit “Next”.
3. Then select the USB flash drive you prepared, and click”Next” to continue.
4. On the next screen, click “Create” to begin creating the recovery drive.
After finishing this process, you will see an option “Delete the recovery partition from your PC” if you have a Windows recovery partition on your hard drive. You can click it to delete recovery partition to free up some space on your computer. When your computer fails to boot, you can plug in this Windows 10 recovery USB drive to recover your system. You may need to change boot order in BIOS to make your computer boot from USB drive.
▶ Method 2. Create Windows 10 boot repair disk via AOMEI Backupper
As mentioned, the recovery drive created by the built-in tool will not work on different bit of system. For a recovery media to boot any versions of Windows 10/8/7, you can use AOMEI Backupper Standard to create bootable media with DVD/CD or USB drive. It also allows you to create multiple types of backups including system backup, disk backup, file backup and partition backup.
You can save the backup to your local disk, external hard drive or network shared folder. When your computer is unable to boot, you can use this bootable media to restore to an earlier date. Learn how to create Windows 10 recovery USB with AOMEI Backupper below:
1. Download this freeware, install and run it.
2. In the Home screen, click “Tools” and then select “Create Bootable Media”.
3. In the next screen, you can select bootable disc type from Linux based or Windows PE based. Linux based bootable media only allows you to use basic functions of AOMEI Backupper, while Windows PE allows you to access full functions.
4. (Optional) If you choose Windows PE in Step 3, you should then choose PE boot mode. You can select “Create legacy bootable disc” or “Create UEFI bootable disc” according to your situation.
5. Then you can select a "CD/DVD" or "USB drive" to create this bootable recovery media and then click “Next” to run this process.
What to do when a problem occurred while creating the recovery drive?
Sometimes, users may find that they are not allowed to create recovery disk in Windows 10 and the built-in tool says, "We can't create the recovery drive. A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive". Don't worried about it, and see below to get corresponding solutions.
Solution 1. Check the USB drive
If Windows failed to create a recovery drive with an error “We can’t create the recovery drive”, you should first check whether your USB drive is well connected and can be recognized by Windows. If that is not the case, you can simply download the Windows 10 recovery disk ISO file and burn it to your USB flash drive or CD/DVD. If you do not want to download an unofficial file, then you can try following solutions.
Solution 2. Enable Windows recovery environment
Another likely cause of this problem is that Windows recovery environment is disabled. You can run command “reagentc /info” in an elevated Command Prompt to check it. If the Windows RE is disabled, you can type “reagentc /enable” to reenable it. After that, you can boot into recovery environment. If this also fails, you can turn to Solution 3.
Solution 3. Create Windows recovery environment with installation ISO file
1. Create a folder named WindowsRE under the Recovery folder of C: drive. The Recovery folder is hidden by default. To show it, you can:
Search “show hidden files” from the search box and select the top result.
In the pop-up window, click “Show settings” next to “Change settings to show hidden and system files” to open File Explorer Options.
From there, check the option Show hidden files, folders, and drives, and uncheck the option Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).
Tips: If you still don’t see the Recovery folder, you can create one under the root directory of C: drive.
2. From this step to Step 4, you will create a Winre.wim file. If you have that file backed up or you can copy it from another Windows 10 computer, you can just skip to Step 5. If you do not have one, you can download installation ISO file from Microsoft. Then, double-click to mount it as a virtual drive.
3. In the Source folder, locate the file Install.wim. Copy the Install.wim file’s location path.
4. In an elevated Command Prompt, use the following syntax:
dism /mount-wim /wimfile:[the install.wim file path you just copied] /index:2 /mountdir:[a location path to save the mounted file]
In my case, it is:
dism /mount-wim /wimfile:"F:\windows 10 ISO\sources\install.wim" /index:2 /mountdir:D:\mount_image_file\
5. From the location you entered at the end of the above command, find the Winre.wim file and copy it to "C:\Recovery\WindowsRE".
6. Then type command Reagentc /setreimage /path C:\Recovery\WindowsRE and press Enter. After that, you should be able to create recovery drive in Windows 10 successfully.
Solution 4. Fix to failed to include system files
If you can create a Windows 10 repair USB drive without including system files, but fail to create it when you check the option “Back up system files to the recovery drive”, then you can try the following.
1. Copy the install.wim file from the Windows 10 installation file to a folder on your hard drive. Say it "D:\Windows-OS-image".
2. Open an elevated Command Prompt, type Reagentc /setosimage /path D:\Windows-OS-image /index 1 and press Enter.
After that, you should be able to include the system files on the recovery drive, so you can use the recovery drive to ret Windows 10 without requiring anything on your hard drive.
That’s all for how to create Windows 10 recovery disk. If you have computers running other versions of Windows system besides Windows 10, it is recommended to use AOMEI Backupper to create one recovery media for them all rather than create Windows 10 repair disk for Windows 10, and another Windows 8 recovery disk for Windows 8. Whenever your system is unable to load, AOMEI Backupper can help you restore system from disc with no effort.
If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.