Repair Disc / Recovery Drive (how many needed?)


  1. Posts : 14
    Windows 10-1803 Home
       1 Week Ago #1

    Repair Disc / Recovery Drive (how many needed?)


    Hi,
    Maybe this thread should be under "Backup & Restore" instead of "General Support". Since it isn't a specific problem but rather a general question, I have posted it here, OK.

    I have found that the best way to get my computer back to working correctly when Win.10 goes haywire is to use a "Windows Image Backup". Restore points don't always work and a complete "System Reset" takes too much time to reinstall Apps and change settings, yes. Also I just do not know how to use a "Repair Disc", "Recovery Drive" or "Safe Mode" even though I know that they are important and have their uses.

    Since Microsoft has new Win.10-1803 Builds coming fast & furiously, I have chosen to schedule a new Image Backup about a day or two after each new Build is installed. This gives me a little time to see if it is working properly.

    I have noticed that when the Image is finished, we receive a pop-up asking whether we would like to create a "Repair Disc".

    Through your forum at "https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/36083-create-system-repair-disc-windows-10-a.html", I have learned that a system repair disc is the CD/DVD version of a USB recovery drive, yes. So basically, they do the same things, yes.

    I have also noticed that Microsoft identifies their Operating Systems with a three category breakdown.
    For my present OS they are:

    Edition: Windows 10 Home
    Version: 1803
    Build: 17134.441

    QUESTION 1: When is a new "Repair Disc" or "Recovery Drive" needed? For each new Build or only for each new Version?

    QUESTION 2: How do the Disc vs Drive compare as to versatility and user friendliness?

    QUESTION 3: What is the purpose of "Installation Media" and how does it differ from the above "Disc / Drive"?

    P.S. Can you include some links as to the proper (when & how) to use a "Repair Disc" and "Installation Media"

    Thank you for all your time to help me learn computing faster.

    Yt,
    Tarponton
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    1 Week Ago #2

    Dear @Tarpenton: great questions and requests, each deserving of good answers. I repeat yours, then supply some responses.

    QUESTION 1: When is a new "Repair Disc" or "Recovery Drive" needed? For each new Build or only for each new Version?
    In general, change dictates when new media is needed. For Windows recovery stuff, that means when a new version comes out. New Builds don't usually need them, though I have observed at least two Win10 versions when full upgrades were released as so-called "cumulative updates" after the initial version came out, and thus also making media changes/rebuilds a good idea. YMMV, as they say on the Internet. Other recovery or rescue disks have their own release cycles and will generally tell you when it's a good idea to build new media or to replace old media. Thus, for example, I've gotten in the habit of building a new Rescue Media flash drive each time Macrium Reflect is updated.

    QUESTION 2: How do the Disc vs Drive compare as to versatility and user friendliness?
    I'm not sure what this distinction means, so I'll ask for clarification, and then guess that you're distinguishing between a real disk drive (SSD or spinning media) serving as rescue or recovery media versus a USB Flash Drive (UFD). If my guess is incorrect, you may cheerfully ignore what follows. The drive is more expensive but much faster and usually also bulkier, the UFD is cheaper and slower but more compact. I've found a good compromise: I use a USB 3.0 Sabrent mSATA SSD caddy that is essentially a very compact (and somewhat expensive) portable USB-attached SSD drive (the enclosure costs $19 and a 250 GB mSATA drive costs under $100 these days) so it's a good tool for all kinds of uses, including recovery/repair. Other than that I see drive and UFD versions as mostly interchangeable in terms of the functionality they provide. So perhaps I'm missing something?

    QUESTION 3: What is the purpose of "Installation Media" and how does it differ from the above "Disc / Drive"?
    Installation media is a bootable device (or DVD) that permits you to boot your PC using its Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) runtime to install the OS. It also includes Microsoft's somewhat limited but still very useful set of recovery tools and capabilities (just like what you get from a standard Win10 recovery partition, in fact). It's mostly to support clean or upgrade installs of Windows, but it does offer limited recovery and repair capabilities for fixing an existing Win10 installation.

    P.S. Can you include some links as to the proper (when & how) to use a "Repair Disc" and "Installation Media"
    Lots of good stuff on this subject right here at TenForums:
    Kyhi's rescue disk is a great, great toolbox/recovery& repair media

    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-Place Upgrade
    Create System Repair Disk in Windows 10
    How to Create a Bootable USB Recovery Drive in Windows 10

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. There's lots of great stuff on these topics available, but these should definitely help get you started.

    HTH and best wishes,
    --Ed--

      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 9,562
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       1 Week Ago #3

    Tarponton said: View Post
    I have found that the best way to get my computer back to working correctly when Win.10 goes haywire is to use a "Windows Image Backup". Restore points don't always work and a complete "System Reset" takes too much time to reinstall Apps and change settings...
    Good, you have learned the most important lesson that you should have a system image so that you can be back up and running should a disaster happen. Far too few bother to take that precaution. I hope you put the system image on an external drive, an image on another partition of the same drive is no protection should the drive fail.

    However, you are using the built in 'Windows Image Backup'. This is not the most reliable imaging available, while it will restore an image successfully it has be known to fail to recognise an image to restore, often for no apparent reason. Microsoft have deprecated this feature and recommend you use something else.


    Microsoft said:
    System Image Backup (SIB) Solution
    We recommend that users use full-disk backup solutions from other vendors.
    Features removed or Deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update


    Many here recommend Macrium Reflect as a more reliable image solution. The free version does everything most users need.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect | Tutorials
    QUESTION 1: When is a new "Repair Disc" or "Recovery Drive" needed? For each new Build or only for each new Version?
    Features in the recovery drive change slightly with each new Version, but one made by the original 2015 release of Windows 10 can still restore an image made by the latest version. To be safe, make a new one after each new version.

    QUESTION 2: How do the Disc vs Drive compare as to versatility and user friendliness?
    A recovery drive without system files included is functionally identical to the repair disc.

    . The main advantage of a recovery drive over a repair disc is the option to include system files when you make the recovery drive. This does not help for restoring your system images, but it does mean that a recovery drive with system files can reinstall Windows. If the recovery drive was made on a machine with Windows pre-installed by the OEM the system files will include all the OEM custom apps and drivers - it is effectively a 'factory reset' drive. If you are including system files, then you should definitely make a new on after each new version.

    QUESTION 3: What is the purpose of "Installation Media" and how does it differ from the above "Disc / Drive"?

    The install media can be made on a USB by the Media Creation Tool. Its primary purpose is to install Windows, either a clean install by booting from it, or an in-place repair install (keeping your files and apps) as a way to fix problems that can't be fixed by other means. It also includes the same Advance Start Up tools as a recovery drive, but you have to click quite a few links and options before you get to them.

    P.S. Can you include some links as to the proper (when & how) to use a "Repair Disc" and "Installation Media"

    • Option Four: Boot to Advanced Startup Options from Recovery Drive
    • Option Five: Boot to Advanced Startup Options from Windows 10 Installation USB or DVD
    Boot to Advanced Startup Options in Windows 10 | Tutorials

    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade | Tutorials

    Create Recovery Drive in Windows 10 | Tutorials

    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10 | Tutorials
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    1 Week Ago #4

    Nice additional information, @Bree
    As usual, you "rock the house" with good info, links and suggestions.
    Keep up the good work.
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    1 Week Ago #5

    Tarponton said: View Post
    Since Microsoft has new Win.10-1803 Builds coming fast & furiously, I have chosen to schedule a new Image Backup about a day or two after each new Build is installed. This gives me a little time to see if it is working properly.
    This seems a bit backwards to me. Microsoft usually releases updates on Tuesdays. So, it seems to me like you would want to create your image backup on Sunday or Monday because instead of "giving you a little time to see if it is working properly", it would give you a solid image to restore if the update/upgrade did not work properly.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 14
    Windows 10-1803 Home
    Thread Starter
       1 Week Ago #6

    Hi Ya-All,

    Thanks for all the great answers / info.

    Not having time to disseminate all the link info right now, that I had requested, let me just say, a very warm, "Thank You Very Much", as I am sure that I will need this info in the future, yes.

    As for what I have learned from your answers to my three Questions, it is / they are:

    QUESTION 1: When is a new CD"Repair Disc" or USB"Recovery Drive" needed? For each new Build or only for each new Version?
    --- Only needed for new "Versions" not for new "Builds" (This will save a lot of time and money burning CDs)
    --- "Features in the recovery drive change slightly with each new Version, but one made by the original 2015 release of Windows 10 can still restore an image made by the latest version." "VERY INTERESTING", (A phrase made famous from Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In 1967-1973).

    QUESTION 2: How do the CD"Repair Disc" vs USB"Recovery Drive" compare as to versatility and user friendliness?
    --- A USB "Recovery Drive" is better than a CD "Repair Disc" BECAUSE: "The main advantage of a recovery drive over a repair disc is the option to include system files... a recovery drive with system files can (REINSTALL WINDOWS). If the recovery drive was made on a machine with Windows pre-installed by the OEM the system files will include all the OEM custom apps and drivers - it is effectively a ('FACTORY RESET' drive).
    CONCLUSION: If the computer (boots but won't allow me to access the "Reset Windows" partition or the "Reset Windows" function fails), a USB"Recovery Drive" will allow me to (RESET WINDOWS 10 To The OEM Spects) and start all over, yes / no?
    --- As noted in QUESTION 1, Create a new USB "Recovery Drive" for each new Win.10 Version, not Build.

    QUESTION 3: What is the purpose of "Installation Media" and how does it differ from the above CD"Repair Disc" or USB"Recovery Drive"?
    --- "Installation Media" is a bootable device (or DVD) that permits you to boot your PC using its Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) runtime to install the OS."
    --- The "Installation Media" can be made on a (USB Flash Drive) by the "Media Creation Tool" Its primary purpose is to install Windows, either a (CLEAN INSTALL OR BOOTING FROM IT), or an in-place repair install (KEEPING YOUR FILES AND APPS) as a way to fix problems that can't be fixed by other means. It also includes the same Advance Start Up tools as a recovery drive, but you have to click quite a few links and options before you get to them."
    *** I have used the "Media Creation Tool", and may I note that when the "Media Creation Tool" says to use a 16GB or 32GB USB Flash Drive, it better not have any manufacture coding on it, in any form what so ever, or the "Tool" will reject it and you will have to buy the next GB size larger, say 64GB in order to create the "Installation Media" successfully, yes!!!!.

    MY ADDITIONAL UNDERSTANDINGS, Right or Wrong: (please feel free to correct me as needed):
    (1) A CD"Repair Disc" or USB"Recovery Drive" are not bootable media. Therefore if my computer won't boot, I must use the USB"Installation Media"
    (2) Neither a CD"Repair Disc" or USB"Recovery Drive" doesn't offer me any superior repair options than those offered by the Windows internal "Recovery Options" found in [Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced startup]
    CONCLUSION: Why then even bother with either the CD"Repair Disc" or USB"Recovery Drive"? Just create a USB"Installation Media" and have done with the whole thing.
    OBSERVATION: This whole "PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE WINDOWS GREMLINS" should be simplified and made a little more user friendly, yes?

    MY ANSWERS:
    --- Yes I create all the "Windows Image Backups" on an external HD.

    MY ADDITIONAL LEARNING: (learnings is not a word), Go-figga (also not a word).
    (1) The "Installation Media" is better than either a CD"Repair Disc" or USB"Recovery Drive" in that not only is it "Bootable" when your computer won't but it also allows you to reinstall a clean copy of Windows while (RETAINING YOUR APPS AND FILES). A Good Deal, yes?
    (2) Yes, I also have had difficulty in using the "Windows Image Recovery Tool", (any Edition), to work properly. It is extremely specific and not very user friendly, no. "Macrium Reflect", may be the best takeaway from this whole discussion, yes.

    So that's all I have for now. Thanks a bunch.

    Yt,
    Tarponton
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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