Windows 10: Can't create a Windows 10 recovery drive; required files missing... Solved

  1. Posts : 48
    Windows 10 Pro for Workstations x64 version 1803/ Arch Linux
       10 Jan 2017 #1

    Can't create a Windows 10 recovery drive; required files missing...

    When I attempt to create a recovery drive, I receive the message, "We can't create a recovery drive on this PC. Some required files are missing."

    I found a suggestion to enter the following at an Administrator command prompt:

    reagentc /disable

    reagentc /setreimage /path \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddiskX\partitionX\Recovery\WindowsRE

    reagentc /enable

    ... where X is the number of the C drive, and the partition number of the system setup. Now for me, it is harddisk0 and partition2 because I have an EFI partition at the start of my system disk. However, when I execute

    reagentc /setreimage /path \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partition2\Recovery\WindowsRE

    I receive the message, "REAGENTC.EXE: The Windows RE image cannot be stored in the specified volume. Use the RETAIN command in DISKPART to prepare the volume and try again."

    Before I do try using the RETAIN command in DISKPART, is this actually likely to fix my issue or cause me more problems? Is there another easier way to go about creating a recovery drive in the first place?

    After experiencing this, I have to say that it is little wonder that very few people have bothered to create a recovery drive for their Windows PC. It can obviously be a lengthy, complex process involving the command prompt, etc.

    Thanks for any info.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    10 Jan 2017 #2

    You can create a Clone Image of your computer and save it to a USB HDD using Macrium Reflect.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. topgundcp's Avatar
    Posts : 2,435
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       10 Jan 2017 #3

    reagentc /setreimage /path \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partition2\Recovery\WindowsRE
    Post a screen shot of Disk Management.
    Screenshot - Take in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
    Is the Recovery partition on partition2 ?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 48
    Windows 10 Pro for Workstations x64 version 1803/ Arch Linux
    Thread Starter
       10 Jan 2017 #4

    Thanks for the replies.

    Yes, I actually use Macrium Reflect free version to image my boot drive to an external HDD. That is a great backup solution. I only image my machine once every 2 weeks or so because it takes a bit of time. I was thinking I'd like to make a recovery drive so that I'd potentially have an alternative way to restore my system, particularly in case it has been a number of days since I made my last image backup... Or I guess I could make more frequent image backups :)

    That could be my problem: I do not have a recovery partition. So maybe my machine wasn't setup in a way sanctioned by Microsoft. In Disk Management, I have a 128 MB EFI partition, then a 155 GB C:\ partition. The following partitions are Linux and Linux swap; I dual boot my machine. I can tell you that other partitioning software, shows a Microsoft Reserved (MSR) Partition of 100 MB between the EFI and C:\ volumes.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    All that said, is there a way I can rectify my lack of a Recovery partition? I do have software to allow me to resize and add partitions, etc. I'm aware there are some risks, but I figure I can make an image backup of the entire SSD immediately before attempting this... :)

    Is the MSR the same thing as a Recovery partition? If so, I'm guessing 100 MB is too small. I'm also curious why it doesn't show up in Disk Management. And when I entered "harddisk0\partition2" in the REAGENTC command, did that refer to the MSR partition or my C:\ volume? I was assuming it should refer to C:\, and was also assuming that C:\ was partition 2 because it is in the 2nd position in Disk Management.

    Thanks again!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. topgundcp's Avatar
    Posts : 2,435
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       10 Jan 2017 #5

    Yes, you did not have a Recovery partition. A normal Windows installation using GPT partition scheme would have 4 partitions:
    450MB Recovery
    100 MB EFI System
    16MB MSR

    You can try to shrink C-Drive 450MB from Disk Management (if it does not work due to fragmentation then use partition manager)
    Use diskpart to set the partition id to be Recovery.
    run from admin command:
    reagentc.exe /setreimage /path \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\harddisk0\partitionX\Recovery\WindowsRE /target C:\windows
    X is the number counting from left to right including MSR partition
    Macrium will display the MSR partition if there's one so X would be 4
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    10 Jan 2017 #6

    I would suggest you not worry about it. You can create a recovery partition using @topgundcp's suggestion, but it won't have any files in it and thus reagentc won't enable it because there is nothing there to enable.

    I would just make a Windows 10 installation USB flash drive or DVD and export your third party drivers using DISM. You will have everything you need to re-install Windows 10.

    In a Command Prompt (Admin):

    dism /online /export-driver /destination:G:\Drivers

    The path in red is to a folder you create on an external storage device to hold the exported drivers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Posts : 48
    Windows 10 Pro for Workstations x64 version 1803/ Arch Linux
    Thread Starter
       10 Jan 2017 #7

    Thanks for the replies and info.

    So if I did create a Recovery partition, would there be no way to actually populate it with appropriate files?

    The main reason I want a recovery drive is to increase the probability of being able to repair Windows 10 if say it becomes non-bootable.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, a custom Windows 10 installation USB flash drive would enable me to quickly re-install Windows 10 with all the drivers. But I'd still need to re-install software and re-configure settings, etc., right?

    Thanks again. I'll go ahead and mark this thread as solved, since my original question is answered.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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