Windows 10: Creating a Recovery Drive . . . Is it Machine Specific?

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  1. Posts : 14
    Windows 7 & Windows 10
       18 Sep 2015 #1

    Creating a Recovery Drive . . . Is it Machine Specific?


    I have a few machines now running Windows 10 pro and I was wondering if I need to create a "Recovery Drive" for all of them (2 are the same model, and one is different), or, can I create one that will work for all of them?

    If I have to create one for each of them, can I create a single "Recovery Drive" for the 2 Machines that are the same model. or must it be a unique recovery drive for each machine?

    I'd rather not waste USB Drives, the storage of them, and the time it takes creating them unnecessarily.

    Thanks for the input.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 1,841
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10
       18 Sep 2015 #2

    When you create a Recovery Drive in Windows 10 via control panel..

    It is a windows only recovery - no new programs, no new apps, no personal files..

    just windows and current windows updated files
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 705
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       18 Sep 2015 #3

    @TDPsGM
    If you are talking about the bootable recovery drive to allow access to the Advanced Startup Options then you only need the one. If you have already created a bootable Win10 installation disk, then that can also be used to access the same Advanced Startup Options, plus it can be used for an install too. (It's a 2-in-1 solution that saves on disks)

    I recommend you also implement a robust Backup and Imaging procedure to safeguard your system and files, plus a bootable rescue disk to access the backup / images. (Just in case you have not done so already)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 14
    Windows 7 & Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       18 Sep 2015 #4

    Thanks for the reply's everyone.

    To make sure that we are all on the same page here is what I have done exactly:

    I've downloaded from the "Media Creation Tool" from Microsoft here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

    And I used it to create the bootable "Upgrade/Install USB" to Win10.
    After upgrading the systems I wiped them out and used the same device to do a "CLEAN" install of Win10 on all of the machines in my house.

    2 are the same Identical model and 1 is different.

    It sounds like I can make just a SINGLE Recovery drive for the 2 that are the same . . . and that would be better than using the install drive that I have just made as it would have all the updates as well (Not that there are that many as of right now).

    For the OTHER computer that is different, I should make another recovery drive because it may have different Drivers, etc, than the first 2. Is that correct?

    Lastly, to be clear, I 'could' use the install drive I have created to do the install on all 3 of them as the "Recovery" Drive. Is that correct?

    (Backups already taken care of with Syncback Pro)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 705
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       18 Sep 2015 #5

    It all depends on what you plan to use the Recovery Disk for. ie What scenarios do you envision it is going to protect you against? If you can provide a detailed answer to this question, then I will be able to answer your other question.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 104
    Dual boot: Win 10 Home; Win 8.1 Pro
       20 Sep 2015 #6

    WhyMe said: View Post
    It all depends on what you plan to use the Recovery Disk for. ie What scenarios do you envision it is going to protect you against? If you can provide a detailed answer to this question, then I will be able to answer your other question.
    For some reason I get the impression that @TDPsGM is confusing imaging with recovery.

    Apologies if I'm wrong.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    20 Sep 2015 #7

    WhyMe said: View Post
    It all depends on what you plan to use the Recovery Disk for. ie What scenarios do you envision it is going to protect you against? If you can provide a detailed answer to this question, then I will be able to answer your other question.
    I've got the same/similar questions. There are two purposes that I want a recovery drive for.
    1. when one of my computers has a total hard drive failure and needs to be replaced (in the past this has caused a major headache).
    2. when i want to do a clean install of Windows 10 if the system is getting laggy or otherwise needs refreshing.

    Can I use the one recovery USB drive for all my three Win10 machines and my parents two (all Lenovo Thinkpad but diff models)? I have one USB drive as a Recovery Drive and another USB drive as the Installation Media from the initial download of Win10 which I used for the upgrade from Win7 on all these machines. (Note: I don't want a full system image, I prefer clean installs). Any help on this would be appreciated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 705
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       20 Sep 2015 #8

    mattcraw said: View Post
    I've got the same/similar questions. There are two purposes that I want a recovery drive for.
    1. when one of my computers has a total hard drive failure and needs to be replaced (in the past this has caused a major headache).
    2. when i want to do a clean install of Windows 10 if the system is getting laggy or otherwise needs refreshing.

    Can I use the one recovery USB drive for all my three Win10 machines and my parents two (all Lenovo Thinkpad but diff models)? I have one USB drive as a Recovery Drive and another USB drive as the Installation Media from the initial download of Win10 which I used for the upgrade from Win7 on all these machines. (Note: I don't want a full system image, I prefer clean installs). Any help on this would be appreciated.
    Hi mattcraw and welcome to the thread and forum

    1. When you are faced with a total hard drive failure the recovery drive is useless and serves no real purpose. Edit: Please note however, the Recovery Drive does include the option to backup system files. The only robust protection when faced with that unfortunate scenario, and it will happen, is to have a full backup of your system held on a another drive. If the failure is down to data corruption of your Windows system then a full system image, again held on a second drive, is by far the easiest way to get everything back in order
    2. If Windows is getting slow or laggy then then a Recovery Drive can be used to refresh or reset the Windows system. However, a refresh or reset is not guaranteed to work and restore from a system image will work better in this instance. A clean install would be the best option if the slowdown is due to a build-up of trash over time confusing the hell out of your Windows. A restore from an image is quicker and the best option if the slowdown is, for example, due to poor configuration that cannot be traced quickly and easily.


    To be honest, I'm 99% certain that everything you can do with a Recovery drive can also be done with a USB Windows Installation Disk. (The 1% doubt comes from never having used a Recovery or installation disk for this purpose as I always have backups and images). In which case you only need the one USB installation disk, containing all the applicable Windows editions for your devices and those belonging to your family. You can create a 4-in-one usb disk that holds four different versions of Windows 10 if you and your family have a number of different flavors.

    If your question also reflects a desire to safeguard precious family photos, wedding videos, prom videos, your music collection or whatever else, then you need more than what is on offer from a Recovery Drive or installation disk. You need to backups and/or images on a separate drive or you will risk losing the lot in the worst case scenario (ie catastrophic hardware failure).

    Sorry, I know you didn't want to know about images, but I have to answer your questions honestly.
    Last edited by WhyMe; 21 Sep 2015 at 12:11.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    20 Sep 2015 #9

    mattcraw said: View Post
    Can I use the one recovery USB drive for all my three Win10 machines and my parents two (all Lenovo Thinkpad but diff models)? I have one USB drive as a Recovery Drive and another USB drive as the Installation Media from the initial download of Win10 which I used for the upgrade from Win7 on all these machines. (Note: I don't want a full system image, I prefer clean installs). Any help on this would be appreciated.
    The installation media you downloaded from media creation tool to upgrade the 7 devices can be used on any machine to either upgrade in-place or re-install. see Brink's tutorial here - Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade - Windows 10 Forums

    If you created a 'recovery drive' from Control Panel>Recovery>Create a recovery drive which brought up this screen, then No.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Capture.JPG 
Views:	148 
Size:	29.0 KB 
ID:	38536

    This drive is unique to each computer. It is basically a copy of the recovery partition with Windows updated system files. If you create one for two computers, you'll immediately see that they differ in size, so draw the obvious conclusion. Here's what MS has to say, too - Create a recovery drive - Windows Help -

    2. When the tool opens, make sure Back up system files to the recovery drive is selected and then select Next.
    3. Connect a USB drive to your PC, select it, and then select Next > Create. A lot of files need to be copied to the recovery drive, so this might take a while.
    4. When itís done, you might see a Delete the recovery partition from your PC link on the final screen. If you want to free up drive space on your PC, select the link and then select Delete. If not, select Finish.

    This leads one to believe it replaces the orig recovery partition or mfr dvd's with updates so you can use it to refresh or reset Win10
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    21 Sep 2015 #10

    WhyMe said: View Post
    If your question also reflects a desire to safeguard precious family photos, wedding videos, prom videos, your music collection or whatever else, then you need more than what is on offer from a Recovery Drive or installation disk. You need to backups and/or images on a separate drive or you will risk losing the lot in the worst case scenario (ie catastrophic hardware failure).
    Thanks for the detaile reply. In regard to valuable files, photos and other data, yes I'm very careful in backing these up in other ways (both cloud and external hdd). In terms of the System Image - To safeguard the abililty to get a clean install do you suggest that I create a system image immediately after a clean install and related updates have been completed (i.e. before the system has had time to get clogged with other rubbish)?

    Basically what i'm hearing you recommend is to have 1. a good clean system image and 2. a USB Windows Installation Disk (which I got when upgrading to Win10) for more general or specific use on other machines or when a particular system image is not needed? Does that cover me for the main eventualities? Thanks again for the help
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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