How to Create a Bootable USB Recovery Drive in Windows 10
InformationIf you run into problems with your PC, a USB recovery drive can help you troubleshoot and fix those problems, even if Windows won't start.
A recovery drive is a USB version of a system repair disc with an option to include the system files to be able to also reset Windows 10 from the recovery drive.
When users create USB recovery media using the Create a recovery drive utility, the resulting media always contain a bootable copy of Windows RE. This gives users access to troubleshooting and recovery tools when booting from recovery media.
Users can optionally back up files required to perform bare metal recovery. When the option is selected, the following are copied onto the USB recovery media as well:
- Windows Component Store
- Installed drivers
- Backup of preinstalled Windows apps
- Provisioning packages containing preinstalled customizations (under C:\Recovery\Customizations)
- Push-button Reset configuration XML and scripts (under C:\Recovery\OEM)
This tutorial will show you how to create a bootable USB recovery drive that boots to advanced startup options used to help troubleshoot and recover your Windows 10.
You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to create a recovery drive.
NoteA created 32-bit USB recovery drive can only be created in a 32-bit Windows 10 and used to repair a 32-bit Windows 10.
A created 64-bit USB recovery drive can only be created in a 64-bit Windows 10 and used to repair a 64-bit Windows 10.
If you have Windows booted in Safe Mode, then you will not be able to create a recovery drive.
EXAMPLE: Booting from Recovery Drive to Advanced Startup
(If you checked the Back up system files to the recovery drive box)
1. Do step 2 or step 3 below for how you would like to open Recovery Media Creator.
2. Open your Start menu, type RecoveryDrive.exe in the search box, press Enter, and go to step 4 below.
3. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Recovery icon. Click/tap on the Create a recovery drive link, and go to step 4 below. (see screenshot below)
4. If prompted by UAC, click/tap on Yes.
5. Check or Uncheck the Back up system files to the recovery drive box for what you want to do, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
NoteBack up system files to the recovery drive will require that the USB flash drive is large (at least 32-64 GB) enough for this.
If you chose not to back up system files when you created your recovery drive, Reset this PC and Recover from a drive won't be available in advanced startup -> Troubleshoot.
Some people are getting a We can't create the recovery drive - A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive error message with Back up system files to the recovery drive checked.
If you have this issue, then leaving Back up system files to the recovery drive unchecked should allow it to successfully create a recovery drive.
6. Select the USB flash drive (ex: "E:\ (USB)" ) you want to make a recovery drive, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
NoteIf the USB flash drive you want to use is not listed, then connect is now.
7. When ready to start, click/tap on Create. (see screenshot below)
WarningCreating a recovery drive will erase anything already stored on your USB flash drive. Use an empty USB flash drive or make sure to transfer any important data from your USB flash drive to another storage device before using it to create a USB recovery drive.
8. The USB recovery drive will now be created. (see screenshots below)
9. When finished, click/tap on Finish. (see screenshot below)
10. Remove the USB flash drive. This is now your Windows 10 recovery drive.
- How to 'Recover from a drive' to Reset Windows 10
- How to Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10
- How to Boot to Advanced Startup Options in Windows 10
- Create Custom Provisioning Package used to Reset Windows 10 or Create Recovery Drive
- How to Boot from a USB Drive in Windows 10
- How to Create a System Repair Disc in Windows 10
- Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable PE Rescue Disk
Thanks Shawn. Looks very much like 8.1.