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    Create Recovery Drive in Windows 10

    Create Recovery Drive in Windows 10

    How to Create a Bootable USB Recovery Drive in Windows 10

    Published by BrinkCategory: Performance & Maintenance
    16 Feb 2015 Last Updated: 13 Mar 2017 at 09:33

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    How to Create a Bootable USB Recovery Drive in Windows 10

    information   Information
    If 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.

    Note   Note
    A 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
    Click image for larger version. 

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    (If you checked the Back up system files to the recovery drive box)
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    Here's How:

    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)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    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)
    Note   Note
    Back 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.


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    6. Select the USB flash drive (ex: "E:\ (USB)" ) you want to make a recovery drive, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
    Note   Note
    If the USB flash drive you want to use is not listed, then connect is now.


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    7. When ready to start, click/tap on Create. (see screenshot below)

    warning   Warning
    Creating 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.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    8. The USB recovery drive will now be created. (see screenshots below)

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    9. When finished, click/tap on Finish. (see screenshot below)

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    10. Remove the USB flash drive. This is now your Windows 10 recovery drive.



    That's it,
    Shawn


  1.    17 Feb 2015 #1
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 1,962
    Windows 7

    Thanks Shawn. Looks very much like 8.1.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    17 Feb 2015 #2
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 24,257
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17017
    Thread Starter

    Hey Wolfgang,

    Yep, it was the same as 8.1 other than not able to include a copy of the recovery partition yet.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    29 Jun 2015 #3
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 1,878
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10

    Maybe even better - because it does not require a recovery image (oem partition)
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    13 Jul 2015 #4
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 1,385
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) Insider 16291

    Hmm, using Build 10162 (installed from Official ISO) I find that:
    1. On physical hardware, it crashes out saying it can't create the drive. The USB has some files written to it but not enough.
    2. On a VM, I never get to stage 6 - the progress bar thing just keeps cycling forever at the Please Wait screen.

    If I don't check the option to backup system files, it seems to work OK (certainly in the VM, can't remember if I tried that on the physical machine), but obviously it isn't saving the whole setup.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Is it just me? Have I done something dumb...? That's more likely on the physical machine, but on the VM I've not done much with it except install some utilities (VLC/Firefox/7Zip/Adobe Reader) and Office 2016 Preview, although I did SysPrep it to save the image.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    13 Jul 2015 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 24,257
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17017
    Thread Starter

    Hey David,

    I'm seeing the same in build 10166.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  6.    13 Jul 2015 #6
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 1,385
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) Insider 16291

    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Hey David,

    I'm seeing the same in build 10166.
    Thanks for checking Shawn,
    There's some comfort in knowing it's not just me.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    18 Jul 2015 #7
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 1,385
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) Insider 16291

    OK I've been doing some more testing with 10240, with more success.

    On a physical machine (with Office 2016) it failed twice, but when I went into the Feedback app and tried to Reproduce the error, it didn't crash third time. (It knew it was being watched ). However this one didn't save the apps I think (see below).

    On a virtual machine which has only a few apps installed, it created the Recovery Drive OK. Even better, when I tried to restore it to a completely blank virtual machine, it worked too. (The only 'gotcha' was that a VM of 28GB was deemed too small, but it worked when I increased to 32GB).

    The interesting bit is this - it restored the apps I'd installed back on to the recovered machine. I'd installed Firefox and Adobe Reader and a couple of others and these came back. Clearly the option to save a Recovery Drive is trying to save my customised apps, and with some success.

    Now it's possible it did this because I earlier tried to save the apps into a Provisioning Package when I set up the VM,
    (using scanstate from the USMT) and hadn't done this on the physical machine.

    So as kyhi says, it has the potential to be even better than the old Windows 8.1 version which I'm pretty sure didn't do this?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    18 Jul 2015 #8
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 24,257
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17017
    Thread Starter

    Hopefully, it'll work fully in the next build.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  9.    18 Jul 2015 #9
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 1,878
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10

    I have not tested on x64 - but had no issue creating recovery drive and (after figuring out the msdn provisioning guide is bogas) a provisioning package on x86
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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