In literal terms, a Windows recovery disk is a bootable disc containing advanced recovery options, such as System Restore, Startup Repair, Safe Mode and Command Prompt, with which you can fix system errors and even reinstall Windows 10 or other OS from startup.
But since Windows 8, Windows has added a new feature to create recovery drive using USB.
It is becoming a more mainstream approach in Windows 10/11 due to the portability. So nowadays, the "recovery disk" in the broad sense usually includes bootable USB as well. Of course, if you do not have any USB drive or simply do not want it, you can still use CD or DVD to create a system repair disc.
Both recovery drive and repair disc can help you access recovery options even when you fail to boot Windows 10/11. But there are some differences between them:. ☛ A recovery drive requires a USB drive while the system repair disc needs CD/DVD. ☛ The recovery drive allows you to backup system files for Windows reinstallation. Therefore, if you cannot restore your computer, it allows you to reinstall Windows 10/11 with "Recover from a drive" option.
What is Windows recovery disk or USB?
☛ The recovery drive is tied to the current PC while the repair disc can be used on different computers with the same version of Windows. If you want to make a Windows recovery USB that can be used on another PC, then you can try this way.
How to Create Recovery Drive (USB) in Windows 10?
Make the choice based on your needs, such as whether you want to use USB or CD/DVD, whether you need the ability to reinstall Windows, whether you need to use it on a different computer..and whichever you choose, it's best to recreate one every year because Windows updates will improve security and PC performance periodically.
FAQs about Windows 10 recovery disk
Besides recovery media, it's also recommended to backup Windows 10 regularly in case of unexpected data loss. A recovery drive isn't a system image, and cannot ensure your personal files, settings, apps, etc. There's another commonly used bootable drive, namely installation media. It's mainly used to clean install or reinstall Windows 10/11 and can also be seen as a last resort to resolve severe system failures.
Details can be found in Windows 10 recovery tools. There are two methods to create Windows 10/11 recovery drive for your reference. Among them, Way 1 is designed to create a recovery USB tied to the current PC, while Way 2 works with both USB and CD/DVD. The drive made with Way 2 can be used to boot different computers running different systems, and even non-system computers.
Some users may wonder is it necessary to format the USB in order to make recovery drive. The answer is no, because the Recovery Drive will create a FAT32 formatted USB that can boot in both BIOS-based and UEFI-based PCs.
As for the USB capacity issue, since the process will copy a lot of files to it, you need to prepare a flash drive that has at least 16 GB capacity, and ensure it’s empty, because all the data on the USB drive will be deleted.
Connect the USB drive to your computer and get access to the recovery drive. You may be asked if you want to allow this app to make changes to your device, please click "Yes".
Here are two ways you can use:. >> Type “recovery drive” into the search box and select “Create a recovery drive”.
>> Go to "Control Panel", select "View by smaller icons" and "Recovery", then choose "Create a recovery drive" in the advanced recovery tools page.
In the pop-out window, check the option “Back up system files to the recovery drive” and hit “Next”. Note: The option "Back up system files to the recovery drive" will create a recovery drive that allows you to reinstall Windows. Then select the USB flash drive you prepared, and click”Next” to continue. On the next screen, you will be told everything on the drive will be deleted, so please make sure there is no important data.
Troubleshoot: A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive
Then, click “Create” to begin creating Windows 10/11 recovery USB drive. After finishing this process, you will see an option “Delete the recovery partition from your PC” if you have a Windows recovery partition in Windows 10/11 computer. You can click it to delete recovery partition to free up some space on your computer. *You may find the Windows bootable USB is not working in some cases.
For example, you cannot use a Windows 8 recovery disk to restore Windows 10, nor can you use a recovery drive made by Windows 10 64-bit to boot a 32-bit computer.
That is to say, you cannot use a Windows 10 recovery USB created in this way on another computer.
As mentioned, the repair USB created by the recovery media creator will not work on computers running different systems (or non-system computers). If you want a more flexible way, you can choose to use a third-party media creator - AOMEI Backupper Standard.
With it, you can not only create Windows 10/11 recovery USB for the current computer but also another PC, and it can be applied to all the Windows PCs, including Windows 11/10/8/7 (both 32 bit and 64 bit).
With it, you can enjoy following advantages:. ✭ It enables you to create bootable DVD/CD or USB that can be used to start a crashed computer of HP, Lenovol, Acer, ASUS, Dell, etc.
Which kind of recovery disk should you choose?
And the created media is able to boot in both BIOS and UEFI mode.✭ If your system crashes before you made a recovery drive, you can also create a Windows 10 recovery disk from another computer to boot the problematic one.✭ As a complete data protection solution, it allows you to create scheduled system backup, disk backup, file backup and partition backup to various locations, such as local disk, external hard drive or network share, cloud, etc.
- It's also a clone software that can help you migrate system to another disk directly.
How to create Windows 10 recovery USB with AOMEI Backupper:. Download the Windows 10/11 recovery USB media creator - AOMEI Backupper, install and launch it. To recover Windows via this tool, you can create a regular system backup in "Backup" tab. Then click “Tools” from the left panel and then select “Create Bootable Media”.
- Select bootable disc type from Linux based or Windows PE based, and click “Next”.
Linux based bootable media only allows you to use basic functions of AOMEI Backupper, while Windows PE allows you to access full functions. Then you can select a "CD/DVD" or "USB drive" to create this Windows 10/11 bootable recovery media and then click “Next” to run this process. Note: If you don't have CD/DVD or USB, you can choose to export Windows 10 recovery ISO image file.
- With the help of AOMEI Backupper, you could create Windows 10 recovery USB to boot the current computer or another PC into WinPE, and then perform system restore from a created system image.
Advanced Features You May Need (Available in Professional edition):. ✭ If you haven't made any system backup before the failure, you can also create system image on another working computer, and restore it to the problematic one via the Universal Restore feature. ✭ If you don't have any CD/DVD or USB drive, you can simply enable the AOMEI recovery environment to achieve the same effect as recovery disk. Type " backup settings" in the search box and select it.
Then, scroll down to "Looking for an older backup" and click "Go to Backup and Restore(Windows 7)".
Click "Create a system repair disc" at the left panel of Backup and Restore (Windows 7) page.
Then, you will be asked to select a CD/DVD drive and insert a blank disc into the drive, please do as instructed. Click "Create disc" to create Windows 10/11 recovery disk with CD/DVD.
Then, it will start to write this disc, this process only takes a few minutes. After creating Windows 10/11 recovery USB, you may want to know how to use it.
Then, I'll show you two common ways, namely, using recovery drive or repair disc, and third party rescue disk. For more details, please continue to see below.
- Insert your recovery drive or system repair disc.
Then, press the displayed F key on the initial screen when you start computer, then change the recovery drive or disc as the first boot option in the BIOS and boot from it.
Then, it will start to the Windows recovery environment, select keyboard layout and hit "Enter". In the blue Troubleshoot page, you will see "Reset this PC", "Recovery from a drive" and "Advanced options".
Both of the previous two options are to reinstall Windows, but the first one allows you to choose to keep or remove your files. The third option is to repair your computer using recovery tools, such as system restore, system image recovery, startup repair, command prompt, etc.
Part 2: Create a Windows 10 Bootable USB Recovery Drive with Windows Boot Genius
Take "Recover from a drive" as an example, click it. Then, select "Just remove my files" to delete only files on your computer. If you want to fully recycle this operating system, you can choose "Fully clean the drive".
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