How to Create a Windows 10 Recovery Disk

How to Create a Windows 10 Recovery Disk

/ Shayne Sherman

Windows 10 allows users to create a system repair disc (DVD or CD) and a recovery drive (USB) that they can use to restore and troubleshoot problems that may occur on their computers.

Both options give you access to Windows Advanced Startup Options, where you can diagnose and repair system files.

Recovery disk or drives have been around even in the early years of personal computers.

Manufacturers of pre-built computers would include a recovery disk that contains the exact copy of your operating system at factory defaults. This way, you can quickly restore your computer using the system repair disc if your operating system decides to go sideways.

On Windows 8 and 10, you can create your recovery drive using a modern flash drive or even a traditional CD or DVD.

Today, we will show you how to create a Windows 10 recovery drive and back up your system files.

Let’s get started.

What Type of Windows 10 Recovery Disk Should You Create?

While both USB drive and CD/DVD can be used to access the advanced boot options for troubleshooting Windows 10, we still recommend using a USB drive to create a Windows 10 recovery disk.

A USB drive is way more durable compared to a traditional disk that is prone to scratches.

CD/DVDs also have less storage than a modern USB drive, which allows you to back up system files in a single storage device compared to multiple recovery CDs or DVDs.

However, if your computer cannot boot from a USB drive, you would need to create a CD/DVD based Windows 10 recovery drive.

So be sure to consider this before creating a recovery disk.

How to Create A Windows 10 Recovery Drive?

If you decide to create a recovery drive on Windows 10, check out the guide below and follow the steps carefully to avoid issues.

Formatting the USB Drive

Before anything else, make sure to format your USB drive as NTFS first. The Windows 10 recovery disk creation tool seems to require your drive to be in the NTFS Format before it can detect it.

To format your drive as NTFS, follow the steps below.

  1. First, insert the USB drive into your computer.
  2. After that, press on Windows key + S and search for File Explorer.
File Explorer

3. Open File Explorer and right-click on your USB drive from the side menu.

4. Next, click on Format.

5. Lastly, make sure the NTFS is selected under the File System tab. Click on Start to begin the process.


Now that you have an NTFS formatted drive, we can now proceed with the actual creation of the Windows 10 recovery drive.

Create A Recovery Drive on Windows 10

To create a recovery drive on your computer, check out the steps below to guide you through the process.

  1. On your computer, press on the Windows key + S and search for ‘Create a Recovery Drive.’
Create a Recovery Drive

2. After that, ensure that ‘Back up system files to the recovery drive‘ is marked checked and click Next.

Back up system files to the recovery drive

3. Next, select the USB drive you want to use to store the recovery files and hit the Next button.

4. Lastly, click on Create to start creating the Windows 10 recovery disk.

After the process completes, you can close the creation tool window.

If you are running Windows 8, you would also be asked if you want to delete your recovery partition.

Doing this would remove the recovery disk built-in to your hard drive, and you would need the flash drive you just created when you refresh or reset your computer.

How to Create A Windows 10 Repair Disc?

If you prefer to use a Windows 10 repair disc or if your computer does not support booting to a USB drive, then check out the guide below on how to create a Windows 10 repair disc.

  1. First, insert the CD or DVD into your computer.
  2. After that, press on the Windows key + S and search for ‘Control Panel.’
  3. Next, click on Open.
Control Panel

4. Click on Backup and Restore.

5. On the side menu, click on Create a System Repair Disc.

Create a System Repair Disc

6. Lastly, select the writable disc that you have inserted and click on Create Disc.

Now, Windows will start writing the system files to the disc. This process can take a couple of minutes, so be patient and wait for the disc creation to complete before removing the CD or DVD.

How to Use the Advanced Boot Option?

Here’s a guide on the different options that you can choose from the Advanced Boot Option for first-time users.

System Restore – this function is used to roll back your PC to a state where it was functioning correctly. System Restore will not affect any files or data stored on your hard drive.

It might still affect installed programs on your computer, especially if Windows starts to go sideways after installing a specific computer program.

Startup Repair – if you are having problems with your computer and can’t get Windows to boot, you can use the startup repair option. While it does not explicitly display what is wrong with your computer, it effectively repairs any Windows issues that prevent booting your operating system.

Command Prompt – CMD can execute administrative commands on your system like a SFC scan, which is also a great tool to repair broken system files. You can also use the Command Prompt to execute different commands that can save you from completely reformating your computer.

System Image Recovery – if you are backing up your computer regularly, this tool would come in handy. You can use this tool to restore images of Windows that includes all of your data and installed applications.

Go Back to the Previous Build – this function allows you to revert to the previous version of Windows if in case you installed an update to your system, and it started to malfunction.

As you can see, there are many features and safety nets available on Windows that can help you out in fixing various problems on your computer and recovering essential data from your hard drive.

To avoid problems in the future, be sure to create a recovery disk right now as well as a Windows 10 repair disc so that you are well equipped in case your operating system decides to fail. Also, check out our other guides to keep your computer running smoothly. How to Use Android Apps on Your PC, how to unblock Adobe Flash content on your PC, how to take a screenshot in Windows 10, and how to make your keyboard light up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Create A Windows Recovery Disk from Another Computer?

Yes, suppose you are unable to use your current computer. In that case, you can use another computer to create a recovery disk. It will work on any computer as long as the Windows version used to create the recovery disk is the same as the problematic computer.

Can I Download A Windows 10 Recovery Disk?

Microsoft has a dedicated page on their website that allows you to create an installation image that you can use to access the advanced boot options menu to repair your current system.

How Do I Restore Windows 10 Without A Disk?

If your computer is still booting up correctly, you can restore Windows 10 without disk by merely doing the following.

Press on Windows key + I to open Windows Settings.
Next, select Update & Security.
Inside Update & Security, click on Recovery.
Now, under ‘Reset this PC,’ click on Get Started.
Lastly, select ‘Remove Everything‘ and hit Reset to begin the process.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert at all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. He also enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie as well as entertaining at his home theater.