Yesterday I wrote about how you can boot into Windows with the system recovery settings in different ways. Two methods involve booting Windows and the other when Windows automatically loads recovery options if it detects that Windows cannot boot properly.
This is great, but there will be times when something goes so badly wrong that even the automatic loading of recovery options will fail. In this case, you’re out of luck if you don’t have a system recovery disc or a system recovery USB drive. Basically, they are both the same, one on CD only and the other on USB stick.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to create a system recovery USB drive that you can boot from if Windows 8/10 doesn’t fully boot. Please note, if you did not create a recovery disc beforehand, you can use another Windows 8/10 computer to create it and then use it on the broken PC.
USB flash drive for system recovery in Windows 8/10
To get started, open Control Panel and click Recovery. You may need to switch to the large or small icons view to see it like below:
Now go ahead and click “Create Recovery Disc”:
The Recovery Wizard will launch, and if your computer already has a built-in recovery partition, you will have the option to check the box at the bottom, which will copy the contents of the partition to the USB drive. If you do not have a recovery partition, it will be inactive.
In Windows 10, the text on the screen is slightly different and the checkbox is checked to copy system files to the flash drive rather than the recovery partition.
Click Next and it will automatically find all available discs that you can use as a recovery drive. Select the USB stick and click Next. In Windows 10, the disk size must be at least 8 GB.
Windows will inform you that everything on the disk will be deleted, so be sure to back up any data you might need.
Now go ahead and click the “Create” button to start the process. Windows will copy the corresponding utilities to the USB flash drive.
The process takes only a couple of minutes, and that’s it! You now have a bootable System Restore USB stick that you can use if your copy of Windows 8/10 crashes and burns!
It is also recommended that you create a backup of your Windows system image, which can then be restored in case of damage to Windows, etc. Enjoy!