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Adam Ignatov
Adam Ignatov

Download Windows 10 Recovery Drive: A Step-by-Step Guide


It's a good idea to create a recovery drive. That way, if your PC ever experiences a major issue such as hardware failure, you'll be able to use the recovery drive to reinstall Windows 11. Windows updates to improve security and PC performance periodically, so we recommend you recreate the recovery drive annually. Personal files and any apps that did not come with your PC will not be backed up. You'll need a USB drive that's at least 16 gigabytes.




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If you ever need to use the recovery drive to reinstall Windows 11 on your PC, see Recovery options in Windows for further instructions. It's a good idea to Backup and Restore in Windows frequently because the recovery drive isn't a system image. It doesn't contain your personal files, settings, or programs.


It's a good idea to create a recovery drive. That way, if your PC ever experiences a major issue such as hardware failure, you'll be able to use the recovery drive to reinstall Windows 10. Windows updates to improve security and PC performance periodically, so we recommend you recreate the recovery drive annually. Personal files and any apps that did not come with your PC will not be backed up. You'll need a USB drive that's at least 16 gigabytes.


If you ever need to use the recovery drive to reinstall Windows 10 on your PC, see Recovery options in Windows for further instructions. It's a good idea to Backup and Restore in Windows frequently because the recovery drive isn't a system image. It doesn't contain your personal files, settings, or programs.


If you're able to use your Surface or you have another Windows 11 PC, visit our Download a recovery image for your Surface page. From there, select your Surface and download a recovery image .zip file for the device you selected.


Windows comes with a built-in tool to create a USB recovery drive. To create one, you must use an external USB drive with enough available space for all your recovery data. For steps on how to create a USB recovery drive, go to Create a recovery drive.


The recovery drive can also be used if Windows prompts for installation files when trying to refresh or reset your Surface. To learn how to use your own recovery drive, see Recovery options in Windows.


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If you're able to use your Surface or you have another Windows 10 device, visit our Download a recovery image for your Surface page. From there, select your Surface and download a recovery image .zip file for the device you selected.


Make sure your Surface is turned off and plugged in, and then insert the USB recovery drive into the USB port. If you can, use a USB 3.0 drive.The USB drive should have at least 16 GB. If you have a Surface RT or Surface 2, an 8GB USB drive will work.


In the search box on the taskbar, enter recovery drive, and then select Create a recovery drive or Recovery Drive from the results. You may need to enter an admin password or confirm your choice.


The recovery drive can also be used if Windows prompts for installation files when trying to refresh or reset your Surface. To learn how to use your own recovery drive, see Recovery options in Windows 10.


Surface comes with a built-in tool to create a USB recovery drive. To create a recovery drive, you'll need an external USB drive formatted to FAT32, with enough available storage space for all your recovery data.


But since Windows 8, Windows has added a new feature to create Windows recovery 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.


Among them, Way 1 is designed to create a recovery USB tied to the current PC, Way 2 is used to create a repair CD/DVD, and Way 3 works with both USB and CD/DVD. The drive made with Way 3 can be used to boot different computers running different systems, and even non-system computers.


Some users may wonder if it is 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.


1. 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:


>> Go to "Control Panel", select "View by smaller icons" and "Recovery", then choose "Create a recovery drive" in the advanced recovery tools page.


*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.


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 Windows recovery drive or repair disc, and the third party rescue disk.


1. 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.


Sometimes, users may find that they are not allowed to create recovery disk in Windows 10/11 and the built-in tool says, "We can't create the recovery drive. A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive". Don't worry, and get corresponding solutions below.


2. From this step to Step 4, you will create a Winre.wim file. If you have that file backed up or you can copy it from another Windows 10/11 computer, you can just skip to Step 5. If you do not have one, you can download installation ISO file from Microsoft. Then, double-click to mount it as a virtual drive.


If your computer does not support Dell SupportAssist OS Recovery, Dell provides operating system recovery image. The Windows, Ubuntu, or Linux image that was factory installed on your computer. You can download and use the Dell operating system recovery image to perform a clean install, or reinstall Windows, Ubuntu, or Linux on your Dell computer. The Dell OS recovery tool provides an interface to quickly download and create a bootable USB drive to reinstall the operating system.


The Dell OS Recovery Tool helps you download the operating system recovery image that is customized for your Dell computer and create a USB recovery media. The Dell OS Recovery Tool allows you to download either Microsoft Windows, Ubuntu, or Linux operating system recovery image that was preinstalled on your Dell computer.


Yes, the Advanced Mode in Dell operating system Recovery Tool allows you to create a USB recovery media. It uses an operating system image file in ISO file format. This is useful if you downloaded the operating system recovery image using a Linux, Mac, or Android device.


Windows 10 or Windows 11 or Windows 11 recovery image enables you to format the hard drive and install a clean copy of Windows 10. The file size of this recovery image is considerably higher than the Windows 10 or Windows 11 Automated by SupportAssist.


Typical operating system recovery image files in an ISO file format are between 5-16 GB in size (the file size varies between different operating systems). Once the file is downloaded, the Dell operating system Recovery Tool verifies the integrity of the file before creating the USB recovery media. The time to download and verify that the integrity of the file can vary depending on network speed and file size.


You may receive a "Not enough space on drive" error if you download a large file through a Dell online application. (Such as the Dell operating system Recovery Tool.) This is due to a space limitation on the hard drive where the files are being saved to. Some operating system recovery images can be up to 16 GB in file size.


The operating system recovery image may not contain the latest device drivers for your Dell computer. The latest device drivers are available at Dell.com/support/drivers. After the operating system is installed, Dell Technologies recommends that you download and install the latest device drivers.


In the past, PCs would ship with a CD/DVD disc that included an image of the system. If the OS has problems someday, you could easily restore the OS to the factory settings. But nowadays, manufacturers start to simplify the way of restoring Windows. They just put an image of the system on a hidden partition of your main drive, so does a Windows recovery USB drive. In addition to letting you reinstall Windows, it includes several troubleshooting tools for emergency use, especially when your system won't boot.


Windows 10 recovery tool is used to create a Windows 10 recovery USB or CD/DVD disc. You should make a Windows 10 recovery drive before your PC dies. Both Microsoft and third-party software manufacturers provide reliable recovery tools. Here we picked up two of the best Windows recovery tools for you regarding the effectiveness and ease of use. One is the Windows 10 built-in tool and the other is EaseUS Todo Backup, a third-party backup and recovery software.


To use EaseUS Todo Backup to make a Windows 10 recovery drive for the purpose of restoring from the OS crash or corruption, you'll first download the Windows backup software on a working PC. Then follow the below step-by-step guide to create a bootable USB drive. Don't forget to proceed to create a Windows 10 system backup image for the future Windows 10 recovery to a working restore point.


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