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A Recovery Drive Is Essential
usb recovery
Something can be wrong with Windows sometimes and it cannot boot, especially if frequent installing or uninstalling is done in the computer. A recovery drive will come in handy to fix any issue that arises. This is especially true for Windows 10 because "Last Known Good Configuration" option is no longer available.

Nowadays a USB thumb drive is cheap. The USB storage drive can still be used to store other documents after being made a recovery drive. Creating a recovery drive is very easy. There is really no reason not to create a recovery drive.

Steps in creating a recovery drive (Windows 10, but there should be not much difference with other Windows)

  1. Plug in a USB thumb drive or an external hard disk. For Windows 10, it must have at least 8 GB. The file system needed is FAT32. So if we are buying a thumb drive just to create a recover drive, the size of the drive should not be more than 32 GB. Also it will not be used frequently, so a cheap 8 GB USB 2.0 thumb drive should be sufficient. If a hard disk is used and it is bigger than 32 GB, only 32 GB will be used by Windows for the recovery. The rest of the space will become an unallocated partition that can be formatted to NTFS to store files.
  2. If the drive contains wanted files, back them up first.
  3. Go to "Run" by pressing Windows key and R key together.
  4. Type "recoverydrive" and push Enter.
  5. The dialog: "Create a recovery drive - Even if your PC can't start, you can use a recovery drive to reset it or troubleshoot problems. If you back up system files to this drive, you'll also be able to use it to reinstall Windows."
    Ensure "Back up system files to the recovery drive" box is checked. Click "Next".
  6. The dialog: "Select the USB flash drive - The drive must be able to hold at least 8 GB, and everything will be deleted."
    If the "Available drive(s)" is correct, click "Next".
  7. The dialog: "Create the recovery drive - Everything on the drive will be deleted. If you have any personal files on this drive, make sure you've backed up the files."
    Click "Create".
  8. The dialog: "Creating the recovery drive - Copying utilities."
    If the USB storage is not suitable, the dialog: "We can't create the recovery drive - A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive."
    In this case change to another USB thumb drive.
  9. The dialog: "The recovery drive is ready."
    Click "Finish".
  10. Test it out by booting from it. To use the recovery drive, make sure the boot sequence in BIOS is set to USB drive first. To access the BIOS, turn on the computer and press F2 (or other key specified by the computer).
  11. If the computer hard drive uses drive encryption that ties to Windows, every time the password is changed, the recovery drive needs to be created again.
Posted: 2016-11-01; updated: 2016-11-12 by Ong Seng Aun.
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