Be Prepared: Create a Recovery Drive for Windows

Windows 8.1 and 8

Use the Recovery Media Creator to create a USB recovery drive on Windows 8.1 or 8. Tap the Windows key on your keyboard to access the Start screen, type Recovery drive, and press Enter to open the “Create a recovery drive” tool. Insert your USB drive and go through the wizard.
This tool also gives you the option to move your recovery drive to the USB drive, deleting it from your system drive. This can help free up disk space on devices with small amounts of storage, but you’ll need the USB drive to refresh or reset your PC in the future.

Windows 7

Windows 7 doesn’t allow you to create USB recovery media. You’ll have to create system repair disc on a CD or DVD. Press the Windows key to open your Start menu, type System Repair Disc, and press Enter to open it. A system repair discallows you top access tools like Startup Repair, which can fix problems that prevent your operating system from booting.
On Windows 8, you can press Windows Key + R, type recdisc.exe into the Run dialog, and press Enter to access this tool. It allows you to create a CD or DVD recovery disc for Windows 8. This hidden tool was removed in Windows 8.1, so you’ll have to create a USB recovery drive instead.


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