A Windows 10 recovery drive comes in handy when your Windows 10 PC is unable to boot. The recovery drive can be used to access advanced startup options which help you troubleshoot and fix various boot issues.
Like its predecessor, Windows 10 also lets users easily create a bootable Windows 10 recovery USB drive and can be prepared under ten minutes on most PCs. However, before creating a Windows 10 USB recovery drive, there are some points you need to remember.
First, a Windows 10 recovery drive prepared on a 32-bit version of Windows 10 can’t be used on 64-bit Windows 10 and vice versa. So it’s a good idea to mark your Windows 10 recovery drive using a marker to avoid confusion, especially if you have multiple PCs running both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 10.
Secondly, you don’t necessarily need 16 or 32 GB drive to prepare Windows 10 recovery drive. A drive that can hold 512 MB of data is sufficient. That said, if you plan to add system files to recovery drive (more about this in Step3, below), please use a USB drive with at least 8 GB of space.
Lastly, you must have administrator rights to prepare Windows 10 recovery drive.
Preparing Windows 10 USB recovery drive
So, here is how to create Windows 10 recovery drive
Step 1: Connect your USB drive to Windows 10 PC and backup all data from the USB drive to a safe location as the drive will be completely erased during the progress.
Step 2: Type Create a recovery drive in Start menu or taskbar search box and then press Enter key to open Recovery Drive wizard.
Press Yes button when you see User Account Control prompt.
NOTE: Alternatively, you can open Control Panel, change View by to small icons (see below picture), click Recovery, and then click Create a recovery drive option in the resulting window to launch Recovery Drive wizard.
Step 3: On the home screen of Recovery Drive wizard, you’ll see an option labelled Back up system files to the recovery drive option. The option, according to Microsoft, when checked while preparing your Windows 10 recovery drive, allows you reinstall your Windows operating system if and when required.
Click Next button.
Step 4: Select the connected USB drive before clicking Next button. Once again, we want to remind you that the selected drive will be completely erased.
Step 5: When you see the confirmation screen, click Create button to begin transferring necessary files and utilities to create your bootable Windows 10 recovery USB drive. The drive must be ready within a couple of minutes.
Once ready, you will see “The recovery drive is ready” message.
Note 1: If, at any point, you get “We can’t create the recovery” message, please restart your PC once and make sure that the USB drive is not write protected. Close and then try launching Recovery Drive wizard again.
Note 2: To use a previously created Windows 10 recovery USB drive as normal USB again, please format the drive instead of deleting all files from it.