You get more backup and recovery options on Windows 11 than on any other desktop operating system. The System Restore tool allows you to restore your operating system to a previous working state. The feature is very useful, but needs to be activated manually.
Unlike System Restore, you can uninstall the recent Windows updates or restore your PC to factory settings. Both Factory Reset and uninstalling the Windows updates will not delete your files but will fix all PC issues.
The only downside, however, is that these features only work if you can boot into your PC. And certain types of Windows issues can prevent you from booting into your computer. So it’s best to create a Windows 11 recovery disk for emergencies.
What is Windows Recovery Disk?
Windows Recovery Drive is a feature that allows you to reinstall Windows 11. It’s a good idea to create a recovery drive in Windows.
That way, if your PC ever runs into major issues like system file corruption or hardware failure, you can use the recovery disc to reinstall Windows 11.
So if you often face data loss issues due to Windows 11 PC unable to boot, creating a recovery or backup plan would be very helpful. The Windows 11 USB Recovery drive allows you to boot to Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).
After opening the WinRE, you can access the troubleshooting options to find and fix the issues that are preventing the startup.
How do you create a USB recovery drive?
You don’t need to install any third-party tool to create a recovery drive on Windows 11. There is a built-in app for this in Windows. Follow our shared steps to get one windows recovery usb.
1. Connect an empty USB drive to your computer.
1. Click Windows Search and type Recovery Drive. Now open the Restore disk app of the Best Match results.
2. Now you will see a UAC prompt. Just click on the Yes knob.
3. At the Create a Recovery Drive prompt, bill the Back up system files to the recovery drive and click the Next one knob.
4. Select the USB flash drive prompt and select the correct USB flash drive that you want to use as a recovery disc.
5. Now you will see a warning screen to let you know that the process will delete all files stored in the USB flash drive. So back up your personal files to another location. When you’re done, click the To create knob.
6. Now you have to wait for Windows 11 to install a Windows 11 bootable recovery disk. When done, you will see the success message; Click the Finish knob.
That is it! It’s that easy to create a recovery USB drive on Windows 11 using the Windows recovery tool.
Using recovery drive for Windows Recovery
Now that you have created a USB recovery drive on Windows 11, you can use it when your device fails to boot. Here’s how to use a recovery drive in Windows 11.
1. Connect the recovery drive to your computer. Turn on your computer and press the Boot Menu key. If you do not know the key to access the boot device menu, refer to the table below.
|Brand laptop/desktop||Hotkey for boot menu|
|Lenovo||F8, F10, F12|
2. Once you have access to the Boot device Menu, you need to use the arrow key to select your USB Recovery Drive. Once selected, press Enter to boot using the recovery drive.
3. Now wait for a few minutes for your device to boot from your USB drive. Once booted, choose the language and select Recover from a disk.
4. Select on the next screen Recover from a disk.
5. Now you will be asked if you want to delete your files or clean the drive completely. Choose the Just delete my files choice.
6. On the Recover from a disk screen, click the To recover knob.
7. This will start the Windows 11 reinstallation process. Once done, you’ll need to set your preferences to use your Windows 11 computer.
That is it! It’s that easy to use a recovery drive on a Windows 11 computer.
Fix the “We can’t create a recovery disc” error
While creating a recovery drive in Windows 11, you may encounter an error that reads “We can’t create a recovery drive.” Don’t panic if you see this error.
Usually, the error appears due to incorrect format of the USB drive. Sometimes antivirus programs or certain third-party tools can prevent Windows 11 from creating a recovery disc.
Generally, a reboot will fix the error, but if not, you can try doing the things we mentioned below:
- Restart the Recovery Drive app from the Task Manager.
- Format the USB drive in FAT32 file system.
- Disable third-party anti-malware tools.
- Disable the virtualization programs.
- Delete the Windows.old folder from your device.
- Run the SFC and DISM scan using the command prompt.
- Update your Windows operating system.
You can try to do these things to fix the “We Can’t Create a Recovery Drive” error on a Windows 11 computer.
Other ways to backup Windows 11
Well, this is not part of the Windows USB recovery drive tutorial, but it is a useful feature that we think you should be aware of.
The recovery drive is designed to reset your system to a new system. The recovery drive refreshes all your system files with new files and provides a standard operating system experience.
The system image backup is just another recovery option available in Windows. The only difference is that a system image backup creates an image of your entire Windows operating system, including your personal files and applications.
So basically a backup of a system image will restore the system to the state of the creation date in time of a critical crash. You will not lose your personal files, programs, settings, etc.
How do you back up a system image on Windows?
Follow some of the simple steps we shared below to create a system image backup on Windows. Here’s what to do.
1. Click on Search Windows 11 and type Control Panel. Then open the Control Panel app from the list of best match results.
2. When the Control Panel opens, select the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) option.
3. In Backup and Restore, click Create a system image in the left pane.
4. Now at the Create a System image prompt, select where you want to save the backup. You can choose to save the backup to an external drive, DVD or network location. Make your selection and click the Next button.
5. Now you will be asked to confirm which partitions of your hard drive will be included in the backup image file. Select the partitions and click Start backup.
That is it! You must follow the on-screen instructions to complete the system image backup process. Here’s how to create a system image backup file on a Windows 11 computer.
Restore Windows 11 with System Image Backup?
Now that you already have the System Image Backup, you can use it whenever you want. Here are the steps to restore Windows 11 with system image backup.
- Click the Windows Start button and select Institutions.
- In Settings, navigate to Update & Security > Recovery.
- In the recovery options, click the Restart now button next to Advanced Startup.
- Now in the Choose an option window, navigate to it Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System image recovery.
- Now select See more recovery options and then select System image recovery.
- At this point, Windows should detect the system image backup file. If not, click Select a system image and select the image.
- Once selected, click the Next button and follow the on-screen instructions.
Here are the steps to restore Windows 11 to its previous state. The system backup option works best when your PC won’t boot.
Using Windows File History to backup Windows 11 data
Windows File History is another backup and restore option on Windows 11. It is not a backup and restore tool and cannot back up entire drives. A snapshot is taken of only important folders such as documents, videos, pictures or offline OneDrive files.
So if you want a simple backup and restore option that only works with certain files and folders, File History might be your best bet. We have shared a detailed guide about how to use windows file history to back up your Windows 11 data.
Be sure to go through that guide and configure the file history. During setup, you can select the folders or files that you want to back up file history.
Use third-party tools to back up and restore Windows
There are several third-party software available for Windows that provide backup and recovery options. You can use them to have more control over what to include and exclude from the backup.
Third party disk image software can back up your entire HDD/SSD in just minutes. However, most of this software is premium and requires access to cloud storage.
Some of the best disk image software are Acronis True Image, EaseUSTodo Backup, etc. Frankly, a third party backup and restore tool is not necessary in Windows 11 as the built-in tools are usually enough.
So this is a detailed guide on how create recovery disk usb. We have also discussed other recovery options available on Windows 11. So, use these tools and prepare a backup plan and use it if necessary.