If you bought a computer a few years ago with
Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, it probably came with a recovery CD, that let you fix
any problems or if all else failed, factory reset the computer. These days, it’s rare
to find a Windows 10 computer that even has a CD tray, and manufacturers don’t include
any recovery tools other than what you get with Windows.
That’s why it’s really important to make a recovery drive like this, just in case anything
goes wrong with your computer. In this video, I’m going to show you how
easy it is to make a recovery drive. I’ll show you what kind of memory stick you need
to buy, and I’ll show you how to use the recovery drive if your computer ever stops
working. If anything goes wrong with your Windows 10
computer, it has a built-in set of tools that you can use to repair it.
This actually came in really useful for me the other day. I was given a computer that
had tried to install a big Windows 10 update. The update failed part way through, and the
client was left with a computer that wouldn’t start up Windows.
Fortunately, Automatic Repair kicked in – after a couple of failed attempts to fix itself,
the computer took us straight to the Troubleshooting tools. We were able to take the computer back
to a previous version of Windows, and the computer started fine after that.
But it’s possible for Windows to break so badly that you can’t even load Advanced
Startup. Usually this happens when the hard drive fails and we need to put a new hard
drive into the computer. The new hard drive is completely blank, and so we need to install
Windows 10, and that’s when we need the recovery drive.
THE MEMORY STICK A recovery drive is just a normal USB memory
stick containing all the tools you need to fix Windows when it won’t start. And ideally
it contains a copy of Windows 10, so you can reinstall the operating system if all else
fails. Now you’re going to need a memory stick
that’s got enough capacity for everything that’s needed to repair your computer. I
can’t give you an exact figure on this, because each computer is different. But when
I made my recovery drive, it took up 6.5 gigabytes on the memory stick, but I have seen other
computers use much more. So, I would recommend buying a 16 gigabyte
memory stick, and you should be safe. I’d also recommend buying a decent brand like
SanDisk, Integral or Kingston. Your memory stick could be sitting around for a long time
before it’s ever used, but when the time comes for a recovery drive you’ll need to
rely on it, so I’d definitely recommend buying a decent brand.
MAKING THE RECOVERY DRIVE Once you’ve got the memory stick, your Windows
10 computer has everything built in that you’ll need to make the recovery drive.
Plug in the memory stick, and if anything appears on the screen, you can ignore it.
We need to open the Control Panel, so click on the Start Menu. Then type in Control, and
click on the Control Panel. When the Control Panel opens, this control
‘View By’ might be on Category. We want it to say Large icons, so change it to Large
icons if it isn’t already. Then click on Recovery.
Then click Create a Recovery Drive. Now we can follow these steps. You’ll see
a check box to Back up system files to the recovery drive. Make sure this is ticked.
Then click Next. After a short wait, you’ll be asked to select
your memory stick. Make sure you choose the correct drive.
Then click Next, and read the next page carefully, because if there’s anything on your memory
stick at the moment, it will be deleted. If you’re ready, click Create.
At this point, you’re in for a long wait. For me, this part took an hour and a half.
Once the recovery drive has been made, you can click Safely Remove, and Eject the memory
stick. Make sure you label the memory stick as the Recovery Drive for this computer, and
keep it somewhere safe. USING THE RECOVERY DRIVE
Now fast forward to the hopefully distant future, where you turn on your computer and
it doesn’t start. How do we use the recovery drive to save the day?
What happens next varies between different computers. On some machines, it could be as
simple as plugging the recovery drive into the nearest USB slot, switching on, and waiting
for the blue screen of the Recovery Drive to appear.
On other machines, you have to take a few extra steps to tell the computer that you
want to boot up from the USB drive. Many computers have a startup key to bring
up the boot menu, where you can choose to boot from either the USB drive, cd drive,
or the hard drive. Some computers even show this information very briefly when you switch
them on. It’s usually the Escape key or F12. Try searching for your computer model
on Google to find out the boot key. On my computer, I switch on, then press Escape
a couple of times. A startup menu appears, and I need to press F9 to select my Boot Device.
I then get a list, and I can move between the options by pressing my up and down arrow
keys. I want to boot to my USB hard drive, then I press Enter.
Now that the screen has gone blue, everything we see is coming from the recovery drive.
We want to select the keyboard layout, then go to Troubleshoot.
The first option we see is to recover from a drive. This would get your computer working
like new again, but it says it will remove all your files and apps, so it’s definitely
a last resort. Let’s go into Advanced options. We’ve
got a few things we can try here. First, we can Go back to the previous version.
If you think Windows 10 stopped working after it tried to install a big feature update,
This tool attempts to roll back the update. If that fails, you can try Start-up Repair,
which looks for anything specific that might stop Windows from loading.
Or, you could try System Restore, which can turn your computer back to how it was working
the last time a restore point was made. Restore points are usually made automatically, every
time you install something or receive an update. If you’ve made a certain kind of backup,
called a System Image, you can recover this backup using System Image Recovery.
I’ve made a video here explaining how to make a System Image, so if you like the idea
of making a copy of your computer’s hard drive and keeping it safe with your recovery
drive, you should give it a watch. Next up, if you really know what you’re
doing, you might be able to use Command Prompt to diagnose and fix the problem.
Whatever you end up trying, make sure you understand what will happen before you try
one of these tools. The most useful tool is likely to be Recover from a drive, because
it will get your computer working like new again. But using this tool will wipe your
computer clean, so you should only use it if you know you have a recent backup.
Hopefully after watching this video you’ve learned how to make a recovery drive, and
you know what to expect should you ever need to use it. In the meantime, keep your new
recovery drive somewhere safe, and keep backing up your data on a regular basis. You can watch
my video here to find out how to backup your Windows 10 Computer.
Please let me know in the comments below this video how you got on with making the recovery
drive, and please give it the thumbs up if you found it helpful.
And if you’d like to see more videos from me in future, it would be really helpful if
you could click the red Subscribe button. Thanks for watching.

How to make a Windows 10 USB recovery drive
Tagged on:                                             

100 thoughts on “How to make a Windows 10 USB recovery drive

  • August 17, 2019 at 6:51 pm
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    Hi Dave, which USB Stick is okay for taking backup of windows 10 OS

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 11:54 am
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    Exactly what I was looking for, thank you very much.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 11:02 am
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    How do I know this isn't a conspiracy to sell USB drives?

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 11:04 am
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    Why the f… do I pay $1000 for a f…. computer, just to pay these f……for a USB stick? F… them all!

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 11:24 am
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    No you are completely wrong. What you should so with your Windows 10 computer is sue this guy and Windows for selling you defective software and then buy a Linux system.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 5:53 pm
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    mate thanks for your help. I like how your head moving here and there while talking, it giggles me a bit. haha but you are helpful so thanks.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 8:47 am
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    I really dislike that a lot of computers don't come with CD ROM but you can buy an external CD-ROM on eBay or Amazon like I did and that solve my problem.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 5:06 pm
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    Mines stuck in please wait ….there no option to choose flash drive…please help

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 8:07 pm
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    Thanks Dave. Found really relevant to my need

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 10:06 pm
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    thank you so helpfull !

    Reply
  • August 24, 2019 at 11:32 pm
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    IF your computer stops working? I know you meant WHEN your computer stops working, if you are running any MSOS. Unless it's WIN 3x. The only MSOS that never had problems.

    Reply
  • August 25, 2019 at 9:23 pm
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    I'm getting real tired of windows…..really considering switching to Linux.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:19 pm
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    So easy to follow, thanks

    Reply
  • August 30, 2019 at 11:20 am
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    thank you for your time

    Reply
  • August 30, 2019 at 4:04 pm
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    Thanks Dave..this video is really helpful..I have done the Windows 10 recovery of my PC successfully . Thank you so much❤

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 8:14 am
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    i want more vids like this

    Reply
  • September 1, 2019 at 7:27 pm
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    Got to time 2:25 to bypass all the up from junk you do not need

    Reply
  • September 3, 2019 at 7:51 pm
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    what is the format we need use to create a recovery drive (NTFS / FAT)

    Reply
  • September 4, 2019 at 12:16 am
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    i didnt had a recovery drive created because my computer and the windows is new and i thought i wont need such thing, but my windows 10 didnt wanted to start anymore because a file was missing .. hal.dll . But after self-diagnosis got an advanced option button beside Restart and navigating through the advanced options i found that i can use Restore point. Now im creating a recovery windows drive on a Sony 32Gb USB 2.0 stick just in case i need it. Thanks for tutorial.
    Edit : Used space on the USB for recovery, 5.15 GB but i think the rest of the free space becomes locked.

    Reply
  • September 4, 2019 at 9:39 am
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    Very informative. Thank you
    I'm expecting my new laptop within the week and finding your video was timely.

    Reply
  • September 11, 2019 at 10:53 pm
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    Good job. Clear, detail and well done! Do change the camera angle. Just put the cam a little higher, more eye level with you.

    Reply
  • September 14, 2019 at 1:21 pm
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    You did not show simply how the recovery usb Re-installs your System to it's previous state.

    Reply
  • September 15, 2019 at 2:25 am
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    Very informative video

    Reply
  • September 15, 2019 at 11:41 pm
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    IMPORTANT QUESTION. I have a disk thats for mother board , is that a recovery drive

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 5:03 am
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    I cant do anything on my pc it says “recovery “ at the top with a error code 0xc0000185

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 2:23 pm
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    very helpful, made recovery drive and formatted the whole thing to start from scratch, your video was extreamly helpful thank you so very much.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 7:20 pm
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    after creating the image file on usb can we store the file in a separate computer to be able to free the usb pen?

    Reply
  • September 18, 2019 at 11:28 pm
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    First class presentation! Thank you.

    Reply
  • September 20, 2019 at 12:54 am
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    Does Windows 10 automatically format the usb drive with the proper format?

    Reply
  • September 21, 2019 at 10:09 pm
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    Will this copy my windows 10 operating system?

    Reply
  • September 22, 2019 at 10:20 am
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    I NEED TO KNOW THAT HOW TO CREATE RECOVERY MEDIA IN CD FORMAT BUT I NEED IN PENDRIVE..

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 12:58 am
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    TYSM ^^ Aloha from Maui ^^

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 2:13 am
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    I saw this video after my computer computer crashed

    Reply
  • September 28, 2019 at 11:52 am
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    Great One

    Reply
  • September 29, 2019 at 7:56 pm
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    Life saver! Many thanks for sharing this excellent video!

    Reply
  • September 30, 2019 at 8:49 pm
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    I needed a 32GB USB 3.0 My system was over 25GB!

    Reply
  • September 30, 2019 at 11:45 pm
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    the new update got stuck at 27% for about a hour so i switched the pc off, anyways it reverted back luckily but i still need to update the pc though but have delayed it until I have a USB just in case i got stuck on a boot loop.

    Reply
  • October 1, 2019 at 10:17 am
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    Dave's Tech Rescue: i just made a OS Drive but ima make just a Recovery drive also Thank You.

    Reply
  • October 2, 2019 at 3:01 am
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    But my pc is on your pc needs recovery.

    Reply
  • October 2, 2019 at 3:18 am
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    Well, now I'm more confused then ever, Thanks!!

    Reply
  • October 2, 2019 at 10:12 pm
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    Why use troubleshoot instead of use at device in 5:18? Will use a device be the same as recover from a drive so therefore erase everything?

    Reply
  • October 4, 2019 at 9:30 pm
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    Nice work! I used to recover my os! Thank u

    Reply
  • October 4, 2019 at 9:47 pm
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    So I have seen both videos the recovery drive and the image backup. I will be attempting clean install, so if there’s any problem I use any of both methods.

    So basically recovery drive will work troubleshooting if the PC fails to start. Will the same recovery disk work for different machines? In this video seems like you mention the recovery drive is specific to a machine. But in the image backup you mention that if the PC can start to create the recovery drive from another PC

    Reply
  • October 6, 2019 at 6:58 pm
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    But before you use it u have to reset right

    Reply
  • October 6, 2019 at 7:04 pm
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    salitey likes this videp

    Reply
  • October 8, 2019 at 10:30 am
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    U didn't tell how much space it took after having made the recovery drive

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 3:58 am
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    Many computers have both a C: drive (that contains the Windows operating system) and a D: drive (that was typically empty when the computer was first purchased). Will the Windows recovery process you detailed result in any changes to the D: drive or will it affect the C: drive only?

    Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 8:59 pm
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    a problem occurred while creating the recovery drive what to do?

    Reply
  • October 14, 2019 at 12:11 am
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    When I go back to a previous version, does that delete all my files?

    Reply
  • October 14, 2019 at 7:22 am
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    Thank you for taking the time to make such a easy to understand video!

    Reply
  • October 14, 2019 at 8:03 pm
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    Wow. It helped me to take the recovery..thanks

    Reply
  • October 15, 2019 at 12:11 am
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    Can we copy this recovery drive data in any other drive of the same system in a folder naming Recovery drive. Or can we save it in another pc with the specified name of first pc recovery drive ??? Will it work

    Reply
  • October 17, 2019 at 5:26 pm
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    Can we get all the driver's back after troubleshoot??

    Reply
  • October 18, 2019 at 7:45 pm
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    I got a custom pc and a windows key and that I’m changing my motherboard cpu and ram will this work?

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 6:08 pm
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    Thank you. If only every technical video were this clear!

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 10:43 pm
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    Thanks a lot mate! You've earned a sub

    Reply
  • October 25, 2019 at 7:55 am
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    You are not self praising idiot… That's what bought you my subscription and the quality of content made me hut the bell icon.

    Reply
  • October 27, 2019 at 9:54 pm
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    I have problem with login to any profile in win10. In safe mode i can login to profile….but no restart programs can solve this

    Reply
  • October 29, 2019 at 2:34 am
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    What specifically is the system file? What are they backup with the system file? Surely it is not an update right?

    Reply
  • October 29, 2019 at 3:38 am
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    Many Thanks.
    Clear and useful.
    subbed

    Reply
  • October 30, 2019 at 7:00 pm
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    Brilliant mate…..as a complete techno bafoon even i managed to get it to work first time so thanks very much.

    Reply
  • October 31, 2019 at 4:28 pm
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    Thank you very much for explaining this in details.

    Reply
  • November 2, 2019 at 7:22 pm
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    Would it matter if i made the recovery drive on another pc then used it on another one?

    Reply
  • November 3, 2019 at 6:08 am
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    November 2nd 2019. Just in case you have a newer computer without a CD ROM you could buy an external CD-ROM from eBay or Amazon.

    Reply
  • November 3, 2019 at 11:48 pm
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    Can the extra space store on the recovery drive be used to store other files?

    Reply
  • November 4, 2019 at 4:46 pm
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    This was very helpful! I recently got stuck in a loop between failing automatic repair and BSoD where the ntfs.sys was the issue. Finally got windows up and running by switching the HDD to another SATA connection. Magic! Now I'm paranoid, and wanted to make something like this if and when the HDD goes bonkers again. At least this way I can switch to a new hardrive without much mess.
    Thanks for the easy clear instructions!

    Reply
  • November 5, 2019 at 8:51 pm
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    Thank you! That was helpful. Will this work for both 32bit and 64bit? I mean if I created one on my 64bit windows and someone has a problem with his 32bit windows. Will I still be able to use the same usb drive?

    Reply
  • November 8, 2019 at 6:03 am
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    This video was in my Youtube recommended page…

    Just copy out your personal data (drag and drop method). Erase your hard drive.

    5-UNIX’s
    17-Linux’s

    All made to install on Wintel hardware.

    Install your favorite choice.

    Say goodbye to Windows-10, or any other Windows. Like millions of other people.

    Reply
  • November 8, 2019 at 8:01 pm
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    I cannot create it says we can't create some file are missing

    Reply
  • November 8, 2019 at 9:46 pm
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    Can i save the recovery files into my desktop storage and copy it later into the usb drive when it's time to use the recovery files?

    Reply
  • November 9, 2019 at 4:00 pm
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    Excellent – thank you.

    Reply
  • November 11, 2019 at 5:38 pm
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    I gave it a thumbs down because it was not fully explained  for each of the options (eg: the last option nor did he use each one to show the people exactly what each one does) , Not That I needed to know , but more for the individual whom does Not know. So if your going to do a video as this Then (imo) do it right. Or don't do it at all.

    Reply
  • November 12, 2019 at 9:06 am
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    what i have a problem trying to figure out is if i can use this for recovering family pictures and videos? all i hear is recovery no mention of what

    Reply
  • November 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm
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    My laptop has installed window 10
    But unfortunately stopped to open window. It gives message to use recovery tools. But i dont have any recovery.
    Now what should i do to open the window.

    Reply
  • November 12, 2019 at 5:50 pm
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    when I click the create recovery drive button it stays on please wait with the green status bar going back and forth

    Reply
  • November 13, 2019 at 4:19 pm
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    Can I copy it to my other computer?

    Reply
  • November 13, 2019 at 9:00 pm
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    made recovery drive from video Thanks Ted

    Reply
  • November 14, 2019 at 4:20 am
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    TYVM

    Reply
  • November 14, 2019 at 10:42 am
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    This was so easy to understand and I was able to make my Windows 10 USB recovery drive. Definitely Thumbs Up

    Reply
  • November 15, 2019 at 7:43 am
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    That was very useful . As for in windows 7 I once experienced a kidnapper who held my PC for ransom. To take it to a specialist to fix I might as well paid the ransom [right] but to wipe the drive clean and reinstall was painful to speak but I got my satisfaction and booted the kidnapper.

    Reply
  • November 15, 2019 at 1:37 pm
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    Thank you for posting

    Reply
  • November 17, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Very helpfully thank youuuuuuuu

    Reply
  • November 19, 2019 at 3:52 am
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    Hi. Thanks for making this video. It's awesome , really. Great quality , clean and concise explanation . It took me 8.6 GB and about 1 Hour to get it done . Again thanks, and keep up the good work ! 🙂

    Reply
  • November 20, 2019 at 10:46 am
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    how to make recovery tools and system image on the same bootable USB Flash drive?

    Reply
  • November 23, 2019 at 2:38 am
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    Hey, does it also work for the Winload.efi error if a computer gets one? A friend of mine got that error on November 3rd, 2019 and he is currently using his mom's computer

    Reply
  • November 24, 2019 at 1:02 am
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    this video teaches you how to make a Windows10 PE boot usb. your data has not been backed up, go to create system image and then you'll be ok. You do need this usb step created in this step to restore your image or restore point.

    Reply
  • November 24, 2019 at 1:03 am
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    he talks about system images at the end, wtf, like don't we want to back up our data, yes we need a win10 pe but you do need your data.

    Reply
  • November 24, 2019 at 12:58 pm
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    Evry time i try to recover my laptop wit a usb stick halfway it fails please help

    Reply
  • November 27, 2019 at 5:47 am
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    But if my computer already has a problem that says that it needs a recovery tool and I didn't do this procedure before, what do I do?

    Reply
  • November 28, 2019 at 1:55 am
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    Dave, You have an excellent collection of really helpful advice videos here. I recently bought a new Dell G7 (Win10Home) and found this video to help me with preparing a recovery drive. I have not been successful and hope you have a little more advice. I have tried this procedure 6 times now with three USB drives, one brand new and all of them good brands. One 1 attempt succeeded but that was with the 'Include System Files' checkbox unchecked. Before I consult Dell I thought I would touch-base with you in case any advice you can provide might help others.

    Reply
  • November 29, 2019 at 12:13 pm
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    great thanks, why the music though???

    Reply
  • November 29, 2019 at 8:34 pm
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    just ghost the PC every 3 months

    Reply
  • December 1, 2019 at 12:06 am
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    Can I surf the net while I wait for the backup?

    Reply
  • December 1, 2019 at 9:59 pm
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    I want to use your idea for making a recovery drive. I may use an SD chip if I can't find a flash drive. I still have to download "10" to replace "7". Can I and should I make a recovery stick for "7"?

    Reply
  • December 2, 2019 at 12:19 am
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    Absolutely agree with Bryan Leech, spent don't know how many HOURS ! trying to make a recovery disk on the pen drive (USB ?) read so many articles and even used the Drive Tool I downloaded to upgrade my good old Windows 7 to W10, the second time trying to make an ISO image and then using "Rufus" to create a Recovery Disk … I am exhausted just remembering all those fails ! Nothing worked, until I decided to read your tutorial !! Piece of pie !! The recovery drive is being created as I type this hope it will all work OK this time. MANY MANY thanks and lots of "thumbs up" (sorry for the long comment)

    Reply
  • December 2, 2019 at 6:14 pm
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    Easily understood video. Thanks. So can I make a USB recovery drive from an up to date Windows 10 HP laptop and use it on another HP laptop that crashes every time I try to do an update?

    Reply
  • December 3, 2019 at 1:31 am
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    you talk funny very tight in the face and the jaw

    Reply
  • December 3, 2019 at 3:55 am
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    Not displaying "Recover from a drive"?

    Reply
  • December 4, 2019 at 12:48 pm
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    Can I do(install recovery) that from my friends laptop and boot my laptop to get my files recovered?

    Reply
  • December 4, 2019 at 11:05 pm
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    I tried to make a recovery drive using HP recovery tool but the tool locked up. I used your method and it worked. Glad I found your channel.

    Reply

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