Computers used to come with Recovery Disks so that if you had a hard drive crash you could install Windows on your new hard drive. Then manufacturers decided that they could save some money by not including recovery disks. Instead, they provide a program you can run to create recovery media that you provide. Most people, however, neglect to create recovery media for their computer.
If you haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 and you haven’t created recovery media for your computer, stop reading this article and go create recovery media for your computer right now. To learn how to do that, read this article on our website.
If you have created recovery media for your computer, then good job! However, if you upgraded to Windows 10, that recovery media would reinstall your old version of Windows, not Windows 10. And if your computer were to crash after the free upgrade period, you would have to go back to your previous version of Windows or purchase Windows 10.
Never fear, though. All you have to do is create recovery media for Windows 10. Here’s how:
- Purchase a USB Flash drive. Get one that’s at least 16GB in size. 32GB recommended.
- Put the USB flash drive in your computer.
- Now click on Start and click on Settings
- Type the word: recovery
- You should now see “Create a recovery drive”. Click on that.
- Make sure “Backup system files to the recovery drive” has a check mark next to it.
- Click next to create your recovery media.
- Make sure to label the recovery media and store it in a safe place.
Now that you have recovery media in case for disaster recovery, let’s talk about the other recovery options in Windows 10.
- System Restore
This option has been around since Windows ME came out. Many people do not understand what it means or what it does. It does not restore files. It only restores Windows settings back to a previous date. Doing a system restore, or any recovery option, should be a last resort. When you choose a restore point, don’t go too far back. When you do a system restore, any software you installed or updated since that restore point will be lost or affected.
- Reset this PC
This option was introduced in Windows 8. There are two options. One tries to save your files, the other does a complete reinstall of Windows and erases all of your files. Be aware that even if you choose the option to save your files, although you won’t loose files, you will lose all of your applications and settings. So you should avoid doing this except as a last resort. This option can only be used on a system that boots up. If your computer won’t boot, that’s when you need the recovery media. This option can also be used on a computer if you are going to sell it or give it to someone. Be aware that it does not do a DOD compliant erase of your data, so someone with the right tools could still recover and access some of the information that was stored on it.
In general, we recommend that you create recovery media, but we also recommend you contact us before using that recovery media or before attempting any of the recovery options explained above.