How to Make a Recovery Disc in Windows - dummies

By Dan Gookin

If you can’t find the Windows recovery disc that came with the program when you bought it, know that a secret command, available in Windows 7 and Windows Vista, lets you create a recovery disc. (The command works only when your PC has a recovery volume.)

To create a recovery disc, follow these secret steps:

  1. Place a blank DVD-R or DVD+R disc into your PC’s optical drive.

    Use the +R format for creating optical data discs.

    The optical disc must be blank. If it’s not blank, the operation fails.

  2. Dismiss the AutoPlay (or any other) dialog box that pops up, asking what to do with the disc.

  3. Press Win+R to summon the Run window.

  4. Type recdisc and click the OK button.

  5. In Windows Vista, click the Continue button or type the administrator’s password to continue.

    A window appears, prompting you to select an optical drive in which to create the recovery disc.

  6. Choose your PC’s recordable optical drive from the menu button.

  7. Click the Create Disc button.

  8. Wait.

    The process takes some time.

    After the disc has been created, a new dialog box appears on the screen. You deal with the dialog box soon enough, but for now:

  9. Remove the disc from the PC’s optical drive.

  10. Label the disc with the information listed on the screen, and then add the name of the computer, the date, and the words System Recovery.

    Use a Sharpie or another permanent marker to label the disc.

  11. Click the Close button and then the OK button to close the open windows and dialog boxes.

    You can also close the AutoPlay dialog box that may have appeared.

Place your copy of the System Recovery disc into a secure place, such as a fireproof safe or another spot where it won’t get lost or damaged.

This trick works only when your PC has a Recovery drive. When your PC lacks this drive or the drive has become corrupted, the operation to create a recovery disc dies after Step 5.