Fixing Windows 10 Create a Recovery Drive Issues

Fixing Windows 10 Create a Recovery Drive Issues

Fixing Windows 10 Create a Recovery Drive Failed Error

Link to MS "answers" page :

Description of issue : Even on brand new OEM factory Windows 10 machines, users are not able to create a Recovery USB drive with the checkbox marked to "Back up system files to the recovery drive". Some error messages show "We can't create a recovery drive" followed by "A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive". Users CAN, however, create the recovery drive with the box unchecked. This will fit on a 512MB USB drive and simply creates a bootable repair USB drive, which does not contain any recovery image. This happens quite regularly, we have seen it on approximately 50% of brand new computers with Windows 10, including Dell, Lenovo, and Sony models. There is absolutely no estabished fix for this from Microsoft or any other entity. Some workarounds are suggested on the Microsoft thread, but they do not seem to work as a universal solution.

Background : We actually have come up with 2 fixes for this problem, the easiest one we will outline here, and the next post will follow up with a more technical solution. Windows 10 changed the way a recovery drive is made, it is no longer a simple .WIM install, it contains 1 or more reconstruct.wim (reconstruct.wim2, etc) files and an Apps.ppkg package. This puts your computer back to its currently installed state, as of the time you create the recovery drive. While this is a good thing for some users, this is definitely NOT a factory image, even if you create the drive as soon as you turn on the machine, it still will contain User login ID's and other information. The worst part is the actual factory recovery image is almost always already on the drive, just on a hidden partition that is not able to be accessed.

Fix : To fix this problem and allow you to create an actual Factory recovery drive, simply use the RecoveryDrive.exe program from a Windows 8.1 machine instead of the Windows 10 version of the same file. The Windows 8.1 version doesn't do any fancy tricks, it simply copies the already present recovery image files to the USB drive and makes it bootable. You can download the recoverydrive.exe file from here, or if you don't trust us, simply pull it from any Windows 8.1 image or machine. The version is 6.3.9600.17415, it's 1.42MB. For the 1%'s out therehere is the 32 Bit flavor, same version info, file size is <1MB.

More info : Copy the RecoveryDrive.exe file to the desktop, and double click it. Check the box that says "Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive" and click next. Make sure NOT to delete your recovery files from your hard drive until you have verified your recovery drive is working. When the process finishes, you should have a FAT32 UEFI bootable USB drive with 3 folders, "BOOT" "EFI" and "SOURCES". Under sources should be your .WIM file or split .SWM files, either of which will work properly.

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