This guide shows you how to create a Windows System Repair disc that can be used to repair Windows.

This guide applies for the following Windows versions: XP, Vista 7, 8 and 10.

Create a Windows System Repair Disc

A system repair disc allows you to boot to the recovery options menu of your Windows version and help you recover and restore your system, if you don’t have the original installation disc.

You can’t install Windows with this kind of disc. To install Windows again, you need the original installation disc, the CD/DVD/USB used to install Windows.

Create disc for Windows XP

The original Windows XP installation CD itself acts your System Repair disc. There is no separate process for creating a System Repair disc as you have for Windows Vista, Windows 7Windows 8 or Windows 10 systems.

In order to repair your computer, you need to access Recovery Console and perform various recovery commands. If these recovery commands do not work, you’ll need to reinstall Windows XP.

If you can’t boot from the installation CD because of the CD-ROM, you can use Windows XP boot disks by using your computer’s floppy disk drive to begin the process and continue with the CD. The bootable floppy disks bypasses the need for a bootable CD-ROM, but the entire process still requires you to have the installation CD available.

Follow these instructions to use your Windows XP CD to fix your computer:

  1. Insert the Windows XP disk in the CD drive
  2. Restart your computer
  3. Press any key if you are prompted to boot from the CD
  4. At the Welcome to Setup screen, press R to open Recovery Console
  5. Type your Administrator password
  6. Command Prompt should now be available
  7. The following commands might help fix your computer:
    bootcfg /rebuild
    chkdsk /r /f
    fixboot
  8. Press Enter after each command
Windows XP Recovery Console screen

Windows XP Recovery Console screen

On older computer models, Recovery Console can be accessed without the installation CD by following these steps:

  1. Turn on your computer
  2. Press and hold the F8 key during boot
  3. Wait for the Startup Options screen to appear
  4. Select Recovery Console
  5. Hit Enter
  6. Enter the administrator password
  7. Enter the recovery commands from above

If the recovery commands mentioned above do not fix your computer, try to reinstall Windows XP using the installation CD:

By reinstalling Windows XP, you will delete all your personal files: pictures, music, movies. Backup your computer before you continue.

  1. Insert the installation CD and restart your computer
  2. At the “Press any key” screen, press any key to boot from the CD
  3. Press ENTER to enter the setup process
  4. Read and agree to the license agreement by pressing F8
  5. Select your current Windows XP installation from the list and then press R
  6. Follow the instructions to setup Windows XP again.

If you can’t boot from the CD, follow these instructions to setup a set of Windows XP boot/setup disks (bootable diskette) that can be used by your computer’s floppy disk and then continue the process by using the installation CD:

  1. Download the necessary setup disks that correspond to the version of Windows XP you have installed:
  2. Extract the files on your Desktop
  3. Make sure you have 6 blank disks available. You will receive this message at the first run:
    This program creates the Setup boot disks for Windows XP. To create these disks, you must to provide 6 blank, formatted, high-density disks.
    
    Please specify the floppy drive to copy the images to:
  4. Type the drive where your floppy disks is – example: A: – and hit Enter
  5. Insert the first blank disk in the floppy drive when you receive this message:
    Insert one of these disks into drive drive letter. This disk will become the Windows XP Setup Boot Disk.
    
    Press any key when you are ready.
  6. Continue with the process until all 6 disks are created
  7. Insert the first created disk in the floppy drive and restart your computer
  8. Boot from the disk
  9. Continue with the instructions to begin the process. Make sure you have the installation CD available as you’re required to have it to finish a reinstallation process.

You can also create a bootable diskette to boot into MS-DOS by following these instructions too:

  1. Insert a blank diskette in your computer’s floppy disk drive
  2. Go to My Computer
  3. Right click on A:\, this is usually the drive letter that holds the diskette
  4. Click Format
  5. Check the “Create an MS-DOS startup disk” option
  6. Click Start
Create MS-DOS startup disk option

Create MS-DOS startup disk option

If you don’t have the original installation disc to create the System Repair disc, download our recovery disk Easy Recovery Essentials. You can use it recover, repair or restore your computer:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials from here
  2. Burn the image. Follow these instructions on how to burn the bootable ISO image very carefully, as making a bootable CD can be tricky! Alternatively, these instructions explain how to create a bootable EasyRE recovery USB stick/drive.
  3. Select Automated Repair
  4. Wait for the process to finish
EasyRE Recovery Option screen

EasyRE Recovery Option screen

EasyRE Recovery Results screen

EasyRE Recovery Results screen

You can use Easy Recovery Essentials on Windows XP computers:

  • Microsoft Windows XP SP1 (Service Pack 1)
  • Microsoft Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2)
  • Microsoft Windows XP SP3 (Service Pack 3)

It’s compatible with both the Home and Professional editions of Windows XP:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Click here to download Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows XP

Create disc for Windows Vista

Before you begin, you need to verify what version of Windows Vista you’re running. Follow these steps:

    1. Go to Control Panel
    2. Click on System
    3. Under the System type section, check if you run a 32-bit Windows Vista or a 64-bit Windows Vista
Windows Vista System Type

Windows Vista System Type

If you have Windows Vista SP1 or Windows Vista SP2, you need to replace the recdisc.exe file. Otherwise, skip these steps.

Steps to replace the recdisc.exe file, if you have a Service Pack installed:

  1. Copy a recdisc.exe file from a Windows Vista with no Service Packs installed on your computer
  2. Copy the recdisc.exe file on the Desktop
  3. Right-click on the recdisc.exe file and go to Properties
  4. Go to the General tab
  5. Click Unblock. If “Unblock” doesn’t exist, skip this and the next step.
  6. Click OK
  7. Open My Computer
  8. Go to C:\Windows\System32\, where C:\ is your main hard drive’s letter where Windows is installed. If it’s D:\, then you will need to go to D:\Windows\System32\
  9. Right-click the recdisc.exe file found in this folder (C:\Windows\System32) and make sure that you have permissions to modify the file. To verify this, right-click on the file and go to Properties.
  10. Go back to Desktop and copy the recdisc.exe file from the Windows Vista with no Service Packs: right-click and Copy.
  11. Paste the file to the C:\Windows\System32 folder
  12. Confirm that you want to replace this file

Follow these steps to create the System Repair disc for a Windows Vista system:

  1. Go to Start
  2. Type recdisc.exe
  3. Hit Enter
  4. Select your DVD drive from the Drive: list
  5. Click Create disc
  6. If the next screen mentions “Insert Windows installation disc“, it means that your system is missing necessary files to create the disc.You will need your Windows Vista installation disc at this step. If you don’t have one, go to Use Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows Vista
  7. Wait for the process to finish
  8. When the Using the system repair disc screen appears, click Close
  9. Click OK
  10. Label your discs and keep them safe!
Windows Vista - Using the system repair screen

Windows Vista – Using the system repair screen

If you’re not able to use the original installation disc to create the System Repair disc, Easy Recovery Essentials can be used to recover, repair or restore a Windows Vista system:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials from here
  2. Burn the image. Follow these instructions on how to burn the bootable ISO image very carefully, as making a bootable CD can be tricky! Alternatively, these instructions explain how to create a bootable EasyRE recovery USB stick/drive.
  3. Select Automated Repair
  4. Wait for the process to finish
EasyRE Recovery Option screen

EasyRE Recovery Option screen

EasyRE Recovery Results screen

EasyRE Recovery Results screen

It supports x86 and x64 platforms and all Windows Vista editions, including the 32-bit and 64-bit editions:

  • Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Business (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Starter (32-bit edition; Starter edition doesn’t have a 64-bit edition)

It’s compatible with any of the available Service Packs of Windows Vista:

  • Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2)

Click here to download Easy Recovery Essentials for Microsoft Windows Vista

Create disc for Windows 7

The steps to create a System Repair disc for Windows 7:

  1. Boot your computer
  2. Log in as an administrator
  3. Insert a blank CD or DVD
  4. Go to Start
  5. Type recdisc.exe and hit Enter afterwards. If the Create a system repair disc screen doesn’t appear, follow these steps:
    1. Open Control Panel
    2. Go to Backup and Restore
    3. Click on Create a system repair disc from the left
      Windows 7 - Create a system repair disc item

      Windows 7 – Create a system repair disc item

  6. Select the drive from the Drive: list
  7. Click Create disc
  8. Wait for the process to finish
  9. When the Using the system repair disc screen appears, click Close
  10. Click OK
  11. Label your discs
Windows 7 - Create disc progress bar

Windows 7 – Create disc progress bar

If you can’t boot into Windows 7 to create the repair disc, use Easy Recovery Essentials. You can use EasyRE to recover, repair or restore a Windows 7 system:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials from here
  2. Burn the image. Follow these instructions on how to burn the bootable ISO image very carefully, as making a bootable CD can be tricky! Alternatively, these instructions explain how to create a bootable EasyRE recovery USB stick/drive.
  3. Select Automated Repair
  4. Wait for the process to finish
EasyRE Recovery Option screen

EasyRE Recovery Option screen

EasyRE Recovery Results screen

EasyRE Recovery Results screen

EasyRE supports both x86 and x64 platforms and is compatible with the full list of Windows 7 editions, including the 32-bit and the 64-bit:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Starter (32-bit edition) (Starter is available only in 32-bit)

It’s compatible with SP1 of Windows 7:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

Click here to download Easy Recovery Essentials for Microsoft Windows 7

Create disc for Windows 8

You can create a System Repair disc for Windows 8 by following the steps below.

Disc as a CD/DVD

Follow these steps to create the disc on a DVD:

  1. Boot your computer
  2. Log in as an Administrator or any user account with administrative rights to the system
  3. After you log into Windows 8, insert a blank CD or DVD
  4. Unplug any USB flash drives from your system
  5. Press the Windows key and R key
  6. Type recdisc
  7. Hit Enter
  8. If the Create a system repair window appears, skip the following steps and go to step 15. If the Create a system repair window doesn’t appear, continue with the following steps until step 15.
  9. Open Control Panel
  10. Go to Recovery
  11. Click on Create a recovery drive
  12. If UAC (User Account Control) window appears, click Yes
  13. At the Create a recovery drive screen, click Next
  14. When the Connect a USB flash drive screen appears, click on the “Create a system repair disc with a CD or DVD instead” to create the disc as a CD or DVD and not as a USB flash drive
  15. Select the drive of the blank CD or DVD
  16. Click Create disc
  17. Wait for the process to finish
  18. When the Using the system repair disc screen appears, remove your CDs/DVDs from the tray and label them accordingly
Windows 8 - Select CD for System Repair

Windows 8 – Select CD for System Repair

Disc as a USB flash drive

A USB drive can be used instead of a DVD for Windows 8 users. For Windows 8.1, only a USB flash drive can be used to create the disc.

You need a USB drive with at least 256 MB in size.

Follow these steps to create the System Repair disc on Windows 8.1:

  1. Start Windows 8
  2. Press the Windows and R key
  3. Type RecoveryDrive.exe
  4. Hit Enter
  5. If the Recovery Drive window appears continue with step 6. If not, follow these steps:
    1. Open Control Panel
    2. Go to Recovery
    3. Click on Create a recovery drive
    4. Click Yes, if prompted by UAC (User Account Control)
  6. Click Next
  7. At the Create a recovery drive screen, click Next.If the “Copy contents from the recovery partition to the recovery drive” option isn’t grayed out you can also check this option which will allow the USB flash drive to be used as a factory restore and recovery USB drive for Windows 8.
  8. Select your USB drive from the Available drive(s) list
  9. Click Next
  10. Click Create
  11. Wait for the process to finish
  12. When it’s finished, click Finish
Windows 8 - Create disc progress bar

Windows 8 – Create disc progress bar

If you can’t create a System Repair disc (either as DVD or USB) for your Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 system, use Easy Recovery Essentials.

Easy Recovery Essentials supports the x86 and x64 platforms and all the Microsoft Windows 8 editions (8 and 8.1), including the 32-bit and the 64-bit editions. It can be used to recover, repair or restore your Windows 8 computer.

  • Microsoft Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials from here
  2. Burn the image. Follow these instructions on how to burn the bootable ISO image very carefully, as making a bootable CD can be tricky! Alternatively, these instructions explain how to create a bootable EasyRE recovery USB stick/drive.
  3. Select Automated Repair
  4. Wait for the process to finish
EasyRE Recovery Option screen

EasyRE Recovery Option screen

EasyRE Recovery Results screen

EasyRE Recovery Results screen

Click to download Easy Recovery Essentials for Microsoft Windows 8

Create disc for Windows 10

You can create a System Repair disc for Windows 10 by following the steps below.

Disc as a CD/DVD

Follow these steps to create the disc on a DVD:

  1. Boot your computer
  2. Log in as an Administrator or any user account with administrative rights to the system
  3. After you log into Windows 10, insert a blank CD or DVD
  4. Unplug any USB flash drives from your system
  5. Press the Windows key and R key
  6. Type recdisc
  7. Hit Enter
  8. If the Create a system repair window appears, skip the following steps and go to step 15. If the Create a system repair window doesn’t appear, continue with the following steps until step 15.
  9. Open Control Panel
  10. Go to Recovery
  11. Click on Create a recovery drive
  12. If UAC (User Account Control) window appears, click Yes
  13. At the Create a recovery drive screen, click Next
  14. When the Connect a USB flash drive screen appears, click on the “Create a system repair disc with a CD or DVD instead” to create the disc as a CD or DVD and not as a USB flash drive
  15. Select the drive of the blank CD or DVD
  16. Click Create disc
  17. Wait for the process to finish
  18. When the Using the system repair disc screen appears, remove your CDs/DVDs from the tray and label them accordingly
Windows 8 - Select CD for System Repair

Windows 10 – Select CD for System Repair

Disc as a USB flash drive

A USB drive can be used instead of a DVD for Windows 10 users.

You need a USB drive with at least 256 MB in size.

Follow these steps to create the System Repair disc on Windows 10:

  1. Start Windows 10
  2. Press the Windows and R key
  3. Type RecoveryDrive.exe
  4. Hit Enter
  5. If the Recovery Drive window appears continue with step 6. If not, follow these steps:
    1. Open Control Panel
    2. Go to Recovery
    3. Click on Create a recovery drive
    4. Click Yes, if prompted by UAC (User Account Control)
  6. Click Next
  7. At the Create a recovery drive screen, click Next.If the “Copy contents from the recovery partition to the recovery drive” option isn’t grayed out you can also check this option which will allow the USB flash drive to be used as a factory restore and recovery USB drive for Windows 10.
  8. Select your USB drive from the Available drive(s) list
  9. Click Next
  10. Click Create
  11. Wait for the process to finish
  12. When it’s finished, click Finish
Windows 8 - Create disc progress bar

Windows 10 – Create disc progress bar

If you can’t create a System Repair disc (either as DVD or USB) for your Windows 10 system, use Easy Recovery Essentials.

Easy Recovery Essentials supports the x86 and x64 platforms and all the Microsoft Windows 10 editions, including the 32-bit and the 64-bit editions. It can be used to recover, repair or restore your Windows 10 computer.

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials from here
  2. Burn the image. Follow these instructions on how to burn the bootable ISO image very carefully, as making a bootable CD can be tricky! Alternatively, these instructions explain how to create a bootable EasyRE recovery USB stick/drive.
  3. Select Automated Repair
  4. Wait for the process to finish
EasyRE Recovery Option screen

EasyRE Recovery Option screen

EasyRE Recovery Results screen

EasyRE Recovery Results screen

Click to download Easy Recovery Essentials for Microsoft Windows 10

More Information

Support Links

Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
  • Windows 10 (all editions)

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