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Can't Create Recovery Drive Windows 10

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    Help! Can't Create Recovery Drive Windows 10

    Early this year, Windows 10 had become the 2nd most commonly used desktop platform in the world. Now, seven months later, its dominant position is getting more and more stable. As so many computer users go for Windows 10, Windows 10 system security is arousing hot debate. While browsing Windows-related forums, we find numbers of Windows 10 users complaining that they can't create recovery drive in Windows 10.

    A typical example from answers.microsoft.com is shown here:

    Cannot create recovery drive in Windows 10

    I have the exact same problem on a laptop (Dell Inspiron 15 7000 series) that was just purchased (8/1/2015) with Windows 10 pre-installed. I'm using a 32GB flash drive. I also checked the box to include system files. It gets a little past 1/2 way on the progress bar and then displays the same useless message:

    "We can't create the recovery drive"
    "A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive."

    No further information or help forth coming.
    See! That author is not the only one who is unable to create recovery drive Windows 10. Next, we would like to analyze two things:
    1. How to create a recovery drive in Windows 10?
    2. How to deal with "we can't create the recovery drive" error during the creating process?

    Let's go to the detail.

    Quick Review on Creating Recovery Drive in Windows 10

    If you’re running Windows 10, you need to create USB recovery drive that allows you to restore your system from a restore point, an image backup, or through a complete reinstall if Windows won't allow to access. Same with Windows 8, Windows 10 offers the option to create recovery drive. First of all, let's have a quick review on how to create USB recovery drive:

    recommend This post tells how to create a Windows 8 recovery disk.

    Before you do:
    • Prepare a USB drive that is no smaller than 4 GB.
    • Make sure your USB drive is connected successfully.
    • Make sure your computer is running Windows 10.

    Step 1: At Search bar type: create recovery drive. Windows 10 will list the best match and the specific utility will appear in the first place. Please hit Enter on your keyboard then.

    create a recovery drive

    Step 2: The Recovery Drive utility comes out immediately. Please keep the option "Back up system files to the recovery drive" checked (to back up system files necessary for a full reinstall) and continue.

    include system files

    Step 3: Please wait patiently until the wizard successfully detects your USB drive and gets prepared to copy files. Then press Next to go on.

    wait for scan
    select usb drive

    Step 4: You will receive a warning message saying everything on the USB drive will be deleted. Please make sure you have made a backup of the important data if there is any before you continue.

    start creation

    Step 5: Creating the recovery drive can take some time. You should wait patiently or you can go for something else.

    copying system

    Step 6: When the recovery drive is ready, click Finish.

    recovery drive ready


    No product key is required when using a Recovery Drive to reinstall Windows 10. But if you do a complete reinstall, you are likely to be required to enter your Product ID number to prove that you can legally run Windows 10 on this machine. So you should Google a product which can save the Product ID number and help you activate Windows 10.


    Attention! "We Can't Create the Recovery Partition"

    Although it seems rather easy to create a recovery drive in Windows 10, many users report that during the creating process, if they uncheck "Back up system files to the recovery drive", Windows 10 Recovery Drive can be created successfully. But if this option is chosen, the creating process always fails, and they come across the error message saying "we can't create the recovery drive, a problem occurred while creating the recovery drive."

    can't create recovery drive

    Take a look at a typical case that till now 138 people vote helpful from answers.microsoft.com:

    "I tried on desktop PC....

    1)  to create a recovery drive with "backup system files to the recovery drive" tick box checked.  On clicking "next", received the window advising that; "we can't create the recovery drive" plus additional text stating; "A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive". No further information or help forth coming. Finish.
    2) to create a recovery drive with "backup system files to the recovery drive" tick box unchecked. On clicking "next", received message requesting; "connect a USB Flash Drive" with additional text stating that the "drive must be able to hold at least 512MB and that everything on the drive will be deleted".
    Install USB flash drive (64GB);
    Auto detected as H:\RECOVERY and process of creating recovery drive starts;
    Preparing, Formatting and Copying Utilities;

    Successfully completes creating a recovery drive. "

    Not the only case right? Then how can you cope with "can't create recovery drive Windows 10"?

    Here is the deal:

    Deal With "Can't Create Windows 10 Recovery Drive"

    Actually, we think you can do these things:

    solution 1 Solution 1: Scan for Problems

    If creating recovery drive in Windows 10 fails, it seems your PC is suffering from a corrupted system file. Here’s how to find out and hopefully fix it:

    Step 1: Type cmd in the Search field. In the search results, right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

    run cmd as administrator

    Step 2: Once you’re inside the command environment, type "sfc/scannow" and press Enter. The System File Checker (SFC) program will examine Windows files and replace any that appear to be corrupt. This scan usually takes about several minutes only.

    sfc scannow

    Step 3: After the scan, exit command prompt and try creating Windows 10 recovery drive again.

    recommend "sfc/scannow" is also helpful to fix blue screen error in Windows 10, read this 8 Solutions to Critical Process Died in Windows 10 to know more information.

    solution 2 Solution 2: Try another Flash Drive

    It is strange that sometimes users may fail to create Windows 10 recovery drive with flash drive A, but succeed by using flash drive B. From Windowssecrets.com, you know this is not casual:

    "I just tried this on a 16GB usb2 drive and it worked. Tried it again on the 8GB and it failed. Same message as before. Funny thing is that the 16GB stick has only 4.33GB used. So the issue on the 8GB stick isn't space."

    So when you can't create a recovery drive in Windows 10, you can try using another USB drive to take your chance. After all, USB drives are easy to obtain

    solution 3 Solution 3: Create a Windows 10 Installation Media Instead

    If you still can't create recovery drive in Windows 10 after trying Solution 1 and Solution 2, you may consider creating a Windows 10 installation media, which is extremely similar with a Windows 10 recovery drive. The major difference is that the installation media defaults to reinstalling Windows, and doesn’t know the details of your particular Windows installation.

    Before you do:
    You need to download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft.

    Step 1: Plug in your flash drive, launch MediaCreationTool.exe, select Create installation media for another PC and follow the prompts.

    create installation media

    Step 2: When you have selected Language, Edition and Architecture, you will see a screen asking you to choose a medium to use. You may choose to use a USB flash drive which should be at least 3 GB or you can choose to create an ISO file and burn it to a DVD later. Here USB flash drive is chosen. Click Next and continue.

    choose media

    Step 3: The device is auto detected, and you can start the process:
    Downloading Windows 10…
    Verifying your download…
    Creating Windows 10 media…
    When you get the message "Your USB flash drive is ready", all is done.


    When you boot from this drive some day to recover Windows 10, you should ignore the big "Install now" button in the middle and click "Repair your computer" in the lower-left corner instead. Then you will get into an environment similar to the Recovery Tool.

    repair your computer

    solution 4 Solution 4: Backup Windows 10 to a Safe Location

    Back up Windows 10 is another solution we can put forward to cope with "unable to create recovery drive Windows 10". When it comes to backup Windows 10, it is a good idea to create some sort of a mirror backup before Microsoft comes up with a better Create Recovery Drive application. And we think 3rd party disk cloning software deserves to be highly recommended due to their easy-to-use feature. For example, MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition has been found more reliable and much more flexible than the similar tools.

    As all-in-one free partition manager, MiniTool Partition Wizard Free can help manage basic disk space safely on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP all editions, like resize partition, merge partition, recover lost partition, convert file system, rebuild MBR, migrate OS, etc. To clone Windows 10, you should employ "Migrate OS to SSD/HD Wizard".


    This migrate feature won't move Windows 10 from the original disk to another hard drive, it only makes an exactly same copy of the OS for system backup.
    Download Now

    Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard, then select "Migrate OS to SSD/HD Wizard".

    Migrate OS

    Step 2: Immediately you will be asked to make a choice: what do you like to migrate? All partitions on the system disk, or the system required partitions only? Here select the second option and move on.

    how to migrate OS

    Step 3: Here you are asked to select the destination disk. Please note that the destination disk must be basic disk and should be large enough to contain your Windows 10. Besides, data in destination disk will be deleted.

    select target disk

    Step 4: Now choose a copy option to clone Windows 10: fit partitions to entire disk, or keep the original partition size. In addition, if the destination disk is SSD or advanced format disk, tick Align partitions to 1MB. What's more, if the target disk is larger than 2TB, it is suggested to check "Use GUID partition table for the target disk" to make full use of its disk space. However, this is a paid edition that is available in MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro and more advanced edition.

    choose copy options

    Step 5: Then Partition Wizard will tell you how to boot from the destination disk. Please pay attention to this prompt if you have no idea.

    prompt message

    Finally click "Apply" to start Widows 10 system backup.

    Windows 10 backup

    recommend Recommendation

    1.MiniTool Partition Wizard not only helps to back up Windows 10, but also helps to backup a specific partition with "Copy Partition" feature and even the whole drive with "Copy Disk" feature.
    2.Please note that "Copy Partition" is designed to backup data partition, if you want to backup operating system, use "Migrate OS to SSD/HD" or "Copy Disk" instead.

    In addition to the use of MiniTool Partition Wizard, you must know that Windows 10 provides built-in Windows Backup and Restore utility, which is able to make system backup to cope with unexpected system crash. Thus, it is also a good idea to use this tool to make a schedule backup of your Window 10 when you can't create recovery drive Windows 10. For the detailed steps of how to use Windows Backup and Restore, you can refer to disk imaging software, where step by step tutorial is explained.

    wraning Good News!

    MiniTool® Solution Ltd. will release professional disk image software soon, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the first hand message and put forward any criticism or suggestions on our brand-new software to help us go further.

    Which Solution Is Better?

    By reading here, you may ask: which solution is better? Now we would like to make a simple comparison of these solutions to help you make the choice. As far as we can see, each one has their own advantages:

    Solution 1 Easy to carry out and doesn't require any other devices.
    Solution 2 It is the easiest solution as long as you have more than one USB flash drive at hand.
    Solution 3 It helps to make a clean reinstall, thus you will need to redefine all your settings.
    Solution 4 Cloning Windows 10 will return you a ready system without going through the process of installation or restoration. Besides, your personal settings and applications installed on system drive are available to use. However, cloning Windows 10 requires another basic disk, and is more space-consuming than the other ways.

    So according to your real situation, each solution can be the best one for unable to create recovery drive Windows 10.


    Here comes to the end of this article. After reading this post, you must have a general understanding on how to create recovery drive in Windows 10, and how to deal with "we cannot create a recovery drive" issue. Hope you will benefit from these suggestions. If you have any questions or suggestions to help us make progress, welcome to leave a message in the comment area. For any technical help towards using MiniTool Partition Wizard, please contact [email protected].