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Fixing Recovery Drive Creation Problems

The built-in Windows facility to create a recovery drive can be a real life-saver. Simply type “recovery” into the Windows 10 search menu to fire this up. But sometimes, when you try to create such a recovery drive the process may fail en route to completion. In such cases an error message like the one depicted below pops up. Turns out that fixing recovery drive creation problems is surprisingly easy — some of the time, at least.

If you see this error message, it may not spell as much trouble as you think.

What’s Involved in Fixing Recovery Drive Creation Problems

If you get the error message, there’s a sequence of actions you can try to get past it. In at least some cases, it will result in the creation of a bootable USB drive that you can use for system repairs. When you fire off the Recovery Drive tool, the first screen appears just like this:

By default this tool checks the box that reads “Back up system files to the recovery drive.”

The potential fix is dead simple, and easy to try out. Here are the steps involved:

1. Uncheck the “Back up system files …” box
2. Click Next
3. Wait as the system scans drives and builds a list of recovery drive possibilities
4. Select the target drive for recovery (Reminder: all contents will be erased!)
5. Create the recovery drive, sans system files. Wait until the process completes.
6. Do NOT click the Finish button. Instead, click the back arrow at the top left of the window. Keep clicking that back arrow until you return to the original screen.
7. Check the “Back up system files …” box, and repeat steps 1-5.

If the process works then you can click Finish. If it doesn’t work you’ll get the now-familiar error message instead. In that case, it’s probably time to try a different USB flash drive, or perhaps a different system, on which to build the recovery drive.

Thanks to the folks who contributed to the “Can’t create a recovery drive” thread at Double thanks to user KarlFollman, who came up with the solution.

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