If your PC is running into problems, a USB recovery drive can help you troubleshoot these problems. And if you are lucky, you may fix them even when your PC won’t start. There are many 3rd party tools out there that can create this type of bootable USB recovery drive for you. But do you know that you actually don’t need any of them because both Windows 8 and 8.1 come with a feature that can create one for you. And here is
How to create a recovery drive by yourself
Before you start, get a spare USB flash drive with any size bigger than 250M, as that’s the maximum for the recovery drive. The flash drive will be formatted so make sure all data saved on the flash drive have been properly backed up.
In Start screen, search word “Recovery” to find this hidden command called Create a Recovery Drive, and double click to launch it.
You may be prompted by UAC for a permission to run with local administrator rights. Click Yes to move forward and follow the wizard to finish up the process.
The bootable USB recovery drive will be ready within a minute or two. Since it only needs about 250MB space, you can still use the flash drive to store data if you want to.
Now let’s see how you can use it
You can use this bootable drive to boot up a malfunctioning computer that’s failed to boot. You will see a screen like below first asking you to select a keyboard layout.
Then you get to pick one of the 3 options how you want to proceed. What you need the most in this case is the second option, Troubleshoot, from which you can Refresh, Reset, or go to Advanced Options such as System Restore, System Image, etc.
It’s worth mentioning that this bootable recovery drive doesn’t include any of your data in it so do not use it as your back up tool. It’s merely just a drive that helps you boot into system’s recovery mode to start off the recovery process with a variety methods available.
Last updated: 10/28/2014