Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Windows Vista: Creating a Recovery Disc (SP1 only)

One of the new features of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is the ability to create a recovery disc. This is not like your computer manufacturer's recovery disk that restores your system back to its original state when you bought it. This is more of a system repair disk that you can use to boot and fix certain problems on a failing system.

Basically this is a Windows PE disk (a CD bootable version of Windows) that contains some system repair utilities. Creating a Windows PE is generally a pain in the rear, I think most people would give up trying to create one. Although this utility simplifies the process down to just two clicks.

To find this utility, from the "Start menu > All programs > Maintenance > Create a Recovery Disc". You will need a blank CD or DVD, and your original Windows Installation DVD. It takes about 5 minutes to complete the process.

Now all you have to do is boot a computer with the disc you created. Once you enter into the Windows Recovery Environment, click the "Repair your computer" link at the bottom of the Welcome screen and then select the Windows partition you would like to repair. After this, it will present you with a list of available system recovery options:
  • Startup Repair
  • System Restore
  • Windows Complete PC Restore
  • Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
  • Command Prompt


Anonymous said...

what happens if you have no original disk, can you still create a rcovery disk ?

Anonymous said...

No and thereby lies the tale, you now have no recourse on say a hard drive fail to buy a copy of Vista, my advice, do not buy with system preinstalled, see someone who can either build a machine, buy a barebones and do it yourself etc. These big companies even say "OK youve gotten your new HD...
I learnt my lesson and just built my BB system, took half an hour, and about three to sort out Vista.