From time to time, Windows 10 will go off the rails. A failed update, a problematic program install, a driver problem or what-have-you can cause Windows to crash and then refuse to boot normally thereafter.\n\nThe traditional approach to remediation requires arranging an alternate boot mechanism, so that the damaged system partition can be repaired or replaced. That alternate boot mechanism can come from a variety of sources, including a bootable recovery Windows image, a bootable Windows installer on a flash drive or DVD, or even a bootable partition on the very drive that's having problems. In this article, I describe how to create a bootable recovery partition on a system's boot\/system drive.\n\nWarning: this approach presents a single point of failure\n\nAdding a bootable repair and recovery partition to a PC's boot\/system drive is convenient, and it supports dual-boot access to the primary OS and repair\/recovery facilities, but it's subject to a potentially vexing weakness. If the drive upon which the OS and the recovery partition both reside should fail, neither the OS partition nor the recovery partition will be bootable or available. Thus, it's essential to create a bootable USB flash drive (UFD) or DVD for repair or recovery should such a failure occur. Given that this additional effort is required anyway, why bother with a repair\/recovery partition at all?\n\nGood question! There are at least two reasons why this exercise is worth conducting, namely:\n\nFor me, the convenience of a potent and usable repair\/recovery environment makes the whole exercise worthwhile. On the few occasions where I've found repair or recovery to be necessary, it's been a real time- and life-saver.\n\nTools for the job\n\nSeveral good backup and recovery tools include built-in options that add a repair\/recovery partition to your boot\/system drive more or less automatically. If you're not inclined to futz around with low-level partition management and recovery image tools, the tools I describe in this section provide an excellent shortcut to achieve the same goals.\n\nIn particular, two programs are worth investigating in this regard:\n\nFor this article, however, I assume some readers are interested in understanding how to build a bootable repair\/recovery partition for themselves and populate it with "the right stuff" to make it work. If you are one of those roll up your sleeves types, please read on.\n\nCreating your own repair\/recovery partition for Windows 10\n\nAt the 10,000-foot level, the process goes like this:\n\nLet\u2019s get started.\n\n1. Create a repair\/recovery partition\n\nDepending on what kind of repair partition you plan to use, the size requirements for such a partition vary from the (default) low value of 450 MB, which Windows 10 itself uses to build a recovery partition during the Windows install process, to considerably more than that. My current favorite custom-tailored repair\/recovery image is called either WinPESE or Kyhi's Recovery Disk, and is available for free through TenForums.com.\n\nThe image is 1.2 GB in size. To leave room for it to work properly, I recommend allocating 2.5 GB of space. You can use any good partitioning tool to create the necessary partition on your boot\/system disk, but always make a complete image backup of that disk before attempting such maneuvers. I use \u2014 and recommend \u2014 the MiniTool Partition Wizard (a free version of which is available from MajorGeeks.com). Most experts recommend (and I concur) that you add this partition to the tail end of your boot\/system drive, after making sufficient room to drop it in there.\n\n2. Add the software to provide repair\/recovery facilities\n\nThis step is simple to explain but can be hard to execute. You need to copy the files for your repair\/recovery image into the partition you create on your boot\/system drive. Of course, that means formatting that partition, assigning a drive letter, and then using File Explorer or some other Windows file utility to select and copy those files from a source to that destination. That source could be a Windows 10 ISO or the Kyhi's WinPESE or any of a number of other readily available Windows 10 repair and recovery images.\n\nThe easiest way to add files is just to copy the whole set of files involved (Windows ISO or Windows PE tool stuff). Minimizing the files is trickier, or you can read the references in the afore-linked blog post to learn how to build your own minimal, custom Windows Pre-Installation Environment (PE) instead.\n\n3. Make the repair\/recovery partition bootable\n\nIf your boot\/system disk is GUID Partition Table (GPT) formatted, you can skip this step. If it's master boot record (MBR) formatted, you need to open the Disk Management utility in Windows 10 (diskmgmt.msc), right-click the repair\/recovery partition on its home drive therein, and select "Mark Partition as Active" from the resulting pop-up menu. That's it!\n\n4. Add the repair\/recovery partition to the boot menu\n\nThe Windows BCDEdit command runs in PowerShell or the Command Prompt window (cmd.exe) and lets savvy users manipulate entries in the Boot Configuration Database (the BCD from the command's name). This can be tricky and takes some learning to master. It's well-described in an MSDN article entitled "Adding Boot Entries" (dated 11\/22\/2016, this article covers Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10).\n\nI use the $30 program from NeoSmart Technologies named EasyBCD to do this instead because it's faster, easier and far less fraught with peril than hacking away with BCDEdit at the command line. Using that tool, all you need to do is click the "Add New Entry" button, select the WinPE tab and provide the path to your WinPE image. You can use "Edit Boot Menu" thereafter to change the partition's name and its position in the boot order as you see fit.