How to create a repair/recovery partition in Windows 10

Windows can and will crash — and after it does it may not boot normally. To be prepared for worst-case scenarios, learn how to create a bootable recovery partition on your system drive.

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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.

The 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.

Warning: this approach presents a single point of failure

Adding 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?

Good question! There are at least two reasons why this exercise is worth conducting, namely:

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