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Misunderstanding regarding Recovery Drive?


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#1 clayto

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 08:44 AM

Like a number of other people I have been unable to create a USB Recovery Drive for Windows 10
--- we get a 'cannot create Recovery Drive at this time' response. So instead I have tried creating a Win PE USB drive with AOEMI Backupper.I have been surprised at how few bytes the file is, compared with the Recovery Drive I created for Windows 8.1, so I want to try it out to see if it is OK. But I have been told I need to enter BIOS and change the boot order to do this. I am puzzled about this because I had thought that the point of a Recovery Drives was to get a computer to start which otherwise would not boot up. If that is the case, how could I enter BIOS? Can someone explain this for me?

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#2 britechguy

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 09:23 AM

BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is firmware that allows your computer to boot.  It is at a level that comes before the operating system is even involved and specifies where the computer looks to find the OS (or OSes, in the case of multiple boot options).

 

If you can't access BIOS (or UEFI, for later hardware) it means that something is wrong with your hardware such that you're unlikely to ever be able to have a functioning machine.  BIOS almost never fails unless there's a hardware failure or something goes horribly wrong when flashing a new version of the BIOS to a machine.

 

BIOS comes into play prior to, and independent of, the operating system.  When you're booting now, if you have a machine that is old enough to use true BIOS (rather than UEFI) you should get a splash screen just prior to Windows starting that shows that typically shows at the upper or lower edge a message about pushing one function key for startup options and another to enter setup.  That's when and where you hit either the key strictly to tweak your setup/boot order or go into full BIOS from which you can also change the same.


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#3 Platypus

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 09:28 AM

Recovery media lets you recover a system where the Operating System cannot start. If the computer cannot boot at all, recovery media will be no help, and that's not a problem normally since total failure to boot is a hardware issue which may not involve the Operating System at all.

If Windows just became corrupted and you needed to use the recovery media, the computer would boot up and allow you to choose the BIOS option to boot from USB media.

(And britechguy posted while I was typing :) )

Edited by Platypus, 09 November 2015 - 09:31 AM.

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#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 09:32 AM

Just to add, the Recovery Drive for Windows 8 can also include the OEM recovery partition which is in the GBs. The Aoemi Backupper disk or USB only lets you boot so you can create a image of the hard disk to an external drive and also give you the option to restore it on a computer that does not boot to Windows.

 

Edit: Depending on the comptuer, it can have a boot menu accessed at boot by tapping a key which will let you select your boot device and avoid having to enter BIOS to change the boot order.


Edited by JohnC_21, 09 November 2015 - 09:37 AM.


#5 clayto

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 05:39 PM

Thanks, I have learned quite a bit from these posts. I have seen that my C Drive has an EFI System Partition --- is that the same as UFEI?  And does it affect any of the information given above? I also see that there is a Recovery Partition. I (mis)understood from something I read earlier in the year that to save space and because it was not so necessary as before MS had planned not to have a Recovery Partition for 10.. 

 

I am still faced with the issue that I cannot create a USB Recovery Drive (like many others). I had hoped that the November update might have corrected that, but no. It seems a quite basic feature for it not to be available -- I created a Recovery Drive with ease when my machine's OS was 8.1.

 

I can see that the Win PE Drive is something much less than the W10 Recovery Drive would be. Its size is reported in Bytes whereas the W10 Drive requires a USB stick of 'at least 8 GB' (much the same as I created for W 8.1.} 



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 06:07 PM

EFI is the system partition on a GPT disk which is required if the computer has UEFI instead of the old BIOS. Your Recovery partition it most likely for Windows 8. This would take you back to a factory state using the recovery key at boot. If you installed Windows 10 there is no Recovery partition that would take you back to the date you installed Windows 10. In fact, if you are happy with Windows 10 you can delete the Recovery Partition if you do not plan on reverting to Windows 8. 

 

Create a bootable WinPE disk in Macrium or Aoemi backupper and do a Disk Image to an external drive. Using the WinPE disk you can recover the disk image. This is actually a better solution then using a Recovery Drive as you can create disk images on a regular basis.

 

But, the Recovery Drive does help if wanting to boot to a command prompt or troubleshooting section. 

 

A Recovery Drive includes the Recovery Partition when created in Windows 8. It's possible Windows 10 sees your Windows 8 Recovery Partition and then fails. You can try doing a clean install of Windows 10 but you would need to reinstall all your programs installed after you purchased the computer and also need to back up all your personal info including browser Favorites. Have you tried a different USB flash drive?



#7 BIGBEARJEDI

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 11:42 PM

Thanks, I have learned quite a bit from these posts. I have seen that my C Drive has an EFI System Partition --- is that the same as UFEI?  And does it affect any of the information given above? I also see that there is a Recovery Partition. I (mis)understood from something I read earlier in the year that to save space and because it was not so necessary as before MS had planned not to have a Recovery Partition for 10.. 

 

I am still faced with the issue that I cannot create a USB Recovery Drive (like many others). I had hoped that the November update might have corrected that, but no. It seems a quite basic feature for it not to be available -- I created a Recovery Drive with ease when my machine's OS was 8.1.

>>>I too have had difficulty in creating a W10 USB Recovery Drive.  None of my machines to attempt this on have UEFI BIOS as mentioned above; they are older "legacy" BIOS machines.  Nevertheless, it's not as easy as it appears.  It took me 2 years to figure out how to create a bootable Win7 USB drive, so it appears it's going to take me awhile longer to create a viable W10 USB drive too.  I haven't yet checked my W10 machines (I have several) to see if they got the November update, but I will try again after I confirm that at least 1 of them has the new update.  Others on this forum and other forums I volunteer on have told me they can get it to work; but most of them have UEFI BIOSes as you probably do from your description.

This is the next project on my plate, so I'll report back my steps if I get it to work.  Good Luck! 

<<<BIGBEARJEDI>>> :scratchhead:

 

I can see that the Win PE Drive is something much less than the W10 Recovery Drive would be. Its size is reported in Bytes whereas the W10 Drive requires a USB stick of 'at least 8 GB' (much the same as I created for W 8.1.} 

>>>During a recent W10 upgrade from Win8.1 on an HP netbook, I discovered that Windows wants about 9GB of space, which won't fit onto an 8GB flash drive; you may need to go to 16GB in order to have enough room for the entire .wim image and files.  I'm going to put this theory into practice, as I just bought a 16GB flash drive to try this with.  I'll let you know.<<<  :idea: 

<<<BIGBEARJEDI>>>


Edited by BIGBEARJEDI, 12 November 2015 - 11:43 PM.


#8 clayto

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 05:32 AM

Shortly after posting here, and thinking I had the November update running without any problems, I was hit by the BSOD and a DriverPowerStateFailure report. I could not get the computer to start at all from the power on button. I tried the USB WinPE Drive created with AOMEI Backupper and it worked, the computer started up and seems to be running 'normally'. What luck!

 

I have used SFC/SCANNOW which detected errors and repaired them. DISM has reported that no corruption is detected now. So I seem to be OK for the short-term, but I have in mind that I should now create a Disk Image as advised. I dont want to go back to W 8.1.






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