Click Start, type into the Search box (second from left on the task bar) Recovery Drive. Create a Recovery Drive should appear at the top of the resulting list.  Click that and simply follow the onscreen instructions and you should end up with a Bootable USB stick that you can boot from in order to start your computer when something has prevented you from doing so, and use its features to troubleshoot the problems you are having. It can even be used to restore your computer from a backed up archive if you have been smart enough to create periodic backups.  In my case I have a 5 TB external drive that I back up to "continuously" rather than periodically.
    It is better however, to have an external drive backed up to periodically and which is turned OFF when you are not doing a backup.  That way if you're hit by a virus or other malware, it cannot also damage the data on your external drive. 


Windows 10 has more ways than ever to recover and back up your system, as well as more advanced startup options (similar to ones in Windows 8.1). But just like other versions of Windows, there may come a time when you're unable to boot if something goes awry.

Creating a recovery drive allows you to boot from the USB drive and access the advanced startup options. Then you can use those tools to help boot and troubleshoot the issue.

NOTE: If all you want to do is create a drive simply for booting into Win 10 to troubleshoot, then you probably only need a 16 or even an 8 Gig USB stick.  If however, you wish to include a backup along with the bootable Win 10 data, then be certain it will fit on one of your USB sticks.  It might be necessary to go to a 64 Gig or a 128 Gig or larger USB stick.  So estimate the space you'll need for the backup before starting the process if time is important to you.

That will launch the wizard to create a recovery drive. Read the dialog boxes carefully as you initiate this process.

Now select the flash drive you want to use for your recovery and click Next.

Follow the onscreen instructions

Keep in mind that the all of the data on the drive will be deleted.

That's it! Now make sure to  label and put the drive in a safe place so you can use it in the future.  Be sure it's clearly labeled when you store it away. 

Advanced Boot Options
If you're unable to boot into Windows 10 for any reason, you can boot from the recovery drive and will get a menu of advanced options to help troubleshoot the problem and get your system up and running.

For more on Microsoft's new operating system, check out our complete archive of Windows 10 articles. For more help with getting your system up and running, and Windows 10 discussions in general, join the Windows 10 Forums.


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