What is a system repair disc and how to create one in Windows

Few people know that Windows offers most of the tools you need to troubleshoot and fix a malfunctioning computer with this operating system installed. The trick is to create a USB recovery drive or a System Repair disc on a CD or DVD, with the appropriate tools on it. In this guide we will explain what the System Repair disc is in Windows, how it is useful and how to create one by yourself, so that you can use it to fix computers with problems. Let's get started:

What is a system repair disc? What tools are found on a repair disc?

A system repair disc is a bootable disc that you can create on a working computer with Windows, and use it to troubleshoot and repair system problems on other Windows computers that are malfunctioning. The disc has about 366 MB of files on it for Windows 10, 223MB of files for Windows 8 and 165 MB for Windows 7. Obviously, it can fit on a plain old CD or a DVD.

A System Repair disc can be created on computers and devices with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, as long as they have a disc burning drive like a DVD writer. Unfortunately, System Repair discs cannot be created in Windows 8.1, as this tool was removed from this operating system.

A System Repair disc for Windows 10 and Windows 8, includes the following troubleshooting tools: System Restore, System Image Recovery, Startup Repair and the Command Prompt. You also get access to a wizard for reverting to a previous version of Windows 10, in case you have installed major updates for this operating system. This option is not available for Windows 8.

Windows, System Repair, disc

A System Repair disc for Windows 7 includes the following troubleshooting tools: Startup Repair, System Restore, System Image Recovery, Windows Memory Diagnostic and the Command Prompt.

Windows, System Repair, disc

In order to use these tools on a Windows computer with system issues, you need to boot from the System Repair disc and start the tool that interests you.

In order to create and use this disc, you must be an administrator on the computer where you are creating it and using it.

How to start the "Create a system repair disc" wizard in Windows 10 and Windows 8

If you are using Windows 10 or Windows 8 (but not Windows 8.1), open the Control Panel. If you don't know how, this guide will help: 8 Ways To Start The Control Panel In Windows 10.

In the search box on the top-right of the Control Panel window, type "file recovery". In the list of search results, click or tap "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)".

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In the "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)" window, click or tap the link that says: "Create a system repair disc ".

Windows, System Repair, disc

The "Create a system repair disc " wizard is now started.

Another way is to search for "recdisc" in Cortana's search box in Windows 10 and in the Search charm in Windows 8 and click or tap the only available search result. The file for this wizard is named "recdisc.exe " and it is found in the following folder: "C:\Windows\System32 ".

How to start the "Create a system repair disc" wizard in Windows 7

In Windows 7, you can find a shortcut in the Start Menu. Click Start , followed by "All Programs -> Maintenance -> Create a System Repair Disc ".

Windows, System Repair, disc

You can also use the Control Panel. There, go to "System and Security -> Backup and Restore". In the column on the left, click "Create a system repair disc".

Windows, System Repair, disc

Another way is to run the file for this wizard - "recdisc.exe" - found in the following folder: "C:WindowsSystem32".

How to create the System Repair disc

Insert a blank CD or DVD into the optical drive of your Windows computer and, in the "Create a system repair disc" wizard, select that drive. Click or tap Create disc. An empty CD should be enough for a System Repair disc , given the fact that the space required is about 366 MB or less, depending on the Windows version that you are using.

Windows, System Repair, disc

The wizard will prepare the necessary files and create the disc. The process will take a minute or two, depending on the speed of your drive.

Windows, System Repair, disc

After the disc is finalized, a popup is displayed recommending that you label the disc, so that you know what you will find on it. Take this recommendation into consideration and click or tap Close.

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Then, click or tap OK to finish, eject the disc and write the name of the disc, as recommended earlier.

Windows, System Repair, disc

We recommend that you reboot your computer, and boot from the disc, to check whether it works correctly. You don't want to learn that the disc isn't working when you encounter important system issues that need troubleshooting.

The "Create a system repair disc" wizard is not available in Windows 8.1

For reasons known only to Microsoft, the "Create a system repair disc" wizard is not available in Windows 8.1, even though it is available in Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows 7. Also, the "recdisc.exe" file is missing from this operating system and you can't find it in: "C:\Windows\System32".

Windows, System Repair, disc

Therefore, if you are using Windows 8.1, you are out of luck and you are stuck with creating just a USB recovery drive, using the instructions found in this article: How to Create a Recovery Drive on a USB Memory Stick in Windows 8 & 8.1.


Even if your Windows computer is working great today, don't hesitate to create a system repair disc using the instructions shared in this guide. This disc will come in handy when trouble ensues and things no longer work as you need them. If you have any issues or questions about the System Repair disc, don't hesitate to ask below.

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