Question Windows 10 recovery drive questions


Jul 24, 2015
I have a few questions I hope you can help me answer regarding the Windows 10 recovery drive and restoring Windows in general.

1.) If my OS one day decides to not boot, I understand that this can help "restore it to a bootable state". What does this mean exactly? When I make the recovery drive, does it take a snapshot of my OS at that time and restore it to that point in time? Does it save settings,preferences,updates, etc? Or does it just reinstall Windows 10 to 'factory state'?

2.) I have my OS on a SSD and the rest of my programs, personal files, etc on 2 other HDD. I read that the recovery drive will 'wipe out your personal files'. I assume this is if you have your files on the same drive/partition you have Windows on right? So, if I run the recovery drive to restore windows, my files on the other 2 HDD should be fine right? Might have to remount them after Windows back online?

3.) How does a 'recovery drive' differ from a 'repair disk'?

4.) I have a usb thumbdrive that came with my edition of Windows 10. Does this function the same as a recovery drive? repair disk? In other words, is it redundant to 'make' a recovery drive or repair disk in this situation?



1. From what I gather the recovery drive is designed for just a Windows reinstall it is not an image of your system. It might also be used in actual recovery to get your OS back to bootable.

2. Correct. If you have them on a different drive Windows should not affect them. I have always set my system up the same way and just reinstalled Windows 10 1809 for a clean install and it didn't touch my secondary drives files.

3. I think the difference is a repair disk will have some basic repair tools and files while a recovery disk is like making a bootable Windows flash installer. It probably has the whole OS on it in order to not only troubleshoot but also "Reset" Windows 10, as in reinstall it.

4. It does except the recovery disk would be whatever version of 10 you currently have. So if the Windows 10 USB came with 1609 and you then updated to 1809 and made a recovery disk it should be 1809 on the recovery disk.
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