How-To Geek

Create a System Repair Disc in Windows 7

The new version of Windows seems to be a lot for stable than previous releases, however you never know when a malfunction might occur. Today we take a look at an option in Windows 7 that lets you create a System Repair disc in case you need to boot from it to recover your OS.

Create System Repair Disc

Type system repair disc into the search box in the Start menu.


The dialog box opens where you select the right drive and click Create disc. A CD will be fine as it only takes up 142MB of space.


Using the Disc

If you are having problems with your machine just pop in the recovery disc and boot from it and enter into Windows Setup [EMS Enabled].


After it boots up you can access recovery tools or restore the computer back to a system image (see our article on creating a system image in Windows 7).


Now you can choose from different recovery options to help you get your machine back up and running.


You never know when an Operating System disaster might occur, but having a System Recovery Disc to boot from should be part of your backup and recovery toolbox in case it does.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 10/28/09

Comments (31)

  1. user33

    The System Repair Disc exist in Windows 7 install disk
    So you don’t need Create a System Repair Disc

  2. Ken Long

    Is the System Repair Disc different from the install disc? (Other than the lack of all the install files?)

  3. TreborG2

    You know… the only reason I want this … is for the command prompt. And I’d rather have it the *old* way, where we could install the command console on the system and have 5 seconds to choose windows or command console.

    I find myself going into cmdcons **far more often** to delete files of malware so they can’t trigger again when the system starts windows normally… only on the very rare occassion have I needed to go in and move/copy parts from previous system restore points around… but malware… all the time.. (not my personal pc.. customers, friends, family)

  4. Niks

    This is helpful for me atleast, bcoz now i dont need to format my laptop for reinstalling OS due to malfunctioning….

  5. Heiko

    Yeah its on the DVD as well. I accidentaly managed to screw up my bootsector, the Starup Repair feature fixed it in the matter of seconds.

  6. tadılat,onarım

    thank you admın

  7. Saif

    it is very helpful for me.. as my Windows7 is pre-installed in my laptop’s. “D” have the OS. HP they didn’t gave any CD with it.

  8. Robert, Australia

    Has anybody found the installed Backup Program for Windows 7 Home premium yet??..
    If not, I have indeed found it, and it works Great !!
    This is where it is:( C:\Windows\System32\sdclt.exe ) Just make a shortcut,copy to desktop, and you’re away.. It backs up your computer,(C:\) and burns a bootable cd, also makes an Image File if reqiured.. The only stipulation is that you try to save the backup to a drive, External, or a different partition, ‘OTHER’ than C:\ because if you save it to C:\ and the conputer crashes, you have lost your backup files as well..

  9. Robert, Australia

    I have another delema.. I cannot find the Compatability Wizard in Windows 7 Home Premium..
    Only the ‘RightClick’ version, and ‘Properties, Compaatability, and choose the OS version…
    This does NOT seem to work when trying to install a program from the CD-Rom..
    Any ideas ??

  10. Hassan Kiliaki

    Thank you for How-To Geek articles, it actually help me much. however, I have a problem with my window 7 version. I installed bluesoleil in my Window 7 all to find that this version has inbuilt blue tooth. i tried to unistall the bluesoleil unsuccessfull. Now both bue tooths does not function, may you help how to remove the bluesoleil because I like the inbuilt one.

  11. mick australia

    just bought a samsung notebook, 4 months ago. Shut down as normal last night now this morning will not boot windows 7.
    It keeps coming up to start up repair, but this just keeps failing and will not let me proceed. Bought notebook with windows 7 pre installed so now disk came with it, how can I fix this problem??

  12. Thilan

    Dear mick australia

    There are a few possible causes to the faliure of booting of Windows 7
    1: BOOTMGR is missing
    2: Damage on HardDisk
    3: Essential component of Windows 7 is missiong

    Formating the machine with a Windows 7 disk might work!

  13. andre1264

    i don’t is the same thing if you have the original windows 7 cd or gived you acces to all the same options.THEN why the system repair disc?

  14. andre1264

    i’ve been thinking,I guess if you don’t have the original windows 7 cd or dvd.Making a system repair disc is very helpful..

  15. sys-eng

    “I don’t is the same thing if you have the original windows 7 cd or gived you acces to all the same options.THEN why the system repair disc?”

    Most PC’s do not come with installation disks; therefore, very few PC owners (<10%) actually have them. The Repair Disk is very helpful when trying to restore a system image from an external hard drive. Windows 7 has an excellant backup utility found in the Control Panel for backing up user files and/or system image. This is also where you will find the option to make a system repair disk. I have not seen where any 2nd party utility does a better job so I do not recommend spending any money on another backup utility.

    The most important part is to set the schedule to make backups at least weekly and make sure that the backups actually comleted successfully.

  16. hopbest

    The recovery disk occupies the 142mb space on the cd-disk.
    And if we create a system image it occupy on 15 GB on hard disk.
    Ques1 >> when the system crash should I restore the system drive(C-drive) form the image stored on the hard disk (E-drive) through this repair cd-disk or
    This cd-disk is capable to restore the system drive to the earlier time when it is created without the 15 gb image which I create on E-Drive.
    As I don`t have any external media to store 15 gb system image so I want to know if the cd-disk is capable to perform the system restore to an earlier time when it is created then should I delete the 15GB system image stored on E-Drive.

  17. Worried

    I have a “hard drive failure imminent error message” and I am wondering if I get a new hard drive if this CD will work to use as a install disc.

  18. Person

    will this work if your duel booting your computer and your hard drive is corrupt?

  19. Ben

    @Jessica your suggestion works 100%.

  20. houle1259

    To, User33, System Repair Disk on Windows 7 dvd disk, doesn’t work all the time for repair. I know, been there. I had to go download a System Repair Disk for my Win 7 desktop. I encountered a ‘BOOT MGR MISSING, CTRL-ALT-DEL” error and my Win 7 dvd wouldn’t work, so the system repair disk I downloaded immediately fixed my problem.

    Just a tip for others. :)

  21. billinrio

    For user 33’s information, and as Saif mentions, many computer manufactures preinstall the system and don’t include any disks with the product. This is the case of Acer, for example, and of apparently many others. So, the user certainly does need to create such a disk.

    Mysticgeek: I’m running system 7, and when I type “system repair disc” into the search box in the Start menu, I don’t get the result that you show. In my case, only a few Word files come up. Now what?

  22. billinrio

    My bad. I forgot that my Windows 7 system is in Spanish. Obviously therefore, the command line must be “reparación de disco”. By the way, Microsoft offers an on-line video that explains how to make the disk:

  23. Goldmanjace

    I just bought a HP labtop and it did not come with any cds. If I want to create the restore disk and I put a dvd in it, it tells me that I have 67 GB to restore. Is this size normal? What should I use as a medium?? I am running windows 7 64 bit on a HP DV 7 labtop.

  24. Greywolf

    Goldmanjace: You have to use multiple CD/DVD. 67GB does seem a bit excessive for a fresh install.

    Worried: No, a system repair disk will not sub for an install disk. (20GB of installed data will not compress down to 142MB no matter HOW hard you try!).

  25. PurpleShoes

    Just a general comment re: install discs not coming with your laptop. As mentioned by someone earlier, most computers don’t come with the physical DVD/CD. However, most computer manufacturers that sell their computers like this will have partitioned the windows install files to your HDD.

    For example, my 4 year old computer died on me only last week. I was running vista and have a Toshiba Satellite. To reinstall a ‘fresh’ windows while the computer is turned off I can hold down the ‘0’ key and power button. (I believe this combo is for tosh sats only). This gives access to restore the computer to factory settings, meaning the computer will go back to the way it was the day I bought it.

    I would think that most other companies that sell their computers without the OS install disks would have a similar method to access the OS intall files.

    For those that need a fresh install of their OS and have no discs or backup, (please back up personal files before doing a restore like this – you will lose everything).. i would suggest either googling how to access these files or calling the manufacturers customer service people to ask how to access it.

    I hope this helps someone.

  26. Pat Tracey

    Purple Shoes, I have a Toshiba sat. just about 4 yrs old in May. It has also quit on me last week. The new one I purchased, I made dvds for repair, OP systems (Windows 7) etc, the night I opened, but I did not on the windows Vista. If I install the OS the way you say with ‘0’ key and power button will I lose all the other info on my computer? I know if will probably ask me if I want to delete the exsiting OS, I wondered how it will affect any other files, programs I have on the computer? Thanks

  27. Jean

    to those who use dvds to store their system images I recommend spending the money on a cheap external HD or creating one with a case and a laptop HD because blank dvds do fail and you wont know until it’s too late

  28. Jessie

    if i have a computer that has crashed. Can I make a recovery disk from another computer that is running on the same windows and use it to recover the one that crashed? The computer start up and get pass the windows logo and then my screen goes black with a white cursor on the screen. Will this recovery disk work? Please give me some info on this

  29. Emma

    You can get Windows 7 password bypass by free computer software, such as the most popular program Ophcrack, which works on Windows 7 password recovery or other Windows version password recovery. However, as this tool will cost you hours of time to finish the entire password recovery process, here we would like to introduce you another tool to bypass Windows 7 password, which is Windows Login Recovery.

    This computer software enables you handle the password recovery process on your own in minutes to bypass Windows 7 password with several mouse-clicking, what’s more, it will get Windows 7 password bypass without any damage to the files or data on the basis that you fully followed it’s well-written instruction:
    Step 1: Download Windows Login Recovery Professional and run it
    Step 2: Create a Windows 7 password reset CD/DVD or USB flash drive.
    Step 3: Reset the Windows 7 password with the reset disk.

  30. John

    Can i use it to restore settings even after formatting hard disk on windows 7 ultimate ?

  31. bec

    that’s all fine if you can GET to your start menu. My laptop (vista) won’t boot up anything!! It came pre installed so I don’t have a disk, can you please tell me how I can make one on my other pc or where to buy one reasonable and secure

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