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Windows 7: Windows recovery disk -- when no CD drive


06 Oct 2010   #1

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 
Windows recovery disk -- when no CD drive

Hi all
This must have been dealt with before but I couldn't find any reference to it in the Search.

If you have a Netbook with no DVD drive it's easy enough to create a Windows USB installation stick.

However you can't create a Windows recovery disk.

My question is can the standard Install "USB" stick be used to repair for example an installation that fails to boot.

IMO it SHOULD be OK but I'd like confirmation before messing around and repartitiioning my Netbook.

Cheers
jimbo

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

06 Oct 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi Jimbo,

The recovery options under "Repair My Computer" on the install media are identical to the recovery options on the recovery disc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2010   #3

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)
 
 

Can you create a recovery Disc if you connect an Ext DVD R/W USB drive to a netbook ?

I don't have any netbooks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


06 Oct 2010   #4

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Is a recovery disc the same as a System Repair Disc?

If so, then once can create a System Repair Disc if one has an external DVD/CD optical unit that has a USB interface.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2010   #5

Win 7 Ultimate (64-bit), Win 8.1.1 (64-bit)
 
 

While it may be true that an installation media contains the same Recovery Options as a System Repair disk, it takes a 4GB thumb drive to create a USB install drive. You can create a System Repair drive on a much smaller USB device, the smallest I have on-hand is a 1G thumb drive but it looks like a 256M thumb drive would be big enough as the System Repair thumb drive I created only has 174M of used space.

Unfortunately, I don't know how you can create the System Repair thumb drive without a CD drive but if you have access to one you can create the USB System Repair drive for future use.

Here's the steps I used to create one (slightly modified from instructions found here: Create Win 7 USB Thumb drive installer):

Requirements:

USB thumb drive at least 256M in size.
System Repair CD.
Win 7 install DVD.

Follow the first 7 steps of the USB thumb drive installer instructions but in step 8, remove your Win 7 install disk and put your System Repair CD in the drive and copy its contents to the thumb drive instead of the install files from the install DVD. Once the files have been copied you now have a USB thumb drive System Repair device.

I did this with a 32-bit System Repair disk but it should work fine with a 64-bit repair disk as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2010   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You could manually make a system repair usb drive.

Take a look at a sysem recovery disc and it's pretty obvious how to do it using winre.wim and the boot files from your HD.

Easier still to copy the contents of the install media to the HD - then just delete everything from the sources folder except boot.wim.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2010   #7

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Interesting. I've never tried that approach, but that would certainly work.

Here's my spiel on putting the system repair disk on to a usb:
WIN 7 SYSTEM REPAIR DISC ON A BOOTABLE USB


Putting a Win 7 System Repair Disc on a bootable USB consists of three steps:
1. Create a System Repair Disc
2. Prepare a USB stick
3. Copy the System Repair Disc to the USB

Step 1. Create a System Repair Disc
START | type System Repair | Enter key | Create Disc button

Step 2. Prepare a USB stick
The stick is prepared by running CMD.EXE as an administrator (also known as an elevated command prompt) and then using DiskPart to prepare the USB stick.

Elevated command prompt = Run CMD.EXE as administrator
· WIN key
· Type CMD.EXE (do not hit Enter key)
· In the Programs list, Right-Click on CMD.EXE
· Click on Run as administrator
· YES button

Use DiskPart to prepare the USB Stick
· type DiskPart, Enter key
· type List disk, Enter key
note the numeral of the disk you want to clean
for example purposes, I’ll be using the numeral 2
· type Select disk 2, Enter key
· type Detail disk, Enter key
this info will let you know if you selected correctly
· type Clean ALL, Enter key
your entire disk is being overwritten with zeros.
This can take a considerable amount of time
· type Create Partition Primary, Enter key
This will create a primary partition
· type Format fs=ntfs, Enter key
This formats the partition using the ntfs format.
· type Assign, Enter key
This assigns the next available volume letter to the volume.
· type Active, Enter key
This marks the current partition as active. Verifies that partition is capable of being a bootable partition.
· type EXIT, Enter key
This exits the DiskPart program.
· type EXIT, Enter key
This exits the command shell.

Step 3. Copy the System Repair Disc to the USB stick
Insert the System Repair Disc in the CD/DVD drive.
Using Windows Explorer, copy the entire contents to the USB stick.


You now have a bootable System Repair Disc on a USB stick.

======================================
=========================================
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2010   #8

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
Interesting. I've never tried that approach, but that would certainly work.

Here's my spiel on putting the system repair disk on to a usb:
WIN 7 SYSTEM REPAIR DISC ON A BOOTABLE USB


Putting a Win 7 System Repair Disc on a bootable USB consists of three steps:
1. Create a System Repair Disc
2. Prepare a USB stick
3. Copy the System Repair Disc to the USB

Step 1. Create a System Repair Disc
START | type System Repair | Enter key | Create Disc button

Step 2. Prepare a USB stick
The stick is prepared by running CMD.EXE as an administrator (also known as an elevated command prompt) and then using DiskPart to prepare the USB stick.

Elevated command prompt = Run CMD.EXE as administrator
· WIN key
· Type CMD.EXE (do not hit Enter key)
· In the Programs list, Right-Click on CMD.EXE
· Click on Run as administrator
· YES button

Use DiskPart to prepare the USB Stick
· type DiskPart, Enter key
· type List disk, Enter key
note the numeral of the disk you want to clean
for example purposes, I’ll be using the numeral 2
· type Select disk 2, Enter key
· type Detail disk, Enter key
this info will let you know if you selected correctly
· type Clean ALL, Enter key
your entire disk is being overwritten with zeros.
This can take a considerable amount of time
· type Create Partition Primary, Enter key
This will create a primary partition
· type Format fs=ntfs, Enter key
This formats the partition using the ntfs format.
· type Assign, Enter key
This assigns the next available volume letter to the volume.
· type Active, Enter key
This marks the current partition as active. Verifies that partition is capable of being a bootable partition.
· type EXIT, Enter key
This exits the DiskPart program.
· type EXIT, Enter key
This exits the command shell.

Step 3. Copy the System Repair Disc to the USB stick
Insert the System Repair Disc in the CD/DVD drive.
Using Windows Explorer, copy the entire contents to the USB stick.


You now have a bootable System Repair Disc on a USB stick.

======================================
=========================================
Hi there
very commendable -- thanks but this will FAIL at step 1 since when you try and create a system repair disk on your Netbook you'll get a message "NO DVD writer detected."

The main point I was trying to get across here is what to do IF YOU DON'T have any DVD writing capability.

Now I DO have other computers with DVD / CD writers but NONE of them are running Windows 7 Pro 32 bit so I'm afraid creating a repair disc on another system and then building the USB drive won't work.

However being able to repair from the standard install disk is fine -- I've got enough USB sticks lying around anyway.

These days even a 16GB USB stick doesn't cost more than a few dollars -- I don't want to mess around with external USB DVD drives.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2010   #9

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Understandable. I also have a netbook. I also bought an external dvd/cd. They are really quite economical and affordable. There are too many instances where I found I needed to be able to read/write a cd/dvd even in the marvelous days of usb sticks. Sure makes ripping a cd easier with an optical drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2010   #10

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
I actually got round the problem by installing the Windows 7 Pro 32 bit on to a Virtual Machineon another system which DOES have a CD / DVD drive. and then created a recovery disk that way.

It only took around 15 mins to create a base 32 bit Win 7 PRO VM. I didn't even need to install any applications or even activate Windows 7.

Thanks as after I had the recovery disk the USB stick works fine.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows recovery disk -- when no CD drive




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