How do I use a USB recovery drive?

Trish read our article on making a USB Recovery drive, but isn’t sure what she’s supposed to do with it.¬† She writes: “USB Recovery – what do you do with it after creating it? Not sure how to reinstall info recovered, etc. Or when? Can you put the info into a different PC?”

The USB recovery drive is intended for when your PC is in trouble. You can use a recovery drive made on another PC to boot yours up, as long as it is the same version of the operating system. For example, you’d need a 64 bit backup for a 64 bit PC.

There are two ways to use the recovery drive. If your Windows 10 PC will boot up, but is having some issues, you can do the following:

Type Recovery Options in the search box and click on the results.


Under Recovery, look under Advanced startup. Choose Restart now.


If the computer won’t boot properly, turn off the PC. Insert the recovery drive into a USB port. Turn the PC back on and use the arrow key on the keyboard to select the name of the USB drive. Then choose Troubleshoot. You can then choose to use the¬†drive to do a system refresh, as we’ve described above or to do a system recovery.

You can also select to do an Automatic repair from the screen. That could take care of some Windows issues. This is not intended as a way to transfer files from one PC to another.

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