Recovery Disc for Windows Vista or Windows 7
When you buy a new PC these days, it is rare to receive a bundled CD-ROM or DVD disc containing the Recovery Disc software that you can use to try to repair or reinstall your operating system in the event of a catastrophe. Here's how to create a Recovery disk that you can use when your computer won't boot up normally from the hard drive...
Create Your Own Windows Recovery Disk
Some computer vendors add the Recovery Disc software to your hard drive, and it appears as an option on the boot menu when you restart your machine. But what if your machine won't boot from the hard drive at all?
Then you need a removable, bootable Recovery Disc. If you did not receive one with your computer, you could contact the manufacturer of your system and buy a Recovery Disc. Yes, you should have received one with your new computer. But some vendors do sell them separately.
Getting one from the vendor is the easy but expensive method. But there is a way to create a recovery disk for free, if you have a computer that is able to burn a CD. (Sorry I didn't mean for that to rhyme...)
Microsoft has made available Recovery Disc image files for Vista and Windows 7, which are hosted online by NeoSmart Technologies. It boggles my mind that Microsoft doesn't host these files on their own server; instead leaving you to wonder if Neosmart is a trustworthy source for creating a CD that will be used to boot your computer.
But never mind that. You will find many Web pages offering "Vista recovery disk downloads" that actually link to the NeoSmart page above. Don't waste any time looking for something different, better or easier. Neosmart is apparently the one and only trusted place to get your recovery disk images.
Your goal is to download the recovery disk image file in ISO format, and burn it to a CD. Yes, if your hard drive is not working then you will have to download and burn the image file using another computer.
Note that the recovery disk cannot be used to (re)install Windows. It's just a stripped down bootable Windows interface that can be used for recovery tasks such as Startup Repair, System Restore, System Image Recovery and a command prompt for the brave of heart.
Downloading the Recovery Disk Image
You will need a Bittorrent client to download the NeoSmart Recovery Disc image file. NeoSmart does not actually store all of the image file on its servers; the bandwidth required to serve the image file to the many people who look for it would be very expensive. Instead, the image file is broken up in bits distributed across many servers that are part of the Bittorrent peer-to-peer file sharing world. A Bittorrent client program such as uTorrent is needed to find all the parts of the image file; download them simultaneously; and assemble them into the complete image file on your computer.
After downloading the ISO image, you'll need to burn it to a CD disc using any burning software that can handle ISO disc images. Ahead Nero is a popular commercial program that can do the job. ISOImageBurner.com is the home of a free ISO Image Burner utility that lacks the bells and whistles of Nero but gets the job done.
Once you have the Recovery Disc, you can insert it in your drive and restart the computer. If your computer's BIOS is configured to boot from the CD drive should the hard drive not be available, then it will do so. If not, you may have to manually tell the BIOS to boot from CD. That's an option on the BIOS Setup menu, which you can reach by holding down the Ctrl key while booting your PC. There, you should be able to set the CD as the primary boot device, or at least ensure it is in the set of devices that the BIOS checks during bootup. Once you have a bootable Windows Vista or Windows 7 Recovery Disc, keep it in a safe place. You never know when you or a friend may need it.
Do you have something to say about Windows Vista or Windows 7 recovery disks? Post your comment of question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 4 Feb 2010
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Recovery Disc for Windows Vista or Windows 7 (Posted: 4 Feb 2010)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved