How to Make a Windows Vista Recovery Disk

by Contributor

Windows Vista is stable and safe to use in most situations. It is a powerful operating system that is easy to use and does a lot of its own housekeeping. But if you end up with a deadly virus or simply have some software and hardware conflicts, you're going to want to run a recovery routine to save your system from having to be reformatted. Starting from scratch is a monumental pain, so the next best thing is to make a Windows Vista recovery disk.

Make a Windows Vista Recovery Disk

Start Windows Vista and log on to the administrator account. This will make it easier to get access to all of your most important files.

Place a blank CD-R or DVD-R into the appropriate optical drive. There is no need to format this disk.

Consider creating a folder on your desktop in which to place all of your most important files. This will make it easier to create a simple recovery disk later.

Copy important files from their current locations to either the temporary folder you created, or simply right-click on them and select the "Send to" option followed by the drive letter of the optical drive. This will automatically spool the file to be prepped for writing to the disk.

Burn all of the files you wish to keep for later recovery to the optical drive. This will not only allow you to install the files to the drive when you need to perform a system recovery, but it will also permit you to avoid formatting the hard drive.


  • check Consider creating a partition on your hard drive specifically for Windows Vista recovery. This will save you the trouble of creating a recovery disk, but it is also far more advanced (you need to be able to adjust your system's BIOS to detect the partition, for example).
  • check Always download the latest drivers for your hardware and software prior to creating a recovery disk. This will allow you to add those important files to the disk and save you the effort of upgrading later.


  • close If you do not have a Windows Vista installation disk (some computer manufacturers do not include backup software in their packaging), then you will need to call the manufacturer and request one. You should be provided one free of charge.

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