Windows 10 offers many system recovery functions, including returning the computer to its original state and recovery points, creating a full image of the system on an external hard drive or DVD, and burning a USB recovery disk (which is better than in previous systems). A separate instruction also contains typical problems and errors when starting the OS and methods for solving them; see Windows 10 does not start .
This article describes exactly how the recovery capabilities of Windows 10 are implemented, what is the principle of their work, and in what ways you can access each of the described functions. In my opinion, understanding and using these features is very useful and can significantly help in solving computer problems that may arise in the future. See also: Repairing the Windows 10 bootloader , Checking and restoring the integrity of Windows 10 system files , Restoring the Windows 10 registry , Restoring the storage of Windows 10 components .
To begin with - about one of the first options that are often used to restore the system - safe mode. If you are looking for ways to get into it, then the ways to do this are collected in the Windows 10 Safe Mode instructions. Also, the recovery question may include the following question: How to reset a Windows 10 password .
Returning a computer or laptop to its original state
The first recovery function that you should pay attention to is returning Windows 10 to its original state, which can be accessed by clicking on the notification icon, selecting "All Settings" - "Update and Security" - "Recovery" (there is another way to get to this section, without logging into Windows 10, is described below). In case Windows 10 does not start, you can start the rollback of the system from the recovery disk or the OS distribution, which is described below.
If you click "Start" in the "Reset" item, you will be prompted to either completely clean the computer and reinstall Windows 10 (at the same time, a bootable USB flash drive or disk is not required, the files on the computer will be used), or save your personal files (Installed programs and settings, however, will be deleted).
Another easy way to access this feature, even without logging in, is on the login screen (where the password is entered), press the power button and, while holding the Shift key, press “Restart”. On the screen that opens, select "Diagnostics", and then - "Reset."
At the moment, I have not seen laptops or computers with preinstalled Windows 10, but I can assume that all the drivers and applications of the manufacturer will be automatically reinstalled on them during recovery using this method.
The advantages of this method of recovery - you do not need to have a system distribution, reinstalling Windows 10 is automatic and thereby minimizes the likelihood of some errors made by novice users.
The main minus is that in the event of a hard disk failure or serious damage to the OS files, it will not be possible to restore the system in this way, but the following two options may come in handy: a recovery disk or creating a full backup of Windows 10 using the system’s built-in tools on a separate hard disk (including external) or DVD discs. More information about the method and its nuances: How to reset Windows 10 or automatically reinstall the system .
Automatic clean installation of Windows 10
Windows 10 version 1703 Creators Update has a new feature - “Start Again” or “Start Fresh”, which performs an automatic clean installation of the system.
Details on how this works and what are the differences from the reset described in the previous version in a separate instruction: Automatic clean installation of Windows 10 .
Windows 10 recovery disc
Note: a drive here means a USB drive, for example, an ordinary flash drive, and the name has been preserved since it was possible to burn CDs and DVDs.
In previous versions of the OS, the recovery disk contained only utilities for trying to automatically and manually restore the installed system (very useful), in turn, the Windows 10 recovery disk, in addition to them, can also contain the image of the OS for recovery, that is, you can start the return to the original from it status, as described in the previous section, automatically reinstalling the system on the computer.
To record such a flash drive, go to the control panel and select "Recovery". Already there you will find the necessary item - "Creating a recovery disk."
If during the creation of the disk you check the box “Back up system files to the recovery disk”, then the final drive can be used not only to fix the problems manually, but also to quickly reinstall Windows 10 on the computer.
After booting from the recovery disk (you need to install the boot from the USB flash drive or use the boot menu ), you will see the action selection menu, where in the “Diagnostics” section (and in the “Advanced Settings” inside this item) you can:
- Return the computer to its original state using files on a USB flash drive.
- Enter BIOS (UEFI Firmware Settings).
- Try to restore the system using a recovery point.
- Start automatic recovery at boot.
- Use the command line to restore the Windows 10 bootloader and other actions.
- Restore the system from the full image of the system (described later in the article).
Having such a drive in something may be even more convenient than just a bootable USB flash drive Windows 10 (although you can also start recovery from it by clicking the corresponding link in the lower left window with the "Install" button after choosing a language). Learn more about the Windows 10 + video recovery disc .
Creating a complete system image for recovering Windows 10
In Windows 10, the ability to create a full system recovery image on a separate hard drive (including external) or several DVD-ROMs remained. Only one way to create a system image is described below, if you are interested in other options described in more detail, see the Backup Windows 10 instruction.
The difference from the previous version is that in this way a kind of "cast" of the system is created, with all the programs, files, drivers and settings that were available at the time of the image creation (and in the previous version we get a clean system with only personal data being saved and files).
The optimal time to create such an image is immediately after a clean installation of the OS and all the drivers on the computer, i.e. after Windows 10 has been brought to a fully functional state, but not yet cluttered.
To create such an image, go to the Control Panel - File History, and then select "Backup System Image" - "Create System Image" at the bottom left. Another way is to go to “All Settings” - “Update and Security” - “Backup Service” - “Go to the section“ Backup and Restore (Windows 7) ”-“ Creating a System Image ”.
In the following steps, you can choose where the system image will be saved, as well as which partitions on the disks you want to add to the backup (as a rule, this is the partition reserved by the system and the system partition of the disk).
In the future, you can use the created image to quickly return the system to the state that you require. You can start recovery from an image from the recovery disk or by selecting "Recovery" in the Windows 10 setup program (Diagnostics - Advanced options - System image recovery).
Recovery points in Windows 10 work the same way as in the two previous versions of the operating system and can often help roll back the latest changes on the computer that caused the problems. Detailed instructions for all the features of the tool: Windows 10 recovery points .
In order to check whether automatic creation of recovery points is enabled, you can go to the “Control Panel” - “Recovery” and click “System Restore Settings”.
By default, protection for the system drive is enabled, you can also configure the creation of recovery points for the drive by selecting it and clicking the "Configure" button.
System restore points are created automatically when you change any system parameters and settings, install programs and services, it is also possible to create them manually before any potentially dangerous action (the "Create" button in the system protection settings window).
When you need to apply a recovery point, you can go to the appropriate section of the control panel and select “Start System Restore” or, if Windows does not start, boot from the recovery disk (or the installation drive) and find the recovery start in Diagnostics - Advanced Settings.
Another feature of Windows 10 recovery is file history, which allows you to back up important files and documents, as well as their previous versions, and return to them if necessary. Details on this feature: Windows 10 file history .
As you can see, the recovery tools in Windows 10 are quite widespread and quite effective - for most users they will be more than enough with skillful and timely use.
Of course, you can additionally use tools like Aomei OneKey Recovery , Acronis backup and recovery programs, and in extreme cases, hidden images for recovering computer and laptop manufacturers, but do not forget about the standard features already present in the operating system.