How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

Creating a repair disc now could save you time and money later

The first thing a new Windows 7 user should do is create a System Repair Disc.

A Windows 7 System Repair Disc gives you access to Windows 7's System Recovery Options, a powerful set of Microsoft-created diagnostic and repair utilities like Startup Repair, System Restore, System Image Recovery, Windows Memory Diagnostic, and Command Prompt.

As of January 2020, Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support.

You'll need an optical drive that supports disc burning (very common) to create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc. Unfortunately, a flash drive isn't a supported bootable media in this case.

How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

Creating a System Repair Disc in Windows 7 is very easy and should only take around 5 minutes.

  1. Go to Start > All Programs > Maintenance.

    An alternative is to execute recdisc from the Run box or a Command Prompt window. If you do that, you can skip directly to Step 3 below.

  2. Select Create a System Repair Disc.

    Windows 7 Start menu with the System Repair Disc option
  3. Choose your optical disc drive from the Drive drop-down box.

  4. Insert a blank disc in your optical drive.

    An empty CD should be large enough for a System Repair Disc. I created a Windows 7 System Repair Disc on a new Windows 7 32-bit installation and it was only 145 MB. If you only have a blank DVD or BD available, that's okay, too, of course.

  5. Select Create disc.

    A screenshot of Windows 7 creating a system repair disc

    Windows 7 will now create the System Repair Disc on the blank disc you inserted in the previous step. No special disc burning software is required.

  6. After the System Repair Disc creation is complete, Windows 7 displays a dialog box that you can close. You can also select OK on the original Create a system repair disc window that's now showing up on your screen.

This process works equally well to create a Windows 10 and Windows 8 System Repair Disc but there's an alternative process that's probably a better option. See How to Create a Windows 10 or Windows 8 Recovery Drive for details.

Using the Windows 7 System Repair Disc

Now that you've created the repair disc, label it something relevant like "Windows 7 System Repair Disc" and keep it someplace safe.

You can now boot from this disc to access System Recovery Options, the set of system recovery tools available for the Windows 7 operating system.

As with a Windows 7 installation disc, you'll need to watch for a for a Press any key to boot from CD or DVD message on screen, right after your computer turns on or restarts with the System Repair Disc inserted.

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