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How to fix the “Problem Occurred While Creating the Recovery Drive” error on Windows

Windows allows you to create a recovery drive with or without system files. However, if you choose to back up your system files to a recovery drive, you may sometimes get a “We can’t create the recovery drive” error.

The error message continues, saying “A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive.” If you have this problem, here is how to fix the error and successfully create the recovery drive.

What causes the “We can’t create the recovery drive” error

This error usually occurs when you choose to back up system files to the recovery drive. If you uncheck the option to back up system files, the recovery drive will complete without errors.

The reason for this error can be different. But this often includes bad sectors in the USB, conflicting background services, and temporary glitches.

How to Repair a Problem That Occurred While Creating the Windows Recovery Drive

1. Complete the USB format

Complete the USB format
Complete the USB format

You can fix this error by formatting your USB. However, the trick here is to do the full formatting.

Windows, by default, selects the Quick Format option to complete the format quickly. But this option does not check your drive for bad sectors, which can often cause errors when copying files.

If you uncheck the Quick Format option, Windows will do a full format, check for bad sectors, and mark them as unusable. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open File Explorer and right-click on the USB you intend to use as the recovery drive.

Step 2: Select Format option.

Step 3: In the Format window, uncheck Quick Format in the Format options.

Step 4: Click Start to format the USB. This process will take a while to complete, so wait until it does.

Once done, run the recovery drive tool and see if the error is resolved.

2. Scan for computer viruses

If you notice that the recovery drive stops suddenly right after the Microsoft Security message appears in the Notification Center, check to see if the system is infected with a virus.

Click the security message and take the recommended actions to remove the malware. If no action is taken, perform a full scan with Microsoft Defender to remove any hidden malware.

Microsoft Defender will scan the selected drive for malware. If found, take the recommended actions to clean the system.

While Microsoft Defender is a powerful security tool, consider using a third-party antivirus for Windows like Malwarebytes to scan your system for potential threats.

After cleaning the system for malware, create a recovery drive and see if it completes without the “We can’t create a recovery drive” error.

3. Add, delete files, and then create a recovery drive

If the problem persists, here is a quirky solution to it: You can copy a random file to USB. After that, delete the file and run the recovery drive utility to complete the process without errors. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Make sure that the USB is formatted correctly.

Step 2: Next, copy a random file and paste it on the USB in File Explorer.

Step 3: Right-click the copied file and select Delete.

Step 4: After the file is deleted, launch the Recovery Drive tool and continue the recovery drive creation process.

4. Use the two-step method to ignore errors

Another solution to fix the “A problem occurred while creating the recovery drive” error is to use the two-step method. It involves creating the recovery drive twice. First, you will need to complete the process without backing up system files. Then, repeat the process with the option to back up the system files and hope the process completes successfully.

Step 1: Press the Win key, enter recovery drive and launch the tool.

Step 2: In the Recovery Drive wizard, uncheck the option Back up system files to the recovery drive.

Uncheck the option Back up system files to the recovery drive
Uncheck the option Back up system files to the recovery drive

Step 3: Click Next.

Step 4: Select the USB that you intend to use as the recovery drive.

Step 5: Click Next to continute.

Step 6: Click the Create button to confirm the action. The utility will format the drive and copy the necessary files to the storage device.

Step 7: Regardless of whether you see an error or the process completes successfully, don’t click the Finish or Close button.

Don't click the Finish or Close button
Don’t click the Finish or Close button

Step 8: Instead, click the Back button (in the top left corner). To return to the Create a Recovery Drive window, press Alt + B.

Return to the Create a Recovery Drive window
Return to the Create a Recovery Drive window

Step 9: Here, select the option Back up system files to the recovery drive and click Next.

Step 10: Next, select your USB and click Next.

Step 11: Click Create to start the process and create the recovery drive without any errors.

5. Temporarily disable Microsoft services

Temporarily disable Microsoft services
Temporarily disable Microsoft services

You can manually disable some Microsoft Word and Excel services to resolve recovery drive errors. As is known, the Application Virtualization service seems to conflict with the process. So disabling these services will help you create a recovery drive without causing errors.

Step 1: Press Win + R to open Run.

Step 2: Type msconfig and click OK để mở System Configuration.

Step 3: In the System Configuration window, open the Services tab.

Step 4: Next, locate and uncheck the following services:

  • Application Virtualization Services Agent
  • Application Virtualization Client
  • Client Virtualization Handler

Step 5: Once you have unchecked the services, click Apply to disable the services and save the changes.

Restart the PC, run the recovery drive utility and test again. Note that, regardless of the outcome, enable the 3 services that you disabled earlier in System Configuration and restart the PC to avoid any problems with the Microsoft Office applications.

6. Create a bootable USB

If the error persists, consider creating a Windows bootable USB instead. The recovery drive provides repair tools and additional files for reinstalling Windows if you choose to back up system files.

With a Windows bootable USB, you can get a similar set of tools and more. Unlike a recovery drive, bootable installation media offers more flexibility because you can continue to add and use other files to the storage device.

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