How to create a custom Windows 10 dedicated recovery partition

Use this guide to create a custom dedicated partition of your Windows 10 installation with universal and desktop apps and settings for quick recovery.

AOMEI OneKey Recovery software

One of the differences between a computer with a clean installation of Windows and a brand new PC with Windows pre-install is that new computers come with a dedicated recovery partition that includes a recovery image with the operating system, programs, and settings. This recovery partition with the recovery image is extremely useful to repair and reset your Windows installation to the factory defaults configuration, if you ever run into an issue or the system crash and fails on you.

Years ago, when we started to see PC manufacturers including a recovery partition on new systems instead of shipping the recovery discs, we thought it was a thing of saving cost more than being practical, as including a hidden partition with the recovery image takes a chunk of the disk space in the main hard drive.

However, today hard drives come with a lot of space and seeing that most Windows devices do not include a DVD-drive, having a dedicated recovery partition can be very valuable to recover quickly without the need of having to install drivers and programs, and you don’t have to keep track of physical discs.

Up until now, creating a dedicated recovery partition was not an easy task, but now there are tools such as AOMEI OneKey Recovery software that makes the process very simple.

OneKey Recovery is a piece of software that anyone can download for free to create a dedicated recovery partition for your custom installation of Windows. The software is compatible with all major versions of Microsoft’s operating system including Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

The software is really easy to use and makes the process a child’s play. However, it’s always a good idea to create a full backup of your system in case something goes wrong. Follow the steps below to create your own dedicated recovery partition for Windows 10.

Create a dedicated Windows 10 recovery partition

  1. Download and install AOMEI OneKey Recovery in your computer.

  2. Launch the application and click the OneKey System Backup tile.

    OneKey Recovery system backup

  3. Specify that you want the option “Backup system to AOMEI OneKey Recovery Partition” and click Next.

    Backup system to OneKey recovery partition

  4. Select the drive where to create a new recovery partition and click Next.

    Select partition

  5. OneKey Recovery will identify the Windows partition that needs to be backed up and it will automatically calculate the space require to create the recovery partition. Once you check that everything is in order, click Start Backup to continue.

    Preview and confirm

  6. The process begins by partitioning the hard drive, creating a Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE), and preparing the system to upload the backup.

    Progress creating recovery image and uploading to recovery partition

The process will take a while depending on the amount of data in your computer, after the backup completes, you’ll be notified with a message on the screen.

Keep this in mind

By default, OneKey Recovery adds an entry to the Windows boot menu, which can be a little distracting to see. The good news is that the software includes various settings to change this behavior. Launch the utility and go to the settings page (click the gear icon on the top-right corner) and choose the best option suited for you.

The “Enable the boot menu” adds an invisible entry that allows you to simply press “A” to enter into recovery mode when the device is starting up. You can also choose to show the “Press A for AOMEI OneKey Recovery” message. The default is “Enter into AOMEI OneKey Recovery” to the Windows boot manager, which shows a menu at boot.

It’s best if you create a recovery partition immediately after the clean installation of Windows. This way you will avoid backing up viruses, malware, or other issues that may cause problems later on. Also try to carry out this task without backing up your personal data, having movies, music, photos, and other documents will make the recovery partition even larger and it will take longer to recover later.

Recovery

Recovering your Windows installation using the recovery image will depend on the settings you have configured. For example, if you left all the defaults settings, simply reboot your computer and at boot choose “Enter into AOMEI OneKey Recovery” to enter into the recovery mode and just follow the easy on-screen directions. Or you can launch the utility, click OneKey System Recovery (see image on step 2), and follow the on-screen instructions.

Remember that AOMEI OneKey Recovery works on all major versions of Windows, as such this how-to guide should work on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, too.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.